use IRAC On Law School Exams

How To Use IRAC On Law School Exams

Taking a law school exam is much different from any exam you probably took as an undergrad.  In this post, we discuss how to use IRAC on law school exams to organize your answers!

How To Use IRAC On Law School Exams

What does IRAC stand for?

IRAC stands for issue, rule, analysis, and conclusion.  These are the different pieces that you should have for each issue you are discussing in an answer to a law school exam!  Some law school exams can contain MANY issues!  If that is the case, your answer would have many IRACs!  You should have an IRAC for each and every issue you discuss!

Issue

One of the tasks of a law school exam is to get you to identify the legal issues that are present in a hypothetical fact pattern.  So, the first thing you want to do is clearly identify the issue(s).

Rule

Next, you should state the rule.  If your exam is open-book, it is important that you state the rule as accurately as possible and look it up if you need to.  There is less room for error when you have all the resources available to you during the exam!  If your exam is not open-book, this is where memorization comes into play and you should still try to state the rule as accurately as possible.

Analysis

The analysis is the meat and potatoes of your answer.  This is where you can really show off your skills and knowledge.  It is important to be as thorough as possible in your analysis, identifying and addressing the arguments that both sides will raise, and evaluating those arguments.  On a law school exam, most of the points often come from the analysis portion of your answer.

Conclusion

After identifying both sides’ arguments, it is also important that you conclude and identify what the likely outcome will be.  Even if it could arguably go either way, you should still pick a side (with an explanation for why you are picking that side).

For more information on how to use IRAC on law school exams, check out this video:

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