Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



legal instruction, essay questions


This working paper is a companion piece to Professor Bogen's article "Critical Review Examination System (CRES) Computer Assisted Student Self-Critique of Essay Question Answers which may be found at

The papers are based on a presentation made at a Workshop on the Changes in Law Practice: Implications for Legal Education, Teaching Innovations Teaching Innovations Panel at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Association of Law Schools in Washington, DC.


Students complain that they do not get enough feedback on their progress through the year. Faculty members complain that students cannot write, although they often mean that students cannot analyze in writing. But mid-semester examinations are a pain to grade and often do not cover enough material to challenge students in recognizing the issues. Multiple choice examinations are weak choices for issue spotting, time consuming to construct, and offer no opportunity for writing. Most forms of examination grading do not really help the student understand exactly what they should be doing. Sample answers alone may or may not be read, but are likely not to be internalized. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a mechanism for students to analyze multiple issues with complex answers that the instructor need not grade, but that gave the student feedback on their progress and tools to improve their analysis in the future?


Legal Education