Bar Study Discussion: Bar Passers GFTIH

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Big Shrimpin
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Bar Study Discussion: Bar Passers GFTIH

Postby Big Shrimpin » Mon May 21, 2012 5:20 pm

TLS doesn't seem to have much about bar study, but I know there are poasters here who've taken/passed it. Anyone willing to discuss stuff re amount of time studying, tips, strategies, etc.?

xoxo has a bunch of threads about bar study, but most devolve into a an accusatory exchange of WGWAG, etc.

TYIA

edit: Bonus points for information about BarBri and/or the NY bar.

edit: Also, I put this in legal employment because I think more poasters lurk in here, as well as the anonymous poasting option.

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Re: Bar Study Discussion: Bar Passers GFTIH

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 21, 2012 5:31 pm

Passed non-NY bar. Did BarBri, which was overkill in many respects. Happy to answer specific questions. More likely to do so if xoisms like "poast" are not used in the process.

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piccolittle
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Re: Bar Study Discussion: Bar Passers GFTIH

Postby piccolittle » Mon May 21, 2012 5:34 pm

What would you like to know? (By way of explanation in case you check my posts and see that I'm a 1L, I took the bar after completing an LLB abroad, and am now doing a JD. If that still puts you off taking my advice/tips, no hard feelings.) ETA: I took NY in 2009.

From what I remember, during the time after class every day, I reviewed my notes and transcribed them onto notecards. By the time classes ended in early July, I had 27 sets of cards, one for each subject. Additionally, I cut out all the NY exceptions from the book and put them on notecards. This was a good call because my crim essay (despite what that prediction guy said) was basically on the crime of writing a bad check, which was one of the minor items in the exceptions book. The mnemonics were very helpful, but what it ultimately came down to was hardcore, brute memorization. I found an old schedule from when I took it, and during the last few weeks of July I reviewed several subjects a day, staggering them so I was able to go through each set of cards several times. Also, I made sure the backs of the cards just had key words or memory triggers on them in shorthand, so I could write one card that said, say, "degrees of arson" and the elements of all of them would fit on the one card. Made it easier to carry them with me.

Also, BarWrite is an amazing class. She drills these phrases and whole paragraphs into your head, so you literally don't have to think about what you're writing. Her predictions for my exam were spot on.

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: Bar Study Discussion: Bar Passers GFTIH

Postby Big Shrimpin » Mon May 21, 2012 5:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Passed non-NY bar. Did BarBri, which was overkill in many respects. Happy to answer specific questions. More likely to do so if xoisms like "poast" are not used in the process.


Just trying to lighten the mood, but if "poasting" offends you, I'll digress.

First, is it necessary to follow the BarBri method to the letter, e.g., studying for the recommended 8 or so hrs/day during the week and 10-12 hrs on weekends? I think it amounts to something like 65 hrs/week or so, which sounds like overkill. Certainly, BarBri's business depends upon bar passage rates, so it's no surprise that the approach is designed to scare and overprepare you. So I guess what I'm looking for are some anectodal examples of study schedules to gain some perspective.

Second, is it more helpful to make and study an outline, do flashcards, etc.? Again, I'd imagine this depends in part upon your study style, but I'm interested as to your experiences.

Third, did you spend more/less time on either the MBE or state bar? I'm under the impression that, for the MBE subjects, the BarBri method just goes through the MBE and makes distinctions based upon the state in which you're sitting for the exam. But some states, like NY, weight 40% to the MBE, so while you can't fail any section, you could presumably do really well on the MBE and not so great on the essay portion (correct me if I'm wrong about this). Moreover, the state portion probably hits the MBE topics more than some of the more obscure ones. Thus, would it be better to allocate a bit more time drilling MBE questions than trying to learn some obscure provisions of the state-specific law.

Finally, do you have any additional tips, recommendations, etc., for doing the BarBri course?

Thanks!

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: Bar Study Discussion: Bar Passers GFTIH

Postby Big Shrimpin » Mon May 21, 2012 5:48 pm

piccolittle wrote:What would you like to know? (By way of explanation in case you check my posts and see that I'm a 1L, I took the bar after completing an LLB abroad, and am now doing a JD. If that still puts you off taking my advice/tips, no hard feelings.) ETA: I took NY in 2009.

From what I remember, during the time after class every day, I reviewed my notes and transcribed them onto notecards. By the time classes ended in early July, I had 27 sets of cards, one for each subject. Additionally, I cut out all the NY exceptions from the book and put them on notecards. This was a good call because my crim essay (despite what that prediction guy said) was basically on the crime of writing a bad check, which was one of the minor items in the exceptions book. The mnemonics were very helpful, but what it ultimately came down to was hardcore, brute memorization. I found an old schedule from when I took it, and during the last few weeks of July I reviewed several subjects a day, staggering them so I was able to go through each set of cards several times. Also, I made sure the backs of the cards just had key words or memory triggers on them in shorthand, so I could write one card that said, say, "degrees of arson" and the elements of all of them would fit on the one card. Made it easier to carry them with me.

