Corwin wrote: TheFutureLawyer wrote:
androstan wrote:What would be great ITT:
GW students describe the profs they have had and what kind of exams those profs gave. Which supplements work best for which profs and which course. Etc.
I will preface this by saying a few things:
1) The people who told you that all you really need to know is IRAC? They're totally right. I am doing this because you guys asked for it specifically; I'm not entirely convinced that it'll be helpful. This kind of stuff is why you guys should sign up for mentors.
2) Everybody interacts differently with different professors. Some professors I loved my classmates hated, and vice-versa.
3) I did not use any supplements, so I can't really speak to how helpful they were in these classes.
Crim Law, Prof. Butler:
He was a terrifying professor; he's not cruel or anything, but he has a dominating kind of presence. He used to be a federal prosecutor, and he carries that same kind of intensity into his Crim Law class. He is one of the few 1L professors I had that religiously stuck to the socratic method. He'll cold-call one or two people during a class and just stick with them. This is a class where not knowing the answer will not get you off the hook. He will stand there, the class waiting in awkward silence, as you hunt for the answer frantically. Despite the fear (or perhaps because of it), I really learned a lot in his class. Unfortunately, I don't think I saw him on the schedule for next year.
Exam: Open-book essay exam (issue-spotter style) with a strictly enforced word limit.
EXAM PROTIP: On Butler's exams, there IS a right answer. This is not the place to lay out the long list of possibilities. Give him the correct answer and why it's correct. Period.
Contracts I, Boyack:
Boyack made me enjoy Ks, which surprised me. I feel that Ks is one of the most straight-forward classes you take as a 1L, it's very formulaic, and she did a fantastic job breaking it down for us. She does a lot of full-on practice questions in class, which adds to how much practice you get before your exam. She cold-calls, but she doesn't stay with one, or even two people for the entire class; she'll usually hit four or five, so you're on the spot for a shorter period of time. She also, like many 1L profs, takes volunteers. She was a visiting professor, so I am not sure she is coming back to GW (though I hope she is).
Exam: Open-book essay exam (issue-spotter style primarily, some policy)
EXAM PROTIP: Go through every step. Make it visible. Make sure all the significant words you use (eg. “offer”, “acceptance”) are defined somewhere and that you reference those definitions in each new problem.
CivPro I, Raven-Hansen:
I have to say, I love The Raven. CivPro may be the driest subject they have you study as a 1L, and even some of the professors forced to teach it aren't huge fans, but Raven-Hansen manages to make it less dull. He wrote his own textbook, so we used that (it's not yet published, it's in process, so we had drafts in binders); I think it's much better than the current casebook. The entire text has multiple choice questions in every chapter, so you can check your understanding of the material, and for me that was really useful. Pay attention to the diagrams, they actually help. On exams he puts a premium on writing (his rubric has an actual “writing” score). Some of the material in this class is dense, so be sure you know how to explain it in as few words as possible to save time on your exams. He cold-calls, but he also takes volunteers.
Exam: Open-book 50% multiple choice, 50% short answer/essay (issue-spotter)
EXAM PROTIP: Know the black-letter law cold. The Raven doesn't much care about the policy, just be able to articulate the rule. The multiple choice makes this exam sound easy, but if you don't know the rules without flipping through them, you will never finish. His multiple choice questions are brutal. That being said, make sure you HAVE your rulebook, because there was a multiple choice question on a rule we'd never seen before.
Professor will not be returning to GW (he's moving on to another school).
I think Powell is awesome, but his class can be confusing as heck. He's the only 1L professor I had that does not allow laptops, so if you see him on your schedule come up with a plan of attack for handwritten notes; I always take notes by hand, so it was fine, but a lot of my friends struggled. Know the big cases, but rather than just learn the rule, also think about WHY the court came out that way and whether you would decide that same way. He will ask those questions, both in class and on the exam. He loves the Dormant Commerce Clause, so don't let that slide. He cold-called for about two weeks, and then just kind of stopped calling on us altogether.
Exam: Open-book essay (issue spotter, policy)
EXAM PROTIP: Look at who he wants you to be when you answer. Sometimes the exam questions call for you to be a judge, sometimes a congressman, other times a lawyer at DOJ. These people have very different views of the Constitution, and it DOES change your answer.
Contracts II, Fairfax:
She doesn't lay it out quite as plainly as Boyack did, but Fairfax does still provide a pretty good (things to look at) check-list for answering K exam questions. The stuff she writes on the board? Write it down, because it's nearly ALWAYS the list of elements you will need to put on your attack sheet. Fairfax technically has a system to who she will call on any given day, but you will never figure it out; so basically she cold-calls.
Exam: Open-book essay (issue-spotter)
EXAM PROTIP: You will not finish. Don't panic.
CivPro II, Bracey:
Unlike the Raven, Bracey focused heavily on policy during his CivPro class. I spent half the semester wondering if we were ever going to actually learn any rules of civil procedure (we did...kinda). He calls on people in alphabetical order, and has an impressive way of both seeming easy-going and making all of us look like idiots; but at least you know it's coming. He's another professor that isn't as interested in hearing every random possibility, and is more focused on the right answer.
Exam: Open-book essay (issue-spotter, policy) with a word limit.
EXAM PROTIP: You know how Bracey spent the entire semester asking you to consider whether the rule in question was truly fair? Don't be taken by surprise when it pops up on your exam. Bracey will also use trick fact-patterns to trip you up; don't panic.
Like Ks, property is very formulaic. Schwartz has this formula down pat, so let him spoon-feed it to you. He gives you handouts for every reading assignment. Read them, because they will lay out the list of elements you need to check for when you go through problems on your exam. The handouts also contain simple explanations for rules the book takes an entire chapter to describe. Do the handouts, too; they show you exactly what he is looking for in the assigned cases. Schwartz will put a row on deck at a time, and he'll let you know beforehand and email you as a reminder.
Exam: Open-book essay (issue-spotter)
EXAM PROTIP: His fact-patterns are kind of overwhelming at first. Take a deep breath, don't freak out about how long/detailed they are, and just begin working through your check-list. This is one of those exams where typing speed will be key, because there's a lot to say.