Crim Law to read in culpability or not

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
Lawthirst
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2014 7:32 pm

Crim Law to read in culpability or not

Postby Lawthirst » Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:42 am

So i've scoured the internet for any test similar to the practice hypos my Professor gave us during the semester to no avail(obviously he does not post his). Our professor is strictly interested in our "lawyering skills" and has told us not to memorize anything besides the questions he asks in class. He explicitly stated that it is not the answers which matter but the questions. He also stressed that framing the issue precisely is necessary. On his final he supplies us with the relevant statutes, some resembling MPC, and others from criminal code. The events are to take place in a fictional place.

Our practice hypos in class usually have one issue regarding culpability in which we are to argue for or against, mostly knowledge of a specific element of the crime. Our analysis begins with the language of the statute, then move to the legislative intent, then the implications of interpreting for or against a read-in of culpability. (ppl V. Bray) (Liparota V. United States)

My question is, have any of you encountered a similar exam and have any insights? Most all exams I can find which have a model answer are very different from what my professor has laid out. He said he has no interest in our ability to regurgitate the law.

Thanks in advance for any help I understand this may be a specialized type of test.

User avatar
sd5289
Posts: 1624
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:02 pm

Re: Crim Law to read in culpability or not

Postby sd5289 » Fri Dec 12, 2014 11:09 am

Lawthirst wrote:So i've scoured the internet for any test similar to the practice hypos my Professor gave us during the semester to no avail(obviously he does not post his). Our professor is strictly interested in our "lawyering skills" and has told us not to memorize anything besides the questions he asks in class. He explicitly stated that it is not the answers which matter but the questions. He also stressed that framing the issue precisely is necessary. On his final he supplies us with the relevant statutes, some resembling MPC, and others from criminal code. The events are to take place in a fictional place.

Our practice hypos in class usually have one issue regarding culpability in which we are to argue for or against, mostly knowledge of a specific element of the crime. Our analysis begins with the language of the statute, then move to the legislative intent, then the implications of interpreting for or against a read-in of culpability. (ppl V. Bray) (Liparota V. United States)

My question is, have any of you encountered a similar exam and have any insights? Most all exams I can find which have a model answer are very different from what my professor has laid out. He said he has no interest in our ability to regurgitate the law.

Thanks in advance for any help I understand this may be a specialized type of test.


This is a very typical 1L Crim Law exam.

It sounds like you're somewhat on the right track, so the only advice I have is pay especially close attention to the language of the statute that is provided. In the world of criminal law, that statute is your entire world. Every state is different, which means that your existence in a fictional jurisdiction = that jurisdiction's definition of the criminal conduct at issue controls (I'm going to guess that your exam will also say SCOTUS is controlling, and all other jurisdictions are persuasive).

Figure out what conduct is prohibited by the words in that statute (in 1L land, actus reus). Does it explicitly state what level of culpability is required (in 1L land, mens rea)? If it doesn't, can it be inferred from the words in the statute?

Do not fall into the trap of trying to fling cases you covered during the class unless they are sufficiently on-point (same statute, same issue with reading in culpability, etc.). I got an A on my Crim exam, and only remember citing a few cases dealing with void for vagueness issues.




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests