Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

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RudeDudewithAttitude
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby RudeDudewithAttitude » Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:22 am

Thanks arrow.

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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby SamSeaborn2016 » Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:24 am

Always Credited wrote:
Other times I motivated myself by appealing to my love for science fiction/fantasy. I remember times where I pretended I was Harry Potter or Raistlin Majere, and that I was studying tomes of magic. I analogized studying law to magic, and thought about all the cool power and intellectual satisfaction it could bring. Silly perhaps, but hey it worked and I continued studying.



This lends itself to super-flame. But people have done weirder shit, and the rest of your post seems quite informative. So..thanks!



wow... Raistlin? I just geeked out. I don't think I've read one of those Dragonlance books in 10 years. Nice pull. :D

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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby A'nold » Wed Jul 01, 2009 2:22 am

Hey arrow, some truly great stuff on here! I will be heading back to this thread in August when I get ready to start school. Is there any way you could give us an example of an "A" quality exam? I am really confused (as I am sure most 0L's are) as to what a good answer looks like to an exam scenario.

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Arrow
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby Arrow » Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:23 am

A'nold wrote:Hey arrow, some truly great stuff on here! I will be heading back to this thread in August when I get ready to start school. Is there any way you could give us an example of an "A" quality exam? I am really confused (as I am sure most 0L's are) as to what a good answer looks like to an exam scenario.


Unfortunately, Westlaw has taken off Twen for the past semesters (so I can't access certain school materials) and I have recycled the rest of my handouts, so I'll try to give an example here. Also I think some of the books (maybe Planet Law School) and a few blogs I read discussed the difference between "A" grade exams, "B" grade exams and "C" grade exams.

Ultimately, what an A exam looks like for each class depends on your professor. However, good exam answers generally 1) spot all or most of the issues, 2) state the law accurately, 3) apply the law correctly to the facts while nitpicking all the facts 4) argue both sides, 5) addresses any nuances, 6) conclude 7) with good format/organization. This is just generic advice (also known as the IRAC method), but it is so simple and taught to law students everywhere, but they just do not seem to get it.

To put it even simpler, your A grade comes from knowing the law (memorizing it by typing it over over again) + application (via legal analysis) + adjusting to make sure it fits with your professor + good format and organization. It may seem complicated at first, but after practice it seems almost second nature.

To be honest, I have gotten mostly A's so I do not have the slightest clue what people are writing if they are not getting A's.

Here is an example I just made up. I am going to stick to a torts example so it is easier to understand, focusing mainly on intentional torts. It is similar to a LEEWS hypo that most people who do the program will probably remember.

Mary, a young attractive teenager, is lying on a bed with her eyes closed. Barry sneaks in through the window into her room, where he sees a "kiss me" sign right above Mary's bed. Unbeknownst to Barry, the sign was placed there by Mary's twin sister Ashley. He leans over and proceeds to places his lips on hers. At that moment. Mary opens are eyes. Her brows furrow and her mouth opens as her heart beats faster. She sees Barry with his eyes closed and lips puckered and immediately punches him in the eye. What intentional torts have any parties committed?


Mary (M) v Barry (B)

Battery

Battery is the 1) intentional act 2) causing 3) harmful or offensive 4) contact.

Intent

Intent requires purpose or desire and can be established by substantial certainty. Here, B had the desire to kiss M. He entered through the window, walked towards the bed, likely sign the "kiss me" sign, and likely wanted to kiss her because she was young and attractive. He must have wanted to kiss her because he aimed his lips at her lips. The lips are very small relative to the size of the human body, and so he must have specifically aimed his lips at hers in order to make contact. So, the chances of B's lips accidentally coming into contact with M's lips are slim to none.

Alternatively, B may not have wanted to kiss M at all. There is no indication he was attracted to her, and may have simply done it because the sign said so (which is a weak argument because just because a sign says to do something does not mean you have a right to do it). Furthermore, there is no indication why B entered through the window. He may not have known M would be there.

In fact, he may have been looking for Ashley (A) and wanted to kiss her instead. There is no indication whether A actually wanted to be kissed, but if A did, then B lacks the relative intent if he also did not know (via substantial certainty) they were twins. If B made an honest mistake thinking it was A instead of M (and B and A were dating or something), there would likely be no intent.

