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Author Topic: Memoirs of a Bar Examinee  (Read 90171 times)

Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: Memoirs of a Bar Examinee
« Reply #780 on: June 29, 2009, 10:17:04 PM »
Lol IIRC, you rocked the NY bar exam, so I'm 99.9% confident that you could have easily passed on BARBRI alone.

Yeah VA is wack about the scores...they say that all that matters is whether you passed, not by how much you passed.  BS.  Once I waive into DC (if I do...it's been 7 mos already since I applied...they're mad slow), maybe I'll try to find out.

7 Months?  And I thought NY was slow.

In NY we get our MBE score back and that's it, if you pass that is.  If you fail then they give you everything back: your MBE and your individual essay scores, your MPT and your NY Multiple Choice score.

In Missouri, my homegirl said that even when you pass (which she did) they give you back your MBE scores and show you how you did in each section, and they even compare each of your sections to the national average score for each section and for the MBE as a whole.

Not fair.

"A lawyer's either a social engineer or a parasite on society. A social engineer is a highly skilled...lawyer who understands the Constitution of the U.S. and knows how to explore its uses in the solving of problems of local communities and in bettering [our] conditions."
Charles H. Houston

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Re: Memoirs of a Bar Examinee
« Reply #781 on: June 29, 2009, 10:27:28 PM »
And even more amusing are those states (I think AZ is one) that give a prize for the highest scorer!

Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: Memoirs of a Bar Examinee
« Reply #782 on: July 07, 2009, 02:26:45 PM »
Some have been asking what to do in these final weeks before the New York bar exam.   This is crunch time indeed so time to kick it up a notch.

(the following advice is specifically for New York but you can apply it generally to most other states)


In your final few weeks, you really want to shift your focus to beef up your Essay game.

Keep doing the practice MBE questions every day, of course. Do 50 a day, review the answers.  That should be like breathing at this point.

However, with respect to the Essays, start going through the separac.com/bar site and get somebody who has the MASTER outline (since that bastard is now charging for it - I don't have an electronic copy but I'm sure most of the people from last year do) and start memorizing issue paragraphs of law for the most repetitive subjects.  When I say issue paragraphs I'm talking about literally what your first 3 to 4 sentences are going to be on your essay.  For example, a question about contracts should start off with:

"Under New York law, a contract is formed when there is a valid offer, acceptance, and consideration...blah blah blah."

No matter what the specific contract question is about, could be a formation issue, could be statute of frauds issue, could be anticipatory repudiation issue,  you always start off by quoting what a contract is to get those points from the bar graders.  Apply this same logic to corporations, crim, family law, wills, trusts, etc.

Rumor has it, if your first few sentences sound legit on an essay then the just skim the rest quickly for buzz words and call it a day.

Remember, in New York, you get your essay points by throwing as much law as you can cram in your head into the "R" of the IRAC answer.  Your "I" sentence can literally be 1 sentence.  The "A" analysis can literally be 1 or 2 sentences (ie: "Here, the rule applies so he was negligent.")  Perfectly acceptable.  Likewise, the "C" can be 1 sentence as well if  you didn't lump it in with the "A" in the previous sentence.

However the "R" needs to be an entire paragraph.  Look at the NY State Bar Exam website under the model answers and you will see what I mean.  Very skimpy I, Big Fat R, very skimpy A, very skimpy C.  So your points are going to come from memorizing as many things as you can about the New York Rules of law for the 20+ subjects that are covered on the NY Bar exam.

Some subjects repeat more than others.  For example, you are almost GUARANTEED to see the following:

NY Practice
Contacts
Corporations
Wills
Trusts
Crim Law
Crim Pro
Family Law
Torts

after that, you will likely see:


Property
Federal Courts
Evidence
Ethics
Commercial f-ing Paper (sorry, flashback)
Secured Transactions
Agency
Partnerships
and all the other "secondary" essay topics that show up every so often but that are not guaranteed to be on their every year like first group above.

Speaking of the first group, you will likely have 2 subjects per essay.

For example, The essay question will be a Contracts issue that also involves NY Practice, or a Crim Law question that also involves Commercial f-ing Paper.  They like to mix it up like that.

