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Author Topic: Making IRAC Analysis in Exam Concise = Better Grade + Saves Time? (please help)  (Read 3266 times)

jacy85

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People say that leews only works for classes like Torts and contracts, but not for classes like conlaw which is more policy based.

I never got this, because con law arguments about standing, the constitutionality of a statute, etc. are always going to come up with parties raise the issues in briefs, and there is case law to support both sides.  Plaintiffs and defendants argue policy points back and forth all day long.  So whenever you have a fact pattern question, I would say approach it as "plaintiff argues X, defendant argues Y, and it is likely P wins b/c ____. But if court agrees with D instead, then P doesn't have standing and case is dismissed for lack of justiciability."

Of course, if you actually ARE asked a straight policy question, then obviously this isn't the right approach. :)

themanwithnoname

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I always thought the problem with LEEWS is not that it doesnt work but that most of the useful advice can be conveyed in 10 minutes: IRAC is stupid, explain the arguments on both sides, an easy way to do this is to say "Defendant argues X, plaintiff argues Y, defendant wins because of Z"

jacy85

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I've heard both arguments, actually.  And yeah, LEEWS does tend to be a bit straightforward, but after 3 years of law school, people STILL don't get how to take exams.  It's especially bad that you have legal writing profs and professors saying "Use IRAC for exams, too!!" when that's not really what professors want for exams (many profs anyway).

So even though it's simple, I think there's clearly a need for it.  And I may not like some of the marketing (i think a lot of people could just get the primer). It also keeps its resale value, so while you spend a lot on the program, you can turn around and resell it and get a chunk of your money back.

slacker

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I also vote for Jacy's example over either A or B. Both of the OP's versions are conclusory. I think A is closest to what would work, but the rule still needs to be unpacked more from the fact and application to work.

SCK2008

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Interesting discussion...



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Dr. Balsenschaft

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Of course professors want IRAC on exams.  IRAC is an organizational tool, nothing more.  Of course, the analysis and conclusion portion of IRAC is going to look different on an exam when you compare it to a brief, but the basic IRAC organization is still important. Essentially, I agree with Jacy (and, apparently, LEEWS), on how the analysis and conclusion should look, but the basic IRAC organizational scheme should not be thrown out the window. 

I use headings in my exam answers when there is a particularly long fact pattern.  I usually start with an intro that states all the issues, and then use each issue as a heading. A well-organized answer is an easy way to pick up a few extra points.  Also, I don't outline my answers.  By stating all of the issues first, I know what I need to write and plan accordingly.

resipsaloquitur

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I usually just try to answer the questions on the exam. 

I think the problem is that a lot of people don't do this.

jacy85

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I don't know what you guys are talking about (I see no way that I could have effectively used IRAC on exams and I don't know what LEEWS is).  My answer would definitely have looked closer to Jacy's (some form of an argument/counterargument), but still pretty dissimilar.    I usually just try to answer the questions on the exam.  That's worked out well for me so far. 

Answering the questions is what you're supposed to do.  But I agree with resipsa that its what a lot of people *don't* do, but I think even worse is that sometimes is the *only* thing people do.  When you have an answer like the OP gave in the first post, sure, he's answered the question of whether the plaintiff has standing, but that's only earned him maybe 1 point.  The analysis is where the other 10 points for standing were.  I'm not saying every answer has to *look* exactly like my answer.  But if you're not doing some form of argument/counterargument, you're missing a lot.  This seems to be the fundamental problem with just telling students to apply IRAC on exams, because they think the A = what the OP did, and the C is the mere statement: "the plaintiff has standing."

themanwithnoname

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I don't know what you guys are talking about (I see no way that I could have effectively used IRAC on exams and I don't know what LEEWS is).  My answer would definitely have looked closer to Jacy's (some form of an argument/counterargument), but still pretty dissimilar.    I usually just try to answer the questions on the exam.  That's worked out well for me so far. 

LEEWS is a program where people take way too much of your money to tell you to write like Jacy and have good study habits.

Astro

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I don't know what you guys are talking about (I see no way that I could have effectively used IRAC on exams and I don't know what LEEWS is).  My answer would definitely have looked closer to Jacy's (some form of an argument/counterargument), but still pretty dissimilar.    I usually just try to answer the questions on the exam.  That's worked out well for me so far. 

LEEWS is a program where people take way too much of your money to tell you to write like Jacy and have good study habits.

TITCR

I like the IRAC setup, Jacy finish method.  You cover all your bases, remain succinct, and sound like you know what the hell you're talking about.

Even though everyone knows we law students don't know what the @#!* we're talking about.
J, if you didn't bring enough penis for everyone, you shouldn't have brought any penis at all.