Tips, Tricks, Strategies, and Examples

Hello Examinees!

Due to requests, I decided to post some of my memory devices for various areas of law. I will endeavor to continue adding additional topics and subtopics, but for now I figured I would post what I have.

Criminal Law:S_64271a8f-750a-4912-b35e-acdb873ef200SELRES_64271a8f-750a-4912-b35e-acdb873e

For criminal law, I focused on intent because not only can you list out crimes by memorizing the different categories of intent, but you know which defenses can apply to a crime in light of its intent requirement.
SPECIFIC INTENT: Specific Intent crimes are CATS BAFFFLERS(note the extra ‘f’). Conspiracy, ATtempt, Solicitation (the inchoate crimes), and Burglary, Assault, Forgery, False pretenses, First degree murder,
GENERAL INTENT: “I learned General Intent Crimes in My KRIB. Manslaughter, Kidnapping, Rape, false Imprisonment, and Battery.

Evidence:

This may look familiar, as my law school professor and some supplements and at least one bar prep program use it but here we go:
Hearsay EXCLUSIONS (no unavailability required) “I Learned Hearsay Exclusions on PBJ PAPERS.” Learned: learned treatise; PBJ = public records, business records, judgements of prior convictions; PAPERS: Present sense impression, Ancient documents, Past physical condition [for med diagnosis or treatment], Excited utterance, Recorded recollection and State of mind (present state of mind).
NOTE: If it works better for you just PBJ PAPERS or vice versa, but while it is not heavily tested for some reason it seemed for class and bar prep one extra one that is tacked on is learned treatise so that is why I made it into that sentence. There are other exclusions which do not require unavailability but I’m assuming/from my experience are scarcely tested like vital statistics and family records under the same provision [FRE 803].
Hearsay Eexemptions: “HE Packs A Powerful Punch” (Hearsay Exemptions: Prior inconsistent statement, Admissions*, prior consistent statement, and prior statement of ID;
*on admissions: ‘admissions run on C-JAVA’ or alternatively ‘admissions run on Coffee & JAVA [Co-conspirator, Judicial, (And) Vicarious Admissions].
Non-Hearsay uses of out of court statements that are valid LIKE Me – Independent Legal significance (the order of the L and I are reversed but it never hurt me), Knowledge of listener, Effect on listener, and [state of] Mind (or Mental state).

Torts: Here I used analogies (Harry Potter, specifically the Chamber of Secrets)

Assault: Ron assaulted Draco even though Ron suffered the harm and was the initial aggressor because [Draco’s] words are inadequate provocation and thus by casting the Slug-Vomiting charm, Ron put Draco in imminent apprehension of bodily harm.
Battery: Draco could have battered and would have battered Harry but for the fact that they were in a dueling club amidst a dangerous climate in the school, so consent is implied at the very least.
Transferred Intent: One could further argue that Justin Finch-Flechy was also assaulted by Draco via the snake he conjured because there was intent which was transferred (i.e. transferred intent applies to assault) and Draco’s action put Justin in reasonable apprehension of an imminent harmful or offensive contact and thus Justin can recover nominal but in same cases punitive damages. However, a court could rule either way depending on whether they find that Justin’s presence at the dueling club constituted implied consent.
Then if you want to have some fun, pretend one of them won their claim or that instead, Justin or Draco’s parents sued Lockhart and Snape for negligence. Look to the standard/duty owed in the situation and whether it was breached, the cause of the injuries (but-for and proximate causation), and the injury at issue (damages!).

I hope people find some of these to be helpful and at the very least demonstrate some of the alternative and suggested methods of memorizing the law. Any feedback is welcome!

Study hard!

Monday Motivation

Hello Bar Examinees!

Is this you?

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Well that’s okay, everyone should take the Bar seriously. The key is to keep pushing. Remember, this may seem overwhelming, but it is temporary.

Some wise words to go by – and remember, mind over matter!

Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right. —Henry Ford

EDIT/NOTE: I know this was not published Monday. I scheduled it to be published Monday – or so I thought – and for whatever reason it did not get posted. However, the message and point are still valid despite it being a Tuesday 😉

Of Supplements, Bar Studying, and Discounts

A lot of people have inquired of me about my opinion on supplements. I personally feel that if you are wondering about supplements for bar preparation, there is usually a reason or area that you have come across that is troubling or confusing to you.