Here's what you need to memorize:

For Corporations make sure you memorize duty of care, duty of loyalty, and involuntary dissolution. Be familiar with everything else.

For Contracts make sure you memorize the definition of a Contract, anticipatory repudiation, breach, and UCC. Be familiar with everything else.

For Family Law make sure you memorize BIOC - Best Interest of the Child, maintenance (alimony), child custody, and the definition of Divorce. Be familiar with everything else.

For Wills memorize the definition of a will. Be familiar with everything else.

For Trusts memorize the definition of a trust. Be familiar with everything else.

For NY Practice memorize Motion to Dismiss, Summary Judgment, and all the Preliminary Injunctions and all the Statute of Limitation time periods for everything.  Be familiar with everything else.

For Crim memorize murder (1st and 2nd), manslaughter (1st and 2nd) Burglary, Arson, Rape, Robery, Kidnapping.  Be familiar with everything else.

For Crim Pro memorize 4th Amend Search & Seizure, 5th Amend privilege against self incrimination, and 6th Amend right to counsel (including NY's indelible right to counsel). Be familiar with everything else.


"A lawyer's either a social engineer or a parasite on society. A social engineer is a highly skilled...lawyer who understands the Constitution of the U.S. and knows how to explore its uses in the solving of problems of local communities and in bettering [our] conditions."
Charles H. Houston

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Re: Memoirs of a Bar Examinee
« Reply #783 on: July 07, 2009, 02:40:24 PM »
sands, thanks for this. I'm having the biggest issue with my I part, I tend to make the issue to braod, got an advice on making your I more pin point, like if its a mutliple rule answer should I do an I then R for eachs as diffrent paragraphs?
*In clinical studies, Matthies was well tolerated, but women who are pregnant, nursing or might become pregnant should not take or handle Matthies due to a rare, but serious side effect called him having to make child support payments.

Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: Memoirs of a Bar Examinee
« Reply #784 on: July 07, 2009, 04:26:45 PM »
sands, thanks for this. I'm having the biggest issue with my I part, I tend to make the issue to braod, got an advice on making your I more pin point, like if its a mutliple rule answer should I do an I then R for eachs as diffrent paragraphs?

It was my experience on New York and New Jersey that they would actually frame the issue for you in the question stem, or the question was narrow enough to the point where you could simply rephrase the question stem into a statement, thereby converting it into an issue statement.

How are your bar exam questions formatted?
"A lawyer's either a social engineer or a parasite on society. A social engineer is a highly skilled...lawyer who understands the Constitution of the U.S. and knows how to explore its uses in the solving of problems of local communities and in bettering [our] conditions."
Charles H. Houston

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Re: Memoirs of a Bar Examinee
« Reply #785 on: July 07, 2009, 04:40:05 PM »
sands, thanks for this. I'm having the biggest issue with my I part, I tend to make the issue to braod, got an advice on making your I more pin point, like if its a mutliple rule answer should I do an I then R for eachs as diffrent paragraphs?

It was my experience on New York and New Jersey that they would actually frame the issue for you in the question stem, or the question was narrow enough to the point where you could simply rephrase the question stem into a statement, thereby converting it into an issue statement.

How are your bar exam questions formatted?

We are doing the MEE (Multistate Essay Exam) for the first time here in Colorado so we don't have that many old essays to work from, just what has been given in other MEE states. They can cominbe more than one subject into a question so Ive had eassys that say like: Discuss Xs contract remidies? And Then Dicuss the constutional isues if the court upholds the contract. Mostly they have been pretty vauge open ended stuff like that. Not really a lot of direction.
*In clinical studies, Matthies was well tolerated, but women who are pregnant, nursing or might become pregnant should not take or handle Matthies due to a rare, but serious side effect called him having to make child support payments.

Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: Memoirs of a Bar Examinee
« Reply #786 on: July 07, 2009, 06:18:24 PM »
sands, thanks for this. I'm having the biggest issue with my I part, I tend to make the issue to braod, got an advice on making your I more pin point, like if its a mutliple rule answer should I do an I then R for eachs as diffrent paragraphs?

It was my experience on New York and New Jersey that they would actually frame the issue for you in the question stem, or the question was narrow enough to the point where you could simply rephrase the question stem into a statement, thereby converting it into an issue statement.

