Legislation college students check with, “Isn’t legislation college about much more than just memorizing? The remedy is apparent: Completely!
But have to legislation pupils memorize? The response is just as very clear: Definitely!
Some professors erroneously notify college students that “legislation school is not about memorization.” I say “erroneously” mainly because regulation faculty IS about memorization… and so much extra. But for the second, let us just concentrate on grades – and for most programs, that means focusing on tests.
In purchase to publish a substantial-scoring essay examination reply, a pupil needs to hire quite a few expertise and methods. Cogent presentation, significant stage investigation, refined authorized reasoning… indeed, these are critical capabilities when it comes to earning “A” grades.
But one cannot earn an “A”… or a “B”… without the need of becoming capable to spot the challenges that the professor expects to see analyzed. In purchase to locate concerns, a single ought to “know” the law. In the further perception, to “know” the legislation is to recognize its qualifications, versions, nuances, subtleties, and so on. And, of course, that feeling of knowing is incredibly significant. But in the fundamental feeling, to “know” the legislation (in the context of exam-answering) is to be in a position to produce a rule assertion with no actively pondering to “know it by heart.”
Right before walking in to a Torts ultimate exam, a pupil fully commited to earning the very best grade he or she is able of earning ought to have uncovered “by heart” at the very least each and every of the subsequent:
- As to each tort, a assertion of each individual “rule” – meaning a sentence or more that involves every ingredient that will have to be tested to final result in a dedication that the tort has been dedicated.
- As to just about every affirmative defense, a statement of each and every “rule” – meaning a sentence or more that incorporates every component that will have to be demonstrated to consequence in a willpower that the protection is viable.
- A definition of each and every element, which includes “checks” to determine if that aspect can be proven.
A schematic template for constructing an essay is, primarily, included within these 3 categories. Here’s a partial instance:
- To demonstrate carelessness, a plaintiff have to establish that the defendant owed a duty to all foreseeable plaintiffs, that the defendant breached this responsibility by not acting in accord with the standard of treatment, and that this breach induced the personal injury to plaintiff.
- Responsibility. A plaintiff need to establish that the defendant owed a duty to all foreseeable plaintiffs, that the defendant breached this obligation by not acting in accord with the conventional of care, and that this breach brought about the injuries to plaintiff.
- Regular of care. The common of care is the degree of prudence and caution essential of an individual who is underneath a responsibility of treatment.
- Breach of duty. A breach difficulty can be looked at from (at least) two unique angles…
Balancing check. Liability turns on whether the stress of suitable precautions is significantly less than the chance of hurt multiplied by the gravity of the resulting personal injury. B
- Negligence per se. The three essential criteria include: that plaintiff is a member of the class intended to be protected by the statute, that the type of injury which occurred is the type the statute was enacted to guard against, and the violation was not excused.
But a student need not memorize these 214 words. This works:
- Negligence – duty, breach, standard of care, cause, damage.
- Breach – balance, per se. (…and so on…)
Should a student “memorize by rote”? Ideally, no. It’s unnecessary if a student has adequately prepared for each class, produced a personal course summary (outline), and answered dozens of short-answer (and longer) practice questions. The repetitive use of the fundamental rules to resolve tough problems embeds the elements into the memory for most. But not all. That’s why memory tools are important to many law students. (More about that later.)
Another helpful item to add to the bullet-point list above (what to memorize) is this: a list of every issue studied. This provides an excellent checklist for the student to quickly run through during the pre-writing stage of composing the essay answer. How much rote memorization does this entail? Not much. (For an example of a Criminal Law checklist, go to this link, then scroll down to Criminal Law, Checklist.)
Students must remember that the “memorization” part – the learning by heart part – is only a small part of what must be done to score high on exams. But if a student is not able to run through the elements of each intentional tort (for example) quickly, without pausing to try to recall specifics, issues will be missed. Don’t let that happen!