I will be posting my “predictions” for the July 2012 bar exam later today.
In addition, I will post tips each day between now and the bar exam. Topics will include: how to study in the final days and hours, likely essay scenarios, as well as quick approaches for some of the possible essay topics.
So be sure to check back here on a regular basis.
Also, I am taking questions, so please feel free to email me if you have a question you would like to ask and I will do my best to answer it for you. You can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org (My enrolled students are my first priority. However, I will do my best to answer any questions that I can between now and the bar exam).
In the mean time, take a look at some of the study plans on this blog. It is very important to have a plan of attack for the remaining days leading up to the exam. While I have provided sample study plans, your plan can vary. It is more important that you have a plan for each day than your following every aspect of the suggested plans on this site. The key is to mix it up – rotate in multiple subjects into your review each day and be sure to spend a significant amount of time reviewing past essays – this is critical. Do not test yourself on these essays – simply read the fact pattern two or three times and then study the answer(s).
This is one of the best ways to prepare in the final days leading up to the bar exam. Most examinees make the mistake of spending all of their time cramming and memorizing the law and end up neglecting the essays. It is so important to see how the issues come up (how the issues are tested) on the California bar exam. No outline will accomplish this for you. And sadly, most examinees spend most of their time in outlines – divorced from the actual exam. My advice to you today and for next 7 days is to review as many past essays as possible. This is how you will improve your issue spotting and handling of the essays on the actual day. Also, it will greatly increase the likelihood that on the bar you will see essays that you have already seen all or part of before. How great would that be? You can make that happen by simply reviewing many essays every day.
Not only will review – right before the actual exam – of past essays improve your chances of spotting the correct issues, this essay review really is a substantive review. By reviewing four Civil Procedure essays in a row, you will have a much better understanding of how to approach the subject if it shows up on the exam. By the way, I am predicting Civil Procedure. This is a fairly obvious pick. Of course, it may or may not be there. But, if it is, it would probably be nice to know that the last time the California bar examiners tested In Personam Jurisdiction (the full minimum contacts analysis) was in 2006. And, this essay is no longer on the California bar exam website . . . interesting. This does not mean that Civil Procedure is a definite for the exam. But, it does mean that personal jurisdiction (specifically in personam jurisdiction) is due. Many things are “due” or “up”. All of this being said – no one can predict this exam. Nor should you direct your studies away from a topic because it isn’t on someone’s list of predicted topics. That would be very, very foolish.
So, read lots and lots of essay exams and answers. This will increase your issue spotting skills, serve as a substantive review that is in the actual context of the exam, and increase the chances of your actually seeing the exact or nearly exact essay or essays on the actual bar exam.
I will post again later today with my thoughts on what I believe is most likely to be tested. Keep in mind that anything can be tested. Do not dismiss any topic. First Amendment Speech was once tested three times back to back. Many other subjects have been tested three times in a row. Anything is possible. However, I will post what I think is more probable and provide essay scenarios of what I believe could come up on this exam.
Be sure to check back here for more and be sure to let others you know who are studying about my blog.
Remember that you can accomplish so much in these final days. This is really the most important time. You will be relying heavily on short term memory, so make certain that you study well in these last days. I am always stunned at how some examinees will say: “If I don’t already know it now, it is too late”. That could not be more untrue. It is NOT too late. Read essays, read essays, read essays!
I wish all who are studying for this exam the very best of luck!
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