In such situations, I think it wise to purchase them sooner than later – you do not want to be 2 weeks out from the exam and purchasing a product to desperately drill and hope some information soaks in for the MBE or MEE.

I have made plain how I feel about Studicata and its utility and you can find my full review here: Studicata Review and Discount or simply click right here and utilize my discount code, which will save you 15% off your purchase.

There are also people who have asked about Critical Pass flashcards and as far as they go, it depends; did flashcards work for you in law school? If so, they are quite comprehensive and meant for the MBE and you can find my discount code for them HERE.

Finally, stay tuned for visual aids/new material from me this week!

A Quick Post – Tips and Strategies

I received a question regarding strategies I have used, suggested in the past, or if I have any “original” strategies to suggest. At the moment I cannot think of any original strategies in particular, but I polled a couple of friends and I have a list of the non-traditional study methods that my friends and I have used.

      1. Mnemonics;
      2. Analogies (fictional – tv series, movies, books)
      3. Analogies (based on real life experiences)
      4. Short songs/nursery rhymes
      5. Altering song lyrics
        ^This can actually be  quite amusing and border on fun
      6. Identify your weak areas, take time to understand the rules, write them down in your own words, and read them aloud
      7. Group Study/Discussion (these days, very easy to do over the internet and great for people that lean towards auditory learning or have a keen memory for discussions)
      8. Acronyms
      9. Puns or “Punning” (For example pairing a rule with its term or issue that gives rise to it; ex: Gross Negligence)
      10. When in doubt, do what has worked for you thus far. Let’s face it, part of the reason people are asking or wondering about alternate methods is likely due to the volume of material that must be memorized, the fact that the exam is painfully long, perhaps not passing your first time, etc. However, you have come this far and gone through how many years in the world of academia that – in my opinion – you should let practice exams, essays, and questions reveal if you need additional help or alternative methods to remember something. As they say, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.

Bar Motivation

As the big day gets closer and study days get longer, I know some (if  not many) of you will need or be looking for an extra something to keep you grinding and drilling. Thus, the “Bar Motivation,” Page.

To celebrate this inaugural motivational post, a quote from a longtime favorite of mine – J.K. Rowling:

It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.

Choose to push forward, to know and identify your weaknesses and strengths, to practice and work like never before, and go into the Bar Exam on test day knowing that you made the right choices. Do not allow poor performance in one area or struggling in one area stop you or bring you down, but rise to the occasion.

 

Studicata Product Review & Discount

An Updated Review for July 2018! Read on to see what new features/products are available now!

Product Type: Study supplement/aid, rule drilling, issue spotting for the MBE, UBE/MEE, and California Bar Exams. If you already know about Studicata and are simply looking for the discount code, it is: right here and will save you 15% off your purchase.

Who is it for? Examinees sitting for the UBE/MEE, or the California Bar Exam (35 states, plus Guam, Mariana Islands, Palau, and the Virgin Islands). To see the full list of jurisdictions, click HERE.

Rating: 4.75/5

Mobile App: Yes, for flashcards.

What is it and What do you get? Studicata is a 3-in-1 product that includes detailed outlines (“Attack Outlines”), Flashcards, and short Summaries. In their words, you attack, drill, and master with each product, respectively.

Attack Outlines: The attack outlines cover every testable subject and its sub-topics in a well-organized, logical order and include the proper/necessary legal terminology, but in my opinion, are also worded in such a way as to promote understanding a concept rather than merely providing something to attempt to memorize. Understanding is key to the analysis and application of a rule, be it an essay or an MBE fact pattern.

The attack outlines are also beautiful in contrast to the black and white of bar prep company outlines, with color on topic headings and a colored scale ranging from orange to blue to grey, which shows the test frequency (and arguably the importance) of a rule or concept based on research conducted by Studicata of past Bar Exams. This is certainly where I would recommend starting. Remarkably, the attack outlines are also substantially shorter than the two outline books that bar prep companies send to you – my attack outline document is just under 200 pages, which I believe equates to roughly 3 MBE topic outlines. I would also like to note that Studicata has updated their frequency/percentage statistics since the February exam. In comparing their product from February to the product currently being offered, the frequency of certain rules have been adjusted. Whether this is based on data from the February exam or the most recently released MBE data, it is clear that the Studicata team is doing their due diligence in keeping abreast of not just changes in law, but also changes in testing trends and topic frequency. Finally, I decided to choose a random topic, read it aloud, and recorded it to compare the time it takes to get through one “Big 7” MBE subject as opposed to how long it would to read a traditional bar exam company outline. I tried to read it at a pace comparable to a typical lecture pace, while also trying to ensure I understood it. The total time spent was 50 minutes for Contracts and Sales. In other words, it is a massive time saver, thus allowing examinees more time to practice.

