Bar Exam “Predictions”

Hello Everyone,

As is pretty common during this time of year, I have received many questions about bar exam predictions for the upcoming bar exam. I am pasting my reply to one of these questions below. See what I had to say to George below.

We should have more information/predictions posted by Tuesday, so please visit again. But, keep in mind that no one can predict the essay topics on the bar exam. It would be incredibly foolish to think that you could predict which subjects to study and which subjects you could skip. Yet, I have students ask me every bar round for advice about “which subjects” to study. The answer is: everything. You need to study every tested topic.

Stay tuned . . . more postings to follow in the next few days. Until then, good luck in your studies!


Lisa Duncanson
Founder/Program Director
Bar None Review

Hello George,

First of all, thank you for visiting.

I am currently in the midst of grading my students’ three-day simulated bar exam. I will be returning their exams tomorrow and as a result do not have a great deal of time to respond today. However, I will post a list of possible topics that I think could be particularly likely – given their absence on past exams. Check back on Monday or Tuesday and I should have some information up then.

Until then, here are some of my thoughts: Criminal Procedure perhaps crossed with another topic (like Evidence) or simply just Criminal Procedure all by itself.

Civil Procedure is pretty high on everyone’s list of predicted topics (I would guess that most bar review companies would be predicting Civil Procedure), simply because it has not been tested in some time. Add to the fact that it has not been tested in a while and that there are a few California additions (as of July 2007) now being tested, and I think most anyone in the bar review business would predict Civil Procedure.

Corporations also has not been tested in some time and is another likely subject. However, it is really important to recognize that you need to know every subject and know it well because the California bar examiners have really designed an exam that is nearly impossible to predict. In fact, the examiners actually employ statisticians to make sure that the frequency and pattern of subjects chosen for the exam are not predictable.

Here is a warning that I give all of my students – do not think that because something was just tested on the prior exam that it will not be on the very next exam. You CAN NOT discount these topics or presume that what was on the last bar exam will not be on the next. A perfect example of this are the past two bar examinations (February 2007 and July 2007). Both of administrations tested Constitutional Law First Amendment Speech. Yet, most people presumed that since it was just tested on the February 2007 bar exam that it would not be tested again on the July 2007 bar exam. In fact, many topics have repeated three times back to back from one bar exam to the next.

If you were to review every past bar exam over the past 25 years in California you would see that nearly every bar round there is a repeat of 3 subjects from one bar exam to the next. Often these show up in the form of a cross over on the next exam where the topic repeats. For example, you might see a full blown First Amendment Speech essay (as we did on the February 2007 bar exam) and then it is followed up on the next bar exam administration as a crossover (we saw this in July 2007 where Criminal Law Murder was one call of a two call essay question and First Amendment Speech was the second call of that essay question).

I hope this helps for now. I will do my best to put up more about topics I think are likely. I would use this information as a way to include additional review on certain areas – but, NOT as a replacement for studying and reviewing all areas. I am sure that you realize this.

Thank you again for your comment. If you wish to contact me directly you may do so at

Please bear in mind that I will be pretty swamped for the next few days. However, we try to respond to every email as quickly as possible.

Good luck to you!


Lisa Duncanson
Program Director/Founder
Bar None Review
(562) 799-5581