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December 08, 2016

Another old exam for those who are gluttons for my flights of first-year exam fancy

Nice to see so many of you working so hard and well at the Thursday review session.  Another session will be taking place at 11am on Friday (12/9) and the last review session will be at 4:30pm on Sunday (12/11).  If you are looking for new "old" exams of mine to review, here is the crazy one I delivered in 2013:

Download Berman 2013 Crim Law final

December 8, 2016 in Preparing for the final | Permalink | Comments (0)

December 01, 2016

Planning review sessions ... NOW including on Sunday afternoon

As I mentioned in class, my "scheduled" review sessions are designed only to provide a designated time and place for students to gather in order to ask me questions about course materials, doctrines or past exams (many of which can be found via this link).

As of this writing, I am thinking about having one scheduled review session on Thursday Dec 8 at 4pm, and another one on Friday Dec 9 at 11am.  I will also consider doing a session at sometime on Sunday Dec 11 if you clamor for such a session.

UPDATE:  I have now officially wrangled the time on Sunday, Dec 11 from 4:30pm to 6pm (and only that time) for one final review session.

 

December 1, 2016 in Preparing for the final | Permalink | Comments (6)

November 28, 2016

Starting our grinding over self-defense doctrines and midterm review

I had grand plans to get our review of the "classic" criminal law defense of self-defense off to a flying start during Monday afternoon's class, and I also had expected to start reviewing mid-term efforts with students right after class.  But, as you all likely now know, a troubled (and now deceased) young man decided to disrupt all OSU campus plans for this afternoon.

So I have taken to this space to get the grind going in the following ways:

1. Background/grinding on Ohio self-defense law:  Almost exactly 40 years ago, Ohio's procedures for applying self-defense doctrines were contested all the way up to the US Supreme Court. I have never made the SCOTUS ruling in Martin v. Ohio a required part of the course materials, but I think folks might now find it interesting to read and reflect on the ruling in Martin v. Ohio, 480 U.S. 228 (1987), available here and/or here and/or via Westlaw/Lexis.

2.  Background/grinding on mid-term review: I have now taken the time to divide up the mid-term data into what I consider helpful quartiles to produce this accounting:

                     Top 25%         Mid 50%            Bottom 25%

WORDS        > 1650          1001-1650          < 1000

PART A        46 or more          39-45         38 or less

PART B        18 or more          14-17         13 or less

Though much too crude, I think these quartiles provide a useful rough guide to how your first exam taking experience went.  If you are on the top 25% on a question, then generally speaking you are doing the kind of work needed to secure an A.  If you are in the mid 50%, then you are still doing well and need not worry about "bombing."  If you are in the bottom 25%, you should try to figure out "what went wrong" so that you can do better the next time.

I will readily/eagerly/happily be available from 12noon to 5pm on Tuesday and from 3pm to 5:30pm on Wednesday and from 2:30pm to 5pm on Thursday to go over the exam with individual students.  I would be grateful if a couple of folks or groups come to see me at the same time so I need not repeat my general advice/feedback over and over again (and I am pleased a pair of students have already "booked" an appointment for 12noon on Tuesday).

Please use the comments to sign up for meetings in 30 minute blocks in the windows of time indicated above.  Thanks!

November 28, 2016 in Class reflections, Notable real cases, Preparing for the final | Permalink | Comments (16)

October 08, 2016

If you have any pre-midterm questions...

ask your classmates, and if they do not have a ready answer, just relax about it.  

But if you cannot relax, and think I can help, ask the question in the comments here and I will try to respond so all can see/hear.

UPDATE:  I just saw this good question in a prior thread:

Student Q: "Professor Berman, when using rules from the MPC/ORC to answer the exam questions, do we need to specifically cite which section of the MPC/ORC the rule is coming from?"

Berman A: There is need to cite to a precise/specific code provision if you can make the substantive point effectively without doing so, but you may often find it more efficient to be able to cite to a specific code section rather than to have to explain the point you want to make in extended prose.

 

October 8, 2016 in Preparing for the final | Permalink | Comments (2)

October 03, 2016

Prior posts with prior real and practice mid-term exams

Happy exciting October ... which is made even more exciting because a week from today you will all get the opportunity to get your first law school exam behind you.  Though I suspect many may fall prey to the common tendency to prepare too much rather than too little for the (not-all-that-important) mid-term, I also suspect my tendency to write exam questions that are crazy hard will tend to aggravate that common student tendency.

