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Messages - nybartutor

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Bar Exam Preparation / 2-Hour Free MBE Tutorial
« on: June 28, 2009, 11:19:32 AM »
I provide tutoring for the MBE to students one-on-one, and in small groups. I'm located in New York, and from now until the exam, I'm intending to hold a 2-hour session each Sunday (from 2:30-4:30) covering 1 topic per week. Practice multiple choice questions on that topic will be reviewed, and any questions that have come up while studying will be addressed.  Occasionally topics will be combined, such as Criminal Law/Criminal Procedure, and Contracts/Sales.

The sesssions are free and are meant to provide students with an opportunity to determine whether private tutoring will benefit them in reaching their goals. There is, however, no obligation to obtain private tutoring, and anyone is free to come to all of the sessions simply to review what they are learning on their own.

If there is any demand, the next session will take place on Sunday, July 5th, with the topic of Criminal Law/Criminal Procedure.  I'll likely limit the group to 10 students, as the public space at which I intend to hold the session will not accommodate very large groups. The tutorial takes place at 550 Madison Ave at a public space called the Sony Public Atrium.

If this is something of interest to anyone, feel free to e-mail at to RSVP.



Bar Exam Preparation / If located in New York
« on: May 19, 2009, 09:28:46 AM »

Current Law Students / Re: need help/advice
« on: January 27, 2008, 08:01:13 PM »
I have a feeling that you had a good grasp of the law going into your exams.  You took your first set of exams, and perhaps your skills in legal analysis weren't where you would have hoped they would be.  There are two aspects to doing well on a law school exam, knowing the law, and, under strict time pressure, knowing how to apply the law to the fact pattern presented.

The second part is, unfortunately, more difficult than the first. For some it comes easier, which makes it all the more difficult for those who have to work at it. But it can be improved. Next semester, along with learning the law, spend as much time working on practice essays. If your professor allows you to hand in practice essays for critique, definitely take him/her up on that option.

Think of a law school exam like playing a musical instrument. You could spend all the time in the world learning the notes, scales, etc, but if you don't pick up the instrument and apply what you've learned, then you'll never learn how to play.

Current Law Students / Re: Outlines
« on: February 26, 2008, 07:29:45 PM »
I think it's really an individual preference. There's some benefit to making an outline: you're forced to organize the material, and in doing so you're studying the material in a way that goes beyond what you'd be doing if you were simply looking over a commercial outline. In other words, when making your own outline for contracts, and deciding which cases to place in your offer/acceptance section, you're looking the content for that aspect of the course.

I think a problem might be when someone takes so much time constructing the outline, and constructing the outline becomes the work, rather than learning the content. By buying a commercial outline, assuming it's a good one, you've basically paid for someone to do the work of constructing the outline for you, and you can concentrate on learning the material within the outline. So, there is definitely a benefit to that.

Personally, I'm in favor of buying the outlines, but I do appreciate the benefits that some people might get in making their own.

Current Law Students / Re: Contracts and Torts
« on: February 22, 2008, 12:35:13 AM »
Gilbert's Law Summaries, and Emanuel Law Outlines are both helpful supplements. They'll break down the cases that you're reading in class, so that you'll better understand the rules of law that each case is meant to represent. They're not very detailed, but they really help to clear up concepts that might be confusing after reading a casebook.

I'd buy at least (and maybe at most) one supplement for each class you are taking. Even if you believe you have a solid grasp of the material, it can't hurt at all to look over a supplement to reinforce the material. You'll likely pick up a few points as well, which might then earn you a few points on the exam.

On the exam (unlike exams you've probably taken in the past), knowing the content is only half the battle. You have to be able to spot issues, and then analyze those issues in a short period of time. (Unless it's a take-home test.)  The skills are a lot harder to learn than the content, but the best way to practice is to look over old law school exam answers, even if they are not answers of tests given by your specific professor. Best of course is to look over tests given by your professor, but if those are not available, just get a hold of some essays so that you can see what legal analysis is supposed to look like, and practice prior to your test.

Everyone (maybe not everyone) will know the content on the day of the test. So if you already feel confident in that regard, then spend less time learning the material, and more time practicing your skills.


