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Author Topic: Baby Bar  (Read 18051 times)

Duncanjp

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Re: Baby Bar
« Reply #30 on: December 11, 2012, 01:46:12 PM »
Here's another reason so many people fail the Baby Bar: Most of the people taking it are complete morons who don't belong anywhere near the law.

I don't think a pejorative term like "moron" is necessarily a fair or accurate way to describe those who fail the baby bar. Skill in any field is relative and people aren't morons simply because they aren't quite as adroit as others when it comes to applying the law to a set of facts.

However, there is truth in your statement. I've been maintaining this exact point for some time now, if trying to express it a little nicer. The reason the baby bar seems hard is because so many of the people who have to take it have already demonstrated that passing law exams gives them trouble. I've read some of the essay questions that appear on the baby bar. They look like ordinary law school essays to me. Nothing more difficult than the essay questions I faced with my first year final exams. It's all the same material. Contracts is contracts. Torts is torts. Crim is crim. It's easy if you know your outline and you've gotten some decent feedback on enough practice tests. There is no good reason to fail the baby bar unless you fail to prepare properly, you write at an elementary level, or you just can't think logically under timed constraints. My guess is that the majority of those who fail the exam do not prepare properly, or effectively. They haven't practiced writing about the law nearly enough. But most law students who passed their first year exams by a comfortable margin would have no problem passing the baby bar. It'd just be another exam to them. The BB's reputation for difficulty reflects only the perceptions of those who struggle to pass ordinary law exams to begin with.

RLS90

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Re: Baby Bar
« Reply #31 on: December 12, 2012, 11:08:33 PM »
Duncan,

I'm hoping you're right. I know that I may have missed one or two issues (albeit minor ones) on the Baby Bar essay exams, but I highly doubt that missing these issues could dock me enough to have scored anything lower than a 75 on any of the essays. I feel confident, but at the same time, I also feel like my law school graded my exams unreasonably and was overly critical of my writing. When I had a family friend who is an adjunct professor of Con Law at Loyola read my writing, he said that I could have scored no lower than a B+, yet at Taft, the online law school I attend, I got a C-. I think the people at Taft are just trying to trick me into believing that my skills needed improvement so that when I do take the Baby Bar, I kill it. While such efforts are all well and good, I think it did more in detracting from my confidence than it did push me to study - I was studying hard no matter what.

Now, I'm glad that we agree on the idea that most of the people taking the Baby Bar are not suited for being in law school and that is why the fail rate is so high. But, I disagree with your objection to my use of the word moron. The simple fact is: after a year of studying the law of torts, if you try to argue that stray cats should fall under the umbrella of strict liability because they are wild animals, then you are definitely a moron. And you should go back to reading John Grisham novels and leave the law to the ones capable of competently practicing it.

jennid1234

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Re: Baby Bar
« Reply #32 on: December 14, 2012, 01:15:58 PM »
 :) I really love your observation even if it is inaccurate:

"For you to score in the 60's on the essay portion means that you were objectively bad at understanding how to apply the law to a set of facts."

It was not "bad at understanding" it was not hitting all the issues, but my skill set improved, I just passed the FYLSE in October.  Have no idea on my score since snail mail hasn't arrived here in Oregon.

An attorney at work made the same quick judgement about my June test, he said, "I must not have enough substantive knowledge."  That was clearly an opinion that kicked my butt, because it just wasn't true. 

As for the cat negligence question on the Tort question in October, I pretty much flew threw that explanation this time: RACE HORSE STYLE. I originally put how the day care operater should kill the cat, (that's what I would have done) but after I wrote that, I quickly deleted it and stated her options were clear, call the local animal shelter and have them trap the cats and keep the children indoors so no child would be harmed.  The day careoperator was negligent in her actions when she knew the danger existed outside and her duty of care for those children as invitees - DofC of reasonable care to known dangers: those wild fury cats which can be pretty vicious and Oh MY Goodness: poop in the sand box, what state was she in, she would have been a trained operator in CA and would have known to pour Ammonia - a caustic hazardous substance in a sand box is a NO NO?  Her license should be revoked.  I had fun, but I was so drained after that test, the last 8 MPC's had to answer in the last 5 minutes so the last 3 were guesses. We then HAD to drive 11 hours home to Portland so I could be at work the next day!   

At least we went to the Oakland Raider game the Sunday before;)  That was my day of rest prior to the test.

 


My advice again, KNOW your RULE statements, speed writing or typing is the only way to score passing scores on the essays, missing one issue will be a BIG deduction, the lawyers who grade the essay give no mercy.  We are all at mercy - even some students from brick and mortar schools suffer the consequence of taking this test, but at a 20% pass rate it isn't that anyone is a moron or that some people don't get the issues quickly or missed the issues, some under pressure have a hard time.

