Douglas Berman, a professor at The Moritz College of Law, responds to the question “When answering an exam question, does the amount you write matter?”
In short, Berman says “Yes.” When he grades, and he believes this applies to other professors as well, he doesn’t see it as taking points away for a bad answer, but as awarding points for every smart, relevant thing a student says about a question. Therefore, the more you write, the more opportunity you have to earn points.
Yet, he stresses that this doesn’t mean quantity is of more importance than quality. Balancing the two during an exam is comparable to a lawyer taking the time in court to make all points necessary to “preserve his arguments,” “even if they aren’t going well.”
He concludes, teaching students how to balance quality and quantity is a central goal of law schools. They want students to develop “a lawyer’s judgment” and have “the good sense to know that in the traditional in-class exam the more you write the more points you can earn.”