California Bar Exam: Grateful for the Appreciation! AKA, I love my job!

Hi all,

Just thought I would share one of our testimonials from July 2018. Congratulations Matthew! So happy for your news!

MM email

I don’t claim to be able to “predict” the topics tested on the written portion of the bar exam. But, every bar round I work up what I think are likely testable essay scenarios. I base these “predictions” from  the many years of studying the California bar exam. The bar examiners recycle and repeat essay exams every year. Exact, or nearly exact, repeats are usually years apart. However, sometimes the bar examiners repeat a very similar essay from one round to the next and then drop it for several years.

As a result, this topic tends to drop off course providers radar and consequently, bar examinees miss out. I mean, come on, there is so much to learn and try to pare down. If it isn’t given extra focus or is dismissed as less likely, well you are likely to be stumped on the day of the bar exam.

So where did my “predictions” come from this July 2018?

I prepared 7 essay scenarios that I felt were likely to show up in July. All five essays tested were out of the 7 essay scenarios that I “predicted. I also provided sample essays and answers for all of the essay scenarios from past California bar exams.

Essay five was the Dormant Commerce Clause essay and would be incredibly tricky if you have never seen the way the bar examiners want it written. Two key things to keep in mind when writing any essay is to 1) know the approach for each topic and have it committed to memory and 2) to KNOW how much real estate each issue should take up on your exam answer. In other words, how much time does each issue get; how much space do you give it? Is it one or two sentences? A full paragraph or a full page? The very best way to learn this is to review past bar exam essays and the California bar examiners selected (for a reason) released answers.

The last time the Dormant Commerce Clause was tested was in 2005. It was also tested the year before in 2004. However, these essays are no longer on the bar website and can be hard to find.

I had a very strong feeling that this topic was really due and so it was one of my “predictions” for the July 2018 bar exam. I do not doubt that having exposure to this information and to have received the two most recent essays and answers helped my students. But, it is so nice to hear it. It can be a real confidence builder to see something you expect and have studied the approach for – especially for the last essay of the day.

Free Score Reviews Still Available!

I am still offering score reviews for a limited time, on a first come, first serve basis. Please see our information for repeat takers at Bar None Review. To receive a free score review submit a picture or scan of your score sheet with your name visible and provide your phone number. I will continue to review these as long as I can leading up to bar review studies going into full force 🙂

Lisa Duncanson
Founder/Program Director
Bar None Review