"Writing a Winning Exam Answer Every Time"

by Yvette Brown 18. February 2013 11:24


With mid-term exams now just around the corner, it is time to ramp up your exam writing skills.  The Law Library provides access to The Eight Secrets of Top Exam Performance in Law School, 2d through our Westlaw Study Aids Subscription.

Pressed for time, simply read the secret that will enhance your area that needs the most tinkering – issue spotting, organization, or IRAC.

Here are just a few of the Secrets from the Summary of Contents:

Secret #3:  Flawless Issue Spotting—The Crucial First Step For Top Exam Performance (page 20)

Secret #4:  Organizing Your Answer for Maximum Possible Points (page 27)

Secret #5:  The Hidden Traps to “IRAC” That Most Students Miss (page 47)

Secret #6:  Writing a Winning Exam Answer Every Time (page 59)

For more secrets, click on Prof. Charles Whitebread, The Eight Secrets of Top Exam Performance in Law School, 2d.



Need a Nudge: Getting Started On Your AWR Workshop (Tue Feb. 12 at Noon in Room 1337)

by Yvette Brown 11. February 2013 14:10


Since some Professors like to have an initial outline of the article by week 4 and the first draft by week 9 and most of the known universe has not heard of let alone written an ABA required AWR paper before law school, the AWR Liaison Program created the Getting Started on Your AWR Workshop. 

This extremely popular workshop takes the mystery out of writing a paper that “must include significant legal research, original thinking and analysis.”  Yes, an AWR seems like a huge undertaking, but it is not if you break it down into manageable chunks.

So, join us and explore the pre-research process for a scholarly paper and setting personal research deadlines and discover the wonderful world of research resources beyond Google, Westlaw, and Lexis. 

Remember, one of the keys to a well written AWR is “do[ing] your research with an open mind. Be willing to make whatever claims your research and your thinking lead you to, and even be willing to change or refine the problem itself.” (Prof. Volokh)

For more keys to a successful AWR attend the Getting Started on Your AWR Workshop and consult  Writing A Student Article.  Prof. Volokh provides a mini how to manual on writing a scholarly paper.


Eugene Volokh, Writing A Student Article, 48 J. Legal Educ. 247, 249 (1998)

2.3.3 Advanced Writing Requirement (AWR). (Phoenix School of Law Student Handbook)



AWR/Seminar Papers--Your First Steps Down the Research Path

by Yvette Brown 30. January 2013 16:26

   Have you written a good succinct abstract with a decent dash of preliminary research? An abstract should include all of the major components of your paper, including an introduction, thesis, analysis, discussion, and conclusion.  Tickle your readers’ curiosity and leave them wanting a taste for more.

Is your thesis well sprinkled with research?  “Your thesis is what you decide to say about your topic; it is your position, argument, solution, and defense of that position, argument, or solution.” (Jessica L. Clark and Kristen E. Murray, Scholarly Writing: Ideas, Examples, and Execution 20 (2d. 2012))

Instead of a mad dash at the end of the semester to start your AWR research, take a stroll to your library’s Getting Started on Your AWR Workshop (Tue Feb. 12 from Noon to 1pm in Room 1337).  Writers will explorer the pre-research process and setting personal research deadlines.  Learn to identify research sources in order to narrow down topics and determine whether a chosen topic is practical with enough accessible, available research. 

And remember, you are always welcome to stop by the Legal Research Help Desk for assistance locating primary and secondary sources to substantiate your thesis.



Advice from the Law School Grade Trenches

by Yvette Brown 28. January 2013 15:55


One of the best things about the first day of classes is so far no one has earned any not so good grades for the Spring 2013 semester.  And everyone can take a hard look at her or himself and ask that age old important question. “Did [I]spend time on practice questions throughout the semester?”

Read more of Prof. Jarmon’s tips in Evaluating Your Study Habits, Student Lawyer (Jan. 2013) http://www.americanbar.org/publications/student_lawyer/2012-13/jan/study_habits.html

And don’t forget everyone is invited to attend the Study Aids Workshop and learn the tricks of the trade for using your library’s Academic Success Collection and Westlaw electronic study aids.

Study Aids Workshop --- Feb 5 at Noon in the 13th floor Teaching Lab, room 1337.



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