Posted By on 07 Jul 2012 12:52 PM
"Am I suppose to be writing the essays like how Barbri's sample answers do? Are the issue checklists really that important/helpful?"
Do NOT attempt to write the essays like the BarBri sample answers. These are just plain awful. Most of them are not even in proper IRAC format. Several former bar graders have told me that they would not be passing answers.
You really need to compare your essays to actual real passing answers, not "model" ones. Look at the passing answers on the calbar site or on BarEssays.com. You will see how different they are from the fake barbri answers.
I agree. I have no authority on my position on this, but sometimes I find things that are wrong in the Barbri answers- or huge issues that they missed. Especially in criminal law/procedure where the evidence isn't admissible b/c violation of 4th amendment but there's some other fact where you can argue inevitability. They just conclude and don't mention it. My essays always have the same rules they have when I write them out, but sometimes more things, and mine are ALWAYS longer typed- 5-6 pages mostly. The one I just did had a 3 page sample answer- my answer in word was 6 pages.
I think they are good for issue spotting in general- but don't be afraid to use your brain. In the real world you will be forced to argue whatever it takes to get your client a win. So do that- if you think it applies and can find some basis for application.
That's easier to do in subjects like evidence or crim law, or maybe even torts. Anyways, the use of your brain is something I feel that the Barbri sample answers limits.