Law School Exams - how to organize and intro paragraph?

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uvabro
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Law School Exams - how to organize and intro paragraph?

Postby uvabro » Sat Nov 10, 2012 4:09 pm

Hi, just wanted to know how people tend to organize them - do you go off of issues?

Do you write intro paragraphs examining what issues you'll be covering?

Trying to get a feel for what works best... also if anybody has any resources with sample answers that would be great. E&E's are really just related to one area at a time so it's not the same. With the other exams, it's like studying for the LSAT without any answer key.

Green Crayons
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Re: Law School Exams - how to organize and intro paragraph?

Postby Green Crayons » Sat Nov 10, 2012 4:34 pm

Yes. No. Check your school's exam bank.

swimmer11
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Re: Law School Exams - how to organize and intro paragraph?

Postby swimmer11 » Sat Nov 10, 2012 4:45 pm

uvabro wrote:Hi, just wanted to know how people tend to organize them - do you go off of issues?

Do you write intro paragraphs examining what issues you'll be covering?

Trying to get a feel for what works best... also if anybody has any resources with sample answers that would be great. E&E's are really just related to one area at a time so it's not the same. With the other exams, it's like studying for the LSAT without any answer key.


The Eight Secrets to Taking Law School Exams. Read it the other day. Loved it. We will be conquering law school together in one month.

uvabro
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Re: Law School Exams - how to organize and intro paragraph?

Postby uvabro » Sat Nov 10, 2012 4:52 pm

swimmer11 wrote:
uvabro wrote:Hi, just wanted to know how people tend to organize them - do you go off of issues?

Do you write intro paragraphs examining what issues you'll be covering?

Trying to get a feel for what works best... also if anybody has any resources with sample answers that would be great. E&E's are really just related to one area at a time so it's not the same. With the other exams, it's like studying for the LSAT without any answer key.


The Eight Secrets to Taking Law School Exams. Read it the other day. Loved it. We will be conquering law school together in one month.

i think i know who u r. ur from mississippi? i'm waiting for it to get delivered! read getting to maybe gotta get into gear. one of my old teachers in college went to law school and boosted my low confidence by saying im gonna do well because he didnt write this on my personal statement but he knew from my term papers i only wikipedia'd the books and read the back cover, but the analysis had so many deep back and forths he had to give me an A, which was sweet. Now i've done all the reading but have noooooo confidence.

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thesealocust
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Re: Law School Exams - how to organize and intro paragraph?

Postby thesealocust » Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:22 pm

No need for an intro paragraph. You're not getting points for essay composition, you're getting points every time you make a valid legal argument.

Use headings, organization, and paragraphs to make your thought process of working through issues easy for you and clear to a grader. But you'll probably be well served, if only for efficiency, if the first words after your first heading are "_________ will argue that..."

uvabro
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Re: Law School Exams - how to organize and intro paragraph?

Postby uvabro » Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:32 pm

thesealocust wrote:No need for an intro paragraph. You're not getting points for essay composition, you're getting points every time you make a valid legal argument.

Use headings, organization, and paragraphs to make your thought process of working through issues easy for you and clear to a grader. But you'll probably be well served, if only for efficiency, if the first words after your first heading are "_________ will argue that..."

do i want to make every argument or only those immediately pertinent to the answer? for example, in my K E&E supplement there was a question about a sign that read free golf cart for anyone who gets a hole in 1 with small print reading it was for a tournament that had already ended but the course forgot to take it down.

Before tackling the real issue: Whether it's a "failure to read" or the adhesiveness of the K was there to trick people into trying, I discussed in length the notion of advertising, revocation, etc. - trying to tackle every issue when there was a much bigger issue that pretty clearly definitively answered the issue.

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thesealocust
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Re: Law School Exams - how to organize and intro paragraph?

Postby thesealocust » Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:47 pm

uvabro wrote:
thesealocust wrote:No need for an intro paragraph. You're not getting points for essay composition, you're getting points every time you make a valid legal argument.

Use headings, organization, and paragraphs to make your thought process of working through issues easy for you and clear to a grader. But you'll probably be well served, if only for efficiency, if the first words after your first heading are "_________ will argue that..."

do i want to make every argument or only those immediately pertinent to the answer?


It's hard to answer this definitively without getting all zen warrior about it. Addressing the most important issues the most thoroughly, at least before moving on to side issues, is the best approach. On the flip side, if you really can be exhaustive in your analysis (and self aware - a high quality exam evaluates the strength of the arguments presented rather than just shitting them out in a list) then you'll be on track to do extremely well.

I've sat in on study sessions with profs where people tried to pin them down on questions like "is it better to answer more issues or more thoroughly answer the most important issues" and there just really isn't a useful answer. When you know the law really well, you should be apply to apply it in a way that demonstrates both your analytical capacity and your situational awareness with respect to what matters and what doesn't.

It never hurts to role play: be an advocate. What arguments would make a judge roll his eyes? What counter arguments are so important and obvious that failing to address them affirmatively would be a disservice to your client?

uvabro
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Re: Law School Exams - how to organize and intro paragraph?

Postby uvabro » Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:59 pm

thesealocust wrote:
uvabro wrote:
thesealocust wrote:No need for an intro paragraph. You're not getting points for essay composition, you're getting points every time you make a valid legal argument.

Use headings, organization, and paragraphs to make your thought process of working through issues easy for you and clear to a grader. But you'll probably be well served, if only for efficiency, if the first words after your first heading are "_________ will argue that..."

do i want to make every argument or only those immediately pertinent to the answer?


