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 Stetson University College of Law Academic Success Program Academic Success Workshop Series 1.

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Presentation on theme: " Stetson University College of Law Academic Success Program Academic Success Workshop Series 1."— Presentation transcript:

1  Stetson University College of Law Academic Success Program Academic Success Workshop Series 1

2  Excelling on Multiple-Choice Questions o Identify reasons why law students struggle with multiple-choice questions o Become aware of two kinds of multiple-choice questions o Appreciate the knowledge and skills required to respond to multiple-choice questions o Learn and apply a four-step approach to responding to multiple-choice questions 2

3  4 Reasons Students Struggle o Panic o Insecurity o Intuition o Unprepared 3

4  Two Types of Questions: o Knowledge/Understanding o Application/Evaluation 4

5  Knowledge/Understanding Which of the following is not an element of promissory estoppel? A.Reasonable and detrimental reliance on a promise B.Promisor made a promise C.Injustice would result if the promise was not enforced D.The parties exchanged bargained-for legal detriment or benefit 5

6  Application/Evaluation Corman was the owner of a condominium which consisted of an apartment with a patio and a small backyard. When he moved in, he entered into a written contract with Lansman. Pursuant to its terms, Lansman was to perform certain specified gardening services in the yard of Corman’s condominium each week for a period of one year, for which Corman was to pay the sum of $50 per month. The contract contained a clause which stated: “Corman hereby agrees not to assign this contract without the written permission of Lansman.” Three months after entering into the agreement, Corman informed Lansman that he was selling the condominium to Antun, and asked Lansman to consent to Corman’s assignment of the contract to Antun. Because the costs of landscaping materials had increased dramatically in the last three months, Lansman was glad for an opportunity to be relieved of his obligations under the contract, and refused to consent to the assignment. Corman assigned the contract to Antun anyway, but Lansman refused to perform any further work on the yard. After formally demanding performance from Lansman, Antun hired another gardener to do the same work for $75 per month, which was the best price Antun could negotiate. In an action by Anutn against Lansman for breach of contract, the court should find for: A.Antun, because Lansman had no right to unreasonably withhold consent to the assignment. B.Antun, because the assignment was valid in spite of Lansman’s refusal to consent. C.Lansman, because the contract prohibited assignment by Corman without Lansman’s consent. D.Lansman, because the contract was for personal services. Question taken from Steven L. Emanuel, Crunctime Contracts (Aspen 2006). 6

7  Knowledge o Concepts o Rule structures o Rule application o Cases (rarely)  Skills o Reading comprehension o Legal analysis o Time management 7

8  Manage Time  Actively Read and Issue Spot  Resolve  Select 8

9  Read the directions o How many questions? o How many points? o How much time allotted?  Allow an equal amount of time for each equally weighted question  Attack, respond, and MOVE ON 9

10  Read the Call of the Question o Highlight qualifiers o Identify legal and/or factual issues o Example If Curran institutes a lawsuit against the City of Metro for the $1,000 reward offered in the signs posted on June 2, which of the following would be the City’s most effective argument in defense? 10

11  Read the Facts o Actors o Actor’s state of mind o Legal relationships o Actions o Money o Quoted language o Choose the simple explanation o Ok to draw inferences, but do not invent facts 11

12  Example (If Curran institutes a lawsuit against the City of Metro for the $1,000 reward offered in the signs posted on June 2, which of the following would be the City’s most effective argument in defense?) On June 1, after arson fires had damaged several city buildings, the City Council of the City of Metro voted to offer a reward to aid an apprehension of the arsonists. On June 2, by order of the City Council, signs were posted in various locations throughout the city. The posted identified the buildings which had been burned, and stated: $1,000 REWARD is hereby offered by the City of Metro to any person furnishing information leading to the conviction of persons responsible for setting fire to said buildings.” Curran, a police officer employed by the City of Metro, saw the posters on June 5, and resolved to make a special effort to catch the arsonists. Although he was not officially assigned to the case, he notified his fellow police officers and his usual underworld informants that he was especially interested in the case. As a result, Marino, a police officer, and Pigeon, an underworld informant, passed information to Curran which they thought might relate to the arson crimes. The tip that Curran received from Marino proved to be of no assistance, but that which he received from Pigeon led him to conduct a further investigation. His efforts eventually resulted in the arrest of two men who pleaded guilty to setting fires in public buildings. Curran demanded that the City Council pay him $1,000 but the council refused. Question taken from Steven L. Emanuel, Crunctime Contracts (Aspen 2006). 12

