First year law students

Simple, Useful Memorization Techniques For Use In Law School

Simple, Useful Memorization Techniques For Use In Law School

Of course, answering an essay question on a law school midterm or a bar exam requires applied knowledge more than rote memorization. Law students must use critical thinking and connect or apply the information they have learned to a set of facts, recognize issues, and solve problems. But before tackling the rigors of a law exam essay question, students must genuinely know the information. Here are some tips for effectively memorizing information: Record notes for later listening When I was in law school, I sat next to a former legal secretary who knew shorthand. She would take all her class notes in shorthand,...

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Checklist For 1st Year Law Students, Part Two

Checklist For 1st Year Law Students, Part Two

The following is the second part of a checklist for first-year law students: Consider group study. While study groups are not for every law student, they may be a productive and efficient way to learn and prepare for a course, in the short-term, i.e., classes, and long-term, i.e., final exam. Discussing legal concepts outside of class in a different environment may increase a student’s understanding and retention of course topics. If interested in a study group, seek and find those students with whom you share similar study group goals. Time spent away from class and solitary studying is most precious, do...

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Checklist For 1st Year Law Students, Part One

Checklist For 1st Year Law Students, Part One

It’s never too early for first-year law students to prepare a checklist for their first year in law school. The following are some tips for finding success regularly throughout the year: Read. Always do the reading assigned for a subject in its entirety. The following point cannot be overstressed: If you fall behind on your daily reading, you are likely to fall behind for the entire semester. Also, read when you are most awake and alert in a location where there are no distractions. Brief. Take notes while reading an assigned case, noting the legally significant facts, the case’s holding, and the...

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Preparing for Your 1st Year Of Law School At The CDTA

Preparing for Your 1st Year Of Law School At The CDTA

Like traditional law schools, CDTA’s curriculum is designed to teach students the substantive law of core subject areas. Unlike traditional law schools, CDTA emphasizes training and developing students to be capable and competent advocates in any courtroom. The California Desert Trial Academy (CDTA) is a 21st Century law school that moves students toward a successful legal career on the first day of class. We believe that practical experience in tandem with legal knowledge is the best road to a successful, rewarding, and prosperous legal career. We (hopefully) experience many significant events in our lives. A few of these events fill us...

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Tips On Outlining Essay Answers – Analysis & Conclusion

The California Desert Trial Academy focuses on providing an academic experience that emphasizes a practical approach to becoming a lawyer. We believe this is the most efficient and expedient pathway to a successful and rewarding legal career. At CDTA, we train, educate, and develop students to be exceptional attorneys and trial advocates. It’s obvious that law students want to get the most points out of every essay question on a law exam. They also want to do it as expediently and efficiently as possible. Wasting time on a question reduces any time remaining to review, revise, and correct prior finished questions. Outlining an answer to an essay question is a good way to improve any law student’s test-taking proficiency. Without entirely discounting the conclusion, the analysis is the most important component of a law exam answer since here is where examinees “apply the law to the facts.” An important tip for improving an IRAC-styled answer from average to excellent is to develop the analysis by presenting well-structured arguments on behalf of both sides (i.e., plaintiff-defendant, if applicable) for each issue spotted. Ask the following questions: • “What would the Plaintiff argue?” • “What would the Defendant argue?” This removes an essay answer from the IRAC format since the analysis entails more than just the law’s application to the facts. Rather, the answer is now presented as arguing and analyzing both the plaintiff’s case and the defendant’s case. Next, make every reasonable argument possible and include any reasonable creative arguments. Then make a statement as to which side of the issue has a better argument citing specific facts from the question’s details. Arguments may be shaped using and combining the following strategic formats. • Argue that the facts should be interpreted one way or another • Argue that the law should be interpreted one way or the other • Cite policy reasons for why the case should resolve one way or another • Argue that question should apply the traditional rule instead of the model rule (or vice versa) • Argue that the common law rule should be applied instead of the statute (or vice versa) • Argue that the majority rule should be applied instead of the minority rule (or vice versa) • Argue that the holding in one case should be followed rather than the holding in a different case. Any arguments must consider what the course’s professor emphasized in class, whether contradictory rulings in two different cases or a focus on common law vs. statutory law, majority view vs. minority view, etc. Finally, make a statement as to which party is more likely to prevail with an explanation of the underlying reasoning. The conclusion answers the question, “Who has the better legal argument?” This conclusion is not as crucial as the analysis. A conclusion must not be too inconclusive, i.e. “It depends on the view of the court.” After all, an inconclusive “conclusion” is not a conclusion! Just the same, a conclusion should not be too decisive (i.e. “The plaintiff will definitely prevail” or “The Defendant has no legal argument.”). It is a good strategy to avoid extremely strong words or phrases unless they are factually appropriate. Good usable keywords for a conclusion are “probably” and “most likely.” The key to mastering law exam essay questions is practice. This will improve issue-spotting, analytical, and reasoning skills that should culminate with exceptional readiness for the bar exam. Like traditional law schools, CDTA’s curriculum is designed to teach students the substantive law of core subject areas. Unlike traditional law schools, CDTA emphasizes training and developing students to be capable and competent advocates in any courtroom. The California Desert Trial Academy is a 21st Century law school that moves students toward a successful legal career on the first day of class. We believe that practical experience in tandem with legal knowledge is the best road to a successful, rewarding, and prosperous legal career. Call us today at (760) 342-0900 or find out more online here.

