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In England the burden of history weighs heavily on common law, that un

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Source : LSAT PrepTest 53


In England the burden of history weighs heavily on common law, that unwritten code of time-honored laws derived largely from English judicial custom and precedent. Students of contemporary British law are frequently required to study medieval cases, to interpret archaic Latin maxims, or to confront doctrinal principles whose validity is based solely on their being part of the “timeless reason” of the English legal tradition. Centuries-old custom serves as the basis both for the divisions of law school subject matter and for much of the terminology of legal redress. Connected not only with legal history but also with the cultural history of the English people, common law cannot properly be understood without taking a long historical view.

Yet the academic study of jurisprudence has seldom treated common law as a constantly evolving phenomenon rooted in history; those interpretive theories that do acknowledge the antiquity of common law ignore the practical contemporary significance of its historical forms. The reasons for this omission are partly theoretical and partly political. In theoretical terms, modern jurisprudence has consistently treated law as a unified system of rules that can be studied at any given moment in time as a logical whole. The notion of jurisprudence as a system of norms or principles deemphasizes history in favor of the coherence of a system. In this view, the past of the system is conceived as no more than the continuous succession of its states of presence. In political terms, believing in the logic of law is a necessary part of believing in its fairness; even if history shows the legal tradition to be far from unitary and seldom logical, the prestige of the legal institution requires that jurisprudence treat the tradition as if it were, in essence, the application of known rules to objectively determined facts. To suggest otherwise would be dispiriting for the student and demoralizing for the public.

Legal historian Peter Goodrich has argued, however, that common law is most fruitfully studied as a continually developing tradition rather than as a set of rules. Taking his cue from the study of literature, Goodrich sees common law as a sort of literary text, with history and tradition serving as the text’s narrative development. To study the common law historically, says Goodrich, is to study a text in which fiction is as influential as analysis, perception as significant as rule, and the play of memory as strong as the logic of argument. The concept of tradition, for Goodrich, implies not only the preservation and transmission of existing forms, but also the continuous rewriting of those forms to adapt them to contemporary legal circumstances.
Questions

1. Which one of the following statements best expresses the main idea of the passage?

(A) The residual influences of common law explain not only the divisions of subject matter but also the terminology associated with many legal procedures.
(B) In the academic study of jurisprudence, theoretical interpretations of common law have traditionally been at odds with political interpretations of common law.
(C) Common law, while often treated as an oral history of the English people, would, according to one scholar, be more fruitfully studied as a universally adaptable and constantly changing system of rules.
(D) Although obviously steeped in history and tradition, common law has seldom been studied in relation to its development, as one theorist proposes that it be understood.
(E) Although usually studied as a unitary and logical system of rules and norms, the history of common law shows that body of law to be anything but consistent and fair.


[Reveal] Spoiler:
D


2. It can be inferred that the author of the passage believes which one of the following about the history of law in relation to modern jurisprudence?

(A) Modern jurisprudence misinterprets the nature of the legal tradition.
(B) The history of law proves the original forms of common law to be antiquated and irrelevant to modern jurisprudence.
(C) The history of law, if it is to be made applicable to modern jurisprudence, is best studied as a system of rules rather than as a literary text.
(D) Mainstream theories of modern jurisprudence overlook the order and coherence inherent in legal history.
(E) Mainstream theories of modern jurisprudence, by and large devoid of a sense of legal history, are unnecessarily dispiriting to students and the public alike.


[Reveal] Spoiler:
A


3. Which one of the following would best exemplify the kind of interpretive theory referred to in the first sentence of the second paragraph of the passage?

(A) a theory that traced modern customs involving property ownership to their origins in medieval practice
(B) a theory that relied on a comparison between modern courtroom procedures and medieval theatrical conventions
(C) a theory that analyzed medieval marriage laws without examining their relationship to modern laws
(D) a theory that compared the development of English common law in the twentieth century with simultaneous developments in German common law without examining the social repercussions of either legal system
(E) a theory that compared rules of evidence in civil courts with those in criminal courts


[Reveal] Spoiler:
C


4. It can be inferred from the passage that Peter Goodrich would be most likely to agree with which one of the following statements concerning common law?

(A) Common law is more fruitfully studied as a relic of the history of the English people than as a legal code.
(B) The “text” of common law has degenerated from an early stage of clarity to a current state of incoherence.
(C) Without the public’s belief in the justness of common law, the legal system cannot be perpetuated.
(D) While rich in literary significance, the “text” of common law has only a very limited applicability to modern life.
(E) The common law “text” inherited by future generations will differ from the one currently in use.


