Law School Discussion

are finals at USD generally issue spotters?


are finals at USD generally issue spotters?
« on: June 21, 2004, 11:51:59 PM »
anyone know the answer to this?

Re: are finals at USD generally issue spotters?
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2004, 02:36:44 PM »
I don't know what that means.


Re: are finals at USD generally issue spotters?
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2004, 09:59:30 AM »
Just finished my first year there top 15%, they are issue spotters but most if not all law exams are issue spotters, some are race horses while other Prof. stress analysis in IRAC. 

Remember at USD the average grade is a C 75-80 (yes 80 is a C)!!! Out of a class of 100 students 50 - 60 students gets C's and the highest grade is a 93 (86-93 is an A).  Though some Profís donít give 93ís, so their system is completely off.  Totally archaic grading scale...

Re: are finals at USD generally issue spotters?
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2004, 12:13:52 AM »
Issue spotter exams are those where the professor's primary focus is for the student to identify the legal issue presented by the facts and discuss it.  Many times issue spotter exams are race horse meaning that there are a boatload of issues and you can't possibly address all of them in the time alloted.  It tests you on how quickly you can analyze the fact pattern and identify issues.  The goal there is to get the big fish issues first and then work your way down to smaller issues as time permits.  Usually on issue spotter/race horse exams it's more important to identify more issues than do thorough discussion of each issue.

There are also plain issue spotter exams where you have plenty of time to spot and discuss all of the issues -- I like those.  The call of the question is usually "discuss the rights and liabilities of the parties."  Here, it's more important to thoroughly discuss the issue.  Also, there may be hidden issues that only the most prepared students will identify.

Thinker exams are those were you have plenty of time, but you're presented with very novel issues.  Things that are several steps beyond what was discussed in class.  If you know the material you can take those steps, but it takes you time to do it in the exam.  Thinker exams may also ask you policy-type questions.  For example, if the legislature were to adopt XYZ statute, discuss the economic and legal impact such a statute would have on ABC.  Or a professor may ask you to draft a statute to address a particular legal problem where there are good arguments on each side of the issue.

Also many professors will give multiple choice exams.

Key is to figure out what type of exam you'll be getting (talk to former students and ask the professor) and keep that in mind as you study and prepare your outlines.


Re: are finals at USD generally issue spotters?
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2004, 05:33:15 PM »
hey sassy did you have any multiple choice exams in any of your 1st year classes at usd?

Re: are finals at USD generally issue spotters?
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2004, 07:17:47 PM »
Yep!  In fact, each of my classes first year had a multiple choice component -- only a few of my classes have been 100% essay.  They were all 1/2 essay and 1/2 multiple choice.  Each professor does multiple differently so don't think that a multiple choice exam leads you to esay street.  In fact, I find multiple choice exams harder than essay because in an essay exam I can explain myself.


Re: are finals at USD generally issue spotters?
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2005, 11:29:32 AM »
Does USD have good programs for 2L's and 3L's to help out the 1L's?  Seems to me the best way to navigate new territory is with the help of people that have already been there...

I have read so many different posts with novel ways to go about the studying.  Some say read every case, some say just read primers, and then there are those that swear by summaries and commercial outlines and will tell you not to buy the casebooks or bother with them at all.  I am so confused with all of this!  Hopefully I will find what works for me once I actually get to USD and get started... but for now it feels like I'm being led around a maze. 

Thanks for any advice!