2015 February Texas Bar Exam

TxBarTaker09
Posts: 225
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:57 am

2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby TxBarTaker09 » Wed Nov 19, 2014 4:28 pm

I thought it'd be nice to have a discussion for Texas Bar subjects (such as oil and gas) and for general encouragement. Most people on here know now this is my 4th time, so let's get this started re-takers (I assume for the most part) and some Baylor students! :wink:

Also just a good place to express your general discomfort, disgust, concerns, headaches, etc.

Neve
Posts: 180
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 7:45 pm

Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby Neve » Thu Nov 20, 2014 12:56 am

I'm not a retaker since I passed the Texas Bar Exam on my first try. However, I would like to offer some advice on the essays: study the previous years' essays really, really well. The July 2014 essays for oil and gas and real estate transactions were repeats of essays that were previously tested. I never mastered oil and gas or real estate transactions, but I studied previous exams so I knew the correct answers with full explanations to those questions. The Texas Bar Examiners aren't that adventurous. Lately, if you study the previous essay exams, you will find that they have been repeating questions verbatim on the more difficult subjects (O&G and Real Estate; T&E and Consumer Law was mostly recycled as well but not verbatim) and getting a little more creative in the subjects of Family Law and the UCC.

For the MBE, there are three main tools you can use to supplement and ultimately strengthen your MBE score: (1) Critical Pass MBE Flashcards (excellent if you like learning by flashcards; referral link - http://criticalpass.refr.cc/3W6LZL6). (2) Adaptibar (wish I had used this since I've heard great things, especially if multiple choice questions aren't your strong point; http://www.adaptibar.com/); and (3) Emanuel's Strategies and Tactics for the MBE (contains tricks and tips and a ton of practice questions, all taken from former MBEs; available on Amazon).
Last edited by Neve on Mon Dec 01, 2014 12:40 am, edited 2 times in total.

ucandoit26
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:53 pm

Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby ucandoit26 » Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:04 pm

I was a repeat taker of Texas Bar, but I passed the July 2014 bar. First, I want to say keep going to all the repeat takers. The bar exam is a hard exam, but it can be done. I was not a good test taker when it came to MBE but I did exceptionally well on essays. My recommendation would be to 1. Don't do the same study plan, that didn't work the first time even if the course says you can take it again free 2. Make sure the part your good at, you keep that...because you will need that edge. 3. Don't treat the P&Es and MPT lightly you need those points 4. Whatever subject you barely understand, study that subject the most....because the other subjects will not make up for the lack. 5. Never give up! These are just some mistakes I made and hopefully I can save you from making the same. Again, keep going, no matter what anyone else says. You can do it!!

User avatar
txadv11
Posts: 922
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 3:06 pm

Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby txadv11 » Mon Dec 08, 2014 8:50 am

I (barely) passed with roughly 1/3 Barbri completion. However, I did all classes aside from bankruptcy and tax. Here's a few pieces of advice from someone who was shooting for a 675 and got about what he was looking for...

P/E:
There is no reason to miss more than a question or two on the procedure/evidence exam. I went to an out of state law school with a very different civil procedure. I studied the P/E for about 2 or 3 days. You will find the questions are similar each year.

MPT:
This is about timing. Don't put too much time studying specifics... just practice getting through your prewriting by about 45 minutes in, and practice writing for the rest of the time. Keep in mind the goal here is to "do what you are asked". The law will be a bit "off"; don't get stuck on that fact. Just do what you are asked and keep moving. There will be case law that is either useless or counter to your position (distinguish if asked).

Essays:
I spent at least ONE full day on each subject. I spent way more time on property because I was from out of state AND the "Texas Distinctions" from the MBE are about 40 pages (barbri). In my opinion, the business associations questions/answes can be memorized. Basically, if you know the types of business associations, and you know the way corporations works, you can easily "ace" 2 questions.

Oil and gas seems to be less information than it looks like by the time of testing. Wills (not trusts) seems hard at first, but if you can get intestate succession down, and the general processes and requirements for drafting and offering a will, you'll be able to tackle 75% of the questions.

Family law and community property contains a fair amount of info. Community property is one of those subjects, if you can just memorize and spot issues, you can almost just input answers without having to understand it (see model answers). Basically everything fits into one of a few categories.... knowing which category makes going through the list pretty easy. There isn't a huge analysis to get to an answer. Family law kind of the opposite, there are a few more "arguable" subjects here.

Guardianships, DTPA, commercial paper and Trusts (not wills) are still kinda WTF for me. If I did things all over again, I would have spent more time memorizing a canned DTPA (laundry list) answer that is correct on most of the past exams. Commercial paper was one of my worst subjects... which brings me to my next subject.

Generally, don't neglect any subjects aside from bankruptcy and tax. Go back to these two if you have time before the exam.

