Presentation on theme: "7 NOVEMBER 2014 Student Perspective How to succeed in the course."— Presentation transcript:
7 NOVEMBER 2014 Student Perspective How to succeed in the course
Welcome to the law Intro The law is fascinating and practically useful in every day life. Doctrine of necessity - Dudley v Stephens (1884) 14 QBD 273 On 5 July 1884, Four people, Dudley, Stephens, Brooks and a 17 year old boy had to abandon their yacht and board an open boat in the the high seas 1600 miles off Cape of Good Hope They went 18 days without food and water, bar a turtle they caught, and rain water they trapped on their oil skins Dudley and Stephens suggested they draw straws to see who should be sacrificed and eaten, so the others could survive. Brooks dissented
Introduction Dudley and Stephens (Brooks dissenting), suggested they killed the boy because he was the weakest. Dudley with Stephens consent stabbed the boy in the throat and killed him. The three men then fed on the boy’s body for 4 days. They were rescued. On their return to England, Dudley and Stephens were charged with murder. Both argued defence of necessity (ie they had to kill the boy to survive). Court held that necessity is not a defence to murder. Lord Coleridge: “Though law and morality are not the same, and many things are immoral that are not necessarily illegal, yet the absolute divorce of law from morality would be a fatal consequence; and such divorce would follow if the temptation to murder in this case were held by law to be an absolute defence of it. It is not so.” “By what measure are the comparative value of lives to be measured? Is it to be strength, intellect or what…in this case the weakest, the youngest, the most unresisting was chosen. Was it more necessary to kill him than one of the grown men? The answer must be no.”
Agenda Please don’t video or take pictures of this presentation. Introduction Past exam statistics Why people fail or drop out Attending lectures Study groups Study expectations
Agenda Assignment preparation structure Example assignment Example exam summaries Preparing for exams Exam technique Student and lecturer questionnaires What you get out of the course Question and answers
Introduction I completed the course last semester I have three children (youngest is 2 years old) My partner completed this course in 2008, now works as a Criminal Lawyer with the DPP
Past Exam Statistics Average success rates over the last 8 Semester: Legal Institutions - of those that sat, 28%, achieved a merit (65-74) and 4% a distinction (75 – 100) Criminal Law – of those that sat, 32% achieved a merit and 5% a distinction Note course statistics can be found on the LPAB website. The purpose of this presentation is to give you some suggestions on: - How to avoid dropping out of the course, registering a DNS or failing - How to do well in the course
Tale of Two Subjects Real PropertyConveyancing MarkFinal mark in the 50’sFinal mark in the 90’s Attend LecturesMissed 3 lecturesAttended all Subject guideDidn’t stick to subject guide Stuck to subject guide Prescribed readingsDidn’t do for 3 lecturesRead all SummarizedPoor summaries Didn’t summarize 3 lectures. Summarized all Spot issuesDid not spot all issuesSpotted all issues IRAC structureDidn’t stick to IRACStructured answers Time managementRan out of time, didn’t answer questions Finished on time
Time Management - Expectations Throughout the course allow approximately 9 hours of study for each weekly lecture broken up as follows: 3-4 hours for the readings (some take more) Reading your notes, prescribed text, case extracts 1 Hour to review and tidy up your lecture notes after the lecture 2 hours to summarize the readings, legislation and case extracts 2 hours to prepare the final cut of your exam summary to 1 - 1.5 pages for each topic Note Assignment and exam prep are separate to the above
Time Management - Expectations Diarize when your assignments are due and the date you need to commence. Diarize exam dates and date you need to commence your exam preparation Set out and work to a project plan Set your family’s (and works) expectations. Their support and understanding is critical to succeeding this course. Sit down with them and let them know: What you need to do throughout the semester The weeks/ weekends you will be tied up working on assignments The weeks/weekends you will be preparing for exams The dates of your exams (fact you will be stressed beforehand)
Benefit of attending lectures The LEC has found that students who fail to attend lectures are the most likely to fail Go to all lectures. If you miss a lecture go to the weekend school to make it up. During the lecture the lecturer: Tells you what they want you to know Summarizes the course (they summarize the text and case principles) Tells you the key cases to know for the exam Gives you hints of what will be in the exam, or you need to know for the assignment You get to ask the lecturer questions You get to form relationships with your peers, feel accountable to them, and stay connected
The subject guide for each course is your course bible. To many students fail to realize the significant of this document. The lecturer takes the time to write this document. This should give you an idea of how significant it is. The subject guide sets out the following: Prescribed readings Course topics, and headings Key cases and legislation Print the subject guide out, bind it and take it to all lectures. Lecturers usually following the format of the guide in their lecturers.
