« on: February 19, 2008, 12:54:41 AM »
Professors use different combinations of the following aspects:
1. Theory. If the professor includes law review articles and theory pieces from journals, there's a good chance you will be expected to incorporate it into at least one answer.
3. Complete "Issue Spotter". Identify every issue, argue both sides. Set up a "tree" diagram, and follow each branch to its conclusion.
4. Issue Spotter/Argument. Usually given a word or time limit -- argue only each sides best points and focus only on significant issues. Don't get tied up in pointing out things that professors don't really want (or didn't even mean to make an "issue" in the question!)
The best way to tell if a professor wants 1 and 2 are to look at your syllabus and listen in class. The best way to tell if a professor wants 3 and 4 is to work through a hypothetical and ask them to go over your answer with you. ("So you didn't really want us to go into this issue?")
Not sure how helpful that was, but it's the strategy I used.
Professors always want policy. On most exams you are going to have close calls on a test that requires a reasonableness standard, or policy factors. If you ignore the policy aspect you're begging for a B or worse. As far as my 1L classes have gone, a few professors have considered theory outside the scope of a 1L survey course.
Whoever talked about recent Supreme Court cases and outside reading from Law Review articles; stop wasting your time gunner, you aren't impressing anyone.