[Reveal] Spoiler:
E


5. Which one of the following best defines the word “political” as it is used in the second paragraph of the passage?

(A) concerned with the ways by which people seek to advance themselves in a profession
(B) concerned with the covert and possibly unethical methods by which governments achieve their goals
(C) having to do with the maintenance of ethical standards between professions and the citizenry
(D) having to do with the maintenance of an institution’s effectiveness
(E) having to do with the manner in which institutions are perceived by radical theorists


[Reveal] Spoiler:
D


6. The passage states that students of British law are frequently required to study

(A) histories of English politics
(B) episodes of litigation from the Middle Ages
(C) treatises on political philosophy
(D) histories of ancient Roman jurisprudence
(E) essays on narrative development


[Reveal] Spoiler:
B


7. Which one of the following best describes the author’s opinion of most modern academic theories of common law?

(A) They are overly detailed and thus stultifying to both the student and the public.
(B) They lack an essential dimension that would increase their accuracy.
(C) They overemphasize the practical aspects of the common law at the expense of the theoretical.
(D) They excuse students of the law from the study of important legal disputes of the past.
(E) They routinely treat the study of the law as an art rather than as a science.


[Reveal] Spoiler:
B


8. The primary purpose of the passage is to

(A) explain a paradoxical situation and discuss a new view of the situation
(B) supply a chronological summary of the history of an idea
(C) trace the ideas of an influential theorist and evaluate the theorist’s ongoing work
(D) contrast the legal theories of past eras with those of today and suggest how these theories should be studied
(E) advocate a traditional school of thought while criticizing a new trend


[Reveal] Spoiler:
A

[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #1 OA
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #2 OA
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #3 OA
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #4 OA
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #5 OA
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #6 OA
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #7 OA
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #8 OA

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Tough 700+ Level RCs: Passage1 | Passage2 | Passage3 | Passage4 | Passage5 | Passage6 | Passage7
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Last edited by PrashantPonde on 13 Mar 2013, 22:39, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: In England the burden of history weighs heavily on common law, that un [#permalink]

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New post 06 Mar 2013, 03:28
Not very confident.Took me 20 minutes
My take DEAEEABD

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Re: In England the burden of history weighs heavily on common law, that un [#permalink]

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Re: In England the burden of history weighs heavily on common law, that un [#permalink]

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New post 06 Mar 2013, 06:33
carcass wrote:
Wait with OA :-D

Do not post them too early................ :wink:


Come on guys...give it a try!
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Re: In England the burden of history weighs heavily on common law, that un [#permalink]

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New post 06 Mar 2013, 07:43
IMO DADABBBD ... waiting for OAs ...

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New post 06 Mar 2013, 08:09

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Re: In England the burden of history weighs heavily on common law, that un [#permalink]

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New post 06 Mar 2013, 12:56
Yes I too found this passage tough, especially questions were lot tangled and required decrypting the details spread across. took longer time to complete.
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Re: In England the burden of history weighs heavily on common law, that un [#permalink]

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New post 06 Mar 2013, 12:57
Lets have some more members give it a try before we post OAs.
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Re: In England the burden of history weighs heavily on common law, that un [#permalink]

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PraPon wrote:
Lets have some more members give it a try before we post OAs.



Basically I like to read english. I read the economist, smithsonian, the new yorker, and a bunch of magazine from university of chicago, the american scholar and so on.....and believe me: still, these passages are so dense more that these top academic magazine.

Unbelievable...........but I really engaged with them. I like them.

Waiting for OA
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Re: In England the burden of history weighs heavily on common law, that un [#permalink]

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New post 06 Mar 2013, 18:33
carcass wrote:
PraPon wrote:
Lets have some more members give it a try before we post OAs.



Basically I like to read english. I read the economist, smithsonian, the new yorker, and a bunch of magazine from university of chicago, the american scholar and so on.....and believe me: still, these passages are so dense more that these top academic magazine.

Unbelievable...........but I really engaged with them. I like them.

Waiting for OA


True, this passage (and the ones I posted earlier) are extremely dense, probably more dense than the most articles from above websites. However, not all LSAT test passages are this tough. I usually find 1 passage with such difficulty level out of 1-2 LSAT tests and I am only posting the handful tough ones here. The remaining ones, though not as tough as this specific passage, are still tougher than GMAT :)

Yes I too think economist, Scientific american, Smithsonian, the Atlantic, MIT articles will be a good read considering GMAT difficulty level.
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Re: In England the burden of history weighs heavily on common law, that un [#permalink]

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New post 06 Mar 2013, 18:38
Team, the OAs are posted now. Let me know if you need explanation for any specific question/OA.
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Re: In England the burden of history weighs heavily on common law, that un [#permalink]

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New post 06 Mar 2013, 18:59
let me know, please, the OE for he first one (main idea) the 6 and the last one.