The Subject Guide It is a good idea to set out your lecturer notes, and summaries in the same format as the guide. Make sure you know the cases, and legislation in the guide for the assignment and exam. For example: Legal Institutions – see the topic on Statutory Interpretation. Note the sections of legislation and cases listed. What do you think the lecturer expects you to know and refer to if this topic comes up in the assignment or exam? Criminal Law – Note the lecturer/s set out the key sections of legislation and marks key cases they expect you to know with an asterisk. By all means if you have time read other material, but only after you have read the prescribed readings, case extracts and legislation.
STUDY ROUTINE READINGS SUMMARIES Throughout The Semester Weeks 1-12/13
Throughout the semester 1. Bases ALL of your study around the subject guide. 2. Read the prescribed readings before the lecture (allow 3-4 hours for readings. How many pages can you read an hour) Read prescribed text Read prescribed legislation Read case extracts. Judgments are a Judge’s “EXAM ANSWER” for other judges. The judge sets out the issue/s, relevant legislation, relevant precedent case law, apply the law to the facts, and come to a conclusion The factual matrixes of exam questions are based on real cases Reading case extracts helps you spot the issues in exam questions Judgments often review the relevant key principles from other cases. So this is a great source of revision.
Exam Preparation Recipe For Success Throughout the Semester 3. Attend the lectures and actively take notes (see the recording feature in your word program) 4. Re read and tidy up your notes (using headings from the subject guide within 48 hours of the lecture. This is the best way to memorize and lock in the content 5. Summarize the prescribed readings (text, legislation & case extract) in accordance with the subject guide headings. Settle the first cut of your notes for that lecture. 6. Summarize the notes for that lecture to 1-2 pages maximum. 7. Re read your notes before the next lecture and in the weeks before the exam.
Study Groups Join a study group of 3 or more people Study group and the assignment Meet your study group 3-4 weeks before the assignment to discuss the assignment Share a basic bullet point outline of the key issues in the assignment with your study group Do not share your final assignment with anyone, do not post it on Facebook. Study group and the Exam Meet your study group 4 -6 weeks before the exam (and then weekly) leading up to the exam to review past papers and discuss topics Don’t meet your study group 3 days before an exam it can confuse you (lock yourself in a cave)
PREPARATION ANSWERING THE QUESTION STRUCTURE Assignments
Assignment Preparation Each subject is assessed out of 100, 20% assignment 80% final exam. Assignment is a great opportunity to put marks in the bank. Aim for a 15 out of 20 (or better). This gives you a buffer of 5 marks or better for the exam. Commence working on your assignment at least 4 weekends before it is due Allow 2 weekends for the reading Allow one full weekend to draft the assignment Allow one night, to sleep on the draft, and amend before submitting Plan to submit 1 week early. This gives you a buffer if you get sick etc.