How are your bar exam questions formatted?

We are doing the MEE (Multistate Essay Exam) for the first time here in Colorado so we don't have that many old essays to work from, just what has been given in other MEE states. They can cominbe more than one subject into a question so Ive had eassys that say like: Discuss Xs contract remidies? And Then Dicuss the constutional isues if the court upholds the contract. Mostly they have been pretty vauge open ended stuff like that. Not really a lot of direction.


Ah.  Yes.  The infamous "Discuss" question stems.  I hate those. 

New Jersey was good for throwing a few of those in the mix here or there. When an essay leaves it open ended and just says "discuss" then, as you know, its on you to rattle off as many issues as you can spot within the allotted time. 

Now as far as how do you specifically make the issues more narrow as opposed to being too broad, my answer is that they really don't have to be too narrow.

For example, thinking back to my NJ bar exam, there was a constitutional law essay that was loaded with due process, equal protection, states rights, etc.  I must have spotted a dozen issues but only had time to talk about 3 or 4.  First thing to consider is whether any one issue must, as a practical matter, be discussed before any other.  If not, then it's really up to you.  So fire away with your issue sentence.

I think nice and short Issue sentences are fine because you don't get any points for stating the issue.  Maybe like 1/2 a point or something. Stating the issue is really just a formality when you think about it.  The essay answer has to start somehow.  The bulk of your points are going to come from your discussion of the rule and analysis.


I offer the following Issue statement sentences to hopefully show how little time you should spend on writing them:

"Bernie may sue Lindsay for defamation."
"Gus may claim that Bernie is liable for intentional interference with a business."
"The issue is whether a valid contract was formed."
"The issue is whether Rich has an easement to use the driveway on Lot 1."
"The issue is whether testimony regarding a writing may be admitted to prove the contents of the writing."


Just say the issue as you see it in 60 seconds or less and keep it moving so you can get to those points in the rule/analysis.

"A lawyer's either a social engineer or a parasite on society. A social engineer is a highly skilled...lawyer who understands the Constitution of the U.S. and knows how to explore its uses in the solving of problems of local communities and in bettering [our] conditions."
Charles H. Houston

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Re: Memoirs of a Bar Examinee
« Reply #787 on: July 07, 2009, 06:39:55 PM »
sands, thanks for this. I'm having the biggest issue with my I part, I tend to make the issue to braod, got an advice on making your I more pin point, like if its a mutliple rule answer should I do an I then R for eachs as diffrent paragraphs?

It was my experience on New York and New Jersey that they would actually frame the issue for you in the question stem, or the question was narrow enough to the point where you could simply rephrase the question stem into a statement, thereby converting it into an issue statement.

How are your bar exam questions formatted?

We are doing the MEE (Multistate Essay Exam) for the first time here in Colorado so we don't have that many old essays to work from, just what has been given in other MEE states. They can cominbe more than one subject into a question so Ive had eassys that say like: Discuss Xs contract remidies? And Then Dicuss the constutional isues if the court upholds the contract. Mostly they have been pretty vauge open ended stuff like that. Not really a lot of direction.


Ah.  Yes.  The infamous "Discuss" question stems.  I hate those. 

New Jersey was good for throwing a few of those in the mix here or there. When an essay leaves it open ended and just says "discuss" then, as you know, its on you to rattle off as many issues as you can spot within the allotted time. 

Now as far as how do you specifically make the issues more narrow as opposed to being too broad, my answer is that they really don't have to be too narrow.

For example, thinking back to my NJ bar exam, there was a constitutional law essay that was loaded with due process, equal protection, states rights, etc.  I must have spotted a dozen issues but only had time to talk about 3 or 4.  First thing to consider is whether any one issue must, as a practical matter, be discussed before any other.  If not, then it's really up to you.  So fire away with your issue sentence.

I think nice and short Issue sentences are fine because you don't get any points for stating the issue.  Maybe like 1/2 a point or something. Stating the issue is really just a formality when you think about it.  The essay answer has to start somehow.  The bulk of your points are going to come from your discussion of the rule and analysis.