MBE:
I'll have to collect my thoughts. My score was horrible on the MBE. I know they are adding civil procedure, so if anything that will take the number of questions for each section down 3-4 questions. I can tell you that I bombed the MBE (per my score report), and the P/E, MPT, and Essay sections must have carried me past 675. I will say that I feel Barbri did a great job on the other sections, but the MBE felt different on game day.

zonktastic
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:47 pm

Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby zonktastic » Mon Dec 22, 2014 11:07 pm

I passed by over 50 pts this July. Not here to brag, but impart some quick advice for those starting up. I took Kaplan, and thought it was decent. Barbri is slightly better. However, it doesn't matter what program you choose, its all about putting in the work outside of the program.

I treated bar prep like an 8-5 job during the week. Also put in a few hours each day on the weekend. The key is to be consistent, and use the weekend to reinforce topics covered that week. Do not fall behind. Success on the bar is less about intelligence and more about diligence. Inside of that, I would define diligence as active learning. Working a ton of problems is key. I agree 100% with the posters above regarding each individual section. I would add that essays are BY FAR the easiest area to make up points. I was able to regurgitate 4 model answers on the actual test. I worked all essays dating back to as early as the answers were printed. You will be surprised by the amount of repetition.

I also want to note that I was bottom 40% of my class. It does not matter in the slightest. Also, everyone has a meltdown at some point. Let it out and move on. Again, you will understand when the time comes.


best of luck Feb. Takers! Especially tech. Lets get those averages up!

BeachedBrit
Posts: 339
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:30 am

Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby BeachedBrit » Sat Jan 10, 2015 9:04 pm

First time taker using BarBri here.

Quick question: this is now the third time i've seen someone say that the key to some of the Texas essay topics is to study the old questions as they've started to recycle questions. Obviously, i'm not very far in to BarBri yet, but am wondering: does BarBri have a book or online module that shows the old Texas essay questions or is that something I need to get from another source?

The two friends that made that recommendation to me both used non-Barbri programs, so they couldn't help me there.

Thanks and best of luck to everyone.

User avatar
LLB2JD
Posts: 745
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:32 pm

Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby LLB2JD » Sun Jan 11, 2015 2:03 am

BeachedBrit wrote:First time taker using BarBri here.

Quick question: this is now the third time i've seen someone say that the key to some of the Texas essay topics is to study the old questions as they've started to recycle questions. Obviously, i'm not very far in to BarBri yet, but am wondering: does BarBri have a book or online module that shows the old Texas essay questions or is that something I need to get from another source?

The two friends that made that recommendation to me both used non-Barbri programs, so they couldn't help me there.

Thanks and best of luck to everyone.



The old essay questions for the past couple of years are on the BLE website. They also have select sample answers on there as well.

BeachedBrit
Posts: 339
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:30 am

Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby BeachedBrit » Sun Jan 11, 2015 2:36 am

LLB2JD wrote:
BeachedBrit wrote:First time taker using BarBri here.

Quick question: this is now the third time i've seen someone say that the key to some of the Texas essay topics is to study the old questions as they've started to recycle questions. Obviously, i'm not very far in to BarBri yet, but am wondering: does BarBri have a book or online module that shows the old Texas essay questions or is that something I need to get from another source?

The two friends that made that recommendation to me both used non-Barbri programs, so they couldn't help me there.

Thanks and best of luck to everyone.



The old essay questions for the past couple of years are on the BLE website. They also have select sample answers on there as well.


Thanks!

Also, a few questions on things we're allowed to bring in to the exam:
1) Mechanical pencils?
2) Silent digital watch?
3) Car keys?

Just trying to make sure I know exactly what to expect now so I don't have to scramble around for this stuff come exam time.

Beans89
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 4:05 am

Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby Beans89 » Mon Jan 12, 2015 4:13 am

BeachedBrit wrote:
LLB2JD wrote:
BeachedBrit wrote:First time taker using BarBri here.

Quick question: this is now the third time i've seen someone say that the key to some of the Texas essay topics is to study the old questions as they've started to recycle questions. Obviously, i'm not very far in to BarBri yet, but am wondering: does BarBri have a book or online module that shows the old Texas essay questions or is that something I need to get from another source?

The two friends that made that recommendation to me both used non-Barbri programs, so they couldn't help me there.

Thanks and best of luck to everyone.



The old essay questions for the past couple of years are on the BLE website. They also have select sample answers on there as well.


Thanks!

Also, a few questions on things we're allowed to bring in to the exam:
1) Mechanical pencils?
2) Silent digital watch?
3) Car keys?

Just trying to make sure I know exactly what to expect now so I don't have to scramble around for this stuff come exam time.


You may find a read through this helpful:
http://www.ble.state.tx.us/ExaminationI ... ctions.htm

I looked through it multiple times before I took the exam last time, just so I could be sure what to expect.

One thing it does not mention is to layer your clothes. The testing center in Arlington was like an arctic tundra this past July. I wore a few light layers the first day and the cold was insanely distracting. I had to go out and buy another layer before the next day of testing. So, plan accordingly.

User avatar
YYZ
Posts: 139
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:39 pm

Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby YYZ » Mon Jan 12, 2015 7:08 am

BeachedBrit wrote:First time taker using BarBri here.

