How to Answer Law Questions in Examinations
Because most law students do not know how to respond to legal problems in exams, many law students around the world believe that the practice of law is challenging. Exam results are proof of intelligence even though they are not a true test of knowledge. This post offers a free comprehensive cheat sheet on how to respond to legal exam questions.
There are essentially two types of legal questions: problem questions and easy questions.
Essay questions are usually answered without too many problems because they are relatively straightforward and the answers typically follow the pattern of an easy question.
with relevant statutes and cases to discuss the fundamental human rights enforcement procedures in Nigeria.
To answer the above questions, one is required to follow the standard procedure for answering Essay questions which usually begins with an introduction, Then the body, which contains the main gist of the question, and would also contain arguments if any, and opinions, enabling statutes and cases. These easy questions if answered in a normal regular manner of answering Essay questions would grant a student complete marks if all the requirements demanded from the student were completely written in the answer booklet.
Problem questions are the kinds of inquiries that address legal matters by illuminating a scenario or personal experience that must be resolved by the application of relevant legal rules. The type of question that causes the most issues for law students worldwide is this one. This is due to the fact that the questions are frequently very lengthy, and the concerns raised by such questions are frequently obscured by the dense material and difficult for students to locate and discuss.
On the way, we’d demonstrate to you how to spot the legal issues at play in a given situation and how to approach them effectively. Additionally, we would offer the most acceptable technique or process.
Problem questions can generally be classified into two categories: those that concern a large number of legal concepts and those that concern a specific case.
Many legal issues would be implicated in the questions you were assigned to answer by identifying and addressing those issues in the process of finding problem questions that were disturbing legal principles.
Okey, Mr. jumped into Ada’s open window and grabbed a piece of clothing that belonged to him that she had given Mrs. Ada to mend. When Mrs. Ada, who was startled to see him, began crying for assistance, Okey, who had grown fearful, stroked Mrs. Okey, knocking her out. The improper medication was given by the hospital’s doctors, and Mrs. Okey died.
The above questions in a perfect example of the first shade of a problem question involving so many legal principles.
the second shade of Problem questions are those bothering on a particular case. Some examiners may ask directly for students to discuss the holding in a case.
Discuss the Decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Baliol v Navcom
Reviews the decision of the decision in the case of Donoghue v. Stevenson
having known the type and manner of problem questions let’s tell you how to answer problem questions.
HOW TO ANSWER PROBLEM QUESTIONS
Just like Essay questions, there are Universally acceptable methods of answering problem questions and this method is known as the IRAC method employing this format to answer your problem questions would always give you very high grades so pay attention.
I-Stands for Issues
R stands for Rule of Law
A-stands for application
C-Stands for Conclusion
Now let’s treat them seriatim
Before you start answering your questions you should first know where the question bothers which is the General area and the specific area where you are asked to address.
Mr Margery has refused to share his father’s estate with his sister saying that their customs forbids female inheritance if property.
From the Question above, The General Area of the questions is Customary law and the Specific area is the validity test of Customary law.
So you should write it this way.
“The Question Bothers on Customary law, with specific reference to validity test of Customary law.”
After writing the area where the questions bothers it would limit your scope to answer the question directly and prevent you from adding irrelevant details.
Then You write your issues.
Issues are legal principles implicated in legal Questions, These are considered the problems that the examiner wants you to answer
Issues are written in the form of a question, beginning with the word “What”, “Under what circumstances,” “whether”, etc.
Now let’s raise legal issues with the information above
Whether the custom that denies female inheritance is valid.
What is the position of Nigerian Law regarding female inheritance under Nigerian Law?
Any of the above is valid and acceptable, Having raised the issues implicated in the question the next subheading should be the rule of Law.
RULE OF LAW
The rule of law is a legal principle that answers the question provided by the Examiner. Legal principles include Statutory provisions, Case Laws, and opinions from legal authors if any. From the question above the legal principles would be The Nigeria case of Ukeje v Ukeje, where the court held that a custom that denies female Inheritance is repugnant, also the case of Mojekwu v Mojekwu, etc. The statutory provision would be the high court rules that give power to the court to enforce customary law, Section 315 of the Nigerian Constitution that allows the court to recognize and enforce customary law, and Section 42 of the CFRN which prohibits discrimination on the grounds of Sex. Author’s opinion can also be added here.
In your application, you are basically applying the rule of law to the issues you have raised.
The issue was whether a custom that denied female inheritance was valid. The application would be applying what you have provided in your rule of law to the questions raised.
In the question before us, the validity test for customary law was not complied with because of the non-compliance to the above provisions.
It is in this Application that the names of the parties are introduced to your answer to the question above Mr Margery has no legal right to own property in the exclusion of the sister on grounds of gender.
in conclusion, basically, a person is expected to summarize his Stands which is usually very short and precise. Sometimes you are asked to advise the parties or the court it is in your conclusion that you should administer such advice.
Thank you for reading let us know what you feel about this.