If a client came to see you in person, you would ask a series of more detailed questions.
Remember that if there are major questions of fact omitted from the problem you should point these out and explain their relevance. Avoid irrelevancy at all costs Irrelevancy can lead to double jeopardy in that it detracts from what you have said and it leaves you less time to say something which is relevant, important and effective - leading to an unbalanced answer.
This is known as "layman's law" and must be avoided at all costs since it is likely to lead to a fail answer. Apply the law to the facts Assess what the likely decision would be on this issue.
Note that there is often no right answer in legal problem questions because examiners often use issues where there are This is a feature in almost every problem question.
General organisation Introduction and conclusion Use of facts Statements about the law How to be successful One important point at the start - do not treat a problem question as an invitation to write an abstract essay about the legal issues involved in the problem. You must have a precise understanding of the facts, since facts determine the relevance of any legal points you make later. If it helps, draw a quick diagram to explain the facts and the parties. and bear in mind the need to present points in a coherent and logical way.
The facts are all important and application to the facts is essential. For example, it is usual to find an offer first before seeking to identify whether a piece of correspondence constitutes an acceptance.Remember that if something does not advance your answer to the factual scenario actually set, then do not say it.- if you are asked to advise a named person in a problem question then try to imagine that that person is sitting in front of you and is paying you for your time and advice.Such introductions do not answer the question set; they are unrelated to the specific issue raised.In particular, you should avoid beginning your answer with a general summary of the law of contract For example: "In order to have a binding contract there must be an offer and an acceptance.Avoid simple and obvious statements that add nothing "This problem involves difficult issues of fact and law" OR, the introduction frequently encountered in the Contract law examination paper "This is a problem concerning Contract law"; of course it is!You can conclude simply by summarising the outcomes for the parties you were asked to advise - but only do this where you have not already given this type of conclusion at the end of the application for each issue - or where you want to conclude with a statement of the wider picture (i.e. [Back to top] There is no need to repeat the facts of the problem in the answer unless you are making use of them to expressly identify the basis for your identification of the legal issue.[This will ensure strict relevancy on the law and will make clear that you have identified the correct law applicable to the factual issue.] Cite supporting authorities.Always give reasons for your views and authority for legal principles and rules then explain the nature of the uncertainty and suggestions on how it might be resolved - including your own view of the most likely approach to be taken by a court.In other words, they can be usefully incorporated as part of your discussion of the legal issue and application.What you need to avoid is an answer that stops and starts by returning to the facts in a manner that affects the flow of your answer.