Hello Bar takers!
Take control of your bar prep and refocus your studies now! There is still time to really improve your scores before the exam, do not miss out on this opportunity to learn insider tips and the nuances required to earn above passing Essays and an above passing PT score. Gain these important insights with the Bar Exam Cram Session! We still have room in our upcoming, final Bar Exam Cram Session for the July 2021 Bar Exam! Sign up today to reserve your spot and receive the predictions and selected essays the same day you sign up! For more information about the Bar Exam Cram Session, see this earlier post.
If you feel like you are behind in your studies or overwhelmed by the sheer volume of what you need to know, you are not alone. It is important to feel confident when you take the bar exam. All too often bar prep programs encourage students to read and attempt to memorize volumes of outlines. The sad thing is that examinees do not realize that 1) it isn’t possible, or even necessary, to memorize thousands of pages of bar exam outlines, 2) definitions that are paragraphs long are too unwieldy to use in an IRAC. Instead you need to focus on memorizing concise definitions and step by step approaches, 3) most examinees do not review enough essays or realize how critical it is to study the California Bar Exam’s released answers, and 4) most examinees do not even know why they are missing out on points!
Let me give you a few examples:
Did you know if you are writing a Defamation exam for the California Bar Exam that you are expected to also write about Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress? Did you know that you are also required to address either the Economic Torts (interference with prospective advantage, interference with contract) or the Privacy Torts?
Most examinees do not know this is required for a passing answer and end up missing issues and points.
Did you know that when the California Bar Examiners test defamation the fact pattern typically does not give you enough facts to fully develop IIED or the the Economic Torts and yet they still want to see a discussion of it on your exam? Why? Because they want to be sure that you will see these other tandem issues if you have a client coming to you for a defamation claim. Addressing these issues quickly lets the grader know that you truly understand Defamation.
The California Bar Examiners are less interested in seeing perfect rule statements and far more interested in seeing that you can identify and resolve all of the issues on the fact pattern. So, unless your course outlines include approaches that are specific to the California Bar Exam essays and what the California Bar Examiners embrace, you will have trouble writing essay answers that are passing.
Did you know that if you do not address prior restraint, over breath and vagueness on a First Amendment Speech exam that your answer is a failing answer?
Did you know that whenever a Charitable Trust is tested on the California Bar Exam that the examiners expect you to address the Rule Against Perpetuities? Do not freak out, it is easy. But, If you miss it, you lose points. And, if you catch it, you gain points and are more likely to create the benefit of the doubt in your favor with your bar grader.
Here is the why and how of it . . . a Charitable Trust goes on forever or until the Res of that trust no longer exists. The Rule Against Perpetuities does not apply to Charitable Trusts. However, should a Charitable Trust ever become a Private Trust, the Rule Against Perpetuities will apply and potentially extinguish the trust.
The California Bar Examiners will not provide any facts about a Charitable Trust changing to a Private Trust, BUT they still expect you to address the possiblity that a Charitable Trust could turn into a Private Trust and that the consequence of this would be that the Rule Against Perpetuities will apply. You are only required to include a couple of sentences about RAP and Private Trusts and you should not go into an analysis of RAP. Just simply make the point quickly and grab a some points that others may not receive.
Did you know that whenever you are called to address the 4th Amendment warrant exceptions that the California bar examiners want you to discuss “Consent” whether it was given or not. And if you have a search incident to an arrest, that you should address both “wingspan” and “protective sweep” whether the facts generate this or not?
There are so many other nuances and inside tips for every essay subject and subtopic. Knowing and addressing these more nuanced issues will create a benefit of doubt in your favor. The graders will notice. Without these areas addressed, your essay scores will suffer.
I am telling you this because I have worked with thousands of repeat bar takers – bar takers who studied very hard and followed all of the instructions from their bar prep provider and yet they still failed. Most examinees who do not pass are failing because they did not have the right information, did not study enough (or any) of the California Bar Exam essay’s released essay answers.
In addition, most repeat bar examinees did not limit their practice of MBEs to the National Conference of Bar Examiner’s (NCBE) MBEs.
You should not go into the bar exam without these required nuances or without a plan for the final weeks leading up to the bar exam. Whether you are a first time taker or a repeat taker, the odds are that you are not aware of these required areas because most review courses do not provide it or even know that it is required.
If you are a first time taker, don’t risk not having these insider tips. If you are a repeat taker, then you know that you need this and it is likely part of what was missing in your previous efforts.
Remember, the California bar exam is not an IQ test. It is simply a test and to pass it requires a lot more than rote memorization.
A few tips for the MBEs and how to increase your scores . . .
Any national bar prep program worth their salt has a license to use the MBEs from the NCBE. However, they also dilute the NCBE MBEs with questions drafted by their own instructors. This means that you are unknowingly spending time on questions that are truly NOT reflective of the actual bar exam.
Think of it this way, it doesn’t matter what I think or what your law school professor or bar prep instructor thinks is a “taking by force” such that a robbery has occurred . . . it ONLY matters what the drafters of the MBEs think factually is a “taking by force.” So, while the MBE questions change every year, the facts that give rise to a “taking by force” do not change. So my advice is to stay away from MBE resources that include non-NCBE MBEs.
For more information on how to approach the MBE portion of the exam, watch this recent video about studying for the MBEs. It is not too late!!
We hope to see you on July 17th via Zoom! Sign up now and receive the predictions and selected essays online, the same day sign up!