Assignment Preparation 1. Read the assignment question several times 2. Highlight the issues 3. Read your relevant lecture notes (the lecturer is telling you what they want to see in the assignment) 4. Read the question again and highlight any more issues you see 5. Read the text and relevant cases, and for extra marks try do some research (does not apply to first LI Assignment) 6. Prepare a bullet point outline of the issues and law. 7. Discuss your outline of issues with your study group (Don’t post on the Facebook)
Assignment Structure 8. Provide a structured answer to the question (for each issue) Overall introduction Issue – Identify the issue Law Make reference to the statute law – identify which section you are considering (and why you are starting with that section). If parts or phrases of the section are particularly relevant to your answer identify those parts or phrases in your answer without writing out the whole section; Make reference to the relevant case law (use lecturer’s cases first)– state the principle in your own words, and cite the case. The relevant law/case law will often contain a test that must be satisfied – state the test clearly using your own words
Assignment Structure 9. Apply the law – apply the law/test to the facts 10. Conclusion – Briefly state your conclusion on the issue 11. Overall conclusion – If a number of issues, provide an overall conclusion – ANSWERING THE QUESTION 12. Complete citations, and bibliography 13. Review, polish and submit Tip In your assignment and exam, cite the cases referred to in lectures and in the subject guide (lecturers are looking for this) Please note the above process may not apply to the first Legal Institutions assignment. Example 1 - Contracts assignment structure
PREPARATION EXAM SUMMARIES PAST PAPERS TECHNIQUE Exam Preparation 6 weeks to exam
Top 7 Reasons People Fail Exams 1. Haven’t attended lectures 2. Haven’t read the prescribed readings 3. Haven’t practiced past papers under exam conditions 4. Haven’t spotted the issues 5. Don’t answer the question 6. Don’t provide a cogent structured answer (fail to use IRAC) 7. Poor time management in the exam - running out of time
Pre Exam Preparation 6 weeks before exam Open Book Exams Open book exams are a false sense of security Prepare for open book exams as though they are closed book exam! You don’t have time in the exam to refer to your notes. You get the best marks when you know your material (key principles, cases and legislation) without having to refer to your notes.
Pre Exam Preparation 6 weeks before exam 1. Make your own nutshell book Don’t rely on library nutshell books, they are a false crutch Your personal nutshell book is your final exam summary consisting of a maximum of 1-2 pages for each lecture of course (ie total of 12 – 24 pages), of the following: Your lecture notes, prescribed readings, legislation and case principles 2. Review and start memorizing your final summary (key sections of legislation, principles and cases) 3. Do the above, while you continue your prescribed readings and summaries for the remaining lectures
Pre Exam Preparation Final 2 weeks before the exam Plan to finish all of your prescribed readings, summaries etc, 2 weeks before the final exam. Do the following in the final 2 weeks before the exam: 1. Time yourself handwriting one page of typed notes. Tells you how the amount of typed content you can fit into a 40 minutes in the exam. 2. Read and memorize your personal exam nutshell every morning in the final 2 weeks before the exam
Pre Exam Preparation Final 2 weeks before the exam 3. Past paper exam practice Practicing past papers are great final step for your exam prep. They are a great way to test your knowledge, and see if you can organize your knowledge into a cogent structured bite sized exam answer. Warning past papers should not form the basis of your study. Students get caught out with changes in the exam format. The best prep is to do the course work. Do at least three complete past exam papers (allow 1 day to complete 2 or 3 questions from each paper) Do exam questions under exam conditions, by hand, with a stopwatch. You need to train your hand to write for exams! This gives you an idea of time limitations. Practice applying the law to the questions. Critical! Best thing is to pick a theme from past papers and do 3 questions in a row on the same topic (best way to memorize)