Flashcards come in 3 different PDF files which give you different options on how to print them (i.e. front and back, foldable, etc.) and comes with an app. They are therefore exceptionally easy to print, and you can bring them wherever you go through the app. Flashcards come for every topic testable on the UBE (MBE and MEE) and presumably for every topic tested in California and other territories. One of the great things about the flashcards is that they do not just cover rules and concepts, but there are also cards that focus solely on issues and gateway issues. In other words, Studicata has incorporated issue spotting and how certain analyses go into their flashcards. Thus, on top of drilling the rules, exceptions, and concepts, you can drill issue spotting and analysis, all of which are important to your essay writing.

  • The App: I am so impressed with the app that Studicata has developed that I feel the need to comment on it separately. This app comes with several different modes that are useful and allow the user to use several or a single study method to learn, including allowing the user to create custom study sets and even allow you to create folders to organize said study sets. The first study mode is Learn, where the user chooses a topic and goes through a set of flashcards, reading the substance of the card (be it a rule or an issue) and then the user must choose from 4 possible answers as to what the substance is. If you get a card incorrect, it alerts you and shows you the card a second time immediately thereafter for review. The next mode is Flashcards, which is the most like using physical flash cards – you read one side, swipe, and read the other. This mode also allows the user to “favorite” flashcards and for audio learners, you can click a button and the app will read the card to you. Write mode also has audio, or you can not turn your volume off and simply read one side of the flashcard, and you type (or “write”) the concept, rule, etc. and enter your answer. If you get one incorrect, it shows the correct answer and requires you to type it before moving on, which is another excellent way to retain information. Match mode shows a total of 12 cards (6 for one side, 6 for the other) and the user must match the name of the rule, statute, etc., with its definition. This may sound too easy, as process of elimination or carefully reading the cards would allow the user to figure out the match. While that may be true, I submit to you that that approach can help you learn. However, there is a catch: you are timed, so you have the time pressure component and can try to go faster each time. Not only is this a somewhat fun exercise, particularly in the context of studying for the Bar Exam, but in this blogger’s opinion the timer bringing in a speed component will prove fruitful when time demands you to recall rules or spot issues. Finally, there is Test mode, which is self-explanatory, but the user can customize the number of questions, whether you are tested by term or definition, and whether you want to answer by multiple choice, writing, or true/false (see below – click the thumbnail images to open a new tab and view full sized) Other Features: The Studicata App allows you to set a test date (or, should you want to, an earlier date). By setting a test date and beginning your review of a topic on the app, the app will then send notifications based on your test date as a reminder to study or review for a certain topic. I am not sure as to what criteria goes into sending along a notification, but I would recommend starting at different times rather than going into the settings and setting every topic up at the same time. I did the latter after I had played around with the app on contracts, and I get reminders for all of those topics at the same time. However, I think (I could be wrong but I am sure a Studicata representative would be happy to answer this) that if you do the topics as they come up in your bar prep program or your bar study schedule, then you should theoretically get reminders at different times, as it does remind me to do contracts at a different time than all the other topics. Regardless of the methodology behind the reminders and days until your test, it is undoubtedly a helpful feature that – at least as of this past summer – even some bar prep program apps do not have (and I used one of the main/major companies).

 

Summaries: The summaries are condensed 2 to 4 page per subject summaries that list off the rules you should know and have memorized and therefore are not only good for their condensed nature but can be used in a number of ways. I know some people who used them towards the end of studying to make up for perhaps not studying as much or as hard as one should have on a topic or were used in the same manner due to the fact that studying for the bar can be difficult in and of itself, but life happens; if you get sick and are out of commission or there is a family emergency or something else that may throw a wrench in your study pattern, and thus this could be a fast way of catching up. However, I liked to use the summaries not only as review but as a checklist. I would put a check next to a rule that I had memorized, and highlight or circle any that I misunderstood or had not entirely memorized, which I found to be a very useful self-assessment tool.

