Ellis starts her book with an account of her own experience in preparing for the LSAT. She had been a law student with no legal education before enrolling in a master’s program at the University of Michigan. She came out ahead of the class average but then dropped out a few months later, determined to better her chances of passing the test. Through various techniques including role playing and role-playing scenarios, she was able to develop strategies for answering test questions and creating study guides for the exam.
She then turned to “The Ultimate Guide to Passing the Law School Bar Exam” by LSAC, which is a series of hundreds of case studies, practice questions, interactive quizzes and multiple choice essays all focused on the four areas that are reviewed on the legal exam: contract, business law, criminal law and constitutional law. A favorite among her students, particularly those working toward becoming lawyers, is the case study on the basis of a real case she handled, aptly named “CRTV.” This legal treatise example is presented in full-color, full-page, easy-to-read charts and graphs, complete with clear instructions. It also includes her response to the questions and a study plan of actions. It is a great way for students to develop study skills and get ready for the LSAT.
Another favorite of Ms. Rice is the “answer the Questions” part of her legal treatise. In this section, students are asked to select a question from the question and respond to it with appropriate answers. Answers are displayed on a single column, with the correct answer highlighted in bold. For example, if the question says, “iates between the following types of insurance policies,” students are instructed to choose the correct insurance type from the list shown.
The third section of legal treatise examples focuses on answering the multiple choice portion of the exam. This area is one of the most challenging for students. They must rapidly determine and compare the different legal theories, principles, statutes, and cases. They must also demonstrate their understanding of the briefs and opinions. Ms. Rice uses a grid format to track the student’s performance on this section. This grid is divided into quadrants, with each quadrant corresponding to one of the four areas covered in the legal treatise.
One example of this grid is the legal interpretation example. Students are required to identify, interpret, and compare legal theories from the example. Depending on the topic, students may be asked to explain individual words or phrases, or to write an opinion regarding the legal issue illustrated in the example. An example of this is the following: If A happens, then B occurs.
Students also have a choice between reading from the example and making their own interpretation. Making your own interpretations is an important part of the legal treatise since it gives students a deeper insight into the various legal theories and illustrates how those concepts and theories are applied in real life situations. This example is also useful for practicing legal ethics.
The last and final part of legal theory is the argument example. This requires students to discuss a legal issue and make persuasive arguments about that issue. This part is particularly helpful for those who are just starting to learn about law and for those who are already legal professionals. In this section students must read an example of legal theory to find out what legal issues they will be taught to address in their future legal studies. It also provides an excellent opportunity for students to apply their newly-found knowledge to real-life legal issues. This section of legal theory is especially useful to students who are preparing for court cases and need to build their argumentative skills.