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2014-06-29 - 10:10 a.m.

This is going to be absolutely BORING for anyone else to read I am sure!

But this is my life for the next month- STUDY Week, Week of kids and try to do a bit of study, STUDY WEEK, week of kids etc... until the exam.

This week I did get out with a couple of the girls to play miniature golf which ended up being fun. My youngest LOVED that they had one of those "Rock Mining" stations set up where the kids "pan" through a pile of dirt to discover gems. It actually was fun for all of us as whatever company (I think Rocky Mountain Mining Company or something similar was the name) does a great job of not being cheap and REALLY HAD a bunch of cool stones for the kids to find. The place we went also had a batting cage, so my baseball player spent some time there (as we just gave her most of the tokens.) It was a nice day planned months ago as I bought the certificate for Dulles Golf Center & Sports Park off at a school fundraising auction.

There were also two buckets of balls to use on the driving range. They gave a pin numbers for those, so I texted them to my gentleman friend as the girls were not interested in using the driving range. He enjoyed the golf range after work AND he sold the extra pin number to someone for $10. (Since it sells for $13.50 they were happy to get a deal).

SCORE! With the $10 back and not counting that item sold I paid $37 (including buying the bag of dirt for panning) for what would have cost us $62. has been a good find!

Feedback on the first practice essay has been received. THIS IS VERY VALUABLE

I basically have done OK with knowledge of law but I never really learned and knew that there is a formulaic method of answering the question within the essay which HAS TO BE FOLLOWED. Its not merely a SUGGESTION. My analysis was not clear enough. (I AM LEARNING TO STATE THE OBVIOUS!! I have skipped the clear writing of some premises in order to get to a conclusion so am working on that!)

In the past when I took BAR REVIEW courses I never got as far as actually sending in more than one essay for critique. This past Thu I sent a second essay. I am going to catch up and send TWO Essays this week.

I also have a book of the released MEE (Multistate Essay Exam) Questions and sample responses and started working on that yesterday. Last night I did one of those and compared my sample response with the one for the question I did and also took a look at a bunch of their sample responses to discover ALL THE RELEASED MEE analysis answers from the National Bar Examiners ALSO FOLLOW a very specific , truly formulaic outline of how the essays are written.
There is a short summary, then follows the IRAC method of writing as explained below. I truly NEVER LEARNED THAT WELL-- oh sure it was a familiar term mentioned in law school, but I must have been dozing or forgot it... and got by on enough of a cohesive, well written, legally sound essay on my law school exams that I did well on those WITHOUT consciously and consistently using the formalistic IRAC style of legal writing.

HERE IS THE OVERVIEW OF THE GENERAL FEEDBACK I RECEIVED from the Ameribar Lawyer that reviewed my work. I edited out much of the specific feedback but left what I think are the main points I need to remember and think about in writing future essays:

"Issue Spotting : D
Knowledge of Rules : B
Quality of Analysis : C
Conclusions : C
Overall: C-
General Comments

From a substantive standpoint, this answer exhibited a thorough articulation of rules. However, from an organizational standpoint, it lost valuable points. The raw ingredients of a very good exam answer exist in this answer. With more practice and strong attention to an application of IRAC (issue, rule, analysis, conclusion) principles, future answers will likely receive higher scores. Note that an answer may contain multiple “IRAC”s due to multiple issues raised by the question. Tackle multiple issues one-at-a-time with a new “IRAC.”
The IRAC organizational structure is essential to writing a clear, well written, bar exam answer. The suggestions given below, if implemented in the future, can help ensure that the maximum points available in an answer will be awarded (because the grader will be more likely to see the point-worthy material).

it is recommended that examinees use the following techniques whenever appropriate:

• Introduce issue statements with “the issue in this question” language.

• Introduce analysis with “in this case” or “here.”

• Introduce conclusions with “therefore” or “in conclusion.”

Specific Comments Noted On Your Answer
1. A heading used to organize the answer is useful (as was done here). Be sure to also articulate issues in complete sentences, written using the “issue is whether” format...The phrase “in this case,” or as was written here, “in the case at hand,” are signal phrases that a grader will interpret as an introduction to the analysis paragraph. In this answer, however, what follows those words is the conclusion. Conclusions should be introduced with words like “therefore” or “in conclusion.” Although formulaic, these bar exam essay writing conventions are expected and will help make the answer more readable and, therefore, more likely to receive points.
.... it is difficult to separate the analysis and the conclusion. Each component of IRAC should be clearly identifiable. Although it may seem like a rigid, formulaic way to write, it is the expected way to write answers for the bar exam (and indeed, it is expected in the “real” world of law). "

Hmm... Formulaic, Rigid Writing REQUIRED; Yeah I can see where I have been going wrong.



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