A few days ago I mentioned an overstated indictment of law school exams. Now the Volokh Conspiracy presents an overstated defense:
But law school exams are very good at testing most of the subset of lawyering skills which law schools teach well--including the ability to think quickly. Yes, three hours is a short time to analyze three or four major problems, and spot the key issues,and the important secondary issues, in every single problem. However, much real-life lawyering is done under intense time pressure. You have to think quickly when you're a rookie defense attorney speaking for your client before the court. Or when you're a young corporate associate having to draft an emergency brief in 12 hours. Or when you're a citizen-activist/advocate (as so many lawyers are) speaking for your cause on talk radio or in a local TV news interview.In relation to those examples, other than the emergency brief situation where there may be some parallel, my experience tells me that law school exams offer no preparation. And truthfully? Even in relation to the brief, the best preparation is prior brief writing experience, not a law school exam.