Open book or closed book?
My students are taking my crim pro exam as I type, so exams are very much on my mind this morning. One issue I have continually wrestled with over the years is whether to make my exams closed book or open book. I have always made them open book, with one caveat — students cannot bring in commercial study aids or outlines. My theory is that life and law practice are “open book” — how many practicing lawyers have committed the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure to memory, for example? But is that really accurate? In the middle of a suppression motion, you obviously cannot ask the judge to hold on so you can consult your crim pro casebook (althought you might be able to ask for some time to formulate a thorough response). I also wonder, to be candid, if making exams closed book would spread the grades more. I would love to hear what other folks’ thoughts are on the issue.