13  Identify the Central Legal Issue o Legal issue o Factual issue 13

14  Example (If Curran institutes a lawsuit against the City of Metro for the $1,000 reward offered in the signs posted on June 2, which of the following would be the City’s most effective argument in defense?) On June 1, after arson fires had damaged several city buildings, the City Council of the City of Metro voted to offer a reward to aid an apprehension of the arsonists. On June 2, by order of the City Council, signs were posted in various locations throughout the city. The posted identified the buildings which had been burned, and stated: $1,000 REWARD is hereby offered by the City of Metro to any person furnishing information leading to the conviction of persons responsible for setting fire to said buildings”. Curran, a police officer employed by the City of Metro, saw the posters on June 5, and resolved to make a special effort to catch the arsonists. Although he was not officially assigned to the case, he notified his fellow police officers and his usual underworld informants that he was especially interested in the case. As a result, Marino, a police officer, and Pigeon, an underworld informant, passed information to Curran which they thought might relate to the arson crimes. The tip that Curran received from Marino proved to be of no assistance, but that which he received from Pigeon led him to conduct a further investigation. His efforts eventually resulted in the arrest of two men who pleaded guilty to setting fires in public buildings. Curran demanded that the City Council pay him $1,000, but the council refused. 14

15  Recall the applicable rule  Apply the rule to the facts  Reach a conclusion 15

16 If Curran institutes a lawsuit against the City of Metro for the $1,000 reward offered in the signs posted on June 2, which of the following would be the City’s most effective argument in defense? On June 1, after arson fires had damaged several city buildings, the City Council of the City of Metro voted to offer a reward to aid an apprehension of the arsonists. On June 2, by order of the City Council, signs were posted in various locations throughout the city. The posted identified the buildings which had been burned, and stated: $1,000 REWARD is hereby offered by the City of Metro to any person furnishing information leading to the conviction of persons responsible for setting fire to said buildings”. Curran, a police officer employed by the City of Metro, saw the posters on June 5, and resolved to make a special effort to catch the arsonists. Although he was not officially assigned to the case, he notified his fellow police officers and his usual underworld informants that he was especially interested in the case. As a result, Marino, a police officer, and Pigeon, an underworld informant, passed information to Curran which they thought might relate to the arson crimes. The tip that Curran received from Marino proved to be of no assistance, but that which he received from Pigeon led him to conduct a further investigation. His efforts eventually resulted in the arrest of two men who pleaded guilty to setting fires in public buildings. Curran demanded that the City Council pay him $1,000, but the council refused. 16

17  Actively Read Answer Choices and Identify Legal Issues o Does the answer resolve the central legal issue by providing the right result for the best reason? Result—Connector—Reason The reward should go to Pigeon, because it was his information which eventually led to the arrest of the arsonists. Because Completely satisfaction If Plausible satisfaction Unless Complete block to satisfaction 17

18  Discerning the Best answer o Set aside Incomplete rule of law or fact Misstated or misapplied the rule of law Contradicts or mischaracterizes facts Impermissible inferences Absolutes 18

19 A.The reward should go to Pigeon, because it was his information which eventually led to the arrest of the arsonists. B.The reward was not accepted, because the arsonists were not convicted but pleaded guilty. C.Curran gave no consideration for the City’s promise to pay a reward, because he was already obligated to attempt the apprehension of the arsonists. D.There was no enforceable promise by the City, because the offer was for a gratuitous cash reward. 19

20  Manage Time  Actively Read and Issue Spot  Resolve  Select 20

21  If two answers are virtually the same, the correct answer is generally one of those, and often the correct answer is the longer one  An answer is often incorrect because it is incomplete or imprecise. A longer or more precise answer is usually best.  If two answers are completely opposite, the correct answer is generally one of those. Once you have crossed one of them off as being incorrect for any reason, you can probably rely on the other as being correct.  An answer that is easier to prove is more likely to be correct than an option that is difficult to prove.  If you are still uncertain, go with the answer that jumped out at you after you first read the choices. 21

22 PRACTICE 22

23  Crunchtime (Aspen)  Questions and Answers (Lexis)  Exam Pro (West)  CALI  Bar Preparation Materials 23

24  Excelling on Multiple-Choice Questions o Identify reasons why law students struggle with multiple-choice questions o Become aware of the kind of multiple-choice questions o Appreciate the knowledge and skills required to respond to multiple-choice questions o Learn and apply a four-step approach to responding to multiple-choice questions 24

25  Herbert N. Ramy, Succeeding in Law School (Carolina Academic Press 2006).  Helene Shapo and Marshall Shapo, Law School Without Fear: Strategies for Success (Foundation Press 2002).  Christen Civiletto Carey and Kristen David Adams, The Practice of Law School: Getting in and Making the Most of your Legal Education (ALM Publishing 2003).  Kimm Walton and Steve Emmanuel, Strategies and Tactics for the MBE (Aspen 2003).  Learning and Evaluation in Law School Volume 1 Principles of Testing and Grading, Learning Theory Instructional Objectives, Submitted to the American Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting (January 1984). 25

26 facebook.com/Stetson Law Academic Success Program twitter.com/StetsonLawASP 26


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