You Have Come This Far, Don’t Fear the Bar

As this is the approximate halfway mark into your bar examination studies I feel that it is prudent to remind students not to freak out. Yes, the study period is half over…which means you still have half of the study period to go and plenty of time to complete assignments, practice questions, do practice exams, and so forth.

While Bar Prep is not known for being fun or stress-free, it is important to remember the concept of mind over matter and shifting your perspective so that the Bar Exam is not your worst nightmare or a monster come test day. Now, I am not saying that it will be a dream or your best friend  – that would be a lie. But be diligent in your studies and go into the exam with the best frame of mind possible, knowing that you can pass the exam and you have prepared for it, and success will be just around the corner.

Lastly, I had a person ask me about tips I posted a little while ago. They asked with a healthy skepticism the why and how about my song/nursery rhyme tips. The why is because it can be almost fun and when put to a well known song or poem or nursery rhyme, quite memorable. The how? Well, without further ado, here is an example of one I somewhat embarrassingly wrote to the immortal tune of “Ice Ice Baby”:

Alright stop – adjudicate and listen, Brandeis is here with a landmark opinion,
Could be on free speech or right to privacy,
Olmstead, Louisville, even Erie don’t scare me,
Can you forum shop?
Under Erie, hell no,
Avoid inequity too, ‘n then go
To the extreme ‘cause exam day is comin’
Know Jurisdiction, pleadings, and how to motion,
Brandeis-eis baby Brandeis-eis baby….

Torts
Let’s talk the Intentional,
Startin’ with battery to be conventional,
Find intent, act, causation; go analytical,
Establish intent and look for contact,
Harmful or offensive and caused by D’s act,
Remember transferred intent,
Proof of damage? Not required,
But remember consent,
If it’s in a problem, yo don’t sweat it,
It’s a defense if in the scope and valid,
express consent baby, implied consent yeah baby,
both count, both count,
express and implied consent  yeah baby,
both count, both count.

Before anyone asks, no, I am not currently signed to a record label despite my undeniable talents

Own the Bar: Studicata Product Review & Discount

Studicata Product Review and Discount Code

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: UBESTUDYING and will save you 20% off of your purchase.

  • I have classified this as a study supplement because while the product is phenomenal, there are no practice or graded essays to gauge your score. However, it is excellent for understanding and memorizing rules and issue spotting, which will serve examinees well on the essay portion

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 stars

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.

The 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)

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.

Purchasing the Product: Examinees may purchase all 3 (or 4, counting the app) products separately for $97.00 each, or get the full package/ 3-in-1 bundle for $165 dollars, which saves more than $125.00. However, you can save more money with our special discount code.

DISCOUNT CODE: To save even more, whether you bundle or only purchase 1 product, enter the 20% discount code UBESTUDYING (savings vary depending on how and what you purchase).

What do I get out of it? Nothing. I have no professional or fiscal affiliation with Studicata and do not gain any monetary benefit from posting this review or promoting their product – I chose to do this on my own.

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.

UPDATE: Easier Access to Materials!

Greetings Bar Examinees!

I just wanted to appraise you all of a quick update to the site to make accessing my materials easier. Note the new “Study Aids” option at the top of the menu. This section will only contain uploaded materials at thumbnail size, meaning you will not have to read through blog posts or search the website to find them. All uploads have been posted to That Page as thumbnail picture links, so you merely need to click on the thumbnail and a new tab with the material you clicked on will open.  Note that depending on the upload, you may need to zoom in. Right-click, save, and you are done!

I hope this makes locating and using materials easier, and I am considering making a page indexing blog posts of bar exam tips, tricks, and so forth. Happy studying!

Game Time – Final Tips and Motivation

Now that we are in the final few days, some words of wisdom and tips…

  1. Freaking out over the mbe? Use your last few days to focus on the areas your bar prep company or supplemental materials state are most tested. For example, hearsay, negligence, individual rights/1st amendment rights (they seem roughly equal these days).
  2. Scared of the mpt’s? Don’t be. You practiced for them, you know your time limits and shortcomings by now, and everything we need is going to be in the library/file.
  3. Essay topics scaring you? Find the overlaps, look for the big picture and see if it all clicks. For example, on the UBE, look at your strictly MEE topics. Agency and business organizations flow easily, but look at conflict of laws – it is basically civ pro v. 2.0. Conflict of laws can also be mixed in with any number of topics, such as family law. Secured transactions? It’s basically an ugly baby of contracts and property law, depending on the context.
  4. Still scared of essay topics? Remember the points you can get for issue spotting and analysis, and maximize points whenever possible, such as in hybrid essays. Make sure to finish the questions but if you have no clue about a subquestion on one essay, do your best to issue spot, and then if need be, make up and apply a rule.
  5. Remember, we KNOW this stuff, it is a matter of retrieving it under pressure. 