The California Desert Trial Academy focuses on providing an academic experience that emphasizes a practical approach to becoming a lawyer. We believe this is the most efficient and expedient pathway to a successful and rewarding legal career. At CDTA, we train, educate, and develop students to be exceptional attorneys and trial advocates. It’s obvious that law students want to get the most points out of every essay question on a law exam. They also want to do it as expediently and efficiently as possible. Wasting time on a question reduces any time remaining to review, revise, and correct prior finished questions....

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Tips On Outlining Essay Answers – IRAC, Issue-Spotting & Relevance

Tips On Outlining Essay Answers – IRAC, Issue-Spotting & Relevance

Whenever the subject of answering legal essays arises, the IRAC technique inevitably rears its ugly head. Why ugly? Because the IRAC method, in its most basic form, is not the optimal way to answer law exam questions. The IRAC method tends toward students devising simplistic and formulaic answers. Nonetheless, for any law student who does not outline his or her answers, IRAC is a good starting point for learning the tools to answer law school exam questions. In fact, practicing and developing it can help students improve their treatment of the analysis section resulting in more sophisticated exam answers. The IRAC method...

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Family, Stress, & 1Ls

Parents, Stress, & 1Ls

The family and friends of law students tend to not understand that a 1L in law school is nothing like an undergraduate in college. The stress faced by 1Ls in their first year is very much the product of this transition. Parents, husbands, wives, children and any significant others must understand that the increased stress of evolving from undergraduate to law student to lawyer will significantly affect a 1L. Law school has been known to create unmatched stress for many students. Sadly, for some, it has even caused them to discontinue their studies and forget their hopes of being a lawyer....

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It’s Never Too Late For New Year’s Resolutions

It’s Never Too Late For New Year's Resolutions

The California Desert Trial Academy (CDTA) provides students with a distinctive educational platform that focuses on students learning to become competent and effective attorney-advocates. While CDTA emphasizes those crucial skills that can positively affect an attorney’s legal practice after graduation, many traditional law schools fail to provide a similar focus. The result? Students at some traditional schools fail to receive adequate instruction in skills necessary to practice law and serve clients effectively from day one. It’s never too late for change. Although we’re well into 2020, there are still several months remaining in the spring semester and plenty of time for...

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About Study Groups

About Study Groups

Law students know well before their first day of class that they will be reading, reviewing, and outlining a vast, extensive amount of material. Once class begins, some law students form study groups as one way to manage such a daunting, time-consuming task. However, not every law student may want to join a study group. While law school study groups can be beneficial, their success depends on the individual members’ commitment, chemistry, and work ethic. All the group’s members must have an equal commitment to the group, while always acting to advance its purposes. Commitment also involves never missing a group...

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How To Brief A Case: Part Two

How To Brief A Case: Part One

The California Desert Trial Academy is a progressive law school tailored to meet the needs of anyone who is limited to seeking a legal education at their convenience rather than on a schedule. We emphasize providing an academic experience that emphasizes a practical approach to becoming a lawyer. We believe this is the most efficient and expedient pathway to a successful and rewarding legal career. In Part Two of “How to Brief a Case,” we’ll look at the analytical part of briefing a case. A comprehensive brief includes the following: Parties Facts of the Case Issues Decisions (Holdings) Reasoning (Rationale) Separate...

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