Preparing for the Bar Exam
Congratulations, your three years of law school are over and you are preparing for your state's bar exam. Here is a list of exam resources and good luck.
The exam consists of two parts. The first is the multi-state and the second is your state specific law essay exam or the MEE.
Prepared by the NCBE and administered nationally, the Multistate Exam or MBE is a six hour examination containing two hundred multiple-choice questions. The questions are designed to be answered by applying fundamental legal principles rather than state-specific laws.
You must past the multistate or most states will not even grade the essay portion of your bar exam. Here, the key is practice and more practice under timed conditions. You only have a little under two minutes per question. My trick in practice was to take an index card and cover the question. This forced me to read the answers first and try to eliminate the ones that were an incorrect statement of the law. This also let me know what area of law, torts, property, etc. and the critical elements to look for in the question. Then I would read the question and highlight the facts needed to answer the question while eliminating the "distractors". While this may not work for you, try it and see.
Uniform Bar Exam UBE
Most states have now adopted the Uniform Bar Exam. The National Conference of Bar Examiners offers online training for the essay portion of the exams using past questions. MEE ONLINE TRAINING.
State Specific Bar Exam Questions
In states that still have their own test, this consists of essay and short answer questions usually taken from past cases in your state. Your best source is previous classmates that have taken the exam since it is not unusual for questions to repeat. There are links at the bottom of the page to states that publish their old bar exam questions and sample answers. Again the key is to practice and then practice some more. Time is your enemy and you must learn to write quickly and cover only enough ground to pass that particular question. If you have extra time, you can always go back and add details. Here, you are not trying for an A like in law school but only a C. Passing is passing and the ones that make an A are called the same as the ones that made a C, "lawyer". All anyone knows or cares is whether you passed or not.
Multistate Essay Exam
An examination developed by NCBE consisting of 30-minute essay questions. Areas of law tested are Business Associations, Civil Procedure, Conflict of Laws, Constitutional Law, Contracts (including Article 2 [Sales] of the Uniform Commercial Code), Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, Family Law, Real Property, Torts, Trusts and Estates, and Article 9 (Secured Transactions) of the Uniform Commercial Code.
Multistate Performance Test
The Multistate Performance Test (MPT) is developed by NCBE and consists of two 90-minute items. It is administered by user jurisdictions as part of the bar examination on the Tuesday before the last Wednesday in February and July of each year. User jurisdictions may select one or both MPT items to include as part of their bar examinations. Jurisdictions that administer the Uniform Bar Examination use both MPT items.
Almost anyone can graduate from law school but all of that time and effort will be wasted if you cannot pass the bar. My suggestion is to start studying your last semester and not wait. Here are some recommended study guides, click on the "next page" at the bottom for more selections.
These are also good sites for preparing for your final law school exams. Your goal is to pass and the MBE is all about reading comprehension while the essay exams tend to test your knowledge of the specific laws in your state. For each section of the essay test there will be ten to twelve main cases in your state. You are really past the point where outlines are going to be of much use. Use your time answering past bar test questions under timed conditions and then comparing your answers to the model answers.
There are important differences between the New York State bar exam eligibility requirements and other states' requirements. For example, students must take professional responsibility in a live format. Furthermore, the New York Court of Appeals adopted the Uniform Bar Exam effective with the July 2016 administration of the New York State bar examination. The court also adopted a requirement that applicants for admission in New York be required to complete an online course on New York law and take and pass an online examination on New York law, as a requirement for admission. The court also added a skills competency requirement that can be satisfied by completing one of five pathways.
Alaska Exam Questions and Model Answers Contains exam questions and grader’s guides for Alaska bar examinations prior to 2015.
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