However, if A and B were not dating and A would not have welcomed the kiss and , then if B wanted to kiss A (regardless of whether B knew they were twins), his intent would be transferred to M under the doctrine of transferred intent.

On balance, intent is a bit unclear but a jury would likely rule that B had the requisite intent.

Causation

Causation requires actual and proximate cause. Actual cause is established by the but for test. This is simple and the causation is direct. But for B putting his lips on M's, M would not have made contact with B's lips. There is actual cause.

Proximate cause looks to see if the act is foreseeable. A reasonable person would likely conclude that if you lean towards someone with your lips aimed at theirs, contact will foreseeably result. There are no intervening causes here so there is proximate cause.

Harmful or Offensive

The contact must be harmful or offensive. It is not harmful because there is no indication that M was bleeding or bruised from the kiss. However, the contact is likely offensive. Women have a right to remain from unwanted contact, even if they are unconscious. On the other hand, there was a sign that says kiss me, and M must have noticed that before lying down on the bed. Moreover, she may have liked it (a weak argument because even if she liked it, she has a right to not be touched). On balance, the kiss was likely offensive.

Contact

Contact is established here by the connection of the cells on B's lips with the cells on M's lips.

On balance, there is likely battery.

Okay so, this is just an example of how I would analyze one issue. It is geared towards my old torts professor, and my torts is also a little bit rusty. A few things to notice: first, pay attention to the organization. Every issue I try to discuss, I use a new paragraph. I also use heading to guide the professor along. I conclude after every element and then as a whole. I define the rule and any sub-element rules each time. I address every counter argument, even if it is a weak one and point out that it is weak. I tried to interweave the facts and law with creative arguments (hopefully). On issues that are obvious, I keep it short and dismiss it quickly. On more vague issues, I would discuss it further, and address a fact lacks information if no information about it is given in the facts.

Now, here is a list of the issues I would have on my issue list (assume it is everything your professor covers):

Battery
(tab)Transferred Intent
Assault
False Imprisonment
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (IIED)
Defenses
(tab)Consent
(tab)Self Defense

Here is an example of my outline and what I would talk about for the rest of the issues. My actual mini-outline of what I would write on the exam would obviously be shorter (it appears longer here because I tried to explain a bit). By the way, assault is an intentional act causing the apprehension of imminent battery. False imprisonment is an act causing actual confinement with awareness. IIED is an extreme or outrageous act causing severe emotional distress.

-MvB: Battery (this is what I talked above). Assault (does M have a case against B for assault? she was lying on the bed, no indication she was not sleeping, could she have heard him come in, the element of apprehension is likely unclear). False Imprisonment (was she confined to the bed for a few moments, unlikely and I would dismiss this quickly). IIED (was this severe?). 2nd Assault (If M was sleeping and the kiss woke her up, there may be another assault charge if she realizes she was just kissed, a strange man is there, she may be scared of rape).

-BvM: Battery (M punched B, this one is obvious, though you might argue that he did not find the punch harmful because he is a man, or he liked being punched because that is just part of the process of getting a girl, both weak arguments though). Assault (Did B see the punch coming? His eyes were closed but did he just close his eyes or close it during the entire kiss, could he hear the wind of a punch coming, and if he did hear it, should he be compensated for that 1/2 a second?). False Imprisonment (Once M punched B, B was likely unable to move, was he confined to his location because he just suffered a punch? Was he aware that he was unable to move?). IIED (quickly dismiss).

-BvM Defenses: Consent (M chose to sleep under that "kiss me" sign), Self Defense (Was her self defense reasonable, did she fear rape?)

-MvA: Does M have a claim against A, after all, her twin sister put the sign there, causing M's resulting battery, assault, maybe false imprisonment. This may depend on whether A knew M would sometimes sleep in her bed, or whether she knew B would sometimes sneak in through the window. Of course, there may be a defense of consent.

