My Introduction to Law students take their first exam today. Many are wondering how to prepare for my multiple-choice, open-book exams–clearly, they reason, such an exam will not consist of definitions. A recurring theme in yesterday’s discussions during my office hours was the contrast between the “binary thinking” (yes/no, black/white, right/wrong) characteristic of many math, science, and engineering courses and the “maybe this, maybe that” thinking characteristic of legal analysis. One student said to himself as he stood to leave my office, “think gray.”
Excellent advice for students of the law: Think Gray. Just remember that on each multiple-choice question, there will be one answer that is better than the rest.