ConLaw-- need help!

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jjlaw
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ConLaw-- need help!

Postby jjlaw » Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:21 pm

My ConLaw exam is next week. It's open book. I'm about 90% done with outlining, did all the readings this semester and paid attention in class. I know the major themes -- federalism, separation of powers, states' rights, etc., and I know how to find information in my outline about Commerce Clause, EPC, DPC (procedural and substantive), 10th A, etc. The problem is, I just tried to do a practice exam, and it was a giant mess. I could spot the major issues (EP violation, level of scrutiny, etc.), but I could not think of which cases to mention/cite or how to word my reasoning in a coherent and intelligent manner. I was able to think of certain cases, but did not know how to use them, except for the obvious ones (Lopez, etc.).

Anyone have any advice on how I can better organize my information/notes so that I can tackle this exam? It's short answer and essays. And my prof is a huge "look at the text of the Constitution" guy.

Also, is the City of Boerne analysis used only when Congress passes a statute to remedy past discrimination under the 14th A? TIA.

zomginternets
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Re: ConLaw-- need help!

Postby zomginternets » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:24 pm

Are you doing practice exams timed? I would do 1 or 2 exams untimed and just work on arguments, organization, etc. Once you have that down, then you should do it timed.

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SilverE2
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Re: ConLaw-- need help!

Postby SilverE2 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:35 pm

I'm having the same problem. I understand the themes and rules and all that stuff, and I know that the cases are really important in Con Law, but...what do I do with them? Do I use the facts to draw analogies?

jjlaw
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Re: ConLaw-- need help!

Postby jjlaw » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:56 pm

zomginternets wrote:Are you doing practice exams timed? I would do 1 or 2 exams untimed and just work on arguments, organization, etc. Once you have that down, then you should do it timed.


I am not doing them timed because I am trying to work on my arguments, organization, etc. I am having trouble formulating my arguments as it is! any suggestions? i was wondering if i should make a sort of checklist/attack outline with all a one-line rule for each major case, and then supporting facts/arguments from other cases that fall under the same theme or topic. (Lopez --> gonzalez/morrison/wickard)

Miller32
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Re: ConLaw-- need help!

Postby Miller32 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:55 pm

You should definitely make a plan of attack outline. Figure out how you're going to analyze each major issue you're likely to face. Make sure that gameplan is an accurate way to view the problem. Then do a shit ton of practice exams. The process should streamline how you work the fact patterns, and will make you much more efficient.

morris248
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Re: ConLaw-- need help!

Postby morris248 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:50 pm

It is easy to get lost on a Con law exam and run out of time. You absolutely need to do timed exams for practice. There is no way to get faster unless you do timed practice exams. Find some exams with model answers, take the exam and then compare.

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wiseowl
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Re: ConLaw-- need help!

Postby wiseowl » Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:06 pm

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theavrock
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Re: ConLaw-- need help!

Postby theavrock » Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:19 pm


bdubs
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Re: ConLaw-- need help!

Postby bdubs » Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:30 pm

Here is how I tackled my con law exam and it seemed to work for me.

1) Justiciability Issues (Standing, Mootness, Ripeness, Political Question)
2) Address the actions of each branch + state
2a) Is there an enumerated power to act?
2b) Is there an inherent power to act?
2c) Is the action prohibited?
3) Do the actions of any of the actors in 2 violate principles of federalism?
4) Do the actions violate individual rights? (Optional, can also be included in 2c if it's either short or so integral to part 2 that the action analysis is incomplete w/o it)

When there were multiple acts of Congress I addressed each separately under a subheading in section 2.

Metaread
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Re: ConLaw-- need help!

Postby Metaread » Sun Apr 29, 2012 5:56 pm

An outline of the important cases in each section is helpful, but you're going to need to know them well so you don't have to read through your entire outline during the exam. You might want to reread each of the major cases: that way you'll be able to analogize to cases come exam-time.

Maybe someone on TLS has a nice executive summary of cases that offer different approaches to each area of Con Law that they would be willing to share? Please?




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