Policy argumentation: What is more important?

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manofjustice
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Policy argumentation: What is more important?

Postby manofjustice » Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:03 pm

To the high 1L exam performers out there, what is more important when you arrive at the juncture on an exam at which you must make policy arguments? That you make the arguments and recognize the juncture in the first place? That the arguments at least talk about concerns the professor alluded to in class? Or that the arguments are persuasive? Obviously, if the last is most important, I could have a problem with grading subjectivity...which leads me to the next question: with respect to your overall grade, how important is policy argumentation? If an exam spotted all the issues, but made arguments that the professor found completely unpersuasive, and another exam made arguments, all of which the professor found completed persuasive, how many issues could the latter exam miss before the grades on the exam were equal?

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20130312
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Re: Policy argumentation: What is more important?

Postby 20130312 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:12 pm

I feel like a broken record, but depends on the professor. I asked one professor and he said "Just answer the question, no policy unless it asks for it", where another professor said that it would be nice if students spelled everything out to prove that they were on the same page.

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OneMoreLawHopeful
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Re: Policy argumentation: What is more important?

Postby OneMoreLawHopeful » Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:52 pm

In my experience (I'm a 2L now), the professor will actually make policy questions an entirely separate question. The prompt will make this clear. If the question is an issue spotter, policy shouldn't really be touched upon unless it is specifically related to the issue (example: the standard for the tort of wrongful termination requires that the employee have been terminated for reasons that are against "previously articulated public policy"). When policy is part of the standard, touch on it, otherwise ignore. You're usually too crunched for time during an exam to wax poetic about policy anyway. If you spend time talking about policy and miss a non-policy issue on an issue spotter, you're going to lose points.

As for "convincing" when it comes to policy arguments, all of my professors cared more about your ability to see both sides than your ability to actually convince the professor about what was correct.

So for my crim final, it came out that the top grade and the 2nd highest grade actually took opposing viewpoints, but they both considered their opponent's viewpoints and weighed the arguments. That they came to disparate conclusions didn't matter as much as their ability to see both sides in the first place. Lower grades usually picked a side and just went at it, ignoring potential criticisms.

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manofjustice
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Re: Policy argumentation: What is more important?

Postby manofjustice » Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:14 pm

I have a prof who said she expects policy in the issue spotters. Professors keep on talking about "good attempts" and "bad attempts." Worried about missing the distinction.

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OneMoreLawHopeful
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Re: Policy argumentation: What is more important?

Postby OneMoreLawHopeful » Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:29 pm

manofjustice wrote:I have a prof who said she expects policy in the issue spotters. Professors keep on talking about "good attempts" and "bad attempts." Worried about missing the distinction.


Hmm... I haven't heard that before, unless your prof is using a weird definition of "policy." Is it a crim class? It wouldn't be unusual to throw in something about "prosecutorial discretion" or similar topics if you've covered them, but I don't want to give you a bad answer.

Ask you prof. if they have model answers for past exams. Better yet, some profs will actually hold onto old top-grades, and you can ask to see them. There's no better way to get an idea of what the prof wants.

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manofjustice
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Re: Policy argumentation: What is more important?

Postby manofjustice » Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:36 pm

OneMoreLawHopeful wrote:
manofjustice wrote:I have a prof who said she expects policy in the issue spotters. Professors keep on talking about "good attempts" and "bad attempts." Worried about missing the distinction.


Hmm... I haven't heard that before, unless your prof is using a weird definition of "policy." Is it a crim class? It wouldn't be unusual to throw in something about "prosecutorial discretion" or similar topics if you've covered them, but I don't want to give you a bad answer.

Ask you prof. if they have model answers for past exams. Better yet, some profs will actually hold onto old top-grades, and you can ask to see them. There's no better way to get an idea of what the prof wants.


I actually think she is withholding model answers. Sucks. I think she means: If how a rule applies in a case is ambiguous, make policy arguments for why it should be applied one way or the other.

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presh
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Re: Policy argumentation: What is more important?

Postby presh » Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:46 pm

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Last edited by presh on Tue Dec 29, 2015 11:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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manofjustice
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Re: Policy argumentation: What is more important?

Postby manofjustice » Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:30 pm

It was torts. She said she is looking for arguments involving things like "incentives" and "administrability."




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