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Myself
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Postby Myself » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:06 am

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Last edited by Myself on Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

TheGreatFish
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Re: How to fail the bar

Postby TheGreatFish » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:54 am

Poor writing ability gets a lot of people. I've known quite a few people who did very well on the MBEs but got completely destroyed by the essays. Some people know the law but have difficulty putting it down on paper. If you think poor writing ability has been holding you back in law school, now is the time to pick up a copy of The Elements of Style and brush up on your writing skills.

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northwood
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Re: How to fail the bar

Postby northwood » Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:50 am

whats a good book to use to be better at exam taking? I used CREAC for tests, but IDK if that would work on the bar, and I dont want to take that sucker more than once. I would talk to my schools writing instructor, but I dont know if it would be worth my time.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: How to fail the bar

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:40 am

Well, most people at my school who fail basically don't take the prep seriously. So take the prep seriously - do the work - and you should be fine (granted, it's not Cali or a superhard exam. But still).

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Dr. Review
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Re: How to fail the bar

Postby Dr. Review » Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:54 am

northwood wrote:whats a good book to use to be better at exam taking? I used CREAC for tests, but IDK if that would work on the bar, and I dont want to take that sucker more than once. I would talk to my schools writing instructor, but I dont know if it would be worth my time.


A guy from Kaplan was talking to a group of students here at Pitt, and he recommended IRAC.

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thesealocust
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Re: How to fail the bar

Postby thesealocust » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:55 am

ajax adonis wrote:So I also wondered what some of the common denominators were among people who failed the bar. A couple people I know who failed the bar cheated during the final exams. I don't mean copying other people's work cheating, but they would get their uncle doctors to sign notes that say they have a learning disability, which allows them to get extra time on the test. That always pissed me off. But I know two of those people failed.

Any others? Maybe doing this will help all of us to not fail.


I know exactly one person who failed the bar, and it was due to a massive, life-altering medical emergency.

I'm sure others did that I don't know about, but crippling laziness (nb: not "standard procrastination) or dramatic events on test-day (sudden illness, power outage, missing a page, whatever) seem much more likely than "tried hard but failed anyway."

_crystal_m
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Re: How to fail the bar

Postby _crystal_m » Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:11 pm

My partner failed the bar exam due to the essays. What's odd is she's an excellent writer. I Think her English (undergrad) background actually hurts her ability to apply the law in a no bs way. She destroyed the Mbes.

Myself
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Re: How to fail the bar

Postby Myself » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:35 pm

What exactly about poor writing can kill a student? Do you mean having "clean" writing? (e.g., not too many typos, correct grammar, focusing on presenting the information in a pleasing-to-the-eye manner.)

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: How to fail the bar

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:39 pm

I don't think it's that stuff - the bar examiners want you to follow a fairly rigid format on the essays (IRAC-like), with a lot of BLL. Some people do badly because they can explain the law but not in the terms that the examiners are looking for. Different states can grade differently, but at least in mine, it was important to spew as many BLL terms as possible (other people have said that if you don't know something, make up the law and apply it and you'll get points; in my state, I don't think this would have been very helpful).

DwightSchruteFarms
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Re: How to fail the bar

Postby DwightSchruteFarms » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:54 pm

Anybody recc any books in order to improve legal writing aside from The Elements of Style?

GertrudePerkins
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Re: How to fail the bar

Postby GertrudePerkins » Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:06 am

DwightSchruteFarms wrote:Anybody recc any books in order to improve legal writing aside from The Elements of Style?

Because I like to be contrarian, here's an awesome takedown of The Elements of Style.

Myself
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Re: How to fail the bar

Postby Myself » Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:10 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:I don't think it's that stuff - the bar examiners want you to follow a fairly rigid format on the essays (IRAC-like), with a lot of BLL. Some people do badly because they can explain the law but not in the terms that the examiners are looking for. Different states can grade differently, but at least in mine, it was important to spew as many BLL terms as possible (other people have said that if you don't know something, make up the law and apply it and you'll get points; in my state, I don't think this would have been very helpful).


Do you know how it is for NY and CA?

TheGreatFish
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Re: How to fail the bar

Postby TheGreatFish » Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:30 am

ajax adonis wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:I don't think it's that stuff - the bar examiners want you to follow a fairly rigid format on the essays (IRAC-like), with a lot of BLL. Some people do badly because they can explain the law but not in the terms that the examiners are looking for. Different states can grade differently, but at least in mine, it was important to spew as many BLL terms as possible (other people have said that if you don't know something, make up the law and apply it and you'll get points; in my state, I don't think this would have been very helpful).


Do you know how it is for NY and CA?



For the CA bar getting in the ballpark is fine. You can't just make up the law, but you don't have to use specific terms or memorize rule statements from the Supreme Court.

I remember the CA Bar website used to have a model answer for an Evidence essay where the test-taker used some completely ridiculous term for double hearsay. I can't remember what it was at the moment, but he got a 75 so it couldn't have been that big of a deal.

If you haven't looked at the model answers for the CA Bar website I would highly recommend it.

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holmesboy
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Re: How to fail the bar

Postby holmesboy » Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:51 am

GertrudePerkins wrote:
DwightSchruteFarms wrote:Anybody recc any books in order to improve legal writing aside from The Elements of Style?