-BvA: Does B have a claim against A as well? After all, if he truly though M was A, then he was deceived, leading to his resulting injuries. Basically, does putting up the kiss me sign itself cause A to be responsible for the resulting torts? Consent may be a defense here as well, especially since B may have known he was putting himself at risk by kissing a girl who may not have been wanting to be kissed.

Finally, I would probably talk about damages after each of the claims if the professor requires.


Okay so hopefully this example sort of shows how I approach an exam problem. I am not an great hypo writer, but this one shows everything I would probably discuss using in this quiz. I apologize if the essay facts are super vague (I did not want to make it too long, most of my actual exam answers were like 30 pages double spaced).

An "A" paper would probably go through all of those issues, and recognize most of them while analyzing it in the matter above (like in the first battery charge). The analysis would be as I described above (used a lot of facts, argue both sides, conclude, identify ambiguities/weak arguments, point out interesting facts, interweave facts/law, use creative arguments, etc.).

As for hidden issues, an "A" paper would certainly spot the "2nd assault" issue, that is, when M wakes up, sees B and is scared out of her mind, there may be a 2nd assault charge. An "A+" paper may analyze this issue in greater detail. It will mention a VERY interesting "intent" problem (which I nearly missed too). See B had the intent to kiss her, but does this intent continue even AFTER he kissed her and once she woke up? On one hand, B had no intent to scare her, after all, he probably likes her. However, he did have the intent to kiss her, but should he be held liable for the fear that he likely had no desire to cause (he probably wanted her to like him, not be scared of him). On the other hand, he may have a substantial certainty (which may suffice for intent) that she would be scared. This is an interesting, and WELL hidden, issue that "A" papers will generally address. Finally, a full complete discussion of the issue would be whether, Ashley (the twin) would be liable for this 2nd assault too, since she put the sign up, which led to this whole problem.

Now, a "B" paper would probably miss the harder to spot issues, namely any nuances involving the twin, and any claims that M or B may against the twin A. It may also miss that second assault charge for when M wakes up (if she really does) or that false imprisonment one for when B is "disabled" because he was punched. It may also skip some counter arguments but recognize most of the obvious issues and a few more subtle ones. A few "B" papers may also discuss negligence, which was not asked for by the question. I have noticed what some people do is that if they have extra time and cannot find any more issues, they stretch too far away (like in this case, talking about negligence, which is not an intentional tort by definition).

A "C" paper would probably recognize only the obvious issues. It would do so and so analysis, using the obvious facts. The exam would probably spot the battery when B kissed M, it would spot the battery when M punched B, and that is about it.

Note that this is only one short hypo with a lot to talk about. On your exam, you will see a ton of these with more facts intermixed in. For example, right as M punches B, A will walk in the door and yell "cheater!" and then next thing you know, the floor caves in on Shelley, who looks exactly like A and M, but is not a biological twin. Shelley was making out with Arnold at the time in a bed below. These extra facts would raise a ton of new issues, and you would have to address all of them within a limited amount of time.

I have no idea if this answer was clear or not, but hopefully it helps. Best of luck.
Last edited by Arrow on Sat Jul 04, 2009 4:42 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby solidsnake » Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:55 am

For General Use

Hi Arrow,

I read your article and found it quite insightful. A couple quick questions for ya, good sir..

0L Prep

1. Did you actually try to learn (memorize) the black letter law outlined in the E&Es while you read them over the summer? Or did you just read moreso just to get acquainted with the subject matter? Also, did you do the exercises in the E&Es over the summer as well?

Practicing Hypotheticals

2. If I understand correctly, you got most of your hypos from CALI and from the E&Es, right? Any other good sources? Were you making up your own hypos as well, or is that counterproductive since the only good hypos are the ones that come with model answers to compare your answers to?

Delaney's Book

3. In your article you recommended "Logic for Lawyers." A search on amazon.com for this book shows the Honorable Ruggero J. Aldisert as the author. John Delaney's books, on the other hand, are "Learning Legal Reasoning" and "How to do your best on Exams." I wanted to confirm with you which specific book you recommend (in addition to LEEWS, Getting to Maybe, etc.).

Thanks again. You sound like an incredibly positive person. You should do quite well for yourself. Congratulations.



Hey Solidsnake,

1. I did not memorize the E&E black letter laws over the summer. That would be way too hard. I would not even remember anything, plus the E&E's generally had way more information than needed for a class. I used it solely to get a general background.

I definitely did look over the problems during the summer. I would think about each one before looking it over. I think this is a great way to actively learn and get your mind thinking about how the law should work.

2. I totally did not make up my own hypos, that would be too time consuming. I sometimes asked professors for some, while other times I looked through our library. For example, Barbri would sometimes have problems, while most of the time, I would get the hypos from exams in law schools around the US. I did not practice with hypos in every subject, I just did any hypos I could. I think the Planet Law School yahoo groups has some good hypos, but it is contained in "chat format." I totally agree though, hypos in some areas of law may be hard to come by, so just practice what you can.

3. Thank you for figuring out my mistake. Those are likely the names of the two books I was thinking about, and I pulled it out of my memory which happened to be wrong. The two Delaney books I read were "Learning Legal Reasoning" and "How to do your best on Exams."

Best of luck and thank you for your question, perhaps this should be posted in the thread.

-Arrow

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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby T14 » Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:24 am

Tagged for later review

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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby solidsnake » Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:57 am

For General Use


I'm a little unclear what exactly you mean when you wrote, "I would think about each one before looking it over" in your response to my question. Do you mean you would think about the answer to each hypo before checking the model answer? Or did you have something else in mind?

You discussed a bit about the enigma behind "thinking like a lawyer" and even gave some examples of what others think it means (Delaney, the Southwestern Professor), but you never gave us your own thoughts as to what really the essence and methodology behind "thinking like a lawyer" is after all. Care to opine a little in this regard? I'd be very interested in reading what you personally have to say about it, including how exactly you would define and prescribe going about doing it.

I noticed in your example analysis you would comment on certain weak arguments. Would you actually write that on the exam? To be clear, would you make a weak argument for a claim and then state that it is a weak argument?

Do you discuss issues that you consider a stretch on exams (facts don't give an indication that there is a colorable premise available), issues that you would quickly dismiss? For instance, in the hypo you gave in your response to A'nold's question, you mentioned false imprisonment as a possible claim, but the facts in the hypo don't give any indication since they end right at the moment of B receiving the punch. Anything after that point is speculating, right? Basically, how much speculating is generally allowed/advisable on exams?

When you dismiss an issue in an exam, how would you phrase it? You can use the hypo and analysis from the A'nold response; that way you don't have to spend too much time helping me.

Finally, you make a distinction between "stretches" and "speculating." The former being good and the latter, not so much. Just so I'm clear, how would you define each term and what would be an example of each.
Thanks again



Hey Solidsnake
Yes, I would do exactly as you described. I would think about the answer to each hypo before looking at the answers to practice this mode of thinking. If may not be obvious, but the entire E&E series are basically practice hypos. Each one first gives you the law on a topic, then asks you to apply facts to the law to explore its twists and turns.

I personally think that legal analysis really just comes down to paying attention to detail and nitpicking the facts. That is the essence of it. It is taking apart a fact pattern, and just ripping it apart by analyzing every bit of it, making every argument possible using only the facts given. It is recognizing what arguments can be reasonably made and what cannot be.

Overall, legal analysis is hard to define, which is why I said it is a combination of everything. When you ask people "how do I perform the analysis or application" under the IRAC (issue, rule, application/analysis, conclusion) technique, people give you varied answers. You must do all of the above: nitpicking all relevant facts, paying attention to detail, seeing all possible counterarguments, and relating it to the law using creative arguments.

Yes I would totally make weak arguments and acknowledge that it is a weak one. What I have written is pretty much exactly what I write on exams. I think professors like to see you make stretches and other weak but plausible arguments. It ultimately depends on the professor, and on some race horse exams you obviously do not have time to make weak arguments, you would have to address the strong ones and move on.

I think discussing stretches is a great idea in general, since it shows a certain depths of analysis that others may not. Think about what kind of an argument a lawyer can make in court. Even if it is not a strong one, lawyers often throw it into the mix anyways to see what sticks.

Of course, this depends on the professor. Some professor will want you to dismiss issues even if they obviously do not apply, others will not. Generally, I will dismiss a non-issue in one sentence to not waste time, but if the professor does give a point for it, then I will give the point.

In the hypo I wrote, false imprisonment is a colorable claim. After all, physical force can be used to confine, even if it not directly "grabbing the person's" arm so he can't move. You can physically confine a person by disabling them somehow, and a punch generally does the trick, as the guy is likely falling for at least a second, and has to take time to recover, and thus has lost his free will for some time. This is certainly an issue that is "colorable" but will not likely apply, and I would dismiss it quickly.

As for speculation, I would almost never do it unless you want to show off some cool legal skills. In which case you would say something like "assuming if this was true" or "assuming, arguendo," and say something quick and move on. If something is vague, I just say "this is vague" or "there is not enough facts on the matter" and move on. I generally do not speculate, as that is not using the facts. Most professors will probably not want to see speculation, since anyone can speculate (and make up facts) to make things easier.

I guess the distinction between stretching and speculating is a gray area. I think of stretching a fact or argument as making a colorable argument that can be reasonably inferred from the facts. On the other hand, speculation is just using facts that simply ARE not there.

If we go back to the false imprisonment example, the fact that the punch disables him temporarily, thus confining him to his "location where he is falling" is a colorable claim. This is stretching the facts a bit because the element of confinement requires "time" and "awareness." You need to be confined "for some time" and "know about it," and it is arguable that B is not aware he is being confined and the punch may only disable him for an instant.

Now, if you said something like B fell down to the ground and could not get up, then you are probably stretching the facts too far (arguably). There is no indication that she punched him hard enough to cause him to fall, but you have said he did and could not get up, which is not given in the fact pattern.

You should instead acknowledge that there is a colorable false imprisonment claim, but ALSO mention that "there is insufficient' facts to determine how strong the punch was, what his reaction to the punch was (did he fall down, was he able to get up), and thus you are unable to determine for how "long" he was confined, if he was confined at all.

Best of luck,
-Arrow

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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby Clever username » Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:59 am

So do you disagree with the Getting to Maybe authors about the efficacy of the IRAC method? They say it's too simplistic and leaves open the possibilty of missing several issues.

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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby newcritic » Wed Jul 01, 2009 11:01 am

Solid post.

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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby General Tso » Wed Jul 01, 2009 11:31 am

Thanks Arrow! Great thread

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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby AJaKe » Wed Jul 01, 2009 12:45 pm

Tagging for later. Thanks Arrow!

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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby A'nold » Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:15 pm

Thanks for that example above arrow. Man you are a wealth of information! I'm sure we all appreciate the time and effort you are putting into your answers in this thread. :)

You keep talking about hypos. Where do we get these "hypos"? The E&E's? Do they have them after each section or something? Are they pretty much mini exam questions?

Also, I know you touched on this in your op, but how on earth can you start practice exams before the end of the semester if you haven't learned all of the law for a subject yet that pertains to the exam? Are you saying you recommend being done with all of the E&E's by then? I will not be able to read those this summer. :cry:

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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby let/them/eat/cake » Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:22 pm

Tagged. torts sounds fun.

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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby skiridedrive » Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:45 pm

Thanks Arrow!

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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby cbreault » Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:48 pm

Taggeth.

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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Wed Jul 01, 2009 2:09 pm

A'nold wrote:Thanks for that example above arrow. Man you are a wealth of information! I'm sure we all appreciate the time and effort you are putting into your answers in this thread. :)

This.

That answer was meticulous while simultaneously extremely interesting. Great work.

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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby Arrow » Wed Jul 01, 2009 2:47 pm

A'nold wrote:Thanks for that example above arrow. Man you are a wealth of information! I'm sure we all appreciate the time and effort you are putting into your answers in this thread. :)

You keep talking about hypos. Where do we get these "hypos"? The E&E's? Do they have them after each section or something? Are they pretty much mini exam questions?

Also, I know you touched on this in your op, but how on earth can you start practice exams before the end of the semester if you haven't learned all of the law for a subject yet that pertains to the exam? Are you saying you recommend being done with all of the E&E's by then? I will not be able to read those this summer. :cry:


I agree, it is tough to find a practice books on hypos.

First, the E&E's are pretty much hypos, but I never practiced writing it out and just read it like a book. Each E&E gives you the law, then gives you small short hypotheticals (they call it examples) for you to think about with answers (they call it explanations). Yes, these are pretty much mini-exam questions.

Also, my professors would usually have hypos to give out (only a couple of them did though). Thus, I would sometimes ask professors if they had any or recommended any practice problems. Other times, I would peruse through other professors' class websites (on TWEN in Westlaw) and would be able to find them. The majority of the time I just use old exams as hypotheticals, since exams are after all, longer hypotheticals. I would use the link here on TLS (http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=12526 or just google it. There were also a ton of supplements and practice books in the library, and some of them (I think Barbri) would have practice problems. Others, like Emmanuels, would have short problems at the end of each section.

One other thing I have found is useful is ask if your professors will reach the answers to your hypotheticals. Very few professors do this, and it is easier to ask them to read it if it is one of their hypos.

As for starting practice exams early, you just do. When I take practice exams by other professors, there is tough that we have not covered and will not cover so I just skip it. The same thing applies if you haven't learned it in your class yet because it is the start of the semester. Just do the parts you can, and analyze any relevant torts that you have learned and see. I think this is good practice to figure out in a hypothetical what facts are just "excess facts" and irrelevant.

You are right though, since I had read all the E&E's, I would be able to practice on sample exams even if my course has not exactly covered it.

Remember, you can practice doing legal reasoning (analyzing hypos) without a ton of knowledge in the law. All you need to know is a few laws, say battery and assault (which we covered in like one week) and you can do a ton of hypos on just those subjects alone to practice your analysis.

Let's say you have just learned battery and assault, you can go into an old torts exam. You see a two page long fact pattern, you read it, and see the paragraph I wrote above in the middle of the page (about Mary (M), Barry (B) and Ashley (A)), you can just practice writing that part out. If there are other torts in there about strict products liability or negligence, then pretend it is an excess fact and skip it.

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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby Arrow » Wed Jul 01, 2009 3:13 pm

Clever username wrote:So do you disagree with the Getting to Maybe authors about the efficacy of the IRAC method? They say it's too simplistic and leaves open the possibilty of missing several issues.


Not really, I do not disagree, but it is just when they teach IRAC to students, they do not really teach much about it other than "you need to state the I which standards for issue, you need to then state the rule, which is the R in IRAC..." IRAC itself is the goldmine of legal analysis, but the way they teach it to you is usually too simplistic and yes, leaves the possibility open of missing several issues.

All legal analysis is basically IRAC, some call it CIRAC (Delaney), the Southwestern professor calls it (IRRAC), and LEEWS uses IRAC (but asks you to state the rule first, while the heading serves as "the issue"). You will probably see it in many forms but it is all trying to say the same thing.

In the battery example above, you will see that I do use the IRAC method(issue, rule, analysis, conclusion). I stated the issue (battery) as a heading. I have then stated the rule in the opening paragraph. However, the next thing I do is redefine the rule for intent in the next paragraph. Then I proceed analysis intent. Then I conclude for intent.

Thus, you apply IRAC over and over again, but how you do it does not really matter. As long as you point out what the issue is (either with a short sentence or a heading), state the rule somehow, go into the facts, and then make a quick conclusion, you are fine.

I think some of the supplements try to say "OMG we are coming up with a new concept" is because it sells better. LEEWS, Getting to Maybe, Delaney, whoever, will all tell you to do some form of IRAC and emphasize it differently. If you look at my battery example, it may look more like IRRACRACRACRACC, basically I identify battery and state the rule for it (IR), then proceed to do the RAC portions for each element of battery (this makes up the RACRACRACRAC part), finally I make a conclusion for battery as a whole (C). So I guess I have used some form of IRAC, but it came out to be IR + RACRACRACRAC + C.

IRAC = Win

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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby uknowme » Wed Jul 01, 2009 3:16 pm

Arrow's first tip:

Learn to write a lot.

