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How to answer law exam questions
September 26, 2007, 8:00 am
Filed under: Law

I can’t believe this. I am opening a new section on my blog that deals with studying law. Use these notes at your own peril. Enjoy.

How to Write Law Exam Answers

Personal notes made with reference to Legal Reasoning And Legal Writing by Richard K. Neumann, Jr.

What a teacher looks for

  • Your understanding of how to use the rules
  • Your understanding of what the law is trying to accomplish with them

Two kinds of questions

  • Hypothetical situations
  • Response to issue/statement

Rubric of grading: what a teacher looks for when marking

  • Issue spotting
  • Knowledge of legal rules
  • Ability to analyse and solve a legal problem in depth

Reading hypotheticals

  • 1st read: See the big picture, read from beginning to end without using your pen.
  • 2nd read: Underline important things and make notes in margin.
  • 3rd read: Make a list on scratch paper all the issues present in the question, note relevant facts under each issue picked out.

Dealing with facts

  • Ask yourself why a fact is there.
  • 4 reasons why a particular fact is in the story

o   It creates or helps to create an issue because it is inconsistent with another fact or appears to be inconsistent with the law.

o   It helps to resolve an issue because it shows whether element(s) of the rule is satisfied.

o   It is a red herring.

o   It has no legal value and just helps to tell the story.

Dealing with the issues listed – make an outline

  • Look at issues individually
  • Write down what rules are necessary to resolve the issues
  • Decide the sequence in which the issues are to be discussed

Writing format for dealing with each issue

  • State the issue
  • State governing rules. Rule proof is usually not necessary.
  • Apply rules to the facts. Use additional rules as needed.

o   Show intellectual depth by explaining how your analysis is consistent with the policy behind the rules and including a counter-analysis.

  • State your conclusion.
  • Acronym: IRAC: Issue, Rule, Analysis/counter-analysis and Conclusion.

Important points

  • Explain reasoning fully. Explain why you are right and why some cases support your conclusion while other cases/rules are not used.
  • Red herrings can be to your benefit: point them out and show how they are irrelevant to the rules/issues.
  • Be explicit: teachers look for points and mark accordingly. Not showing = no points
  • Answer the question. Nothing more, nothing less.
  • Don’t waste time writing on background matters unless it is required to answer the question.
  • Budget your time.
  • If you make an assumption, deal with it. Recognise the gap and show how it can be resolved.

The New Buffettology – Mary Buffett & David Clark
September 24, 2007, 4:25 pm
Filed under: investments/finance/economics

Personal notes from The New Buffettology by Mary Buffett & David Clark Continue reading

Tailors in Singapore and how to choose shirts
September 14, 2007, 7:45 am
Filed under: fashion and grooming

Personal notes from Urban

Tailors in Singapore (shirts)

CYC Custom Shop – 02-12 Raffles Hotel Arcade, tel: 63363556

Joe’s Tailoring & Fashion Design – 01-04 Fuji Xerox Towers, tel: 62250686

 What to look for in a shirt


  • Wear a shirt right for your size – no baggy shirts for scrawny guys, no slim-cut for plump guys.
  • Don’t wear your shirt too baggy.


  • Make sure curve of collar fits nape of neck. No droppy collars.
  • Have at least a finger’s space between collar and neck.
  • Match height of collar to length and width of neck.
  • Short necks match shorter collars with wider spread.


  • Wear a shirt that falls just a little beyond the shoulders.
  • Make sure the yoke falls exactly on the shoulders for fitted shirts.


  • Ensure shirt sleeves fall about 1cm below the wrists.
  • Have sleeves of shirt peeking out about 1.5cm to 1cm when wearing a jacket.


  •  Fit snugly around wrists.
  • Pair cufflinks only with formal, folded-back French cuffs.
  • Don’t wear longer cuffs like French cuffs if you have short arms.


  • Go for natural fibres like cotton.
  • The finder the cotton, the more refined the look.
  • Don’t wear too thin a fabric if you are slim.

Colour and print

  • Make sure shirt colour is appropriate for industry.
  • Dark-coloured shirts are more casual.
  • Make sure prints match perfectly at the joints.
  • Don’t wear overly large or loud prints.


  • Shirt must be long enough to be tucked into pants.

The Economist – 07/09/07
September 8, 2007, 1:56 am
Filed under: current affairs

The Economist – 07/09/07 Continue reading

Law school – the first four weeks
September 7, 2007, 8:34 am
Filed under: diary

07/09/07 Continue reading