Thursday, August 9, 2018
It's the start of a brand new academic year, and that means that first-year law students all across the nation are hearing for the first time about "IRAC" (the deductive formula for reminding us as law students to analyze legal problems by stating the issue, defining the rule, applying the facts at hand to the rule of law, and reaching a logical conclusion).
But, is IRAC really new to us as entering law students?
Well, the answer is plainly and firmly no.
You see, as Professor José Roberto (Beto) Juárez Jr. explained during orientation at the University of Denver this past week, all of us have been doing IRAC since our toddler years. I mean all of us! That includes you and me!
As Professor Juárez elaborated, children know all about rules, how to interpret rules (usually narrowly), and how to apply them (also usually narrowly).
That's because kids are faced - early on - with lots of rules imposed by adults, whether the adult is a teacher, a parent, or a youth leader. Adulthood is filled with rules (and with adults trying to get children to obey their adulthood rules). But, let's face facts. As a child, rules have only one purpose in life; rules are meant to curb fun, to rob us of joy, to bar us from truly living.
Consequently, as a kid, we all learned - staring as early as toddlers - how to analyze rules for lots of factual and legal loopholes. In short, we have been analyzing like "lawyers" from our earliest years using IRAC.
So, as you being to play, learn, and work with IRAC as a first-year law student, please don't forget this truth, namely, that you have been an IRAC-genuis for most of your life! (Scott Johns).