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December 20, 2008

Congrats and now start working on deep reflections, suggestions and looking ahead

Congrats to everyone for finishing the first semester of law school.  It is all downhill from now, and law school (both inside and outside the classroom) will start feeling very different from here on out. 

Before you have too much holiday cheer (and egg nog), I would be grateful for comments reflecting on the first semester law school experience and/or suggestions for how Moritz could improve the experience and/or thoughts about what you are expecting and hoping to learn next semester and through the rest of your time at law school.

Please be as broad or as narrow as you wish in your reflections and suggestions: you can and should feel free to discuss broadly how law school has changed how you look at politics or society or your own professional plans; you can and should feel free to discuss narrowly how legal research or traditional classes or career services or Lou's Cafe could be improved.

You should also feel free to post anonymously and to talk candidly about Moritz faculty or staff or students or alums.  Are there ways that faculty or upper-level students or alums could do a better job helping 1Ls in the Fall or activities you hope these persons will sponsor this coming Spring? 

Thanks in advance for your continued engagement.  Have a great break!

December 20, 2008 in Starting a career as a lawyer | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

December 16, 2008

A chance to complain about finals or anything else

I hope you will all keep visiting this blog even though all of our official time together is officially over.  I likely will make announcements in this space about my grading progress, and I may also keep blogging about interesting cases or notable criminal justice events even into the Spring.

I also hope you will now feel even more free to comment about the overall class experience and/or the exam and/or any other aspect of your 1L experiences.  I recall having some of my deepest insights about the best and worst aspects of certain law school classes right before taking the final, but the needs of the exam rarely provided a means to note my last-minute discoveries.

You all deserve multiple chances to vent and otherwise blow of steam, and I am happy for this blog to be a place for such justified and excused expressions of passion or rage as the first semester of your law school experience winds down.  (Also, I have heard rumors of an Oliwood T-shirt and I want to be sure to place my order for one (XL) before I miss the chance.)

December 16, 2008 in Class reflections | Permalink | Comments (15) | TrackBack

December 12, 2008

Two really long (and especially difficult?) past exams

By popular demand, here are two more of my old exams for your reviewing pleasure.  My first reaction when looking over these particular exams is that they are really long and perhaps especially difficult, though I think everyone (or at least nearly everyone) who took these exams survived to tell future tales.  Enjoy.

Download 2000 Final Exam

Download 2001 Final Exam

December 12, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

December 11, 2008

Our review sessions and more old exams

As previously mentioned, I am planning to conduct review sessions this Friday afternoon (December 12 at say 2pm) and next Monday morning (December 15 at say 11am).  Because I think upper-level exams may be taking place in our usual classroom, let's plan to have these review sessions in Room 354 (which is the weird little classroom at the very end of the third floor near the steps to the fourth floor.

To review: I will be available to answer questions Friday at 2pm and Monday at 11am in Room 354.  I will stay both days to answer as many questions as folks have for as long as needed.  I have no plans to present any material other then to report on the exact exam format (which is likely to be a 3-hour exam with 3 questions).

As I have suggested before and will suggest again, a great way to prepare for the final is by taking old exams under "real" conditions.  I have previously posted two old exams in this prior post, and now here are two more for your practicing fun:

Download 1999 Final Exam

Download Final 2003 Crim Law exam

December 11, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 5, 2008

Eager for student thoughts (or venting) about law school grading systems

We spent a little time during our casual moments talking about law school grading realities.  And, with finals coming soon, I suspect grades and grading systems may be especially on your mind this time of year. 

Of course, as fall semester 1Ls, you do not yet know how law school grading realities are directly likely to impact you because you've not yet even gotten a first set of grades.  But the very fact that you've not personally and directly experienced the Moritz grading system is why I would be grateful for some opining in the comments here about law school grading and curves and nerves and whatever other grading-related thoughts (or kvetching) you would like to share.

In addition to wanting our class members to talk about grading issues and concerns, I encourage everyone to share this link with other Moritz students and/or students at other law school.  Though lots of people worrying and talking about law school grades (including faculty members), I am often disappointed that few spend much time worrying and talking about how law school grading systems can be improved.

For some useful background reading and for another setting to share thoughts, check out this new post at the Law School Innovation blog.  You will see over there my own (crazy?) ideas for how I might create a law school grading system from scratch.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and kvetches!

December 5, 2008 in Reading about law and law school | Permalink | Comments (16) | TrackBack

December 4, 2008

Eager for final(?) class reflections, including MPC debate(?)

Thanks again for a great classroom experience (did I forget to say thanks in class?).  With this post (and likely others to come), I hope to keep our collective experiences alive and on-going on-line.  In particular, right now, I wanted to provide an opportunity for more comments about the classroom experiences we had together (which can be signed or anonymous, as you all see fit).

In addition, I wanted to link here to the pieces by Professor Dressler and me about whether the MPC should be revised:

You need not read either of these pieces to comment on our class or on the MPC's role in our class.  But, I would be especially grateful (and maybe especially likely to award bunches of Berman bonus points) to anyone who reads these pieces and comments on my (now dated?) musings about the problems the old MPC creates for modern classroom teaching.

December 4, 2008 in Class reflections | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

December 1, 2008

Trouble for Plaxico even without attempt charges

I have a new post at my sentencing blog that provides something of follow-up to my (far-fetched?) efforts in class on Monday to turn the Plaxico Burress case into an attempt hypo.  Though not required reading, anyone interested in guns crime and/or sentencing issues might want to check out this post:

NYC Mayor Bloomberg pushing for Plaxico Burress to get at least 3½ years in state prison, leading me to many questions

Also, if you'd rather focus on theories of punishment, this distinct post might intrigue you:

An understandable (but debatable?) child porn declination decision by federal prosecutors

December 1, 2008 in Notable real cases | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Attempt actus reus hypo for consideration and reflection

Here is the list of actions I posted in class to get you thinking about the actus reus of attempt:

Joe McAngry believes Microsoft monopoly is root of all evil, and here’s what he does....

1. E-mails friend saying he wish Gates was not running MS

2. E-mails Gates that saying something bad is going to happen to him because MS is evil

3. Blogs that he wants to blow up Gates at work

4. Does internet research of location of Gates home/work

5. Does internet research of homemade explosives

6. Buys timer/electronics for homemade explosive

7. Rents truck for drive to Seattle

8. Drives to Seattle

9. Buys fertilizer/gas other ingredients for making bomb

10. Drives to perimeter of MS compound, sleeps in van with supplies

11. Early next morning, starts building explosives

12. Watches for Gates to arrive at work

13. Drives past security guard following Gates

14. Parks truck next to Gates car

15. Runs away, remote in hand, planning to push button once clear






December 1, 2008 in Course materials and schedule | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack