Lessons: Legal Concepts and Skills

This lesson tries to explain Coasean irrelevance (which is often known as the "Coase Theorem").

45 minutes to 3 hours
LCS02

This is one in a series of lessons directed at the ethical and professional considerations associated with the production of particular lawyering documents. This lesson is intended to introduce first year law students to the ethical and professional considerations associated with the preparation of predictive, interoffice memoranda. It is assumed that students are familiar with predictive, interoffice memoranda. No prior instruction in professional responsibility is required.

45 minutes
LWR41

CALI's Director of Curriculum Development, Deb Quentel, spoke with six law professors about outlines, studying for class, preparing for exams, time management, and how professors grade exams. The conversations were recorded as podcasts. While these podcasts are not intended to take the place of a conversation with your professor, the professors hope that these podcasts give law students additional insight into the exam process.

Panel 1: Professors Ron Eades, John Farago, Patrick Wiseman

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21:38 minutes
LCS03P1

CALI's Director of Curriculum Development, Deb Quentel, spoke with six law professors about outlines, studying for class, preparing for exams, time management, and how professors grade exams. The conversations were recorded as podcasts. While these podcasts are not intended to take the place of a conversation with your professor, the professors hope that these podcasts give law students additional insight into the exam process.

Panel 2: Professors Ron Brown and Joe Grohman

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12:19 minutes
LCS03P2

CALI's Director of Curriculum Development, Deb Quentel, spoke with six law professors about outlines, studying for class, preparing for exams, time management, and how professors grade exams. The conversations were recorded as podcasts. While these podcasts are not intended to take the place of a conversation with your professor, the professors hope that these podcasts give law students additional insight into the exam process.

Panel 3: Professor Darryl Wilson

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11:48 minutes
LCS03P3

This is an exercise designed to introduce first-semester law students to the basic elements of a typical case "brief" and to teach them general methodology for writing their own briefs. The exercise consists of three parts: (1) an introduction to the purposes and uses of a case brief; (2) a detailed examination of each of the ten components of a typical case brief (with examples); and (3) two actual cases that students are asked to read and then to brief, using the methodology described in this exercise. A sample brief for each of the two cases is also provided, thereby allowing students to correct and modify their briefs by way of comparison.

2 hours
LWR09

Professors Brown and Grohman, are the authors of many CALI lessons. Additionally, both teach 1L courses. In this podcast they share their experiences and insights on time management issues for law school students, preparing for class, how to brief a case, research tips applicable for 1L writing assignments (and the eventual practice of law), how to develop an understanding of the law, and techniques and tips for studying and preparing for the final exam.

In this podcast Professors Grohman and Brown mention several additional resources students may want to review. They are:

  1. Joe Landsberger's website: www.studygs.net/schedule
  2. Cornell University:'s list of study resources: http://lsc.sas.cornell.edu/Sidebars/Study_Skills_Resources/SKResources.html
  3. Dennis Tonsing, 1000 Days to the Bar (Hein & Co., Inc. 2003). Available at Amazon.com

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24:33 minutes
LCS08P

This lesson introduces the student to the doctrine and processes involved in interpreting state and federal statutes. Statutes are a critical part of every substantive area of the law, so this is important background for every law student, lawyer and judge.

30 minutes
LCS03

Prof. Burnham, author of a number of CALI lessons and podcasts provides students with advice on multiple choice exam questions. Prof. Burnham goes into the different aspects of a multiple choice question: the stimulus, options, key, and distracters. Additionally, Prof. Burnham discusses the different types of multiple choice questions such as questions that test a student’s ability to recall information, those that draw on materials discussed in class, and those that require analysis. Students are taught how to respond to the call of a question, apply IRAC to multiple choice questions, as well as different tactics for eliminating options in a question. At the end of this lesson students will know how to decipher what type of question is being asked, how to spot the specific issue in the question, and how to eliminate the other choices.


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11:14 minutes
LCS07P

In this podcast, Prof. Jennifer Martin discusses the top ten mistakes law students make in law school examinations. These are poor issue spotting, poor issue spotting, poor knowledge and understanding of the law, poor application of the law to the facts, giving only conclusory answers, lack of organization, errors in the facts, failure to understand the role you are given in the examination, padding, fact inventing, and question begging. Included in this discussion is guidance on spotting the issues, avoiding being bottom line oriented, how to use the facts, how to approach a question, and using words efficiently. Prof. Martin also discusses the hallmarks of a good essay answer. These answers are lawyerlike, responsive to the question asked, logical, thought out, well organized, fact and issue centered, and use cogent reasoning and good rule application.

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11:20 minutes
LCS06P

This is an overview of the branches of the U.S. government and how they make law.

30 minutes
LCS04

Note: This lesson uses Flash and is unable to be viewed on a device that does not have the Flash player installed. Scoring for this lesson is also unavailable at this time.

This program is designed to be useful to students interested in improving their exam-writing techniques. In much of the written work done by lawyers (including writing exams as students), a special form of writing is used. The program begins with an explicit discussion of that form, and the structural implications it has. Within that specific context, the program goes on to discuss the tasks to be performed, the tools used in performing those tasks, and methods of sharpening those tools. The program concludes with some interactive opportunities to try the techniques described.

1.5 hours
EXAM01

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