Friday, February 26, 2010

Congratulations to All Bar Exam Takers

You are finished!! Congratulations to a job well done. Relax, sleep, play and be totally frivolous this weekend. You deserve it.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Not Yet Done for Some Bar Exams

Congratulations to everyone who has taken and survived your bar exam. For some, it is still going on this Thursday. Good Luck for those still sitting for their State day.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Multistate Bar Exam is Today

The MBE is today. You have 100 questions in the morning and 100 questions in the afternoon. Work steadily and knock them off one at a time, you have 1.8 minutes a question.

Good luck, everyone.

Make Bar Professors proud.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Florida Bar Exam Multiple Choice Questions for February 23, 2010




Florida Bar Exam Essay Subjects for February 23, 2010

Domestic Relations/Family Law with Professional Responsibility

Real Property/Constitutional Law

Torts (Products Liability)

The Bar Exam is Today

Good Luck to all bar exam takers today - our thoughts are with you.

Bar Professors

Monday, February 22, 2010

1 Day Before the Bar Exam: Be Confident in Your Abilities

You are almost to the finish line. Go to the hotel, read over your mini-outlines today, but relax. Eat sparingly . Make your meals small and light. Take the evening off, watch tv, and go to bed early. You will probably not sleep as well as you would like, but stay in bed and try to just doze if you can. Don’t get up, move around or study your outlines – it will just make you tired during the bar. You will need all of your energy for Tuesday. When you get up on Tuesday, again, eat lightly, but eat something. You’ll need the energy for the morning session.

More importantly, be confident in your abilities. You have been preparing for your chance to be a lawyer for 3 years or more. You can do this. Go ahead on Tuesday and kick butt!

Good Luck from Bar Professors!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

2 Days Until the Bar Exam: You Can Do It!!!

For those taking the bar exam, good luck to all of you and remember your lessons. Come in with a plan, remember your goals and you will be calling yourself an attorney in a few months.

Be confident in your abilities. You have studied hard these past couple of months, you have practiced endlessly, and you know what you need to do. Don’t psych yourself out. You can do this and will do it. Keep your focus and you will do well.

A special shout out to my students. Good luck to you – now you know why I was so hard on you and you know that we believe in you.

You can do it. Good Luck to all.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

3 Days Before the Bar Exam The Weekend Before the Bar

Being in the Moment

No matter how hard you’ve studied and how many practice exams you’ve taken, once you get to the bar exam, you will do well.

Everything you’ve been doing during your bar review has prepared you for this moment. And, if you’ve prepared properly, you will know what to do once you get started.

Allocating Your Time

Using the exact time you were told to begin the exam, set your timetable and write down the starting and ending times for each question.

You have to complete between 16 and 17 questions in a 30 minute period, averaging 33-34 questions every hour to complete the 100 questions in a three hour period; set your clock on the half hour with appropriate milestones.

If You Get Stuck on an MBE Question

Make your best choice, but circle the question and if you have time at the end of the exam, you can go back to it.
With only 1.8 minutes per question, there’s only so much time to allow for doubt. There will be questions you just don’t know. Don’t squander precious time that could be spent on questions you can answer.

If You Get Stuck on an Essay Question

Write the issue, whether or not you know the rule at this point. Formulating the issue will get your points from the grader even if you blank out on the rule. Rely on your knowledge of general legal principles and standards to guide you, even if you don’t know each and every element of the rule.

Be confident in your abilities to have prepared as best you could for the exam.

Friday, February 19, 2010

4 Days to the Bar Exam: The Practicalities of the Bar Exam

Take Monday off so you can rest and be alert during the exam. Keep the final day low key and try not to think about the exam. If you are staying at a hotel, get to your hotel early, check in and relax. Keep your anxiety under control and you’ll be fine.

The Night Before the Exam

The night before the exam is the one time you may want to read a little material or study because you probably will have trouble sleeping on Monday night. Try reading a bar outline or your one pagers. If you can’t fall asleep, just lie there. Don’t try to do extra studying, just rest. If you can’t fall asleep, don’t get out of bed, pace, watch television or do anything to keep your mind active. You want to keep your mind at rest, even if your body can’t rest.

The Exam is Now

Make sure you have a positive outlook. You’ve done hundreds of practice questions by now. You can do this

Food and Drinks

The night before the exam, eat something that gives you some strength but nothing that you know can make you feel sick. You know your own body, so play it smart. Avoid anything that makes you feel queasy. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and for those in California, Thursday, eat a solid breakfast that will get your mind working, but don’t eat so much it makes you sleepy. Don’t drink too much that it causes frequent restroom visits. Also important is your lunch. Once again, avoid heavy foods that will make you sleepy. Avoid food that makes you sleepy. Again, limit your drinks to avoid frequent restroom breaks.

Leave your cellphone at the hotel or in the car. Do not bring it in to the site. You can be kicked out of the bar if your phone rings. If your cellphone rings, you will be back in the same place, taking the bar again in 6 months if you get kicked out of the bar.

