Survey Results & Takeaways

For the 10-day period from the period of June 18th thru the last response which (I believe) was yesterday, June 28th.survey1

Takeaway 1: As you can see, you should not be panicking that you aren’t at a certain percentage by today, the vast majority of your peers are in the same boat – over 77% of them, if you want to go by this survey. Yes, I am aware the smaller the sample size the greater the margin of error, but working with the best data I have available, it certainly seems that the trend at the moment is 20-60%, which is a fair distance from the magic number or target percentage your program suggested.

survey2

Takeaway 2: In terms of the MBE, which are also fair game for the MEE, 50% of people that answered the survey found that property is the MBE topic they fear most, and that is understandable given the breadth of the topic. Somewhat surprisingly (at least, to me) Constitutional Law is 2nd and Evidence 3rd, suggesting those are the topics that I should focus on but also that – again, temporarily forgetting the margin of error – examinees can focus their studies on to score points in relation to other examinees, AND…

Takeaway 3: that you are not alone in how you feel. I can’t attempt to predict more without further data, such as if it is mortgages and the land sale contract type issues, auction/foreclosure stuff, covenants, servitudes, and easements, etc.

survey3

I think this one speaks for itself, but it is interesting to note that this question does not directly correlate with data on percentage complete of a bar prep program. But shake out those nerves and carry on bar preppers – it’s essentially the home stretch.

Condensing Down & Bar Exam Countdown

Hello All!

I have been getting questions about whether or not to condense things, if so, how to condense, and if there is enough time to do so.

My first and most important point would be if you do not feel as though you will have time to study every topic and condense them down or never did that for law school and are trying it for the first time with approximately a month left until the exam, it may not be for you. However, if you would like to condense down and feel you have enough time to do so or have done enough practice at this point that you can identify specific subtopics to focus on, go for it.

As far as my procedure regarding condensing and memorizing, I’ll use Civil Procedure and Contracts and Sales as examples, because I felt that I did nail down those outlines. In fact, none are longer than 5 pages.

The process I used: So you have your outline book (hypothetically) which has long outlines (I think contracts and sales was around 70 pages), and lecture handouts, which usually average anywhere from a mere 10 page reduction or as high as a 30 page reduction. So when viewing lectures, I took notes in the margins and if there was something I didn’t understand or needed to review, I marked it in the margins as well and inserted the relevant info. Then I used and reviewed my Critical Pass and Studicata supplemental resources to ensure my understanding and consistency among elements. Finally, I broke everything down into an outline as I understood it, including issues to spot, rules/tests, exceptions, side notes, memory devices, and abbreviations. Then, after the fact, went back and color coded them, as I was a big color-coder in law school. It sounds like a lot of work but honestly I was able to do them in 2 days (while still doing work for my prep program) and in one day if I had little to do or decided to dedicate a day to a particular topic I was weak in.

Finally, I also experimented with differing formats, which partially depended on the topic but also whether organization or substance needed to be focused on, etc.. For example, see below for a fairly non-traditional/ different outlines in terms of structure, color-coding, etc. but effective nonetheless:

 

 

If outlines are not for you, don’t worry – this post is meant for those who have asked questions regarding outlines. Keep practicing essays and MBE questions and study hard!

As a side note, I did not make outlines for every topic and also used more traditional formats, but I found that certain alternatives were more effective.

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 a CATS BAFFFLER (note the extra ‘f’). Conspiracy, ATtempt, Solicitation (the inchoate crimes), and Burglary, Assault, Forgery, False pretenses, First degree murder, Larceny, Embezzlement, Robbery.
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!

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!

Coming Soon

Hi Law Students and Bar Examinees,

In the coming week I plan on updating my Studicata Product Review, as I have been given access to their July product and there are some nice new features, bonuses, and price changes. Similarly, I have received two requests: a flowchart on Jurisdiction for Civil Procedure and a condensed outline for – wait for it – Civil Procedure. Look for that material towards the end of next week/beginning of June. I generally take requests in 3’s to prevent overloading myself, so if you have a request on any (for now, MBE) topic, get it in via comments, my contact page, facebook, or twitter quickly!

Happy Thursday/Happy Studying!

Requests

A quick post:

If anyone has requests for a visual study aid such as a flow chart or diagram or want memory devices or strategies that I have created for myself, simply contact me on twitter, my website (here via the contact page), or facebook. Additionally, please note that I will be updating my review on Studicata to reflect bonus content that they are offering as well as their new price point for this season, which is lower than the review currently lists.

Also, please let me know if any current uploads are unclear. I have been told that one or two are fuzzy but I was also told by some people that experiences that on our “study materials” section were able to get the material in a clearer former via my original blog post. If both are showing up as fuzzy for you, let me know.

Happy Studying!

A Fresh Start & Welcome

Hello Bar Examinees!

The time has come, the time some of you have been dreading and others probably repressed any thought of the workload associated with Bar Preparation.

Repeat takers or prior visitors to this website will probably notice that I have archived a significant number of posts. Part of that is due to the nature of some posts relating to the amount of time left before the exam. For example, I usually post something in or around mid-June or January, and do the same at the beginning of July and February and sometimes the last week or two weeks. Other posts that I archived were brief posts on lifting spirits and motivating or trying to provide brief comedic relief that only law students, graduates, examinees, and so on would understand find funny. Finally, I also plan on revamping the site in some aspects as time allows, so it made sense to me that I would

I will also be posting additional materials that I make as time allows, and I have also archived posts on suggested alternate methods of studying with examples. Below you can find discount codes and product reviews as well as diagrams and flowcharts I have uploaded. I will also be posting a poll or two to see whether there are requests for a certain topic or subtopic to make some sort of study aid for, as well as a poll on progress because I did that this past February and it was a popular post that gathered a good number of responses. For any other questions, concerns, or comments, please feel free to leave a message in the comment section or contact me via the contact page, on twitter, or on facebook.

Happy Studying!