Hyder
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby Hyder » Wed Jul 01, 2009 3:42 pm

beast

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A'nold
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby A'nold » Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:30 pm

Arrow wrote:
A'nold wrote:Thanks for that example above arrow. Man you are a wealth of information! I'm sure we all appreciate the time and effort you are putting into your answers in this thread. :)

You keep talking about hypos. Where do we get these "hypos"? The E&E's? Do they have them after each section or something? Are they pretty much mini exam questions?

Also, I know you touched on this in your op, but how on earth can you start practice exams before the end of the semester if you haven't learned all of the law for a subject yet that pertains to the exam? Are you saying you recommend being done with all of the E&E's by then? I will not be able to read those this summer. :cry:


I agree, it is tough to find a practice books on hypos.

First, the E&E's are pretty much hypos, but I never practiced writing it out and just read it like a book. Each E&E gives you the law, then gives you small short hypotheticals (they call it examples) for you to think about with answers (they call it explanations). Yes, these are pretty much mini-exam questions.

Also, my professors would usually have hypos to give out (only a couple of them did though). Thus, I would sometimes ask professors if they had any or recommended any practice problems. Other times, I would peruse through other professors' class websites (on TWEN in Westlaw) and would be able to find them. The majority of the time I just use old exams as hypotheticals, since exams are after all, longer hypotheticals. I would use the link here on TLS (http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=12526 or just google it. There were also a ton of supplements and practice books in the library, and some of them (I think Barbri) would have practice problems. Others, like Emmanuels, would have short problems at the end of each section.

One other thing I have found is useful is ask if your professors will reach the answers to your hypotheticals. Very few professors do this, and it is easier to ask them to read it if it is one of their hypos.

As for starting practice exams early, you just do. When I take practice exams by other professors, there is tough that we have not covered and will not cover so I just skip it. The same thing applies if you haven't learned it in your class yet because it is the start of the semester. Just do the parts you can, and analyze any relevant torts that you have learned and see. I think this is good practice to figure out in a hypothetical what facts are just "excess facts" and irrelevant.

You are right though, since I had read all the E&E's, I would be able to practice on sample exams even if my course has not exactly covered it.

Remember, you can practice doing legal reasoning (analyzing hypos) without a ton of knowledge in the law. All you need to know is a few laws, say battery and assault (which we covered in like one week) and you can do a ton of hypos on just those subjects alone to practice your analysis.

Let's say you have just learned battery and assault, you can go into an old torts exam. You see a two page long fact pattern, you read it, and see the paragraph I wrote above in the middle of the page (about Mary (M), Barry (B) and Ashley (A)), you can just practice writing that part out. If there are other torts in there about strict products liability or negligence, then pretend it is an excess fact and skip it.


Thanks, I'm sure you are gaining a legendary status on this site because of these kinds of answers! Mainly you do these hypos for the structure and gaining experience in "thinking like a lawyer" in analysis, right?

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Arrow
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby Arrow » Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:35 pm

No, I did them because I was bored from playing World of Warcraft (j/k, I don't play that game).

When I would do hypos and practice exams, my thoughts were this: I will ace the final exam. So, yes, I did do them to practice my legal thinking. More importantly, I was preparing for exams. Every time I wrote out a hypo, I was writing a shortened exam answer. I was trying to simulate exactly what I would do on the exam in terms of format, structuring, analysis, etc.

vvpatvv
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby vvpatvv » Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:52 pm

awesome post!

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A'nold
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby A'nold » Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:56 pm

Arrow wrote:No, I did them because I was bored from playing World of Warcraft (j/k, I don't play that game).

When I would do hypos and practice exams, my thoughts were this: I will ace the final exam. So, yes, I did do them to practice my legal thinking. More importantly, I was preparing for exams. Every time I wrote out a hypo, I was writing a shortened exam answer. I was trying to simulate exactly what I would do on the exam in terms of format, structuring, analysis, etc.



Thanks. My post was kind of hard to understand at second glance. I meant ask if you did them less for the substantive stuff like the black letter law and more for gaining experience in the proper structure and issue spotting.

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bigjonpotties
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby bigjonpotties » Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:24 pm

tagging this sweet post. thanks arrow.




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