Friday, May 6, 2011

hopefully last crim law post

The final was yesterday. It was not in the least bit surprising. After setting exams for 25+ years, the dude cannot come up with anything new. Lucky for me.

I was so relieved, for most of it. I did have 2 moments of panic. I killed the Patterson analysis during my prep but in the exam, I completely blanked on a hugely important step. I had about 10 minutes left during the planning time (he gives us an hour to read and plan before we can actually start typing) and I lay back in my chair and began to pray. I repeated over and over, "C'mon, Petal, you know this." I got worried that someone might hear me so I took a bathroom break I didn't actually need. I went and sat in the stall and said it louder! No dice.

I couldn't sit there for more than a couple of minutes so I went back and hoped by the time I get to the question, I'd remember the damn thing. I had actually got to about three-quarters way done with my answer when it hit me. I was so relieved. This is was one question I should not have had any trouble with and I was reasonably happy with my answer.

The other issue was an approach dealing with felony murder. I remember the barest bones but I couldn't remember the application of the analysis. Nothing brought that sucker back at all.

I had a 3rd issue that had nothing to do with me. A law school exam is usually a fact pattern followed by a question. The fact pattern is very important in that it contains all the information you need to spot the issues. Every piece of information is there for a reason. In this exam, there was a fact pattern that threw in 2 last names (or first names, I have no idea) that were not present anywhere else in the pattern, which was in the form of a newspaper report. Now, I had a serious problem with this. In a Crim Law essay, I reasoned, you'd need witnesses and expert testimony and I had no idea who these 2 people were. The info was nice, yes, but to whom am I supposed to attribute it?

So I called a proctor. They gave me a form and I filled it out. They said they would contact the prof and bring back an answer for me. Let's just say that my experience with this man did not fill me with hope. The form provides a stock answer and anything that is outside that answer has to be announced to the entire class. Guess who sent back the stock answer, which is really no answer at all? Give the girl a kewpie doll.

This man is so disrespectful. That was such a glaring mess. What the hell was I supposed to do with it? I really didn't have time to guess who these people were and I had to just leave it. I was really surprised that no one else raised the issue and a couple of people I spoke to after the exam didn't seem to even notice it.

There is nothing I can do about it now. I thought about taking it to Academic Affairs, but I don't know that it will change anything, especially if no one else cares. I should stop caring as well. The exam is over and I don't ever have to see this man again. But this class raised such ire in me that I cannot explain. I feel like I have to teach my Crim Law for the Bar and I am paying a hell of a lot of $ to get educated about what I need to practice. Gone are the days of theory. I recently sat in front of the school's Dean who talked about preparing attorneys for practice. Clearly, someone didn't get the memo. I know nothing about rape, robbery and we never had any debate about outcomes in a case, many of which were screaming for a different kind of analysis. I have no idea why he is allowed to continue to teach 1Ls Crim Law. Let him glory in his field and leave the Crim to people who can teach it.

I have no interest in Crim Law and never will, but I expected this class to be the most interesting of the lot. I expected the most debate over judicial opinions. I expected a professor who would smile as he saw his students pretend to be prosecutors and defense lawyers and argue points of law. I got nonce of that!

I really need to find a way to let this go. It's over. Time to focus on the exams from classes I enjoyed.