Because I like to be contrarian, here's an awesome takedown of The Elements of Style.


Great read. Thank you.

(Coming from someone who once clung to The Elements of Style as a grammar bible :oops: )

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tstyler98
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Re: How to fail the bar

Postby tstyler98 » Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:31 am

Bedsole wrote:
northwood wrote:whats a good book to use to be better at exam taking? I used CREAC for tests, but IDK if that would work on the bar, and I dont want to take that sucker more than once. I would talk to my schools writing instructor, but I dont know if it would be worth my time.


A guy from Kaplan was talking to a group of students here at Pitt, and he recommended IRAC.


I think each state is different. NC wants CRAC. If you take a bar prep course, I think they'll tell you what to do for your state. If you don't, ask someone who is taking one.

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thesealocust
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Re: How to fail the bar

Postby thesealocust » Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:41 am

Fun Fact :you can get a passing score on the New York Bar Exam Essay Section without applying a single New York Law.

Myself
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Re: How to fail the bar

Postby Myself » Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:22 pm

TheGreatFish wrote:
ajax adonis wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:I don't think it's that stuff - the bar examiners want you to follow a fairly rigid format on the essays (IRAC-like), with a lot of BLL. Some people do badly because they can explain the law but not in the terms that the examiners are looking for. Different states can grade differently, but at least in mine, it was important to spew as many BLL terms as possible (other people have said that if you don't know something, make up the law and apply it and you'll get points; in my state, I don't think this would have been very helpful).


Do you know how it is for NY and CA?



For the CA bar getting in the ballpark is fine. You can't just make up the law, but you don't have to use specific terms or memorize rule statements from the Supreme Court.

I remember the CA Bar website used to have a model answer for an Evidence essay where the test-taker used some completely ridiculous term for double hearsay. I can't remember what it was at the moment, but he got a 75 so it couldn't have been that big of a deal.

If you haven't looked at the model answers for the CA Bar website I would highly recommend it.


Hearsay within hearsay?

Myself
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Re: How to fail the bar

Postby Myself » Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:23 pm

holmesboy wrote:
GertrudePerkins wrote:
DwightSchruteFarms wrote:Anybody recc any books in order to improve legal writing aside from The Elements of Style?

Because I like to be contrarian, here's an awesome takedown of The Elements of Style.


Great read. Thank you.

(Coming from someone who once clung to The Elements of Style as a grammar bible :oops: )


Eh, I think Elements of Style are great and important to know. Same with Garner's.

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somewhatwayward
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Re: How to fail the bar

Postby somewhatwayward » Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:34 pm

I don't think I have ever purposely used IRAC or CREAC (wtf?) in a law school exam. I only have one exam left and it is multiple choice so I won't get to practice there. Does the NY bar want IRAC?

TheGreatFish
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Re: How to fail the bar

Postby TheGreatFish » Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:55 am

ajax adonis wrote:Hearsay within hearsay?


It wasn't multiple hearsay, double hearsay, or hearsay within hearsay.

He didn't use a common term to describe it, but he explained it well enough within his answer that he still got the points. On the CA bar they want to see that you know the law and how it is applied, and not whether or not you can remember the phrase "multiple hearsay."

Memorizing rule statements word for word is not necessary to pass, but some people think it helps you get through the exam more quickly.

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I.P. Daly
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Re: How to fail the bar

Postby I.P. Daly » Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:37 am

somewhatwayward wrote:I don't think I have ever purposely used IRAC or CREAC (wtf?) in a law school exam. I only have one exam left and it is multiple choice so I won't get to practice there. Does the NY bar want IRAC?


NY strongly prefers IRAC (it makes it substantially easier for the graders). I think every sample answer posted on the BOLE site is in the IRAC format.

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tfer2222
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Re: How to fail the bar

Postby tfer2222 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:21 am

thesealocust wrote:Fun Fact :you can get a passing score on the New York Bar Exam Essay Section without applying a single New York Law.


Explain?

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thesealocust
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Re: How to fail the bar

Postby thesealocust » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:25 pm

tfer2222 wrote:
thesealocust wrote:Fun Fact :you can get a passing score on the New York Bar Exam Essay Section without applying a single New York Law.


Explain?


There isn't much to explain. The way the NY grading rubric works, you don't have to use any New York laws to get a passing score. You could do the whole thing using California law, lose every available point for using the proper NY law, and still get a passing score. The take home point is that the exam is hard but you don't need to do very well objectively to pass, and that includes making up the law as you go along.

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nealric
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Re: How to fail the bar

Postby nealric » Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:18 pm

I've seen evidence that there is a strong correlation between class rank, school attended, and bar failures. The vast majority of bar failures are in the bottom third of their class and go to lesser ranked schools. This makes sense, as the bar exam isn't all that different from a law school exam, and the MBE is a standardized test (those who do poorly on standardized tests are more likely to attend a lesser ranked school). Also, you are much more likely to pass on your first try than the overall pass numbers would suggest, as repeaters are extremely likely to fail again compared to the general bar-taking population.

A bit dated, but NY put out a report here that talks about some of the trends:

http://www.nybarexam.org/press/ncberep.pdf

Myself
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Postby Myself » Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:11 pm

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Last edited by Myself on Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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