Saturday, May 4, 2013

Legal Analysis

The ability to analyze a legal issue by applying the rule of law to the facts provided is an essential skill for bar exam success. Becoming proficient at it takes quite a lot of practice.

An approach I often recommend to my students is to try breaking down the rule of law into individual elements, and then applying each element separately. This approach greatly minimizes the potential of missing any aspect of the analysis that might earn points on the exam.

So, for example, if you were to analyze the tort of battery in an essay, you'd break apart the tort into the individual elements of (1) intentional (2) harmful or offensive, (3) contact (4) with another (5) without the other's consent.

Then, analyze each element separately to determine that all elements have been satisfied, and form your conclusion based upon that analysis. Note that it's not necessary to present the rule on an essay with the numbers as stated above, but doing so when you are practicing your analysis is an excellent method for ensuring that the approach becomes more natural at which point the numbers are no longer necessary.

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