It's hard to answer this definitively without getting all zen warrior about it. Addressing the most important issues the most thoroughly, at least before moving on to side issues, is the best approach. On the flip side, if you really can be exhaustive in your analysis (and self aware - a high quality exam evaluates the strength of the arguments presented rather than just shitting them out in a list) then you'll be on track to do extremely well.

I've sat in on study sessions with profs where people tried to pin them down on questions like "is it better to answer more issues or more thoroughly answer the most important issues" and there just really isn't a useful answer. When you know the law really well, you should be apply to apply it in a way that demonstrates both your analytical capacity and your situational awareness with respect to what matters and what doesn't.

It never hurts to role play: be an advocate. What arguments would make a judge roll his eyes? What counter arguments are so important and obvious that failing to address them affirmatively would be a disservice to your client?

i've never taken a law school exam but self awareness is my best quality, which is part of the benefit of having no personal convictions or moral integrity (not kidding). Thank you so much for your help - i think the lesson is to draw a balance between covering a lot of issues, but only ones that are truly material to the answer.

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thesealocust
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Re: Law School Exams - how to organize and intro paragraph?

Postby thesealocust » Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:02 pm

Basically. Most exams are very time pressured, so you need to quickly figure out the most important things to address and address them. Once done, if there's time, you can flag side issues or add some flourish to your analysis.

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Raiden
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Re: Law School Exams - how to organize and intro paragraph?

Postby Raiden » Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:50 pm

TheSeaLocust just keeps out churning out wisdom, your comments rock.

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dextermorgan
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Re: Law School Exams - how to organize and intro paragraph?

Postby dextermorgan » Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:54 pm

All of my professors have specifically told us not to use intro paragraphs, they waste time and they won't give you the points twice.

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dood
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Re: Law School Exams - how to organize and intro paragraph?

Postby dood » Sun Nov 11, 2012 3:25 am

honestly, the worst mistake of my life was getting advice from TLS and other "how to" guides, instead of just using common sense to answer the questions asked. the format of exam answers will vary WIDELY from class-to-class / prof-to-prof. just do exactly what you are told to do, and u will be told.

uvabro
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Re: Law School Exams - how to organize and intro paragraph?

Postby uvabro » Sun Nov 11, 2012 3:31 am

I figured id read the test 3 times - once to get the issues, once with a pro plaintiff lens then once pro defedant.

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thesealocust
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Re: Law School Exams - how to organize and intro paragraph?

Postby thesealocust » Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:35 pm

uvabro wrote:I figured id read the test 3 times - once to get the issues, once with a pro plaintiff lens then once pro defedant.


You probably aren't going to have time for that, and most exams have questions narrower than "discuss the rights and liabilities of all parties." For example, it might be three subparts, each of which asks you to talk about a broad issue from the perspective of a specific party.

Of course, you never know, I wouldn't walk into it planning to read the facts multiple times over, especially since the length of the fact pattern can vary from tiny to like 10+ pages depending on how cruel your professor is feeling.

uvabro
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Re: Law School Exams - how to organize and intro paragraph?

Postby uvabro » Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:50 pm

do u guys bring in cases and the restatement or only 1? sometimes the 2 have subtle differences.

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AVBucks4239
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Re: Law School Exams - how to organize and intro paragraph?

Postby AVBucks4239 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:16 pm

uvabro wrote:I figured id read the test 3 times - once to get the issues, once with a pro plaintiff lens then once pro defedant.

You're not going to have time for this. You should understand the law well enough that you should be saying "Oh, that fact/group of facts is important for plaintiff/defendant, implicating X issue" right when you read it.

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AVBucks4239
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Re: Law School Exams - how to organize and intro paragraph?

Postby AVBucks4239 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:23 pm

uvabro wrote:do u guys bring in cases and the restatement or only 1? sometimes the 2 have subtle differences.

Completely depends on the class, but big-picture wise, you should be focused on different rules and how they lead to different outcomes.

For example, since you brought up contracts...if you were in a case involving goods (UCC) and there was an option contract, you'd want to discuss how under the UCC these don't require consideration. But after you're done with your UCC analysis, you'd definitely want to mention something like, "This result, however, would be much different under the common law. Courts traditionally required option contracts to be supported by consideration, [rest of rule or example]. Consideration is [blah blah blah, short definition]. Here, there appears to be a lack of consideration because [blah blah blah]."

If it's clearly a goods case, don't kill yourself with this extra analysis. This does show to your professor, however, that you understood the difference between the UCC and common law and could see the consideration issue.

uvabro
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Re: Law School Exams - how to organize and intro paragraph?

Postby uvabro » Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:41 pm

pretty stoked i hit every single issue and had much of the exact dialogue (in less flowery terms) than the model answer on my K midterm....... but haven't finished outlining yet for 2 classes or done a practice test yet and first final is on the 7th :-(

swimmer11
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Re: Law School Exams - how to organize and intro paragraph?

Postby swimmer11 » Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:47 pm

uvabro wrote:pretty stoked i hit every single issue and had much of the exact dialogue (in less flowery terms) than the model answer on my K midterm....... but haven't finished outlining yet for 2 classes or done a practice test yet and first final is on the 7th :-(



It is time to start that grind bro. CSWS. I know you about it.

shock259
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Re: Law School Exams - how to organize and intro paragraph?

Postby shock259 » Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:41 pm

I did what LEEWS told me to do and it served me well.

If consideration is an issue, the paragraph would look like this;

Consideration is _____ (black letter law statement). Party A would argue that consideration is present because (argument). Party B would say it is not because (counter-argument). Party A would respond that (moar arguments). Party B... In conclusion, there was probably consideration.




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