Also, BarWrite is an amazing class. She drills these phrases and whole paragraphs into your head, so you literally don't have to think about what you're writing. Her predictions for my exam were spot on.


How many flashcards, on average, would you have in a set? I'd imagine it would vary by subject, so what about the big topics like torts, crim, property, etc.?

In addition (also directed towards anyone else who has knowledge), is there any software/website/etc. where you can make and maintain flashcard sets?

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Re: Bar Study Discussion: Bar Passers GFTIH

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 21, 2012 6:45 pm

Big Shrimpin wrote:First, is it necessary to follow the BarBri method to the letter, e.g., studying for the recommended 8 or so hrs/day during the week and 10-12 hrs on weekends? I think it amounts to something like 65 hrs/week or so, which sounds like overkill. Certainly, BarBri's business depends upon bar passage rates, so it's no surprise that the approach is designed to scare and overprepare you. So I guess what I'm looking for are some anectodal examples of study schedules to gain some perspective.
All of the BarBri time recommendations are overkill. You have to remember, their interest is having a high pass %. Since it costs them nothing to recommend studying 24/7, and they know most people will do only a fraction of the prescribed work, it makes sense that they have inflated the hours guidelines.

If you (1) attend the live lectures or actually listen to the audio ones; (2) do a pretty decent chunk -- say, 50% -- of the written prep work; (3) do tons of online practice MBE questions; (4) learn the mnemonics; and (5) buckle down and focus the last three weeks (i.e., after July 4), you will almost certainly pass. There are no bonuses or honors for passing by 10,000 points, so just do enough to pass by a few. Law school stops you from thinking that way, but the bar is categorically different. Drill it into your head: BASIC PROFICIENCY IS ALL I NEED.

Second, is it more helpful to make and study an outline, do flashcards, etc.? Again, I'd imagine this depends in part upon your study style, but I'm interested as to your experiences.

Made my own outlines and flashcards. I imagine this is 100% a matter of personal style.

Third, did you spend more/less time on either the MBE or state bar? I'm under the impression that, for the MBE subjects, the BarBri method just goes through the MBE and makes distinctions based upon the state in which you're sitting for the exam. But some states, like NY, weight 40% to the MBE, so while you can't fail any section, you could presumably do really well on the MBE and not so great on the essay portion (correct me if I'm wrong about this). Moreover, the state portion probably hits the MBE topics more than some of the more obscure ones. Thus, would it be better to allocate a bit more time drilling MBE questions than trying to learn some obscure provisions of the state-specific law.
I spent a more time on MBE than state law stuff, but my state had (relatively) few minority rules. You can often get partial credit on essays even if you do not know the answer, by following the prescribed format (which is basically a modified IRAC). The same cannot be said for MBE questions.

Finally, do you have any additional tips, recommendations, etc., for doing the BarBri course?
Yes.

1. Slack in May
2. Pay some attention in June
3. Bust your ass after July 4.
4. ???
5. PROFIT

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Re: Bar Study Discussion: Bar Passers GFTIH

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 21, 2012 6:47 pm

Big Shrimpin wrote:
How many flashcards, on average, would you have in a set? I'd imagine it would vary by subject, so what about the big topics like torts, crim, property, etc.?

In addition (also directed towards anyone else who has knowledge), is there any software/website/etc. where you can make and maintain flashcard sets?

You are overthinking this, by a large margin. Buy blank notecards from CVS. Write stuff on them that you want to learn. Look at them a few times. Then put them in a drawer, go have fun for a few weeks, and pick them up again in mid-June.

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: Bar Study Discussion: Bar Passers GFTIH

Postby Big Shrimpin » Mon May 21, 2012 7:02 pm

Super-helpful advice so far. Thanks!

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nealric
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Re: Bar Study Discussion: Bar Passers GFTIH

Postby nealric » Mon May 21, 2012 8:59 pm

Passed 2010 July NY bar.

Basically, study hard, keep your head about you, and you will pass. It's unpleasant, but you will get through it.

As far as tips/tricks: I used my smartphone to record myself reading my outlines (which were condensed versions of the Barbri outlines). That way, I could listen while working out and commuting. The exercise of reading out loud was also good for memorization.

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patrickd139
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Re: Bar Study Discussion: Bar Passers GFTIH

Postby patrickd139 » Tue May 22, 2012 3:50 pm

Anyone else hating BarBri so far? I know it's early, but damn this is dry.

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: Bar Study Discussion: Bar Passers GFTIH

Postby Big Shrimpin » Tue May 22, 2012 4:58 pm

patrickd139 wrote:Anyone else hating BarBri so far? I know it's early, but damn this is dry.


It's rough. I'm planning on doing the minimums for the first two weeks or so to preserve my stamina when crunch time begins in late June/early July.




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