Winter is Coming: Feb Bar Study

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CyLaw
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Winter is Coming: Feb Bar Study

Postby CyLaw » Thu Oct 24, 2013 7:26 am

Alright fellow winter bar exam takers, let's get this started.

I'll be taking the DC bar this Feb, and will be using Themis for my review course. I am glad that my review course starts the same day I start at work. That way I can get used to splitting study and work right from the start.
Last edited by CyLaw on Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Bikeflip
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Re: Winter is Coming: Feb Bar Study

Postby Bikeflip » Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:32 pm

Good luck, brah. A few tips from a July passer who took Themis. Hopefully others will chime in for you all, too. Advice is only based on my personal experience, and you may not find all of it helpful if you study differently from how I did. I tried to do at least 4 hours a day of actual bar studying by following Themis's guide. I really tried to do like 6-8 hours of actual studying, but Internets. I did about 75% of the program as a result.

First tip, you do not need to do 100% of the program. Nor do you need to do the program the way Themis laid it out. Still, it's probably smart to at least kinda follow it. There's no sense in doing 100 mixed MBE questions if you haven't learned evidence first.

Find a set time to do bar prep, and stick to that time as best you can. Don't worry too much if you miss a day of bar prep here and there. You don't need to double down the next day; catch up over a few days.

When watching the lectures, Themis' 2X speed is your friend, esp since some of the lectures are painful.

Use the "extra time" you found from 2X speed to internalize the material in whatever way works for you: Flashcards, talking it out, condensing outlines, etc. By now, you know how you internalize material, so keep doing what you know. Don't reinvent the wheel because it's the bar.

When internalizing, do practice problems and actually read the explanations. If you're wondering is there is such a thing as doing too many practice problems, the answer is no. This goes for both the essays and the MBE (maybe less for the essays; some jurisdictions "allow" you to pass by crushing the MBE and nearly fail the essays).

Keep track of which question types/categories you're good at and which ones you suck at (Themis, and probably all bar prep companies, will actually do this for you). As it gets closer to "go time," knowing where your strengths and weaknesses are is key. There's no huge gain in doing more con law questions if your con law score is 95% and your property score is 25%.

Note how Themis structures their MBE question sets: If you follow their system, you start with subject specific question sets "first," and then you get mixed bag sets. Overall, not a bad way to learn and internalize each MBE subject, but I would save each final subject specific question set until the very end. If you still suck a property, having 30 or so property questions will be super helpful at the end. Granted, the mixed bag sets will try to tailor to you by honing in on weaknesses, but this question preserving method ensures you have more subject specific questions.

Speaking of tailoring to your weaknesses, Themis' mixed bag sets will get progressively harder, I think around mix set 8 or so. Don't worry if the questions suddenly seem impossible; it's designed to feel that way.

Even if you prepared by doing every question Themis gave you, be mentally prepared to be hit in the face on the MBE. Don't freak out on the actual test because the questions seem TSO MUCH HARDER! It may be a flaw in Themis' prep; it may not be. Doesn't matter by then.

Unlike Lawl Skool, the curve helps more than it hurts on the bar. You can utterly fuck up an essay and still pass.

Most importantly, a 175 MBE scaled score is the same thing as a 135 MBE scaled score if both get you a bar card; there's no extra credit for booking the bar.

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JuTMSY4
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Re: Winter is Coming: Feb Bar Study

Postby JuTMSY4 » Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:43 pm

Bikeflip is credited - we did the same thing. I especially agree with the saving the last subject specific set as well as knowing that the mixed sets at the end get harder. I ended up getting very annoyed at sub-60% mixed sets, but I did much better on property and contracts (my weak subjects) on the bar than my strong subjects.

Question though, why are you taking the DC bar and not VA or MD and waiving in via the MBE?

CyLaw
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Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2008 1:59 pm

Re: Winter is Coming: Feb Bar Study

Postby CyLaw » Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:20 pm

Thanks Bikeflip for the advice. I really appreciate it and I am sure others will too.

JuTMSY4 wrote:Question though, why are you taking the DC bar and not VA or MD and waiving in via the MBE?


It is the deal I made with my firm. I was about halfway through Themis (this is how I know Bikeflip's advice is good) and less than a month away from the July bar exam when some bad stuff happened for my wife and I. My firm was very great about the whole situation and allowed me to defer taking the bar until February. The only thing they asked for was that I take the DC bar directly. That way I would end up with my DC license at about the same time or before the rest of my class (processing the waiver in from another jurisdiction can have a very long delay).

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ironman467
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Re: Winter is Coming: Feb Bar Study

Postby ironman467 » Thu Oct 24, 2013 7:57 pm

CyLaw wrote:Thanks Bikeflip for the advice. I really appreciate it and I am sure others will too.

JuTMSY4 wrote:Question though, why are you taking the DC bar and not VA or MD and waiving in via the MBE?


It is the deal I made with my firm. I was about halfway through Themis (this is how I know Bikeflip's advice is good) and less than a month away from the July bar exam when some bad stuff happened for my wife and I. My firm was very great about the whole situation and allowed me to defer taking the bar until February. The only thing they asked for was that I take the DC bar directly. That way I would end up with my DC license at about the same time or before the rest of my class (processing the waiver in from another jurisdiction can have a very long delay).

Hope your situation worked out and good look in Feb!!! Nice to have an understanding firm.

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newyorker88
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Re: Winter is Coming: Feb Bar Study

Postby newyorker88 » Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:12 pm

Is the February bar that much different from July? I heard they test on more obscure subjects in February.

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Duchovnysfan
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Re: Winter is Coming: Feb Bar Study

Postby Duchovnysfan » Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:11 am

newyorker88 wrote:Is the February bar that much different from July? I heard they test on more obscure subjects in February.


Not really. The only difference really is that the curve in July is more generous. In February there are less test takers and many of them are repeat offenders

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Duchovnysfan
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Re: Winter is Coming: Feb Bar Study

Postby Duchovnysfan » Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:16 am

CyLaw wrote:Alright fellow winter bar exam takers, let's get this started.

I'll be taking the DC bar this Feb, and will be using Themis for my review course. I am glad that my review course starts the same day I start at work. That way I can get used to splitting study and work right from the start.


Taking the IL bar in February and using Themis. The major downer is that the Saturday before the bar is my birthday...whomp whomp




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