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Chapter

Exams are the most common form of assessment in UK law schools, and the student will almost inevitably sit quite a few of them during their legal studies. A successful law student wants their success reflected in their results — and exams will make up a big part of those results. By understanding the format of exams, knowing how best to prepare for them, and thinking about effective approaches to them, the student can approach exams calmly and be in the best possible position to achieve the results they feel that they deserve. This chapter looks at all these things, with hints and tips on things to do and things to avoid in revision, preparation, and exam.

Chapter

This chapter discusses the first step in the IRAC method of legal essay writing: namely, the identification of the major issue and the specific sub-issues that are in contention. It offers suggestions meant to help law students learn how to identify what question the examiners want them to answer, as well as how to write a two to three-sentence opening paragraph in approximately one minute. The chapter first considers the relationship of the IRAC method to legal practice before explaining in detail what an ‘issue’ is according to the IRAC methodology; why it is important to identify the issue explicitly in a legal essay or exam; and how to spot the major issues and the contentious sub-issues that arise out of a problem question. Examples of issue spotting are given. Writing tips are provided throughout the chapter.

Chapter

This chapter guides the law student to the fourth step in the IRAC method of legal essay writing: identification of the conclusion of the argument. Students often overlook the need to have a conclusion in their law essays and exams, or believe that their conclusion must be the same as that identified by the instructor. This chapter explains what ‘conclusion’ means under the IRAC system, outlines the need for a conclusion in legal writing and provides a fast and easy technique that can be used to facilitate the process of writing a conclusion to any essay or exam. The chapter also includes tips on writing legal essays and exams, as well as a worked example.

Chapter

This chapter explains how the IRAC method of legal essay writing can be adapted for use with ‘discuss’ type questions, focusing on the following topics: what a ‘discuss’ question is asking you to do; how to structure the ‘discuss’ essay; and how to adapt each of the four IRAC steps (issue, rule, application, conclusion) to ‘discuss’ questions. The discussion also identifies the three basic types of ‘discuss’ questions (legal theory, legal reform and legal history) and describes the best way to approach each particular category of questions and the best types of legal authorities to introduce to do well. Tips on writing legal essays and exams are given.

Chapter

This chapter introduces law students to writing law essays and sitting exams, firstly by explaining why there is a need for a special approach to law essays and exams. It then outlines the hallmarks of a good essay in law, from paying close attention to the question as it is asked, to excellent use of supporting information and ideas. It also describes the four-step IRAC method of legal analysis and writing that provides a practical and proven method of answering law school essay and examination questions: identification of the issues relevant to the question; presentation of the applicable rules; application of the facts to the legal authority presented in the second step; and identification of the conclusion of the argument.

Book

The Successful Law Student provides insights, advice, and perspectives on the student experience in the field of law. The focus is on the things that will make a big difference to the student experience, including making a smooth transition to university level study, getting the most out of lectures and feedback from tutors, advice on how to approach law exams, and finding a rewarding career. Complemented by a variety of insider voices, which add valuable context and real-life insight, the text includes extensive experience from the perspective of law teachers to explore the learning process and look beyond it to consider the wider definition of success and to provide help against the pressures of legal study.