Pre Exam Preparation Final 2 weeks before the exam 1. Do first question open book, give yourself 45 minutes to answer the question. Then take 45 minutes to review your notes and tidy up your exam answer. 2. Do the second question closed book. After you have finished, spend a further 45 minutes reviewing your notes and correcting your answer. Repeat for the third question. 3. Warning past papers should NOT be your sole source of study. If the examiner changes the format you will be caught out. 5. Prepare a course overview “MAP” of the subject linking relevant principles etc. This locks in the course 6. Print out and bind the subject guide, your final exam summary, and first draft of your summary. Create an index on the first page of your final summary so you can find things quickly 7. Tab the relevant sections of your notes, legislation and prescribed text for quick reference in the exam. 8. Calculate the time you can spend on each question and part thereof in the exam 1. 3 hour exam with 4 questions = 45 mins a question 2. Less 5 mins reading = 40 mins a question 3. At 20 marks for 40 mins - a 5 mark part to a question is worth 10 mins of time
Final Exam Preparation 2 days before the exam 1. Prepare a course overview “MAP” of the whole subject on an A3 piece of paper. 1. List the topics across the top of the page 2. Under each topic list key cases, and key legislation 3. Draw arrows between topics to show how they relate to one another. Eg in Criminal Law draw a line from murder to the relevant defenses. 4. The folder you will take into the exam. Put the following into a folder in their own tabs: The subject guide Your exam nutshell – ie your final exam summary. Put an index on the front of the nutshell to help find things. Your first draft of your summary. Put an index on the front page of this summary too. Your assignment 2. Tab the relevant sections of your notes, legislation and prescribed text for quick reference in the exam. 3. Calculate the time you can spend on each question and part thereof in the exam 1. 3 hour exam with 4 questions = 45 mins a question 2. Less 5 mins reading = 40 mins a question 3. At 20 marks for 40 mins - a 5 mark part to a question is worth 10 mins of time
Pre Exam Summaries Example 2 – Conveyancing Subject Guide Example 3 – Conveyancing Lecture summary
In The Exam 1. Write down the finish times for each question on front of the exam paper. - Eg 2.00pm start, 3hour exam, 4 questions equate to 45mins a question - Q1 finish 2.45, Q2 finish 3.30pm etc 2. Choose the questions you want to answer 3. Allocate time allowed for each part of the question (ie write down how long you can spend on a 5, 7, 10 mark question) 4. Pick the first question you want to tackle. Carefully read the question again, and highlight the issues. Critical answer the question. 5. Prepare an answer plan – planning is everything 6. Answer the question, for each issue, using IRAC method
In The Exam 7. Stop (pen down) when allocated time on the question is up. This is critical. The first 80% (16 marks) of the marks are the easiest to get. If there are 4 questions in an exam and you run 5 minutes over for the first three questions, then you only have 30 mins or 30% less time to answer the last question which is also worth 20marks. Ie you have cost yourself 7 marks Don’t run over time on a question chasing the final couple of marks, move on. 8. Help the examiner to give you marks. Write legibly – allows examiner to give more marks. Write on every second line if you have bad hand writing. Underline or highlight key cases references and legislative If you can’t remember a case name, state the principle you will get marks If you are running out of time, then as a last resort in bullet points state the issues, relevant principle and case citation – more marks
Post Exam Post Exam Lecturer Interview After the exam apply for a meeting with the examiner (see course book). Use the meeting to: See what the examiners are looking for Find out how you can improve your exam technique If you fail a subject Don’t quit Some of the best practitioners have failed a subject
Student Questionnaires 4. Please see student questionnaires.
Lecturers Questionnaires 5 Lecturer’s questionnaires on why students fail 6 Lecturer questionnaires closed book exams
What you get out of the course An ability to get straight to the issue of work related problems An appreciation of your time, and time management A new career in law/or appreciation of the law in your current role Greater opportunities in your career, based on the respect the workforce has a law on your CV A great sense of personal satisfaction. Studying law is immensely rewarding.
What you get from the course An opportunity to meet a range of people you would not normally meet (my library friend) A different way of thinking Admission to an incredibly well respected profession Two success stories Graduation ceremony Admission ceremony
Questions This presentation, student feedback, lecturers feedback, summary templates and other material is on the LEC website. Login to the LEC site, Click on “notes” section of Legal Institutions
Good Luck Thank you for your time Enjoy your studies and good luck!