These concerns aside, and with the prior warning that all the prior exams you find are crazy hard, here are links to prior posts in which you can find links to prior mid-term exams.  Specifically, the first two links below are to the "practice" mid-term that I still offer when teaching a large-section class (and associated follow-up materials), and the other links provide through prior posts access to the actual mid-terms that I administered in 2013 and 2014:

Reflections on the practice exam experience

Practice exam feedback materials

For your review and enjoyment... my (too long) 2013 Crim Law mid-term

Materials and times for [2014] midterm review

October 3, 2016 in Preparing for the final | Permalink | Comments (3)

December 04, 2014

Review session plans for Thursday (12/11) and Saturday (12/13)

As mentioned in class, I will plan to conduct (entirely optional) review sessions in the days leading up to our exam.  Specifically, I plan to be at the law school and will head to our usual room to answer questions for as long as possible/needed on:

On Thursday, I will have to leave by around 12:45pm to catch a flight, and on Saturday I will have to leave by around 4:30pm to pick up my daughter from a rehearsal.  But, save for those restrictions, my time is yours for any and all types of review students request.

December 4, 2014 in Course materials and schedule, Preparing for the final | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 27, 2014

Links to a bunch of my old exams

As I have suggested to various folks at various times, reviewing my old exams is an effective and important way to prepare for my final. To help toward that end, here I will now post links to prior posts where you can download many of my old exams:

After you all get a chance to look through all (lucky?) seven of these prior exams, I may post a few more.

November 27, 2014 in Preparing for the final | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 19, 2014

Materials and times for midterm review

As long promised and now finally delivered, here are available for download both the Crim Law 2014 midterm and the grading grid I used when reviewing/scoring answers:

Download Berman full mid-term for 2014 crim law

Download Basic 2014 mid-term exam scoresheet

Also, I will be available to review student performances one-on-one at the following times throughout this week and next week:

Wednesday 11/19: From 4:30pm to 6:00pm

Thursday 11/20: From 4:00pm to 5:30pm

Friday 11/21: From 3:00pm to 5:30pm

Monday 11/24: From 3:00pm to 5:30pm

 

UPDATE on MEETING TIMES AS OF 11/19 at 3pm:

11/19:  Still open

11/20:  Valerie J at 4pm, Holly C at 4:30; Neil S at 5

11/21:  Sasa T at 3pm;  Robert Y at 3:30; Devin S at 4; Abi W at 4:30

11/24:  Madison T at 3pm; Madison G at 3:30

I can/will make more review times available as needed and able...

 

ANOTHER UPDATE on MEETING TIMES AS OF 11/20 at 9am:

If those with scheduled times can send me their exam numbers AHEAD of the meeting time so I can prepare for the meeting, I ought to be able to complete most review meetings in 15 minutes.  So those eager to still get fit but not yet on the schedule might usefully send me their exam number AND hang around during meeting times to get in the mix.

November 19, 2014 in Course materials and schedule, Preparing for the final | Permalink | Comments (17) | TrackBack

October 19, 2014

Any lingering concerns or questions (other than grades) with respect to mid-term?

I just wanted to create this space for any enduring question on concerns regarding the mid-term exam.  For a host of reasons, process questions would be easier to answer than substance questions.  But I remain eager to continue the learning from an experience intended to be high-learning, low-stress (to the extent possible).  

I sincerely hope that, with the exam now in the rear-view mirror, everyone is now looking forward and gearing up for a lot of exciting homicide discussions over the next few weeks.  Though I love all parts of the course, I think the next 3-4 weeks are among the most dynamic, engaging and real-world exciting of the entire semester.

October 19, 2014 in Course materials and schedule, Preparing for the final | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

September 29, 2014

For your review and enjoyment... my (too long) 2013 Crim Law mid-term

In an effort to make up for messing up in Monday's class, I will post now the mid-term exam I gave students in this class in Fall 2013.  I think the exam was way too long and probably too hard, but that is my (problematic) tendency with most of the exams I write.  So, with that warning:

Download Berman full mid-term for 2013 crim law

 

September 29, 2014 in Preparing for the final | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack