Any tip on preparing for Contracts exam based on issue spotting?

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jeffcooon
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Any tip on preparing for Contracts exam based on issue spotting?

Postby jeffcooon » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:30 am

Just want to hear how to best prepare or how to outline for a contracts exam that is VERY keen on issue spotting.

My professor mentioned that the more sticking points, key words you mention the more points you will accrue.

I do have a long list of checklist that I'm working with. But any other tips/advice?

Thanks guys. :D

cavalier1138
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Re: Any tip on preparing for Contracts exam based on issue spotting?

Postby cavalier1138 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:56 am

jeffcooon wrote:a contracts exam that is VERY keen on issue spotting


Doesn't that describe every type of exam?

There isn't really a special key to outlining something that generic. You're not going to spot the issues until the fact pattern is in front of you, but I suppose you could organize your sections by the "key words" you referenced. If your professor has certain things that he/she wants you to say a specific way, then having those words on the outline might help organize your thinking.

But otherwise, this is a super-vague description of an exam, so I can't imagine that there's any special way to organize your notes. Do it in a way that makes sense to you and is helpful on practice exams.

jeffcooon
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Re: Any tip on preparing for Contracts exam based on issue spotting?

Postby jeffcooon » Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:11 am

Thanks for the input. I def. was vague about that.

Yes, you're right about how issue spotting is what law school exams are all about.

My professor is not necessarily looking for IRAC, but rather citing as many key elements (promissory estoppel, consideration, novation, etc) to the fact pattern as possible to get the most points (generally how law school exams are graded?). But as I prepare for the exam, I feel overwhelmed by all the elements/issues and worried if I am leaving things out. Haha

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pancakes3
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Re: Any tip on preparing for Contracts exam based on issue spotting?

Postby pancakes3 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:40 am

treat every verb in a fact pattern as a potential issue. someone picks up the phone, forgets to pick up the phone, reads something, mails something, picks something up - they're all issues.

estefanchanning
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Re: Any tip on preparing for Contracts exam based on issue spotting?

Postby estefanchanning » Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:01 pm

Check list is your best bet. Go down that check list and try your hardest to twist the facts so you can talk about every point on that check list.

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pancakes3
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Re: Any tip on preparing for Contracts exam based on issue spotting?

Postby pancakes3 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:17 pm

estefanchanning wrote:Check list is your best bet. Go down that check list and try your hardest to twist the facts so you can talk about every point on that check list.


disagree. you should be applying laws to fact, not fact to laws. if the facts don't present themselves in a way that to make an argument that's on your checklist, then leave that concept alone. don't make tenuous connections just to get a legal concept on the paper.

e.g. if it's a contracts question that's clearly not UCC, don't do a 2-207 argument. sure, you might get a point for saying "this is not UCC, so battle of the forms does not apply" but you won't get extra points by saying "if it was UCC, here is how it would be analyzed." you're just wasting time if you do.

call of the question, and all that.

estefanchanning
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Re: Any tip on preparing for Contracts exam based on issue spotting?

Postby estefanchanning » Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:24 pm

pancakes3 wrote:
estefanchanning wrote:Check list is your best bet. Go down that check list and try your hardest to twist the facts so you can talk about every point on that check list.


disagree. you should be applying laws to fact, not fact to laws. if the facts don't present themselves in a way that to make an argument that's on your checklist, then leave that concept alone. don't make tenuous connections just to get a legal concept on the paper.

e.g. if it's a contracts question that's clearly not UCC, don't do a 2-207 argument. sure, you might get a point for saying "this is not UCC, so battle of the forms does not apply" but you won't get extra points by saying "if it was UCC, here is how it would be analyzed." you're just wasting time if you do.

call of the question, and all that.


Though your way generally applies, OP said his teacher "is not necessarily looking for IRAC, but rather citing as many key elements (promissory estoppel, consideration, novation, etc) to the fact pattern as possible."

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pancakes3
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Re: Any tip on preparing for Contracts exam based on issue spotting?

