A quick disclaimer: while the advice below is meant to be of general application, it may not apply to all streams. If in doubt, always ask your own teacher for their advice and preferences!
BEFORE THE EXAM
Issue-spotting is really important in the Constitutional Law exam. Why? Because put simply, you won’t get marks for an answer that applies the law to the wrong issue. And with an exam like Consti, where you spend more time on each question than you would during a shorter exam, a mistake at the start can result in hours of wasted time. Continue reading
Accessibility should be your guiding principle whenever you’re making exam notes. Thankfully when it comes to Dispute Resolution, the chronology of a dispute also conveniently doubles as a potential top-level structure for your hypothetical notes. Instead of an old fashioned table of contents ripped straight out of your Reading Guide, consider dividing your notes into each step of the dispute resolution process. Within each step you can pull together all the relevant issues and considerations for that step, in addition to extracted legislation, rules, and case notes. Continue reading
Exam Notes: How they Help
Your Obs mid-semester assignment highlighted the fact that there is no such thing as “H1 Notes” (believe us, no one is reading and grading notes!). In practice, working with someone else’s notes can get you into serious trouble during an exam – trying to find the information you need in an unfamiliar packet of notes is time consuming and stressful. Definitions are missing, rule statements aren’t where you expect them to be, and there are loads of facts from cases that weren’t even in this year’s prescribed readings. You’d fast realise you might as well have brought your subject materials binder into the exam for all the help someone else’s notes will give you.
In light of this – and other – pitfalls first year students sometimes fall into here are some of the LASC’s tips on preparing for your Obligations exam. Continue reading
Slaw (Canada’s online legal magazine) is doing its annual Law Student Week and is publishing seven interesting and provocative pieces from University of Ottawa students over 27-31 March. These posts and more can be accessed here.
If you would like to improve your writing skills, you are not the first. There are a few online sources that will help you improve and some even focus on the professional writing skills for lawyers.
Websites with explanations and exercises with feedback:
Websites with explanations and exercises but no immediate feedback:
Note: this post is largely based on materials prepared by Chantal Morton for her workshop ‘Advice for a Legal Theory Paper’ (20 September 2016).
You’re eight weeks through second semester and the outline of your Legal Theory essay is due to be submitted to your lecturer. Worth 45% of your final mark, this essay is an important piece of assessment– and will require you to deploy skills not necessarily engaged in your first semester subjects.
Unlike Dispute Resolution or Torts, where you would have been expected to engage with cases, legislation, journal articles and law reform materials to respond to a specific prompt (i.e. ‘what are the pros and cons of online dispute resolution?’), Legal Theory asks you to engage with much broader normative and analytical issues – like the concept of law and its role in contemporary society. In doing so, you will be expected to draw on the work of a range of legal theorists from the core readings and beyond, and demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of complex concepts and arguments.
Note: This post is largely based on the ‘Careers Assistance for MLS JD Students: Professional Portfolio Guide 2013’
Whether it’s an internship at a public interest organisation or a clerkship at a commercial firm, making inroads into the legal profession can be a difficult process. Most publicly advertised positions (especially clerkships) receive tens, sometimes hundreds, of applications and the interview processes can be gruelling. For this reason, an appreciation of the professional skills that employers look for is an important asset, and might just make the difference when you’re going for your dream position.