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August 14, 2017

Welcome to the Moritz College of Law, Criminal Law with Professor Douglas Berman, and version 7.0 of this class blog

I am a big fan of law blogs and I make a regular habit of using blogs to support and supplement my instruction in law school classes.  Sometimes class blogs serve my purposes and goals well; other times, not so much.  Undaunted, I remain convinced (but not entirely confident) that blog technology (rather than a propriety law-school-support technology like TWEN) provides for me a useful on-line tool for supporting and supplementing my courses.

I will continue my bloggy ways in the Fall 2017 semester at the Moritz College of Law through this blog to supplement our first-semester 1L Criminal Law course.  As the "version 7.0" label in the title of this post highlights, I have built this "new" blog directly atop the blog I have used when teaching this very same course five times before (in Fall 2008, 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2016) and when teaching a Comparative Criminal Procedure course (in Summer 2012 as part of our great Oxford summer program).   I am hopeful that some of you new 1Ls will benefit from (or at least find reassuring) seeing some of the posts and comments that were generated in this space in years gone by via these archives.  

So, welcome to the latest re-launch of this 1L Crim Law blogging adventure. I am always pleased when this blog helps to promote a distinct type of student engagement, and it will certainly provides the means for me to share required and optional materials and ideas.

WELCOME! 

P.S.:  As proof that mining the blog archives can be useful, let me provide some "deep cuts" you might already find interesting or useful.  Here are two prior posts and the student comments thereto (one from Aug 2008 and the other from Aug 2010) might be worthwhile as you gear up for our first week of class discussions:

In addition, in the archives from 2008, one can find these links to another of my favorite law blogs providing lots and lots of (old but still timely) advice for incoming 1Ls:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 14, 2017 in About this blog | Permalink | Comments (0)

August 10, 2016

Welcome to the Moritz College of Law, Criminal Law with Berman, and version 6.0 of this class blog

As some of you may already know, I am a big fan of law blogs and I make a regular habit of using blogs to support and supplement my instruction in law school classes.  Sometimes class blogs serve my purposes and goals well; other times, not so much.  Undaunted, I remain convinced (but not entirely confident) that the blog technology (rather than a propriety law-school-support technology like TWEN) provides the best on-line tool for supporting and supplement law school courses.

I will continue my bloggy ways in the Fall 2016 semester at the Moritz College of Law through this blog to supplement our first-semester 1L small-section Criminal Law course.  And, as the version 6.0 label highlights, I have built this "new" blog directly atop the blog I used when teaching this very same course four times before (in Fall 2008, 2010, 2013 and 2014) and when teaching a Comparative Criminal Procedure course (in Summer 2012).  

I am hopeful that some new 1Ls will benefit from (or at least find reassuring) seeing some of the posts (and comments) that were generated in this forum at other times.   Current users might focus especially on the archives from Aug-Dec 2013 and Aug-Dec 2014 to see some of the "action" in this class from the last two times I taught it.  

So, welcome to the latest re-launch of this 1L Crim Law blogging adventure. I am always pleased when this blog helps to promote a distinct type of student engagement, and it will certainly provides the means for me to share required and optional materials and ideas.

WELCOME! 

P.S.:  To provide proof that mining the blog archives can be useful, here are some items from deep in this blog's archives you might already find interesting or useful.  For example, two prior posts and the student comments thereto (one from Aug 2008 and the other from Aug 2010) might be worthwhile as you gear up for our first week of class discussions:

In addition, in the archives from 2008, one can find these links to another of my favorite law blogs providing lots and lots of (old but still timely) advice for incoming 1Ls:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 10, 2016 in About this blog | Permalink | Comments (0)

August 14, 2013

Welcome to the Moritz College of Law, Criminal Law with Prof. Berman & version 4.0 of this class blog

I have made a habit in recent years to use blogs to support and supplement my instruction in law school classes. Some of these class blogs have served my purposes and goals well, others have meet with mixed results. Undaunted, I remain convinced (but not entirely confident) that the blog technology (rather than a propriety law-school-support technology like TWEN) provides the best on-line tool for supporting and supplement law school courses.

I will continue my bloggy ways in the Fall 2013 semester at the Moritz College of Law through this blog to supplement my first-semester 1L small-section Crim Law course. And, as the version 4.0 label highlights, I have built this "new" blog directly atop the blog I used when teaching this very same course twice before (in Fall 2008 and Fall 2010) and when teaching a Comparative Criminal Procedure course (in Summer 2012).