During Your Breaks

Do not talk to anyone about the exam during your breaks. Inevitably someone will want to talk about the bar and inevitably that person put down something different from what you did. Do not second guess yourself by rehashing the exam.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

5 days until the bar exam: Review This Weekend

Like most law students, you’re probably conditioned to study hard even the day before the exam. In fact, you may think it’s wise to study right up to the last minute. With the bar exam, that’s a serious mistake. This isn’t a two or three hour exam. The test’s duration is nearly eight hours, including your lunch break.

First, you need to catch up on your rest and start powering down on your studying. This weekend try to have a “normal” couple of days. Put in study time, but also sleep, rest, watch tv, go out to dinner and relax.

Second, eat well this weekend since you probably have had a lot of fast food these past 6 weeks. You may not be able to eat much on Monday if your nerves start showing. Do not drink any alcohol. Try not to eat rich food or foods you know have adverse effects on your stomach. Monday, eat solid but light foods to keep you alert. Just think boring foods because you stomach may be upset due to nerves. Try to relax a bit because you have done your preparation and now it’s time to get in the game.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

1 Week Until the Bar Exam: Keep Your Focus

Your goal for this last week is to stay the course while you solidify your knowledge of the black letter law and improve your timing. The week before the exam is a time when you should stay the course personally and professionally.

This is not the time to start a diet, relationship or hobby or end one. It is also not the time to dramatically change study habits. Those who cram are going to want to start a “24/7” scorched earth policy of learning everything at all hours, but remember, this exam is just like a big athletic contest and you want to stick to your carefully construction training regime.

This is the time you put out your “do not disturb” sign, even for relatives and close friends. If they don’t get it, then they are not acting in your best interest. Other bar takers may turn into toxic, needy people the week before the exam as well, so beware. It is not uncommon for your loved ones to express their own frustrations over your studying, so if need be, take a hotel room for a week or tell them they can vent in one more week. Whatever problems you’re encountering short of a medical crisis, stay focused on the bar exam. Don’t let anyone or anything distract you. It’s not worth it.

Take care of your body and mind. This means eating well, getting some sleep and working on self-confidence. If this means listening to your favorite music or watching some funny videos, go for it. A little laughter and inspirational music can go a long way.

As to practical things, make sure you have confirmed your hotel reservation, that you have packed what you need to take with you, including your admission ticket, your identification, your watch, etc.

Whatever it is you’ve been doing the past couple of weeks, keep it up. Stick with what you know, confirm you knowledge and reinstall your confidence in the material. As to the bar exam itself, make sure you have taken at least one or two simulated exams.

• Make sure your timing was within range for the MBE, MPT and the essay questions.

• Make sure your scores are within range to pass

If you simulate a portion of the exam, make sure you are able to

• Complete 17 MBE questions in 30 minutes; 34 MBE questions in an hour
• Complete an essay in the time allotted for your jurisdiction
• Complete an MPT in 90 minutes

Practice MBE questions in random order instead of one subject at a time.

Review subjects covered earlier in the bar review period to keep them fresh in your mind.

Now that your bar review course has ended, increase your study time and direct most of your additional time to practice questions.

It isn’t uncommon to start running out of fuel about a week before the exam. So take some breaks to energize yourself, but whatever you do, don’t start working on alternative projects around the house or pick up a novel to relax. You need to keep your mind focused on bar material. Don’t get wrapped up in anything but the bar exam. Your focus is critical.

Monday, February 15, 2010

MBE Worksheet for the Bar Exam

As you practice your approach to the MBE, you might want to use this MBE Question Worksheet to track your reasoning process until it becomes second nature.

1) What is the Subject Area?

2) What is Happening?

3) Isolate the Legally Relevant Facts

4) Steps of Analysis:

-What is the Legal Issue?
-What Rule of Law Addresses this Issue?
-What Should be the Outcome?

5) Identify the Issue in Each Answer Choice:

-What is the Issue in Answer Choice A?
-What is the Issue in Answer Choice B?
-What is the Issue in Answer Choice C?
-What is the Issue in Answer Choice D?

6) What Answer Choice Best Corresponds to My Answer?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Analyzing the Multistate Questions for the Bar Exam

You must learn how to analyze the answer choices for the MBE. Here are some techniques to use as you go through your questions.

Watch out for “Because,” “If,” and “unless”

Working with because

On the MBE, because is the predominant modifier and the simplest to master. Because statements are relatively straightforward. Simply ensure that the reasoning supports the conclusion both on a factual and legal basis. If either is incorrect, then the entire answer choice is incorrect and can be eliminated.

Working with if

Unlike because, when if is the answer choice modifier, you need determine only whether the reasoning could support the conclusion. It need not always be true, but only possible under the facts in the hypothetical. Be alert to possible if synonyms: as long as, and so long as.

Working with unless

In its own way, unless is as restrictive as because. For an unless answer choice to be correct, it must present the only circumstance under which the conclusion cannot happen. If you can conceive of even one other way the result could occur, then the answer choice cannot be correct.

If You Must Guess, Do So With a Strategy

Eliminate all the obviously incorrect answer choices

Usually you can safely eliminate one or even two responses as incorrect. Now that you’ve narrowed the field a bit, even if it’s a little bit, you’re ready to make the most of some informed guesses.

Dismiss answer choices that address other principles or unrelated rules of law

Of course the bar examiners won’t be so obvious as to include evidence principles in answer choices for contracts questions, but they will include common law rules in Article 2 sales problems and cite standards for negligence when strict liability is at issue.

Be wary of words which speak in absolutes

Assuming that the issue is disguised, then you still need to distinguish between answer choices. In this case, carefully consider statements that include such words as always, never and must. No doubt you’ve learned as a first year law student that there are few if any certainties in the law. For practically every rule, there is an exception, if not two or three.

Finally, move on

With only 1.8 minutes per question, there’s only so much time to allow for doubt. No matter how well you’ve prepared, there are bound to be questions that present difficulty.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

2 Weeks to the Bar Exam: Keep Studying and Practicing

You have 2 weeks until the bar examination. Instead of spending the day getting nervous about the time, concentrate on what you have left to do.

By this time, you should have pretty much memorized as much black letter law as you can cram into your brain. It is now time to put away the books and stop studying the law.

What you now need to do in these final 2 weeks to prepare yourself for the bar exam is to practice, practice, practice and do more practice tests. You want to become some familiar with your state test and the MBE that you can almost do it in your sleep.

Try to do an essay or two every day, testing yourself on a variety of subjects that you know your state tests. Do the essays under test conditions. If your state is Florida, do a series of 1 hour essays, including subjects like property, torts, constitutional law, family law, trusts and the other subjects Florida likes to test. If you are from a state that does 30 minute tests, do 3 or 4 a day. Once you finish your essay under time constraints, an equal amount of time reading your essay and comparing it to the model answer. Read for comprehension, also. There might be a point of law that you did not know that you can learn from reading the model answer.

For those states like California who have performance tests, you also must include taking the time to do the performance test also. In California, your performance tests take 3 hours, so your practice sessions will be much time intensive. Try doing 1 performance test every other day. This way you can probably get 7 or 8 performance tests in practice prior to the bar exam. On the days you do not do a performance test, practice your essays.

In between the essays and performance tests, you also need to prepare for the Multistate. Try to get in at least 50-100 MBE questions per day, if you can. This way you can really be sharp when exam time comes.

Don’t take the time to panic, but do take the time to practice. You will be more prepared than you think possible if you follow this schedule.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

California Bar Exam Statistics for July 2009 by Law School

We love the fact that California is one of the few states that have complete transparency in its bar exam. California has the complete statistics by law school, by race, by gender, etc. Here are some interesting facts by law school:

All first time takers who attended a California law schools that is ABA approved pass by a 79.3%, repeat takers pass at a 31.2% rate.

Out of state ABA approved law students pass at a 69.4% rate and repeat takers by 26.8%.

Students who attend California accredited law schools that is not ABA approved pass by 32.2% with repeat takers passing at a 12.6% rate.

Students who attend California unaccredited law schools pass at a 26.5% rate with repeat takers passing at an 11.5% rate.

US Attorneys who take the general California bar exam pass at a 58.3% rate with repeat takers passing at a 32.5% rate.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The MBE on the Bar Exam

Here is the way to examine and analyze your MBE questions on the bar exam:

Reading a Question

Because of time constraints, you will have time for only one reading of the fact pattern. Do not read the fact pattern as a novel. As you know, one of the major changes of the multistate is that there will be one fact pattern for one question.
You must read carefully and actively to spot signal words and legally significant facts. Pay attention to the bar examiners’ particular use of language and look for the following as you read:

1) Relationships between parties that signal the area of law and legal duties: landlord/tenant, employer/employee, principal/agent, buyer/seller;

2) Amounts of money, dates quantities and ages;

3) Words such as “oral” and “written,” “reasonable” and “unreasonable,” among others;

4) Words that indicate the actor’s state of mind. These are crucial for Criminal Law and Tort questions. Look for such language as:
• Intended
• Decided
• Mistakenly thought
• Deliberately
• Reasonably believed

Never Assume Facts

The bar examiners carefully construct MBE questions to contain all the facts you need to answer the question. You must rely solely on these facts and no others, to answer the question. Of course you may draw reasonable inferences from the facts but you cannot fabricate your own or create “what if” scenarios.

Stick to the Law

You must apply the rule of law to the facts without hesitation or equivocation. You cannot get emotionally involved with the parties or substitute your instincts for what you know is legally correct. Don’t think someone is guilty when the call of the question say he is not. That is not what the question is asking you.