Saturday, January 22, 2011

Know the Black Letter Law and Test Your Way to Success on the Bar Exam

In addition to putting in the study time, you need to learn how to maximize your study time. How do you go about getting the biggest bang out of your study time?

First, build a good, solid foundation of the black letter law. In order to have a good foundation, you must review each bar exam subject. Go through each subject, one by one and absorb each subject as best you can. As you go through the subject, make sure you understand the basic law before you move on.

To build a foundation of the law, you need to break the subject areas into more manageable components. Break your subject into topics. And go through the elements of the topics of each subject.

What I mean by that is to take a subject, like Torts. Then break the Tort subject down to topics, i.e. Negligence. Do you know all the elements of negligence? Do you know the elements of battery? You can outline it and/or make sure you know it by heart before you move on. You can do that memorization by reciting it or writing it down without looking at your notes or outlines.

Once you feel you know that topic, do a few essay questions and some MBE on that topic just so you know you have it.

Don’t scatter-shoot your studying. Learn the topic thoroughly before you move on to your next topic in the subject area. Don’t go through the topics of the subject areas all at once, i.e. don’t go through battery, assault, false imprisonment and not know each one by heart. Stop at battery, recite it, do some MBE and then move to assault, and false imprisonment and the other topics of Torts. Do this for every topic in every subject. You do not want to read your subject outlines like a novel.

Read, learn, recite, memorize, test yourself and move on.

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