Goal 5: Evaluation

Evaluation is the activity of making qualitative and quantitative judgments about the value of ideas, solutions or concepts and principles presented in a case, a line of cases, or a statutory provision. It occurs when you are comparing legal theories or weighing alternative courses of action.

The key to evaluation is to determine the criteria upon which the evaluation is based. Some possibilities include:

  • Logical consistency. Does the rule follow logically from the arguments set forth in the case (or from language or legislative history of a statute)?
  • Doctrinal consistency. Does the rule fit consistently with other rules in the field? Or is it missing an element, concept or policy rationale.
  • Policy. Does the rule serve the policy objectives it was designed to address? Or given the policy objectives of the rule is it properly applied to this case and this client.

In order to be an effective advocate, you need to be able to develop and apply evaluative skills. Such skills generally require a prior mastery of knowledge , comprehension, analysis, application, and synthesis.