I am hopeful that some new 1Ls will benefit from (or at least find reassuring) seeing some of the posts (and comments) that were generated in this forum at other times.  You might focus especially on the archives from Aug-Dec 2008 to and Aug-Dec 2010 to see some of the "action" in this class from the last two times I taught it.  

So, welcome to the latest re-launch of this 1L Crim Law blogging adventure. I am always pleased when this blog helps to promote a new type of student engagement, and it also provides an effective means for me to share both required and optional materials and ideas.

 

WELCOME!

 

 

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UPDATE: It dawned on me after completing this initial post that it would be useful to point you to a few items to be found deep in this blog's archives that you might already find interesting or useful.  For example, these two prior posts and the student comments thereto (one from Aug 2008 and the other from Aug 2010) might be worthwhile as you gear up for our first week of class discussions:

In addition,in the archives from 2008 I found these links with lots and lots of (old but still timely) advice for incoming 1Ls:

 

 

 

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ANOTHER UPDATE: It dawned on me after receiving an e-mail from someone in this class that not everyone realizes where to find the "magic boxes" where the syllabus and course description are located, and also that I promised to post this stuff in this on-line space.  So, for now, here is a copy of the first part of the syllabus:

Download 2013 Criminal Law Syllabus (Part 1)

 

 

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August 14, 2013 in About this blog | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 18, 2012

Seeking "mid-term" feedback on assignments, course/blog coverage, exam concerns, etc.

We are hitting roughly the mid-way point in both the Oxford program and in our class meetings.  That reality, as well as your recent focus on the mid-term mini-paper, has prompted me to put up this post seeking constructive feedback on our course and this blog (and/or the whole Oxford program) so far.

I stress the term "constructive" for this feedback because there is still ample time to tweak our class or this blog and/or other parts of the Oxford program to achieve any remaining goals you have for our final few weeks together here in the UK.  I continue to be a bit overwhelmed by all I want us to be able to do together in the classroom, but I also want to continue to make sure I am tailoring our time together to fit student needs and interests rather than my own (always overflowing) desire to talk about (and blog about) all sort of areas of US and non-US criminal justice systems that I find fascinating.

Thanks in advance for any and all responses and input.

UPDATE:  Please add in this thread any/all concerns about my plans to give out two take-home questions and to allow student to complete the final exam by completing one or two take-home exam questions or one or two in-class exam questions.

July 18, 2012 in About this blog, Class reflections | Permalink | Comments (11) | TrackBack

December 13, 2010

Congrats and some advice for moving on...

Congratulations on formally finishing the exam for this course AND don't give another thought to the substance of the exam or your substantive performance for (at least) the next few days.  After ALL your exams are complete, I will have an open thread for comments on the whole exam season, but right now you should keep in mind the reality that your most important exam is your next one. 

Given that your next exam is not until Friday, I also have a few recommendations for moving on:

1.  Catch up on sleep and/or time with family ASAP before going back into deep exam mode

2.  Go out to see or rent a movie that is either a good comedy that helps you forget serious stuff or a moving drama that helps you remember your current worries are pretty minor.   Since I mentioned the The Blues Brothers in one review session, that's a good possibility for the comedy.  The last few winners of the Oscar for best picture, The Hurt Locker and Slumdog Millionaire, should fit the bill on the drama front.  And, if you want a great movie that will make you think really hard about something other that law, I always love to recommend Momento.

3.  Please let me know either through comments here or via e-mail or in person whether and how you would like me to keep this blog going in the weeks and months ahead.  I would be happy to keep providing snippets of interesting real substantive criminal law cases, though I would also be happy and eager to use this space for student support as well (e.g., posting notices/links about job opportunities and advice columns like this one).

Congrats again and good luck finishing your last two exams (which I hope will both seem easy after you have no survived mine)!

December 13, 2010 in About this blog, Class reflections | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 06, 2010

Some background on my law blog affinity (and a request for feedback and recommendations)

For anyone interested in a little background on why I am such a fan of the medium of blogging, consider checking out this new piece appearing in The National Law Journal.  In addition, I wrote a law review article a few years ago on the topic of law professor blogging, which can be found at this link.

Relatedly, I am always eager for student feedback on this particular blogging forum --- e.g., would you like more posts, more optional reading, more links to other law blogs, more discussion of topics other than criminal law, or should I just leave good enough alone.  

Also, I would be curious to know if there are other blogs authored by lawyers or law students (or thoughtful non-law blogs) that you regularly read and/or especially enjoy.

