Hypothetical Problems

it's hypo time

Hypothetical problems (also known as ‘hypos’ or ‘problem questions’) are a way for your teacher to assess your ability to apply the law in different situations. Hypotheticals present you with a fictional legal situation and ask you to advise a client based on the facts of the situation and the law you’ve learned in that subject.

You can generally spot a hypothetical problem right away because it will look like a fictional short story. For example, ‘Paula and Ness decide to start a business selling guacamole…’ etc. You will often then be asked to advise one of the characters about their legal situation based on the facts of the story.

đź’ˇDid you know? When you’re answering a hypo, it’s not enough to simply memorise and regurgitate all the legal rules and principles from the cases you’ve studied. Hypotheticals are actually testing your ability to isolate and apply these rules to new factual situations that you’ve never seen before. This means taking the facts from the hypothetical scenario and comparing (analogising and contrasting) them to the cases and legislation you’ve studied.

Click the buttons below to learn and practice the skills you need to answer hypothetical problems at law school!

Spotting Issues


Structuring Your Answer

Template for the IRAC Methodology