Read this article on an interview conducted by Sulaimon to find out D.Y Kodjovi’s, a current law student at the Lagos State University, views on specifically answering law problem questions at university.
Law questions are divided into essay questions and problem questions. The former is an examination question on a given topic requiring a written analysis or explanation. For instance, ‘what are the sources of law?’. While the latter according to Wikipedia definiens, is a question that must be answered by applying relevant legal principles and interpreting the law in connection to the particular facts provided.
Based on a subjective view, law problem questions are a form of questions that appear theoretical but are in a reality-based format. Expressly, they are questions based on practical life issues, coupled with a solution in the form of advice to the parties involved. Law questions baffle everyone as to whether they are substantive-based or procedural-based.
Here is the interview that was conducted by Sulaimon.
What is your opinion on law exam questions at university?
I see law questions as problems you are required to solve in terms of problem questions. While essay questions require you to elucidate, give your perspective and adduce relevant statutory and Judicial provisions. Generally, law questions test your knowledge and critical thinking capacity.
How challenging are law problem questions? Do you think the questions gives a view of real-life situation and what you will meet in practice?
Law problem questions are the easiest to pass as well as to fail. They are often referred to as hypothetical scenarios or facts but on a closer look, you’ll realize that they form the real part of life, that is, things going on in society. Problem questions will teach you how to find a lacuna through which the law could fit in to avail your side. It’s a pathway to what you will meet in practice.
Do you attempt all law questions in the same ways?
No. There is a general format by which you answer essay and problem questions. For essay questions, you use the IPAC format – I meaning Introduction, P meaning Principle or rule, A meaning Application and C meaning conclusion.
While for problem questions, you use the IRAC formula – I meaning identifying the Issue; R meaning Rule; A meaning Applying the principals and statute and C meaning Conclusion.
What would you recommend as a solution to scaling problem questions?
Law questions are not as difficult as they are portrayed. You just have to learn how to think on your feet because you would have memorized countless numbers of statutory and judicial authorities in addition to principles of law. The solution is to cover every area of law you will be given in class so it won’t spring up surprises for you during your test or examination. It takes patience to understand what the questions require you to answer so you won’t state something contrary to the examiner’s intention.
Would you recommend studying law to anyone?
Yes of course. That’s if such a person is passionate about studying law.