Hypos are a great way to test your knowledge on a subject. You can make up your own hypos or take fact patterns from old exams of your professor’s. Either way, learning the material and how it applies to different fact patterns is critical to surviving exams. I’ve always had a hard time keeping hypos straight in my head. When A does this to B and C sees it…..blah blah blah.
Last year, I came up with a better way to learn the material through hypos. I changed A, B, and C to Mike, Cecelia, and Sulley. Or Cinderella, Prince Charming, and Stepmother. Or Alice, Cheshire Cat, and Mad Hatter. It’s so much easier to keep track of who is doing what to someone when it’s actual people and you have a physical person to link with the person. For me, it was so much easier to learn about battery if Mike was mad at Sulley for stealing his girlfriend and he hit Sulley but almost his Cecelia instead. (battery, assault hypo). Plus, writing about a character doing something crazy is just more fun!
Hypos are some of the worst, most helpful things in law school. Essentially, all your exams are just long intricate hypos so learning how to answer them works perfectly. I’m always really bad at remembering certain things and how they apply. In an attempt to learn torts, I figured out an awesome system for remembering different torts. Here are two of my favorite torts hypos.
1. Mike was angry at Cecelia for cheating on him with Sully. One day, Mike saw Cecelia walking down the street and decided to get revenge. He walked up to Cecelia and smacked her. Did Mike commit battery on Cecelia.
2. Prince Charming wanted Cinderella to marry him. He brought her home to meet the King and Queen and Cinderella did not like them. She told Prince Charming she was leaving. The moat alligator was in defense mode and Cinderella was stuck at the castle for the night. She fell asleep and Prince Charming locked her in the room so she couldn’t leave. Prince Charming realized he would rather marry Drisella and unlocked the door before Cinderella woke up. Did Prince Charming falsely imprison Cinderella?
Hypos using fun characters make it easier to remember. If it was A was angry at B, it wouldn’t be nearly as memorable. It may be a trick that only works for me but you never know.