September 6, 2010 in About this blog, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

August 18, 2010

Feeling well oriented? Have any pre-class questions or concerns?

I am eager for this blog to be an opportunity and forum for discussion of "meta-issues" relating to what's going on at Moritz and the entire first-year law school experience.  Consequently, I may often create posts like this one posing general questions about recent Moritz events and how 1Ls students are feeling.  I hope folks feel free to express candid (and, when appropriate, critical) thoughts in response to my questions in the comments of these posts.  So, without further ado, here are my questions today:

1.  What did you think about the orientation program?  What parts of the program did you find most (or least) helpful?

2.  Do you have any final questions or concerns about the whole law school experience now that we are on the eve of 1L classes getting off to a flying start?

UPDATE at 11am on 8/19 (with pre-class advice):  Thanks to Luke (and Kristin), I know you all have now survived your first law-school class, and I trust it went well.  Relatedly, I would be grateful if somebody reports in the comments if anyone from our small-section got called on by Professor Cole so I can make sure to leave that student alone today.  (It is bad enough to be called on in your very first law school class; it is likely a bad omen to be called on in your first two classes.) 

If you are reading this update before our time together in our first class, you are already following the advice I wanted to give in this update.  Specifically, I encourage you to make a habit of checking this blog sometime before each of our class sessions.  You are, of course, encouraged to check (and comment) on this blog frequently.  But, I like to use this space to provide brief pre-class reminders, it is especially important that you check this space for new posts as part of your standard pre-class routine.

August 18, 2010 in About this blog, Class reflections | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 10, 2010

Welcome to Moritz College of Law school, Crim Law with Berman & verison 2.0 of this class blog

I have made a habit in recent years to use blogs to support and supplement my instruction in law school classes. Some of these class blogs have served my purposes and goals well, others have meet with mixed results. Undaunted, I remain convinced (but not entirely confident) that the blog technology (rather than a propriety law-school-support technology like TWEN) provides the best on-line tool for supporting and supplement law school courses.

I will continue my bloggy ways in the Fall 2010 semester at the Moritz College of Law through this blog to supplement my first-semester 1L small-section Crim Law course.  And, as the version 2.0 label highlights, I have built this "new" blog directly atop the blog I used when teaching this very same course two years ago in Fall 2008.  I am hopeful that new 1Ls will benefit (or at least find reassuring) from seeing some of the posts (and comments) that were generated in this forum the last time around.

So, welcome to the re-launch of this 1L Crim Law blogging adventure. I am always pleased when this blog helps to promote a new type of student engagement, and it also provides an effective means for me to share both required and optional materials and ideas. WELCOME (and feel free to browse the 2008 blog archives for a preview of some of the fun that awaits you in Crim Law)! _________________________________________________________________

 

UPDATE:  It was great to see everyone so bright and eager on the first day, and I am sorry I got such a running start with my tendency to pontificate with advice.  Here were the three most important take-away points in case you dozed off (or were so hungry you could not focus):

1.  You all already have jobs your first day in law school, as any and every one of my 1L students have a open invitation to serve as my (woefully underpaid) research assistant after they complete their first year.

2.  I will make a habit after our Friday class meeting of being available and eager to discuss casually law school, lawyering and life either in our classroom and/or in Lou's cafe and/or at a local coffee shop or bar.  With luck and/or some ingenuity, perhaps we can find a corporate sponsor to cover our first rounds of drinks on a regular basis.

3.  The first student to post our small section's entire class schedule will not get called on before fall break (although I hope that person and many others will make a habit of volunteering even when "safe" from being called on).

 

 

 

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August 10, 2010 in About this blog | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 26, 2008

A bloggy introduction to law school for 1Ls

During the last two springs, when teaching an upper-level elective course on the death penalty and then teaching a 1L required course on Legislation, I experimented with using blogs to support and supplement my instruction.  This blog for the spring 2007 upper-level death penalty course served my purposes and goals very well, this blog for the spring 2008 first-year Legislation course was part of a series of innovations achieving mixed results. 

Undaunted, I remain convinced (but not entirely confident) that the blog technology (rather than a propriety law-school-support technology like TWEN) provides the best on-line tool for supporting and supplement law school courses.  And I am especially excited that this coming Fall semester I am teaching a first-semester 1L course through which I can try to introduce brand new law students to the bloggy legal world I have come to know and love. 

So that's what this blog is about, and comments from any and everyone about this enterprise are welcome.

July 26, 2008 in About this blog | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack