California Bar Exam: Good Luck Tomorrow!

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Hello All,

I want to wish everyone who is taking the bar exam tomorrow the very best of luck!

Remember to stay positive and keep your head above water tomorrow – don’t let the test get to you and remember that a big part of succeeding on this exam is simply not giving up and continuing to write and write and write. You can do it!

I do have a few final thoughts before day one’s essays . . .

Every bar round there are subjects that repeat from the prior bar round – not just Professional Responsibility, but other subjects as well. Therefore, it is always a good idea to consider what might be tested if a subject repeats. If you are a follower of my blog, then you will know that it is my opinion that you need to be prepared for every subject because the bar examiners can test anything they want to test. Your job is to be prepared for all of the bar tested subjects, regardless of whether it was just tested or not.

A good way (but, certainly no guarantee) of thinking about the subjects that might repeat and trying to figure out what might be more likely to show up should a subject repeat, is to consider what is most often tested within that subject. For example, on the essay exams one of the most commonly tested area within Property is the area of Landlord/Tenant. Property was just tested on the July bar exam (easements). So, if Property were to repeat I would not be surprised if you were to get Landlord/Tenant. Of course, there is no way to know if you will get property or if you would get landlord/tenant. But, historically landlord/tenant has been tested a great deal, so it is (like anything) a possibility.

If Civil Procedure were to repeat (and I think there is a good chance that it will) then I would consider jurisdiction issues (as these are tested very heavily) and in particular, I would not be surprised if you were to see diversity jurisdiction with an issue with aggregation (perhaps two defendants being sued but, neither for the jurisdictional amount required (exceeding 75,000.00) and so you would have to address aggregation. Often when this is tested, the plaintiff is seeking money damages against one defendant (but, the amount plead does not exceed 75,000.00) and is seeking against another defendant injunctive relief. The problem then becomes – can you aggregate the claims of the defendants. The answer is likely no. But, what the examiners want to see is a discussion of the issue – aggregation as well as a discussion of the injunction being given some type of valuation that could possibly be then aggregated to meet the amount in controversy. The problem however, even if the injunctive relief plus the damages can somehow meet the amount in controversy, is that the only way the claims against the defendants can be aggregated is if they were joint tortfeasors. Typically they will not be joint tortfeasors.

This is a key point to make – that often the answer may be clear, but it is not the answer (yes, or no) that the examiners care about as much as they care about the path. It is like showing your work on a math problem. It is key that you have the discussion. And, the discussion (your analysis and resolution of the problem) is worth far more than your actual answer/ conclusion.

Of course, there is no way to know whether you will have Civil Procedure or Property repeat from the July bar exam to the February bar exam. But, not a bad idea to consider it or think about it.

Above all, write your heart out tomorrow. Really, I mean it, write your heart out. Don’t leave anything out that you think about. If you dismiss an issue, then dismiss it on your paper/laptop screen. The graders don’t know if you left something out because you chose to or because you forgot or didn’t think about it. So, if you are dismissing something in your head, be sure to dismiss it on the page so that the grader knows what you were thinking.

All the best to everyone taking the bar tomorrow!

Remember, you can do it!