Congratulations! You survived final exams. Enjoy this time off and recharge your battery in preparation for the spring semester. And, when you're ready, go ahead and get a head start on organizing your 2011 calendar by penciling in the following events:
- January 5 Classes begin
- January 7 “Welcome Back” treat for students, faculty, and staff
- January 11 Kentucky Bar Exam Program for graduating law students
- January 19 The Brandeis “Brief” Break
- January 20 1st Structured Study Group
- January 27 2nd Structured Study Group
- January 27 Student Life Info Session: Study Abroad
- February 3 3rd Structured Study Group
- February 8 2L Mandatory Bar Program on Financial Responsibility
Analyze each element of the relevant causes of action in your exam answer. The depth of your analysis regarding each element will depend on the complexity of the problem. Forcing yourself to analyze every element will accomplish two things: (1) it will let the professor know that you understand that every element of a cause of action must be proven; and (2) it will force you to consider whether each element has been satisfied, thus avoiding the mistake of failing to discuss a complex problem that, at least on the surface, seemed quite obvious. (Adapted from Succeeding in Law School by Herbert N. Ramy.)
Congratulations! You have completed your first week of law school final exams. The good news is that there is only one more week to go, and after finals you will have a much-deserved long break. While it is important to take some time for yourself this weekend, do not abandon your studies. You want to end strong, so be sure to devote enough hours to studying this weekend. Do not procrastinate. Good luck!
You cannot perform legal analysis without discussing the facts. There are few absolutes in law school, but including the facts in your answer to essay questions is one of them. Remember, most law school essay questions are written in the form of a lengthy fact pattern or story. The facts within these stories create the issues that you must discuss. Almost every fact in these stories must be reproduced and discussed in your examination answer. While it is true that your professors will know the facts in the problem, professors do not know whether you understand which facts are relevant to resolving each issue. Including the facts in your answer does not guarantee success on your law school exams, but excluding the facts guarantees that you will perform below your capabilities.
To ensure that the facts are making their way into your essay answers, place a line through each fact as you use it. Do not cross the fact out so that it becomes illegible, however, because a single fact may be relevant to more than one issue. After you finish your essay answer, look back at the fact pattern. If there are facts left over, one of three things has occurred: (1) the facts are truly irrelevant and do not need to be discussed (unlikely!); (2) the facts are relevant to an issue or issues that you have already discussed; or (3) the facts are relevant to an issue that you have not addressed at all.
As for supposedly irrelevant facts, professors rarely place information into their fact patterns that does not need to be discussed. Most “irrelevant” facts are there so that you can explain why they are irrelevant. (Adapted from Succeeding in Law School by Herbert N. Ramy.)