Prioritizing Issues on Exams

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Prioritizing Issues on Exams

Postby sweetfrenchtoast » Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:10 am

I was re-reading through a number of the study guides here on TLS and was wondering how one decides how to prioritize issues on exams.

For example, in Talon's guide, Talon threw out a two-line fact pattern (see here: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=123699). Before reading through his answers, I thought I'd try my hand at it.

Those two-lines quickly turned into a one page analysis (and I wasn't done...I just figured I'd stop at that point and move on to something else) of duty, breach, causation, etc.

When faced with a three-page fact pattern and strict time restraints, how do you all go about prioritizing issues on exams?

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Re: Prioritizing Issues on Exams

Postby thesealocust » Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:12 am

Approach it from the point of view of a real lawyer. Which issues are substantive and material to the outcome, that have more complexities to explore? Spend more time there.

Exams are often so time pressured that you won't have an ability to do much more than triage and charge through as best you can though.

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Re: Prioritizing Issues on Exams

Postby North » Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:13 am

Last edited by North on Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Prioritizing Issues on Exams

Postby stillwater » Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:59 am

i answer the issues first and in the most detail that have the most points. how do i know this? i just know.

don't get bogged down writing a bunch of weird shit about a red herring or tangential issue. its about issue spotting but then responding proportionately to that issue. lets say you are doing battery, if there is definitely contact or whatever one of the prima facie elements are, dont write a soliloquy about whether or not hte contact occurred or anything metaphysical about it. delve into the element or two that presents true ambiguity.

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Re: Prioritizing Issues on Exams

Postby 5ky » Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:10 pm

I always struggled with this, which I why I ended up with multiple 30+ page exams that were the result of multiple pages of analysis on issues that were really quite tangential.

Unless something is a threshold type issue (i.e. you don't need to or can't proceed with analysis unless it is met), you might try asking yourself whether something can be resolved in a few sentences/a paragraph. If it can, and there's a lot of other stuff to look at, you might consider punting on that. Skipping a few of those will end up saving you a good chunk of time in the aggregate.

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Re: Prioritizing Issues on Exams

Postby nyyankees » Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:32 pm

I once asked a professor this question and he told me this. Use the amount of details that the fact pattern gives as a guide as to how much analysis is needed. If there is one sentence on 'he raised his left hand and struck him in the face", then probably a less juicy issue. If there is a paragraph or two pertaining to one element or cause of action, spend more time there.

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