As per the six we have

6. The passage states that students of British law are frequently required to study
(A) histories of English politics
(B) episodes of litigation from the Middle Ages
(C) treatises on political philosophy
(D) histories of ancient Roman jurisprudence
(E) essays on narrative development

and in the passage the point is

Quote:
Students of contemporary British law are
(5) frequently required to study medieval cases, to
interpret archaic Latin maxims, or to confront
doctrinal principles whose validity is based solely on
their being part of the “timeless reason” of the
English legal tradition.
so is clear the medieval or middle ages. I thought B but episodes of litigation is synonym of cases ?? mah, weird :(

let me know. thanks
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Verbal:1. Verbal question bank and directories by Carcass 2. MGMAT Study Hall Thursdays with Ron Verbal Videos 3. Critical Reasoning_Oldy but goldy question banks 4. Sentence Correction_Oldy but goldy question banks 5. Reading-comprehension_Oldy but goldy question banks

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Re: In England the burden of history weighs heavily on common law, that un [#permalink]

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New post 06 Mar 2013, 19:59
Explanation for Question 1:
In this passage, the author didnt express strong author opinion, hence the correct answer to such global/main point question will usually summarize the entire passage’s contents. Since the author never offers a strong opinion, we need to find an answer that discusses the unusual concept of studying the history of common law
while rarely considering its historical evolution. And, we want to look for an answer that incorporates Goodrich’s opinion that common law should be studied as a developing phenomenon. Choice (D) will fit in this notion. Hence the correct answer.
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Tough 700+ Level RCs: Passage1 | Passage2 | Passage3 | Passage4 | Passage5 | Passage6 | Passage7
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Re: In England the burden of history weighs heavily on common law, that un [#permalink]

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New post 06 Mar 2013, 20:05
Explanation for Question 6:

First on the list of things the british students required todo is to study is medieval cases. They just reworded "medieval cases" into "litigation from the Middle Ages" in the answer choice. both would mean the same thing. Also POE will help in case of doubt - Politics, philosophy, Roman jurisprudence and narrative development are not mentioned in their list of required studies.
Hence choice (B).
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Re: In England the burden of history weighs heavily on common law, that un [#permalink]

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New post 06 Mar 2013, 20:09
3/8 correct in 20 mins.i am so doomed.Thanks Prapon for posting such tough passages

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Re: In England the burden of history weighs heavily on common law, that un [#permalink]

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New post 06 Mar 2013, 20:10
Explanation for Question 8:

As mentioned in question 1, the author doesnt express strong opinion about the content. The purpose of the passage was very descriptive. The author simply introduced the way in which common law is studied and offered one historian’s opinion on how to better study it. The answer choice (A) just rephrases the same.

Regarding choice (C) The passage only gives one historian’s ideas, Goodrich’s, and we’re given no idea of how influential he is. His ongoing work is Out of Scope.
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Re: In England the burden of history weighs heavily on common law, that un [#permalink]

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raarun wrote:
3/8 correct in 20 mins.i am so doomed.Thanks Prapon for posting such tough passages


Dont worry about getting few wrong in such tough ones. In GMAT you will rarely find such tough passage unless you are running your horse at V51. However, treat these as good practice, especially for figuring out why the wrong answers are wrong here? How the test maker disguises the wrong answer choice with one/two word wrong? How can I build my content maps to efficiently locate the hidden content for Detail oriented questions? Why did I miss that hidden/dispersed sentence or detail? and so on...

I will post few more RCs as and when I come across such tricky ones. Stay tuned!
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Re: In England the burden of history weighs heavily on common law, that un [#permalink]

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New post 11 Mar 2013, 04:36
Hi PraPon,

Can you explain the second question. How did we come to the answer choice A

Thanks

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ankitD wrote:
Hi PraPon,

Can you explain the second question. How did we come to the answer choice A

Thanks


Explanation for Question2:
When inference questions inquire about the author’s beliefs, look for Opinion keywords. Use your Roadmap to establish the context of this question. Where is the author’s opinion on how common law should be understood? Right at the end of the first paragraph, he says that to be properly understood, we need a “long historical view.” What does the author have to say about the modern
jurisprudential view of the common law? Right at the beginning of paragraph 2, he tells us that this long view is what current legal scholars lack. Put these two statements together and we can make a winning prediction of the correct answer: modern jurisprudence doesn’t properly understand legal history. That’s the answer (A).
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Re: In England the burden of history weighs heavily on common law, that un [#permalink]

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New post 13 Mar 2013, 19:46
1.E
2.C
3.b
4a
5b
6b
7d
8e

My answers ...
Please let me know the accuracy of them ...
Thanks in advance :)

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Re: In England the burden of history weighs heavily on common law, that un   [#permalink] 13 Mar 2013, 19:46

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