Memorizing for law school

By | January 30, 2018

Law students ask, “Isn’t law school about not just memorizing? The answer is clear: Absolutely!

But must law students memorize? The answer is just like clear: Absolutely!
Some professors erroneously tell students that “law school isn’t about memorization.” I say “erroneously” because law school IS about memorization… a whole bunch more. But for that moment, let’s just target grades – along with most courses, this means emphasizing exams.

In order to write down a high-scoring essay exam answer, students has to employ many skills and techniques. Cogent presentation, advanced level analysis, sophisticated legal reasoning… yes, they’re critical capabilities on the subject of earning “A” grades.

But one cannot earn an “A”… or even a “B”… without having to be capable to find the conditions the professor expects to determine analyzed. In order to find issues, you must “know” legal requirements. In the deeper sense, to “know” regulations is usually to understand its background, variations, nuances, subtleties, and the like. And, yes, that a sense of knowing is critical. But in principle sense, to “know” regulations (while exam-answering) would be to be able to post a rule statement without actively thinking; to “know it by heart.”

Before walking in a Torts final exam, each student devoted to earning the most effective grade they’re efficient at earning ought to have learned “by heart” at the least every one of the following:

As to each and every tort, an announcement of any “rule” – meaning a sentence or maybe more which includes every element that need to be which can spark a determination that this tort has become committed.

As to every one affirmative defense, a press release of any “rule” – meaning a sentence or even more that features every element that really must be that can cause a determination which the defense is viable.

A definition of each and every element, including “tests” to find out in the event it element may be proven.

A schematic template for constructing an essay is, essentially, included within these three categories. Here’s a partial example:

To prove negligence, a plaintiff must prove that this defendant owed an obligation to any or all foreseeable plaintiffs, the defendant breached this duty by not acting in accord while using standard of care, knowning that this breach caused the injury to plaintiff.

A plaintiff must prove the defendant owed an obligation to every one foreseeable plaintiffs, which the defendant breached this duty by not acting in accord together with the standard of care, and this breach caused the injury to a plaintiff.

Standard of care. The standard of care could be the penetration of prudence and caution required of the one that is under a requirement of care.

Breach of duty. A breach issue could be viewed from (a minimum of) two different angles…

Balancing test. Liability switches on perhaps the burden of adequate precautions is under the prospect of harm multiplied through the gravity with the resulting injury. B

Negligence per se. The three essential criteria include: that plaintiff is usually a member in the class supposed to be protected because of the statute, that this sort of injury which occurred would be the type the statute was enacted to safeguard against, and also the violation wasn’t excused.

But students don’t need to memorize these 214 words. This works:

Negligence – duty, breach, standard of care, cause, damage.

Breach – balance, per se. (…and so forth…)

Should trainees “memorize by rote”? Ideally, no. It’s unnecessary if each student has adequately prepared for each class, produced a private course summary (outline), and answered a multitude of short-answer (and longer) practice questions. The repetitive use of the essential rules to end tough problems embeds the weather in the memory for the majority of. But not all. That’s why memory tools are necessary to several law students. (More about that later.)

Another helpful item to increase the bullet-point list above (things to memorize) is that this: a list of each and every issue studied. This provides an outstanding checklist for that student to quickly tell you throughout the pre-writing stage of composing the essay answer. How much rote memorization performs this entail? Not much. (For an instance of a Criminal Law checklist, check out this link, then scroll as a result of Criminal Law, Checklist.)

Students must remember how the “memorization” part – the training by heart part – is just a small section of should be done to get on top of exams. But if the scholar just isn’t in a position to explain to you the weather of each one intentional tort (for instance) quickly, without pausing in order to recall specifics, issues are going to be missed. Don’t let that happen!

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