Timing Question: 1L Crim Law Exam Prep

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Timing Question: 1L Crim Law Exam Prep

Postby Statu$studios » Sun Dec 07, 2014 1:31 am

I feel this is something that commonly happens, so I hope you all can give some creative suggestions. My criminal law professor always features a 1 hour question on the exam for statutory interpretation. I've done his past exams, and cannot seem to get it under 1 hour. He gives a fact pattern, then presents several criminal statutes which may or may not be applicable to the actors, then he simply asks us to write about which actors are guilty. The problem is that I can't find enough time to both analyze all the forks in the law & all the forks in the facts within an hour. Further, when we're working with 2 or 3 statutes, each with several subsections that need analyzed, it's nearly impossible to cover all your bases.

I hope I'm describing this scenario well. I can't decide the best way to attack this. Should I interpret first, then start applying my interpretation to the facts? Or, should I allow the facts to drive my analysis, and talk about the ambiguities in the law when such ambiguities become relevant to the facts? Neither seem to be working (without completing in 3x the appropriate time). What have you guys and gals done in the past? (Or plan to do...) Does anyone have any creative solutions that have worked for them? I just feel like I cheapen my exam if I put my foot down and say, essentially, "MY interpretation of the statute is right, don't question me, and here are the ten different ways you can look at fact X, Y, Z...etc."

If it helps anybody explain ideas, I've read Getting to Maybe a handful of times throughout the semester as well as your usual tour of exam-taking books.

The only additional advice that he gives us is to map-out the statute and to check-off each element after we've discussed it. But this doesn't really address the main issue because you have to settle on an interpretation before you check off elements.

Any suggestions? Even pseudo-mulit-tasking ideas would be helpful. Thanks.


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Re: Timing Question: 1L Crim Law Exam Prep

Postby BigZuck » Sun Dec 07, 2014 1:42 am

Could you write out your answer like you have been and then when like 5-10 minutes are left just write out a bare-bones outline for the other forks you haven't been able to cover in the essay?

I think I'm not exactly sure I understand the issue you're having. Is it that the statute is weird and so you feel like you have to address that, plus you have to address all the different forks in the facts when applying all the ambiguities in the statute?

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Re: Timing Question: 1L Crim Law Exam Prep

Postby Kratos » Sun Dec 07, 2014 1:08 pm

So he's giving you the facts, the law, and then asking you to interpret the facts given the law(s) he's given, correct? Just go through the analysis of the facts and apply the aspects of the law that are applicable. I don't think you need to go through every subsection of the statutes he provides and analyze them individually, and then go to how the facts apply to them.

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