*NEW Product* ESSAY TEMPLATES: For an additional $29.00, you may elect to get Studicata’s Essay Templates, which provide practice for issue spotting, sub-issues, and organizational structure for essays in 6 of the big 7 MBE topics – Torts, Crim Pro [less crim law], Evidence, Contracts, Constitutional Law, and Civil Procedure. The essay templates also are helpful for understanding a particular process and can even be easily diagramed out. For example, there are bolded, bracketed, statements saying things to the effect of “If there is X then Y,” and “If X is not present then Z.” Finally, the Essay Templates show examples of rules and application thereof, and contain fill-in-the-blank aspects to provide extra practice and retention. A sample of the new essay templates can be viewed HERE.

Purchasing the Product: Examinees may purchase the Attack Outlines for $89.00, or upgrade to the full 3-part system for $168.00. If you choose to add on the new Essay Templates for $29.00, your total comes to $197.00, before using a discount code. In contrast, the old price was $267.00.

Bonuses to Buying the 3-part System: Examinees who purchase the 3-part Studicata System are granted access to a closed Facebook group with fellow examinees as well as professionals in the field and will similarly be granted access to weekly Question and Answer videos as well as Essay Dissection videos. The videos will also be viewable by product users and start June 1st. However, the Studicata Co-Founder doing these videos has made other videos public and available on YouTube covering a number of topics from substantive/black letter law videos to schedule advice videos and can be viewed on their YouTube Channel Here.

DISCOUNT CODE: To save even more, whether you bundle or only purchase 1 product, claim a 15% discount by clicking here  (savings vary depending on how and what you purchase)

What do I get out of this? Nothing. Seriously. I have no financial incentive to promote the product, my code is not part of the new Studicata Affiliate program (which purchasers may want to look into) whereby you can earn commissions to get your money back. I reviewed this product because I found it immensely helpful and this website is about law and bar preparation and so on, and Michael, the Co-Founder allowed me the opportunity to review the changes in his product.

Have Questions? If you have any further or more nuanced questions regarding Studicata, I would encourage you to visit their Homepage and use the chat function to speak to a member of their team.

Bar Tips to Keep in Mind – Not Fall Behind!

Just some broad tips to help ease the pain and stay on track. I know it is memorial day weekend everyone is likely to be off on Monday and perhaps you have not fallen behind, but may fall behind due to some sort of festivities, be it a barbecue or a birthday. I also have noticed on top law schools forums (TLS is great, their bar prep/discussion forums are here and worth checking out) that there are people behind “already” to use their words and are on the panic train. But fear not! I have you covered.

  1. Keep track of your time and budget it wisely from the start. If you are taking the UBE and are NOT sure how to allocate your time I suggest locking down the “big 7” MBE topics and the MPT first. Why? The MBE is 50% of the score, your MPT’s are 20%, and since the big 7 are fair game for the MEE, assume conservatively (this can be argued, but since there have been recent test sessions with as many as 4 MBE focused or related essays, I will call this a conservative estimate) that 2 of your 6 essays are either entirely MBE topics or that they will be mixed in with hybrid essays, such that they account for a portion of your total score equal to two essays. That would mean that the Big 7 and MPT’s alone can add up to 80% of your total score.
  2. As Bar Prep begins, make sure you stay on top of practice essays and MBE question sets to identify what subjects  or subtopics need attention (i.e. identify your weak points and study, practice, review, practice, study, practice, then repeat).
  3. DO NOT PANIC! Remember, this exam is only as much of a beast as you make it, and you have invested time in law school and internships/externships/clinics/law reviews, and so on.
  4. Use what you know! Cant fit any more mneumonics, acronyms, or songs into your brain? Use what you know best and try analogizing. Have a book or movie series you know by heart? A lot of rules and tests can be put into the context of your choice. Have a memorable law school moment or real life experience that applies? Then use that – whatever works best!
  5. Do not be afraid to ask for help! If there is a major subtopic you do not understand, reach out to someone, whether it be someone at a bar prep company or a study buddy or people online, whether it is one of us, a friend, a discussion or thread in a forum (top law schools appears to have fairly lively, and multiple, bar prep threads/discussions).

Note: These are 5 tips specific to the bar exam, but make sure that you are getting enough sleep, shoot for exercise of some sort for 30 minutes a day, eat healthy and get your essential vitamins and proteins!