Law School Essay Exams – What to Memorize

Law students ask, “Isn’t law school about more than just memorizing? The answer is clear: Absolutely!

But must law students memorize? The answer is just as clear: Absolutely!

Some professors erroneously tell students that “law school is not about memorization.” I say “erroneously” because law school IS about memorization… and so much more. But for the moment, let’s just focus on grades – and for most courses, that means focusing on exams.

In order to write a high-scoring essay exam answer, a student needs to employ many skills and strategies. Cogent presentation, high level analysis, sophisticated legal reasoning… yes, these are critical capabilities when it comes to earning “A” grades.

But one cannot earn an “A”… or a “B”… without being able to spot the issues that the professor expects to see analyzed. In order to find issues, one must “know” the law. In the deeper sense, to “know” … Read More