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    Hi,

    I got pooled then staright rejected from cambridge for law..
    The main reason was my interview (got AAAaa predic, 10 A* and lnat score of 24).

    Heres the quesion I got.
    A park creates a new law banning picnicking. Then i got 6 situations of people doing various eating/drinking activities and then separately I had to defend and prosecute them. eg a pensioner with a flask of tea and a jogger with a bottle of water.

    Now after 2 months, I still can't answer the question without being too 'common sense' as the interviewers claimed. I mean, i'm not legally trained, so how should I answer such a question?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers.....
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    I suppose you'd have to define "picnicking" for a start, and whether picnicking involved consumption or just having food food in the park with you. I think at these things they want to hear how you would argue. There's no right or wrong answer. It's just about how you think.
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    That interview question is not weird. It is a very good question to test your legal aptitude. When you gave a 'common sense' answer you probably were thinking about how sensible it would be for the police and the courts to waste their time on trivials matters involving bags of crisps, etc. But this is not where a lawyer would begin. A lawyer would begin by trying to define a picnic. Did you offer a definition? If so, what was it? And was it precise enough to decide whether the other incidents decsribed were, or were not, picnics? In thinking about what would count as a suitable definition, a lawyer might also think about the purpose of the rule. Is it there to prevent litter, to prevent obstruction, to prevent flattening of the grass, etc. Did you discuss these possibilities? These are the kinds of things the interviewers were trying to get you to talk about. [Apologies to Scots Law who posted while I was composing.]
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    You see how Laura did that? She made her first move by defining a picnic as a kind of stationary event. You can also see the possible follow-ups to her move. Someone might say: what about the people who unfold their rug and eat their sandwiches in a horse-drawn cart? Isn't that a kind of picnic? And doesn't the best definition depend on the point of the rule? If it is to prevent the attracting of pigeons it should include the people in the cart. But if it is to prevent the despoilation of the grass it should not include them.
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    yeh see I did attempt to set a general bar of picknicking by which all could be judged, eg. consumption of certain quantity of food
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    :eek: This is so hard! i'm glad I stayed clear of law, i'm just not a natural born analyser/ loop hole picker The answers all sounded common sense to me, I think I've missed the point...
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    So, at interviews, the professors are looking for students to look at various aspects of the case, rather than 'common sense' ?
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    I agree totally, another bog standard question is the one about the banning of "vehicles" in the park. Picknicking personally I would say requires food, a basket, a rug ... OK so now I am talking crap thats the traditional view. Tbh its the way you go about it rather than what you say, you could define picnic however you wanted provided you could apply it consistently and defend it when they asked you to consider the examples they gave.
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    (Original post by WokSz)
    So, at interviews, the professors are looking for students to look at various aspects of the case, rather than 'common sense' ?
    Not sure what you mean exactly but if you think that you don't need to use your common sense in an interview you are wrong, you do.
    It is good to look at all aspects of the problem question that you are given. Everything in there will be relevant in one way or another. Besides, if you look at the material well enough you will be better placed to spot points that aren't seen that often and if you do that you would perform very well indeed.
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    In addition to a legal definition for a "picnic", I think I'd also be inclined to look at a "defence" reason for the individual... for example;

    The Jogger - a commonly held principle that an athlete should maintain hydration, recommended to take on 200ml of water every 20 minutes - unreasonable and "potentially" dangerous therefore to expect a jogger to run without taking frequent sips of water. And because they are doing it to "maintain hydration" they cannot possibly be considered to be "having a picnic"

    The Old Fella - custom and practice? He's been doing it for years and years, no other park in the area considers it a picnic. Perhaps a medical reason for having a nice warm sweet cup of tea on a walk in the park etc...

    But I too would think that such questions to be reasonable and furthermore I would think it goes without saying that if you are being interviewed for a Law degree you'd be expected to atleast look at the question from a legal perspective as opposed to a common sense approach.
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    (Original post by Fireman John)
    In addition to a legal definition for a "picnic", I think I'd also be inclined to look at a "defence" reason for the individual... for example;

    The Jogger - a commonly held principle that an athlete should maintain hydration, recommended to take on 200ml of water every 20 minutes - unreasonable and "potentially" dangerous therefore to expect a jogger to run without taking frequent sips of water. And because they are doing it to "maintain hydration" they cannot possibly be considered to be "having a picnic"

    The Old Fella - custom and practice? He's been doing it for years and years, no other park in the area considers it a picnic. Perhaps a medical reason for having a nice warm sweet cup of tea on a walk in the park etc...

    But I too would think that such questions to be reasonable and furthermore I would think it goes without saying that if you are being interviewed for a Law degree you'd be expected to atleast look at the question from a legal perspective as opposed to a common sense approach.
    2 points:
    Firstly, you aren't expected to have a "legal perspective" as it is not required that you have studied Law before.
    Secondly, I like to think that for the most part a legal perspective has an element of common sense in it.
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    Absolutely - I worded it wrong... I meant as opposed to a simple "common sense" answers - the type of answer anybody would give - if you're applying for law then I think you should expect to show an aptitude and an interest in it which should, I beleive, include looking at it with a legal slant.

    Just had word from Hallam University inviting me for interview next week... Thursday... probably go and **** it up now I've stuck my oar in on this post!
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    (Original post by Fireman John)
    Absolutely - I worded it wrong... I meant as opposed to a simple "common sense" answers - the type of answer anybody would give - if you're applying for law then I think you should expect to show an aptitude and an interest in it which should, I beleive, include looking at it with a legal slant.

    Just had word from Hallam University inviting me for interview next week... Thursday... probably go and **** it up now I've stuck my oar in on this post!
    Congratulations
    That was quick...they must be impressed!
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    It'd be nice to think that were the case, but I suspect it's more a case of being so close to start date and a matter of getting the administration done by a deadline/asap. Just hoping it goes well and in my favour now!!!
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    Good luck at interview!
 
 
 
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