Key to law exam success? Use the word ‘because’, says top prof

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By William Holmes on


‘I found myself giving the same advice over and over’

A law professor has taken to Twitter to help out law students with their exams.

Jonah Perlin, a former litigator-turned-Georgetown law professor, believes the key to law school success is using the word “because”.

After going through an exam with his students, Perlin, who teaches legal practice and advanced legal writing, found himself frustrated by the fact that he was “giving the same advice over and over”.

He tweeted that he wanted students to “tell me why. What LAW? What FACTS?”. The solution he has devised for would-be lawyers is to use the word ‘because’.

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“Without using the word because it is easy to make conclusory arguments (my least favourite law school word),” he explained in his thread. “Where you just say the law is met or worse that the law is met because the definition of the law is met but don’t identify the key facts.”

Perlin’s advice has clearly resonated with other law lecturers with the thread garnering hundreds of likes.

One user praised the advise, writing: “You’re on to something! This could be the biggest breakthrough since IRAC!”. IRAC is an acronym commonly taught to law students that stands for issue, rule, application/analysis, conclusion.

Professor Neil Sobol, director of legal analysis, research & writing program at Texas A&M University Law, commented that he told his students to think of the song ‘We’re Off to See the Wizard’ from the Wizard of Oz.

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