I offer the following Issue statement sentences to hopefully show how little time you should spend on writing them:

"Bernie may sue Lindsay for defamation."
"Gus may claim that Bernie is liable for intentional interference with a business."
"The issue is whether a valid contract was formed."
"The issue is whether Rich has an easement to use the driveway on Lot 1."
"The issue is whether testimony regarding a writing may be admitted to prove the contents of the writing."


Just say the issue as you see it in 60 seconds or less and keep it moving so you can get to those points in the rule/analysis.



Sands, thanks! This helps alot. I really gotta mine for rule points fast becuase to have time to spell check I can only really write for 20 mins so I goota get as many points as I can since I have 1/3 less time than most folks. If I am runing out of time you think its best then to just start tossing out rules w/o any I A or C in a last few seconds point grab?
*In clinical studies, Matthies was well tolerated, but women who are pregnant, nursing or might become pregnant should not take or handle Matthies due to a rare, but serious side effect called him having to make child support payments.

Nowhere Man

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Re: Memoirs of a Bar Examinee
« Reply #788 on: July 07, 2009, 11:59:11 PM »
Sands thats what Im talking about!

Im gonna make poster boards of those topics you said I need to memorize
But when you talk about destruction, don't you know that you can count me out, in!

Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: Memoirs of a Bar Examinee
« Reply #789 on: July 08, 2009, 10:29:15 AM »
sands, thanks for this. I'm having the biggest issue with my I part, I tend to make the issue to braod, got an advice on making your I more pin point, like if its a mutliple rule answer should I do an I then R for eachs as diffrent paragraphs?

It was my experience on New York and New Jersey that they would actually frame the issue for you in the question stem, or the question was narrow enough to the point where you could simply rephrase the question stem into a statement, thereby converting it into an issue statement.

How are your bar exam questions formatted?

We are doing the MEE (Multistate Essay Exam) for the first time here in Colorado so we don't have that many old essays to work from, just what has been given in other MEE states. They can cominbe more than one subject into a question so Ive had eassys that say like: Discuss Xs contract remidies? And Then Dicuss the constutional isues if the court upholds the contract. Mostly they have been pretty vauge open ended stuff like that. Not really a lot of direction.


Ah.  Yes.  The infamous "Discuss" question stems.  I hate those. 

New Jersey was good for throwing a few of those in the mix here or there. When an essay leaves it open ended and just says "discuss" then, as you know, its on you to rattle off as many issues as you can spot within the allotted time. 

Now as far as how do you specifically make the issues more narrow as opposed to being too broad, my answer is that they really don't have to be too narrow.

For example, thinking back to my NJ bar exam, there was a constitutional law essay that was loaded with due process, equal protection, states rights, etc.  I must have spotted a dozen issues but only had time to talk about 3 or 4.  First thing to consider is whether any one issue must, as a practical matter, be discussed before any other.  If not, then it's really up to you.  So fire away with your issue sentence.

I think nice and short Issue sentences are fine because you don't get any points for stating the issue.  Maybe like 1/2 a point or something. Stating the issue is really just a formality when you think about it.  The essay answer has to start somehow.  The bulk of your points are going to come from your discussion of the rule and analysis.


I offer the following Issue statement sentences to hopefully show how little time you should spend on writing them:

"Bernie may sue Lindsay for defamation."
"Gus may claim that Bernie is liable for intentional interference with a business."
"The issue is whether a valid contract was formed."
"The issue is whether Rich has an easement to use the driveway on Lot 1."
"The issue is whether testimony regarding a writing may be admitted to prove the contents of the writing."


Just say the issue as you see it in 60 seconds or less and keep it moving so you can get to those points in the rule/analysis.



Sands, thanks! This helps alot. I really gotta mine for rule points fast becuase to have time to spell check I can only really write for 20 mins so I goota get as many points as I can since I have 1/3 less time than most folks. If I am runing out of time you think its best then to just start tossing out rules w/o any I A or C in a last few seconds point grab?

For NY, they told us that after you are done writing your essay, should something else pop into your head, you should say:

"It should be noted that..."

And then say whatever else you can say to get some points. 

"A lawyer's either a social engineer or a parasite on society. A social engineer is a highly skilled...lawyer who understands the Constitution of the U.S. and knows how to explore its uses in the solving of problems of local communities and in bettering [our] conditions."
Charles H. Houston