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As simple as this legal principle and fact pattern seems, there is quite a bit going on here. ere are some
guidelines for the ans!er"
The first thing #ou need to do is read the call of the question. Notice that I did not as$ !hether %eorge
plagiari&ed in connection !ith a la! school e'am. The question !as broad, not narro!, and as such, #our
ans!er should co(er a great deal, namel#, !hether an# of %eorge)s acts *reflect negati(el#.+ AN,-E. TE
,econd, the outline of the rule !ould be something li$e this"
I. La! ,tudent
II. ,ome 1ind of Act
III. .eflects negati(el# on abilit# to be a competent attorne#, !hich means an# of the follo!ing"
A. 2heating on a la! school e'am
3. Plagiarism or
2. Other dishonest acts
,o, first !e ha(e to figure out if this rule e(en applies. The rule states *la! student.+ This rule does not
appl# to chic$en farmers, politicians, or e(en *persons.+ It applies to one class and one class alone" *La!
,tudents.+ ,ince the facts are not clear !hether %eorge is a la! student, !e ha(e to argue that he is or is
not. Notice that I did both, because it could go both !a#s. I stated the rule, applied it one !a#, but I
noticed that there !as much more to be said about !h# he !as a la! student. 4irst, the facts indicate that
the Program is basicall# la! school before la! school, and the students are la! students before the# are
la! students. ,econd, there is a big fat polic# behind the rule. AL-A5, 1NO- -5 TE .0LE I,
-AT IT I,. If #ou $no! the polic# underl#ing the rule, #ou !ill $no! ho! to appl# it and #ou !ill $no!
ho! to argue !hether it applies or not.
Ne't, I tal$ed about the *acts+ that sub6ected %eorge to the rule. The rule gi(es #ou definitions of the
acts in(ol(ed. If #ou don)t ha(e an# of the three acts, there is nothing to !rite about. Notice that I onl#
stated the rule that I !anted to appl#, not the entire rule o(er and o(er again. And, I applied the rule that
corresponded !ith the facts one at a time. 7on)t 6umble e(er#thing together. Let the la! guide #our
In addition, NOTI2E TAT TE 30L1 O4 TE AN,-E. I, ANAL5,I,. Professors are not entirel#
impressed !ith #our mindless abilit# to *memori&e+ the la! and spit it bac$ at them. The# !ant a rule that
is reasonabl# correct and a fantastic application of !hate(er rule #ou put do!n.
The term *reasonabl#+ in an# rule that #ou learn in la! school means one thing" the professor !ants #ou to
use 4A2T, in #our anal#sis. -hen #ou see a rule that sa#s *reasonable,+ #ou better use e(er# fact that is
Notice also that I tal$ed about the rule that did not appl# 8plagiarism of a allmar$ card9. -h#: 3ecause it
!as a paragraph of the fact pattern, and I probabl# had plent# of time to tal$ about it in a real e'amination
en(ironment. If I !as the professor, and this !as m# e'am, I !ould !ant #ou to address this issue.
If #ou spent the !hole time tal$ing about !hether %eorge !anted to be a 2EO, #ou fell into the classic
trap. This, m# friends, is the dreaded *red herring.+ -ho the hell cares !hat %eorge !ants to be !hen he
gro!s up: Appl# the .0LE. The onl# reason I tal$ed about it is because if I had enough time in an e'am
en(ironment, I !ould tal$ about it briefl# for an e'tra point or t!o.