IRAC: Issue, Rule, Analysis, Conclusion

This is the basic essay format that has been drilled into law students’ heads since their 1L (first) year.  It is also the format used for the essay portion of the bar exam.  I’d been putting off working on practice essays for a while because, well, frankly I just wasn’t that worried about them, and because I can BS my way out of just about anything and figured that would work for the essays, too.

Well, I started working on essays last Friday and felt like I’d just been slapped in the face by Reality and punched in the stomach by Denial.  I attempted three practice essays and, upon finishing them, began thinking of alternative careers for when I failed the bar.  The essays were supposed to be my saving grace and yet I felt like I’d never even been to law school when I actually started doing them.  I’m not sure what it was about them that intimidated me so much.  One of the essays I did online and submitted to an attorney grader somewhere.  I quickly got it back with the grade of “exceeds the standard.”  Wait, what?!  I was SURE I had failed the dang thing and yet I actually knew what I was doing?!  Interesting. Continue reading