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How to be top! Think think like a lawyer -and get the best marks! The Yaakov Gorr version Lawtutor-commercetutor.com.au.

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Presentation on theme: "How to be top! Think think like a lawyer -and get the best marks! The Yaakov Gorr version Lawtutor-commercetutor.com.au."— Presentation transcript:

1 How to be top! Think think like a lawyer -and get the best marks! The Yaakov Gorr version Lawtutor-commercetutor.com.au

2 WHY ARE YOU AT LAW SCHOOL ? The First Principle of War:  SET AND MAINTAIN THE GOAL What is your Goal ?  Make the world a better place ?  Become the world’s best Lawyer ?  Become a very rich Lawyer ?  Safeguard land rights for gay whales ?

3 WHY ARE YOU AT LAW SCHOOL ? WRONG

4 SET & MAINTAIN THE GOAL You are at law school for one purpose and one purpose only… TO PASS THE COURSE!  If you don’t get your degree you have wasted your time  …so becoming the worlds greatest Lawyer, saving the whales, the environment, and the world will have to wait

5 HOW DO YOU PASS? Demonstrate the ability to ‘think and act like a lawyer’ in addressing problems, analysing issues and performing legal tasks

6 TRUTH No. 1  The students who get the best marks in Law School are not necessarily the smartest in their class

7 WHAT DO THE EXAMINERS WANT ? Perfection is not required Excellence is quite sufficient

8 YOUR AIM To maximise the marks you get from the amount of work you put in

9 THE BIG ‘SECRET’  Passing Law is possibly the simplest task you will ever undertake in your life  It is not easy, but it is simple.

10 THE BIG ‘SECRET’  Passing Law is conceptually simple.  It is not easy, but it is simple.

11 THE BIG ‘SECRET’ cont’d… Examiners, Judges, Clients all want the same thing: The answers to two simple questions: 1) What is the relevant law? 2) How would that law be applied in this situation?

12 HOW TO SUCCEED You must show you can:  Think (and act) like a Lawyer By learning to use this approach to all your problem solving

13 WHAT WAS THAT AGAIN ? Just answer two simple questions: 1) What is the relevant law? 2) How would that law be applied in this situation?

14 Law is not a cartoon

15 LAW IS NOT… Great literature Creative writing Comedy (most judgments are boring and few “after dinner” speeches of judges are riveting!)

16 WHAT IS THE RELEVANT LAW ? The are ONLY two sources of Law: 1) Legislative Statutes – (laws passed by Parliament, and regulations) 2) Judicial Precedents - court decisions NOTE: If you can’t show that the law you quote comes from one of these sources what you say is just a personal opinion

17 WHAT GIVES RISE TO LIABILITY ?  What is it that the Statutes or Courts say must be present before liability arises?  What tests must I apply to determine if these elements are present?  When those tests are applied to these facts, are the required elements proven? THIS IS THE WHOLE OF THE LAW

18 PRACTICAL EXAMPLE OFFENCE: Driving through a red light Elements: 1) Person 2) in charge 3) of a vehicle 4) proceeding against directions 5) of a a traffic regulating device NOTE: also relates to STOP and GIVE WAY signs

19 HURDLES PERSON IN CHARGE OF A VEHICLE REGULATING DEVICE AGAINST DIRECTIONS THE ELEMENTS THAT MUST BE PROVEN TO ESTABLISH LIABILITY

20 PRACTICAL EXAMPLE cont’d… OFFENCE: Driving through a red light Elements: 1) Person

21 PRACTICAL EXAMPLE cont’d… OFFENCE: Driving through a red light Elements: 2) in charge

22 PRACTICAL EXAMPLE cont’d… OFFENCE: Driving through a red light Elements: 3) of a vehicle OR

23 PRACTICAL EXAMPLE cont’d… OFFENCE: Driving through a red light Elements: 4) proceeding against the directions

24 PRACTICAL EXAMPLE cont’d… OFFENCE: Driving through a red light Elements: 5) of a a traffic regulating device NOTE: also relates to STOP and GIVE WAY signs

25 THE MIRAC APPROACH M: What are the Material facts I: What Issues arise from those facts? R: What is the Relevant Law ? (i.e. what are the elements and tests). Some writers call this the “rules”. A: Apply these rules to the facts C: Reach a Conclusion (which may be tentative)

26 THE SAME WORKS IN ESSAYS EG Do we need to change the law relating to ABC as a result of popular reaction to a certain event? Parliament changes the law from time to time as a result of popular reaction or results of law reform enquiries. Explain the policy Analyse the Relevant Law Apply these rules to various sets of facts Does this meet the policy needs of the legislators? If not, suggest changes.

27 SO WHAT ? The Implications for Exam Preparation:  To get a HD in every law exam you sit for, all you have to do is know all the elements (and tests) relevant to every area of law in that subject and then apply them to the facts given in the exam questions

28 HOW DO I DO THAT?  Using your lecture notes, tutorial notes, text books and relevant articles, prepare a summary which gives you all the elements and tests relevant to every area of law in the subject

29 SUMMARIES 1) Give you a ‘generic’ answer to every possible problem 2) Provide ‘road maps’ through subjects 3) And consist of: * Principles; * Preliminaries; * Elements & Tests; and * Remedies

30 EXAM PREPARATION Preparation of a perfect summary should be the entire focus of your exam preparation for every subject you study  If you have a perfect summary, there is NO QUESTION that you can be asked in an exam (or by a judge or client) that you have not already prepared a perfect answer for

31 DRAFTING YOUR SUMMARY 1) Prepare your first draft as a ‘framework answer’ before the tute 2) Test it during the tute 3) Revise it after the tute, preferably in a study group 4) Expand and complete it at the end of lectures on that topic (or in week 13) 5) Test it using past papers 6) Correct/complete it as necessary

32 TO GET THE BEST MARKS 1) Put your argument logically – show it in a flow chart during your preparation 2) Put your argument clearly – study groups are great for testing arguments 3) Put your argument succinctly – I’ve been able to explain the entire method of preparing for any form of assessment (exam, essay, tute) in 36 slides! 4) You’ll need flawless expression and grammar as well.

33 WRITING THE SUMMARY 1) Make good lecture Notes (But don’t copy anyone else’s notes) 2) Tutes - always prepare & review 3) Texts, articles and additional materials 4) When you write the summary, remember what the examiner, judge and client want to know: a. What is the law b. How/when does it apply here 5) Leave no questions unanswered

34 TUTORIAL PROBLEMS 1) Use tutorial problems as an opportunity to prepare topic summaries. 2) Read the problem, work out what area of law it deals with, them ignore the problem 3) Using lecture notes, text books and cases, work out a ‘framework’ covering the issues, elements and remedies relevant to that topic

35 TUTORIAL PROBLEMS 4) Apply that framework to the problem to ensure that it provides all the answers 5) After the tute, check and revise the framework, adding the new cases, insights etc learned during the tute 6) Get a HD mark for the tute 7) This framework will form the basis for your exam summary

36 TUTORIAL MARKS Are the easiest Marks you can get You will be marked on: 1) Attendance 2) Preparation 3) Participation 4) Contribution


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