Legal Analysis on exams

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Legal Analysis on exams

Postby Virindi » Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:46 pm

How much strict rule application v. case analogy v. policy arguments do you use on an exam?

I read Getting to Maybe and it seemed really guided to straight up strict rule application with very little guidance on how to many case analogy or policy arguments.

Can anyone recommend a decent law school exam book that covers each of these argument methods (rule application, case analogy, policy arguments)?
- how to make them
- when to make them

Winter is Coming
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Re: Legal Analysis on exams

Postby Winter is Coming » Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:56 pm

Second semester 1L here, so take my advice with a grain of salt, but I managed to do well at a T14 last semester.

For my classes, it would be impossible to be formulaic about how much of each of those things you would use on an exam. Some of my professors made clear that they wanted a lot of policy analysis. But my contracts professor had very strict word limits on his answers and was clear that he was looking for mainly black letter principles.

You also have to know how the professor grades. For torts, my professor didn't penalize for wrong observations and instead only gave points for hitting issues and analyzing them well. For something like that it was better to mention everything that could conceivably be part of the fact pattern. But, my Civ Pro professor would have killed me if I started talking about random stuff in something that was clearly an Erie problem.

TL;DR is basically I don't think there is a magical formula for taking tests other than the principles you can get reading GTM (and the advice on this site). Learn what the professor wants and give it to them. Obsessing over a system or getting too focused on some commercial rubric is gonna ultimately make you miss issues I think.

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Re: Legal Analysis on exams

Postby shock259 » Mon Jan 19, 2015 10:40 pm

Use relevant cases from class to supplement your arguments in the analysis section of your answer. Do not use policy unless asked for directly on the exam, or the professor told you beforehand to use policy.

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