« on: January 11, 2009, 08:11:23 PM »
My opinion: No, it cannot be learned but the skills required can be manufactured.
What do I mean? I'm referring to making canned answers--something I've discussed in previous posts at length and won't go into detail for the time being. If you follow my strategy meticulously, and it will take you a ton of time throughout the semester and well into finals, you won't run into the problems you detail at length in your original post.
Specifically, you (likely) won't be bogged down in senseless claims because you'll know the law better (from writing your own personal "treatises" keyed to your professor) and will be able to dispense with them sooner. Law school exams are not a forum for creativity, and you won't feel the need to distinguish yourself in that manner when your use of this method will provide an independent and impressive way to do so--if you do it right, you'll be one of the few people in your class using string cites with signals, etc.
Further, even if you do waste time discussing nonsense, you'll have time for it if you can type fast. This method essentially allows you to type detailed (pre-prepared) articulations of the rule before jumping into your analysis. Since you won't have to reinvent the wheel in stating the rule, you'll really only need to "write" the issue/analysis/conclusion section from the IRAC paradigm. And while you type your rule into your exam, you'll think of new points you'd perhaps missed initially. In my experience with this method, I managed to get an A+ on a three hour exam after losing 30 minutes at the beginning due to computer malfunction. I was so freaked out that I couldn't read the questions, write or think until my computer was fixed by the tech; so I sat there, waited for it to be repaired, and was able to finish an exam most of my peers couldn't complete EARLY (and with the top grade) simply because I had my rule sheet handy.
I'm happy to help more if you or others have further questions.