Finally, if we do not pass, will it suck? Yes. A big disappointment? To us, yes. But remember that this test has been failed multiple times by well known jurists, senators, presidents, first lady’s, and so on. Not passing may suck but it certainly is not the end of the line, nor does it reflect your intelligence or how you will perform in whatever attorney role you take on. If you think it does, JFK Junior, Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Justice Cardozo, Governor Brown, and quite a few others would beg to differ.

So, walk in and out of the exam with your head held high, have some faith in yourself and remwmber: we can do this.

Critical Pass & crim diagram update

hi folks, I just wanted to apoligize that the criminal law diagram has not been uploaded yet, our contributor who made the diagram sent me a copy but with the disclaimer that he had not had the time to proof read it yet and while he had checked it against his handout, had yet to run through the outline to double check for accuracy,  which was a practice we had agreed on before our first post. So, keep your eyes open for both contracts and criminal law diagrams tomorrow. 

With regard to Critical  Pass, just a quick reminder again that our discount referral link has changed and can be found here or, should that link not work for some reason, at this URL: http://criticalpass.refr.cc/ubestudying

Also please note that they are currently now including their app and access thereto for a 1 year period for free, and while you will need to wait for the cards to ship (either free for standard shipping or if you choose a faster method you pay for), you should be granted immediate access to their app at purchase. 

That is all from me for the night, I ended at 11 and it is time for bed so I can hit the grind again tomorrow. Good night fellow Bar Preppers! 

Evidence and so on

This is the home stretch everyone! I will be uploading my hearsay flow chart today but be forewarned, I do not delve into “non-hearsay exemptions,” for spacial concerns as well as the confusing seemingly interchangeable terminology, which I think is more a result of your prep company/evidence lecturer preference, outline or material-writer preference, and law school professor preference. For example, I learned exemptions, exclusions, and exceptions in law school, but my bar prep company uses the terms in a different way.  In bar prep, exclusions and exceptions seem synonymous and are used to describe both exceptions requiring unavailability and where unavailability is immaterial; further, while my bar prep company refers to rule 801(d) exceptions as “non-hearsay exclusions,” while my 2014 copy of the FRE and some cursory research reveals the rule itself refers to them as exclusions and “Statements That Are Not Hearsay.” At the same time, a contributor and friend of mine using a different company and a secondary resource/study system stated that they (still on rule 801) used the terms non-hearsay and exemptions. I have therefore used both “not hearsay exclusions,” and “non-hearsay exemptions,” where i touch on 801. Simply bear in mind that there are uses or purposes for certain non-hearsay purposes (i.e. not offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted) such as effect on the listener, a statement offered to show the declarants mental state or state of mind, and/or impeachment purposes. Remember, this is intended to help you so if it causes confusion due to terminology ignore it or perhaps print it out and integrate your preferred terminology. If you have questions or feel there are errors, as always feel free to contact me. Last note: we do not need to know number rules for the Bar, as I understand, but I incorporated rule numbers where applicable for those of you who do prefer to go by rule number.

Evidence and so on

This is the home stretch everyone! I will be uploading my hearsay flow chart today but be forewarned, I do not delve into “non-hearsay exemptions,” for spacial concerns as well as the confusing seemingly interchangeable terminology, which I think is more a result of your prep company/evidence lecturer preference, outline or material-writer preference, and law school professor preference. For example, I learned exemptions, exclusions, and exceptions in law school, but my bar prep company uses the terms in a different way.  In bar prep, exclusions and exceptions seem synonymous and are used to describe both exceptions requiring unavailability and where unavailability is immaterial; further, while my bar prep company refers to rule 801(d) exceptions as “non-hearsay exclusions,” while my 2014 copy of the FRE and some cursory research reveals the rule itself refers to them as exclusions and “Statements That Are Not Hearsay.” At the same time, a contributor and friend of mine using a different company and a secondary resource/study system stated that they (still on rule 801) used the terms non-hearsay and exemptions. I have therefore used both “not hearsay exclusions,” and “non-hearsay exemptions,” where i touch on 801. Simply bear in mind that there are uses or purposes for certain non-hearsay purposes (i.e. not offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted) such as effect on the listener, a statement offered to show the declarants mental state or state of mind, and/or impeachment purposes, etc. Remember, this is intended to help you so if it causes confusion due to terminology ignore it or perhaps print it out and integrate your preferred terminology. If you have questions or feel there are errors, as always feel free to contact me. Last note: we do not need to know number rules for the Bar, as I understand, but I incorporated rule numbers where applicable for those of you who do prefer to go by rule number.