Legal Writing at Duke Law School Learning to write like a lawyer is perhaps the greatest challenge of legal education.
Reading Comprehension Reading comprehension is the ability to read text, process information, and synthesize and draw inferences from it. This may seem pretty basic. But it bears repeating that law school exams are first and foremost reading comprehension tests.
Misreading or skipping over text will almost certainly impair your ability to spot the issues and analyze the problems. It is absolutely essential that you read the fact pattern thoroughly, carefully, and completely. Some people like to begin by reading the question prompt, because it will usually give you an idea of the subject and sometimes the particular topic to which the question relates.
More on that later. Issue Spotting Issue spotting is the process of noticing the potential legal issues embedded in the fact pattern.
A typical fact pattern will include many legal issues, some more obvious than others. The key to maximizing your total points is spotting as many issues as possible. Keep in mind that your fact pattern may also be sprinkled with facts that are completely irrelevant.
Law examinations share a good deal in common with other stock forms of legal riting, such as the brief, the law office memorandum, and the judicial opinion. Developing proper skills of exam writing will have, therefore, permanent returns. practice of stating legal conclusions without giving the reasoning. The first skill to succeed in law school begins with learning the law, a daunting task due to the sheer volume of material you must master. It is this skill the majority of law student excel in developing. If you are visiting the Law School Toolbox, it is likely that you want to do better on your law school essay exams. And one of the things we talk about on this site is the importance of practicing writing out exam answers.. Practice is how we learn how to apply the law we learn in law school.
Your criminal law professor will not give you any points for realizing that the victim may have a tort case against the defendant.
Legal Analysis Legal analysis is the process of 1 determining the relevant legal principles and rules that pertain to the issues, 2 applying those principles to the facts of the case, and 3 drawing conclusions about the outcome.
This is a three-step process, and skipping a step will cost you valuable points. First, you need to be able to figure out what law applies. Is this a federal or a state issue? Statute or common law? Know the body of law that applies and then move on to the specific legal principles that are implicated in the factual scenario.
Next, you have to draw on the fact pattern and apply the legal principles to the case. Lastly, you need to draw conclusions. If the answer is clear, say so.
If the issue is a close call that could be decided either way, say that. Legal Writing You know from your legal writing class that legal writing follows a very rigid format.
Now is not the time to get creative and experiment with structure. You want to demonstrate that you understand the principles of legal writing and write your essay as clearly and concisely as possible.
Using the CREAC method which is our preferred method here at Quimbee ensures that your professor will know exactly where to find the information he or she is looking for; your goal is to make that as easy as possible.
In our experience, it seems that most often students forget to include the rule explanation and application. More on that to come. This will require you to make strategic decisions.
You will only have so much time, and you need to make sure that you allot it so that you have time to answer every question on the exam. If your exam asks two questions, and you spend all your time writing a perfect answer to the first question, you will almost certainly do much worse than you would if you wrote a merely good answer to both questions.
This is pure math.Law School Exam Writing Guide Law School Success.
Writing a law school exam is a skill, and just like any other skill, it can be mastered with practice. Writing, research, legal study, and legal practice share this process with archeology. Instead of finding a pottery shard in soil, the discovery is information and requires research and analysis.
The challenge of researching and analyzing an unknown subject is the most enjoyable part of academic life. The Legal Analysis, Research and Writing Program is also distinguished by its use of writing faculty with substantial past law practice who have moved into the teaching of writing as their primary professional commitment and research faculty who are part of the Law School's professional reference librarians, all of whom are also lawyers.
By reading the sample law school essays provided below, you should get a clear idea of how to translate your qualifications, passions, and individual experiences into words.
You will see that the samples here employ a creative voice, use detailed examples, and draw the reader in with a clear writing style. Most importantly, these personal.
On the day of the test, you will be asked to write one sample essay. LSAC does not score the writing sample, but copies are sent to all law schools to which you apply. By reading the sample law school essays provided below, you should get a clear idea of how to translate your qualifications, passions, and individual experiences into words.
You will see that the samples here employ a creative voice, use detailed examples, and draw the reader in with a clear writing .