My test in June, we had a question that was a criminal law question and some answered it as a tort - Doc sent an emergency room patient home without seeing him because the nurse diagnosed the guy with indegestion when he had chest pains.  On his way home, he suffered a heart attack while driving and crashed into a truck.  He died.  The call of the question was WHAT CRIMES could be found against the Doctor?  LOL  most who read that question thought TORT!  One simple word and they got credit for their answer but most were 35 and 45 for missing the call of the question.  I answered it correctly, my mistake was my opening statement or I would have passed that one.  My conclusion, fry the doc (LOL not really)  I put it could be negligent homicide due to his inaction but had to go through the entire MURDER fact pattern to conclude NH or No Crime if the court viewed it was reasonable for him to rely on the nurse's indegestion conclusion.  I also put that if the state does find him guilty of negligence homicide, the state medical board might also consider the crime some sort of violation to his license and he might loose his license - but that shouldn't have been even put in the discussion.




A

RLS90

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Re: Baby Bar
« Reply #33 on: December 14, 2012, 04:57:47 PM »
How do you know if you passed if you didn't receive your score yet?

jennid1234

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Re: Baby Bar
« Reply #34 on: December 14, 2012, 06:53:14 PM »
It was posted on my admissions status on the Ca Bar Future Lawyers website

RLS90

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Re: Baby Bar
« Reply #35 on: December 14, 2012, 10:43:14 PM »
Well then I guess I failed because it says that the requirement is not satisfied.

Duncanjp

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Re: Baby Bar
« Reply #36 on: December 15, 2012, 03:09:54 AM »
Jenn is right. The key is issue spotting. I got a terrible grade on my crim midterm, which was the first law exam I took after the LSAT. Unfortunately, I didn't have the luxury of taking pre-law, so I really didn't know what I was doing. Thankfully, it was weighted only 25% of my grade. There was a homicide and I threw every factoid of law in the book at it, whether it applied or not. Puking law. When the exam ended, I hadn't addressed all of the issues. I hadn't even addressed the whole call of the question. But by the time I took my final, I had figured out the game. When they said, "Go," I didn't even open my test. I took the scratch paper and wrote down a checklist of all of the crimes and inchoate crimes, and all of the defenses we had covered. As I went through the facts, I had my finger on my checklist and I check off every single one, plus every plausible crime for analysis, even if I could see that it didn't have all of the elements. And boom: aced the final. That's how you pass law school exams. You spot all of the issues and talk about them intelligently. The baby bar is no different. If you hit all of the issues and talk about them with the right rule, passing the BB should be a snap.

That said, if somebody is reading a fact pattern on the BB, and they start talking about torts when the problem is crim, then they need to just give it up. They aren't lawyer material.

Oakland Raider games rule. Some of the most fun I've ever had.

wildcat

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Re: Baby Bar
« Reply #37 on: December 15, 2012, 11:22:43 AM »
After three times of sitting for the Baby-Bar (06/2011, 06/2012, and 10/2012), and taking two additional classes, as I was in good standing; I can finally share these great words:

First-Year Law Students' Examination
Admissions requirement:    Pass the First Year Law Students' Examination or establish exemption
Applicant status:    Requirement satisfied
FYLSE required status:    Requirement satisfied (Passed), October 2012 First-Year Law Students' Examination

Therefore, for those of you who after receiving your results, feel devastated or defeated, don't let that stop you. It is possible, with hard work, dedication, and hours of comprehensible studying you will achieve success! Good luck to everyone!

Maintain FL 350

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Re: Baby Bar
« Reply #38 on: December 15, 2012, 12:27:39 PM »
Congratulations Jenni, I'm glad you passed!

That's how you pass law school exams. You spot all of the issues and talk about them intelligently. The baby bar is no different. If you hit all of the issues and talk about them with the right rule, passing the BB should be a snap.

Duncan, I'd go a step further and say that's essentially how you pass the bar exam, too. Take a look at the examples of passing bar essays on Calbar. The rule statements are often short and direct and the analysis is good, but not incredible. I think my law school placed a higher value on in-depth analysis than the bar examiners. If you fail to identify issues on the bar however, you're toast. The best analysis in the world won't score you enough points to pass if you miss a major issue.