Postby pancakes3 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:28 pm

estefanchanning wrote:
pancakes3 wrote:
estefanchanning wrote:Check list is your best bet. Go down that check list and try your hardest to twist the facts so you can talk about every point on that check list.


disagree. you should be applying laws to fact, not fact to laws. if the facts don't present themselves in a way that to make an argument that's on your checklist, then leave that concept alone. don't make tenuous connections just to get a legal concept on the paper.

e.g. if it's a contracts question that's clearly not UCC, don't do a 2-207 argument. sure, you might get a point for saying "this is not UCC, so battle of the forms does not apply" but you won't get extra points by saying "if it was UCC, here is how it would be analyzed." you're just wasting time if you do.

call of the question, and all that.


Though your way generally applies, OP said his teacher "is not necessarily looking for IRAC, but rather citing as many key elements (promissory estoppel, consideration, novation, etc) to the fact pattern as possible."


that just means racehorse spotter, and the formalities are dispensed with. the prof wants him to go through the fact pattern and say "when x did this, that could be [issue] because [explanation]. y would argue that it's not [issue] because [explanation]" and move on to the next issue. it's not "necessarily" IRAC but it's also not fundamentally different either.

estefanchanning
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Re: Any tip on preparing for Contracts exam based on issue spotting?

Postby estefanchanning » Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:32 pm

pancakes3 wrote:
estefanchanning wrote:
pancakes3 wrote:
estefanchanning wrote:Check list is your best bet. Go down that check list and try your hardest to twist the facts so you can talk about every point on that check list.


disagree. you should be applying laws to fact, not fact to laws. if the facts don't present themselves in a way that to make an argument that's on your checklist, then leave that concept alone. don't make tenuous connections just to get a legal concept on the paper.

e.g. if it's a contracts question that's clearly not UCC, don't do a 2-207 argument. sure, you might get a point for saying "this is not UCC, so battle of the forms does not apply" but you won't get extra points by saying "if it was UCC, here is how it would be analyzed." you're just wasting time if you do.

call of the question, and all that.


Though your way generally applies, OP said his teacher "is not necessarily looking for IRAC, but rather citing as many key elements (promissory estoppel, consideration, novation, etc) to the fact pattern as possible."


that just means racehorse spotter, and the formalities are dispensed with. the prof wants him to go through the fact pattern and say "when x did this, that could be [issue] because [explanation]. y would argue that it's not [issue] because [explanation]" and move on to the next issue. it's not "necessarily" IRAC but it's also not fundamentally different either.


True, but I don't think I implied that OP analyze the entire fact pattern pursuant to every point. I just said try to his hardest to apply the facts to every point on the check list, even if clearly a losing argument. I think it's silly to assume that I recommended OP give a full analysis to every contract principle.

jeffcooon
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Re: Any tip on preparing for Contracts exam based on issue spotting?

Postby jeffcooon » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:19 pm

I understand your point, estefanchanning. You may be partially right.

When we went over a hypo and the hypo mentioned A receiving letter from B, the professor said he will give us points for mailbox rule even if the hypo was never written to talk about mailbox rule complication/situation.

SomewhatLearnedHand
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Re: Any tip on preparing for Contracts exam based on issue spotting?

Postby SomewhatLearnedHand » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:31 pm

jeffcooon wrote:My professor is not necessarily looking for IRAC, but rather citing as many key elements (promissory estoppel, consideration, novation, etc) to the fact pattern as possible to get the most points (generally how law school exams are graded?). But as I prepare for the exam, I feel overwhelmed by all the elements/issues and worried if I am leaving things out. Haha


Some professors say they don't want IRAC but in reality it is pretty much exactly what they want. The difference is they want the analysis part (the A) to be multiple arguments & counterarguments applying the law to the facts, with some policy arguments sprinkled in if you can. What they are looking for is more like IRAAAAAAC.

In response to what the above posters have discussed with regards to what issues to raise, some profs, like my crim prof, want you to discuss an issue if the facts even hint at them, no matter how ridiculous an argument it is. I've had other profs who hate this "shotgun" approach and will take points off for very weak arguments. Thats something you'll have to feel out, but seems like your prof may want to see some of these stretch arguments.




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