How Do I Approach a Civ Pro Open Book Exam

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noleknight16
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 3:09 am

How Do I Approach a Civ Pro Open Book Exam

Postby noleknight16 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:18 pm

My civ pro class in my only open book exam. Should I be taking notes and outlining differently than my usual classes? Should I focus more on policy, strategy, and creative arguments rather than the BLL and procedural rules (since everyone will have it in front of them)?

LawGuy2014
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:04 am

Re: How Do I Approach a Civ Pro Open Book Exam

Postby LawGuy2014 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:51 pm

It's really up to you. If you are a 1L, I would recommend reading some books/articles on how to successfully write an exam. Then, structure the outline in whatever way you think would best help you in the time crunch of the exam.

Personally, on my civ pro exam, which was also open-book, I found the policy of each rule to be pretty straightforward (encouraging efficiency while still keeping in mind that the overall goal of our system is to promote justice), so I just used the outline as a quick way to reference the details of each rule, as well as the names of cases that could be used to support my analysis.

09042014
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Re: How Do I Approach a Civ Pro Open Book Exam

Postby 09042014 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:53 pm

Open book is the law school norm. I'd treat it normally.

Gorki
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Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:41 pm

Re: How Do I Approach a Civ Pro Open Book Exam

Postby Gorki » Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:26 pm

noleknight16 wrote:My civ pro class in my only open book exam. Should I be taking notes and outlining differently than my usual classes? Should I focus more on policy, strategy, and creative arguments rather than the BLL and procedural rules (since everyone will have it in front of them)?

Nope. Almost all of my classes are open book. If you try to focus on creative stuff and leave the BLL on your outline you will be median at best. There is no way to forecast whether any of your creative arguments will be presented in a hypo (the area may not be tested upon at all). You study and prepare as if it was a closed book, and the outline is there in case there is some obscure rule you absolutely need to recall. You want to be the person blasting through every issue you can spot, not paging your outline for exact wording and finishing an exam you know youcould have been better prepared for.

NotMyRealName09
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Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:50 pm

Re: How Do I Approach a Civ Pro Open Book Exam

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:59 pm

I outlined the same for both closed and open book. The ONLY difference is, for an open book, I created a detailed index of terms and cross referenced to authorities. That way, if I wanted to know just where my outline discussed "Impleader," I could turn right to it. Then my outline would have the cites to the cases - which, on an open book exam, can be the difference maker.

For open book, the challenge isn't getting the answer right - the challenge is being able to find the specific piece of information the professor wants quickly. So, index.

Now to be clear - I agree with the above poster - you should study as if it were closed book, and have it all in your head like normal. But if two answers are the same, and one has a cite to the proper authority, you'll get points for that.

LSATNightmares
Posts: 535
Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 10:29 pm

Re: How Do I Approach a Civ Pro Open Book Exam

Postby LSATNightmares » Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:51 am

There are two interesting things about Civ Pro.

First, try to find ambiguities in rules, in addition to knowing the black letter of the rules. Are some of the phrasing or meaning of words ambiguous? How can you read them? Some of the statutory canons are useful here, like expressio unius or ejusdem generis.

Second, understand the policies behind the rules. Do they promote efficiency, finality, etc.? The Freed hornbook is really good for figuring out what the policies are. You can always tie policies to ambiguities to help resolve them. But again, your professor might just be a black letter type, so I'm only highlighting the more advanced stuff in Civ Pro.

jarofsoup
Posts: 1952
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 2:41 am

Re: How Do I Approach a Civ Pro Open Book Exam

Postby jarofsoup » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:07 am

You need to memorize as much as you can. It may be open book, but if you have to spend a lot of time going through your book and finding rules you are done.

Also try to make exam materials that you can easily navigate. Like an exam binder that has tabs for every topic and cases.

Organization is key on these exams.




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