One of the major obstacles people face on the bar essays and PTs (and, I assume, on the FYLSE) is simply organization. I knew a lot of classmates who knew the black letter law and could apply it to fact patterns. What they sstruggled with was distilling that mountain of info into a cohesive, easy to read format. The bar graders are going through hundreds of essays, and you've got make your essays as clear as possible. If you bury a key point in the middle of a long, complex paragraph that is otherwise full of brilliant analysis it may be missed. Writing good essays, whether it's law school, the baby bar or the bar is a learnable skill, but it takes lots of practice.

The reason the baby bar seems hard is because so many of the people who have to take it have already demonstrated that passing law exams gives them trouble. I've read some of the essay questions that appear on the baby bar. They look like ordinary law school essays to me. Nothing more difficult than the essay questions I faced with my first year final exams.

I agree. This illustrates one of the problems I have with unaccredited programs. Unaccredited programs accept almost everyone and have little in the way of prerequisites. Bachelor's degree not required, good UGPA not required, LSAT not required. In other words there's no "weeding out" process previous to matriculation and many unqualified applicants are admitted. Not surprisingly a huge number fail the FYLSE and bar exam.

Certainly there are smart, successful graduates of unaccredited schools. I've had the pleasure of meeting several. Statisically, however, these graduates are the exception, not the rule. If someone hasn't demonstrated that they can succeed academically or on a standardized test (LSAT), I'm not sure what criteria (if any) is used to determine that they'll be able to pass the state legal exams.

Duncanjp

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Re: Baby Bar
« Reply #39 on: December 15, 2012, 03:32:53 PM »
I agree. This illustrates one of the problems I have with unaccredited programs. Unaccredited programs accept almost everyone and have little in the way of prerequisites. Bachelor's degree not required, good UGPA not required, LSAT not required. In other words there's no "weeding out" process previous to matriculation and many unqualified applicants are admitted. Not surprisingly a huge number fail the FYLSE and bar exam.

Certainly there are smart, successful graduates of unaccredited schools. I've had the pleasure of meeting several. Statisically, however, these graduates are the exception, not the rule. If someone hasn't demonstrated that they can succeed academically or on a standardized test (LSAT), I'm not sure what criteria (if any) is used to determine that they'll be able to pass the state legal exams.

Hi, Maintain. Good, thoughtful post. I have mixed emotions about unaccredited law schools. One the one hand, they may serve a purpose for the right person. On the other, that purpose is probably something other than putting a J.D. on one's resume in furtherance of applying for jobs as an attorney. I attend a CBE school. My decision to enroll required a balancing test similar to that which students of unaccredited schools would have to apply, even though my school is accredited in California and the school enjoys local respect. With an unaccredited school, you get the education, for whatever it's worth. A CBE school is only a few notches above that, since outside of the local legal market, the J.D. is pretty well meaningless, except maybe to non-attorneys. But I understood that when I enrolled. For me, the goal is less about enhancing my resume for job hunting and more about developing my capacity to analyze risk as an attorney. Once I've passed the bar, my mission will be accomplished. I already have an established career in insurance underwriting. A killer degree from a ranking ABA school would be suh-weet, but I don't believe it would advance my career much further than my blue collar J.D. will. Not enough to justify the hit that my retirement savings would take, at any rate. I'm in law school because 15 years into my career, I felt like I'd reached an insuperable plateau. I work with other lay underwriters who have been doing the same thing now for 35 years. My only shot at rising above my lay peers is to become underwriting counsel. With a CBE education and a bar card, I'll rise well above my colleagues and I won't have to spend 35 years in the business to do it. The license makes all the difference. And my company is completely behind me. My mentoring attorneys have all said, "Just get the license." Fifteen years ago, when I had no experience and no industry contacts, the advice would have been different. But my law school alma mater won't matter as much once I pass the bar because my position and reputation within my company are already firmly established. That said, I'll never run the legal department. But that's not my goal, anyway.

I think unaccredited schools can serve a niche market of people who just want to learn how to apply the law, but don't intend to become BigLaw attorneys. On a more basic level, they also provide people who would never be accepted by regular law schools with a chance to ride the bumper cars, as it were. Maybe their chances of success are slim, but inasmuch as the law applies to everybody, I believe everybody should have an opportunity to take a stab at it. If they get a hard dose of reality, well... That's life. But with unaccredited schools, at least giving it a try doesn't come at a ridiculous, crippling cost. And if they succeed against the odds, they'll do with the license whatever they can.

Personally, I would not not attend any institution of higher learning that wasn't at least accredited by my state. The statistics are scary enough for evening students like myself for passing the bar, so students of unaccredited institutions really need to weigh the realities. But accreditation itself is a competitive field, and the higher the accreditation value, the higher the cost of enrolling. Prospective law students need to identify the point where the cost-to-value ratio satisfies their goals and investment-backed expectations.