Current Law Students / Re: Securities Regulation
« on: January 31, 2008, 12:09:24 AM »
If you think you might go into a field which requires knowledge of securities regulations, then it's definitely best to try to take the class in law school. Of course, when working, you'll be required to learn more about your specialty, but it'll be really difficult to have to learn a subject from scratch. That's why taking core bar exam subjects while in school is so important.

Current Law Students / Re: Law Review "prep"?
« on: January 31, 2008, 12:05:27 AM »
Academic Legal Writing: Law Review Articles, Student Notes, Seminar Papers, and Getting on Law Review  by Eugene Volokh and Alex Kozinski.

You should be able to purchase this book on (or a similar site).

Current Law Students / Re: Alternatives to Barbri....?
« on: January 23, 2008, 04:39:29 PM »
If you're looking to save money, you could buy the books, and study on your own. I know, that's not often the path taken, but really, it's not a bad choice, especially if you're opinion of the class is that most people get screwed by having to watch the lectures on TV. (I agree.)

Get yourself the BarBri Conviser, and learn as much as time permits. That book covers both state law and MBE. It also covers the distinctions between the two which is important to know for the state law essays (which will sometimes test MBE subjects, but expect you to know the distinctions). Apply the law by practicing old exams which have been released by the Board of Law Examiners (You can find nearly ten years of these exams online). Don't waste your time looking at essays prepared by BarBri, go to the real exams which are the most indicative of what you'll see on your test.

Get the PMBR red and blue books to practice applying MBE law to multiple choice questions. Do the few thousand questions that the book provides.

Give yourself plenty of time to learn the material, and this should be sufficient. Of course, if your firm is paying for your review, you may just want to take the course because the course has worked for quite a few people. But, in my opinion, self-study is an alternative.

Bar Exam Preparation / NY
« on: January 23, 2008, 02:52:27 PM »
I was recently e-mailed some questions by a someone who intends to take the New York exam this July. I figured I'd post some of my response for those in a similar situation who might have similar concerns.  I hope it helps.


First thing I'd recommend is that you buy the NY Bar Bri Conviser.  If you intend to take the Bar Bri course, then Conviser along with the rest of the set of NY books will be provided to you.

If you don't intend to take the course, the book can usually be found on Ebay or a similar site.  Because you have a lot of time before the July exam, it may be to your advantage to buy the entire set of NY books. When it comes to memorizing outlines, though, go with Conviser for both the state portion and MBE.  It really is a helpful book.

It is all a bit overwhelming, but just take it one subject at a time.   Most people spend a few months studying, you have much more than that to learn the material.  Once you feel comfortable with the content, start working out some problems. Do as many multiple choice questions as you can (again time is on your side here), and work through prior NY released essays.  Memorization, and practice are the keys to doing well. It's a long, difficult process, but it gets easier as you move along.

As to your specific questions:

(1):  Barbri is quite good for the state specific portion of the exam. I can't speak for the classes, because I didn't take them.  I used Conviser to learn the state specific law, and the law tested on the MBE.  I used PMBR to practice MBE multiple choice questions, but I've heard BarBri is a good value in that regard as well. Personally, because I was successful with it, I recommend self-study to others. But I know that some have been helped by the classes, so I assume it's a personal preference.

(2): I wouldn't worry too much about supplementing your knowledge.  There is plenty to study in the review books.  You really don't want to go off track by reading too many supplements.  If anything, because you have so much time, you could read the the large Bar Bri books that come with the Conviser (if you take a course). The Conviser has everything you'll need, but those books will provide you with a bit more details which might help you to better understand the material you'll be required to memorize.

(3):  The sooner you start studying, the better off you'll be.  Before you start trying to apply the law to essays, and MC questions, you really need to gain a deep knowledge of the subjects tested. This takes time.  A few months tends to be enough for many people, but if you have more that that, it'll really ease the pressure.

(4):  The most important hint I can think of is to spend a lot of time reviewing the old bar exams released by the Board of Law Examiners.  This won't teach you all the content you'll need (though it will teach you some), but it will provide you with the structure that the examiners are looking for when they grade the exam.  It's really important to understand this prior to sitting for the test.

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