Answering Legal Problem Questions in a Grid Format

Marking Time: Leading and Managing the Development of Assessment in Higher Education, 2013

UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2013-44

14 Pages Posted: 3 Jul 2013 Last revised: 26 Nov 2014

See all articles by Alex Steel

Alex Steel

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law

Dominic Fitzsimmons

University of New South Wales (UNSW)

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

The development of legal reasoning skills is a fundamental aspect of legal education. What has sometimes been called “learning to think like a lawyer” is a threshold competency that students must acquire before they can progress to more complex analyses of broader legal issues. This chapter discusses the use of problem-based scenarios to both engage students and to develop legal analysis. It outlines the threshold difficulties students must overcome in order to read texts as lawyers and explains how use of a grid format answer – rather than an essay format – can both assist students to overcome these difficulties more easily and also provide a more efficient form of marking. The chapter describes the advantages of a grid format answer both for beginning students and also for later year and postgraduate students. It also suggests ways the format can be used to require students to consider broader issues than merely legal analysis.

Keywords: legal education, assessment, thinking like a lawyer, legal analysis, threshold competencies

JEL Classification: I21, K10

Suggested Citation

Steel, Alex and Fitzsimmons, Dominic, Answering Legal Problem Questions in a Grid Format (2013). Marking Time: Leading and Managing the Development of Assessment in Higher Education, 2013; UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2013-44. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2289089

Alex Steel (Contact Author)

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law ( email )

Kensington, New South Wales 2052
Australia

Dominic Fitzsimmons

University of New South Wales (UNSW) ( email )

Kensington
High St
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

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