Quick question: this is now the third time i've seen someone say that the key to some of the Texas essay topics is to study the old questions as they've started to recycle questions. Obviously, i'm not very far in to BarBri yet, but am wondering: does BarBri have a book or online module that shows the old Texas essay questions or is that something I need to get from another source?

The two friends that made that recommendation to me both used non-Barbri programs, so they couldn't help me there.

Thanks and best of luck to everyone.


The "Texas Essays" book has the old questions for many years back and model answers. Just flip through the questions, and you'll see that the questions tend to be repeats. For example, in Consumer Law, the bar examiners recycle about 3-4 question types. If you memorize a canned answer to each, you'll do fine. The Barbri model answers will be your "canned answers." But as you'll find out, you won't have time to respond with an answer as long as Barbri's. That's not expected.

You have to play the odds by preparing for the most common types of questions. You can't memorize everything. Everyone is in the same boat. There will be at least one essay that's unexpected, but it will be hard for everyone. Take this approach, and you'll do fine.

Same goes for the MBE, I wouldn't try and memorize every detail and nuance. The MBE is much more tricky because, as you'll see in Barbri, there are 2 pretty good answers to most questions. The MBE questions on the July 2014 bar were of similar difficulty as the Barbri practice questions. I think the MBE was harder than expected because we thought the actual MBE questions would be easier than Barbri, but I don't think that was the case.

I would plan to accumulate points in the Texas Pro/Crim Pro, MPT, and Texas Essays. These 3 areas are much more straightforward and are not very tricky. You want to accumulate lots of points in case you don't perform well on the MBE. Just do the best you can on MBE without knocking yourself out.

BeachedBrit
Posts: 339
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:30 am

Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby BeachedBrit » Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:59 pm

Beans89 wrote:
BeachedBrit wrote:
LLB2JD wrote:
BeachedBrit wrote:First time taker using BarBri here.

Quick question: this is now the third time i've seen someone say that the key to some of the Texas essay topics is to study the old questions as they've started to recycle questions. Obviously, i'm not very far in to BarBri yet, but am wondering: does BarBri have a book or online module that shows the old Texas essay questions or is that something I need to get from another source?

The two friends that made that recommendation to me both used non-Barbri programs, so they couldn't help me there.

Thanks and best of luck to everyone.



The old essay questions for the past couple of years are on the BLE website. They also have select sample answers on there as well.


Thanks!

Also, a few questions on things we're allowed to bring in to the exam:
1) Mechanical pencils?
2) Silent digital watch?
3) Car keys?

Just trying to make sure I know exactly what to expect now so I don't have to scramble around for this stuff come exam time.


You may find a read through this helpful:
http://www.ble.state.tx.us/ExaminationI ... ctions.htm

I looked through it multiple times before I took the exam last time, just so I could be sure what to expect.

One thing it does not mention is to layer your clothes. The testing center in Arlington was like an arctic tundra this past July. I wore a few light layers the first day and the cold was insanely distracting. I had to go out and buy another layer before the next day of testing. So, plan accordingly.


Thanks for the tips on layering. I'd seen those instructions but they're not really clear on mechanical pencils or a silent digital watch. I assume, since they aren't specifically prohibited and don't really fall in to any of the categories of banned items, that they are permitted, but just want to be sure.

User avatar
aquasalad
Posts: 182
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:18 am

Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby aquasalad » Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:43 pm

Can confirm, it was CAF in the Arlington convention center.

I passed by 73 points with a 155.1 on the mbe. My overall study strategy was fueled by fear of failing. My study strategy for the MBE was basically to do 2 sets of Critical Pass flashcards first thing in the morning, and then to do a 15 question practice set for each of those subjects and diligently review the answers. Early on I would review all answer choices, eventually I'd just review stuff I circled or got wrong.

I would go eat and then try to do essays in the afternoon. I think I did worst on the essays- I'm taking New Mexico in Feb and for their essays I am focusing way more on the essay book and model answers, rather than subject matter outlines for each essay subject. For Texas you need to memorize the answers to the last 5 or 6 civ and crim procedure exams also.

Good luck all

User avatar
YYZ
Posts: 139
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:39 pm

Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby YYZ » Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:29 pm

Thanks!

Also, a few questions on things we're allowed to bring in to the exam:
1) Mechanical pencils?
2) Silent digital watch?
3) Car keys?

Just trying to make sure I know exactly what to expect now so I don't have to scramble around for this stuff come exam time.[/quote]

You may find a read through this helpful:
http://www.ble.state.tx.us/ExaminationI ... ctions.htm

I looked through it multiple times before I took the exam last time, just so I could be sure what to expect.

One thing it does not mention is to layer your clothes. The testing center in Arlington was like an arctic tundra this past July. I wore a few light layers the first day and the cold was insanely distracting. I had to go out and buy another layer before the next day of testing. So, plan accordingly.[/quote]

Thanks for the tips on layering. I'd seen those instructions but they're not really clear on mechanical pencils or a silent digital watch. I assume, since they aren't specifically prohibited and don't really fall in to any of the categories of banned items, that they are permitted, but just want to be sure.[/quote]

I don't think mechanical pencils or silent digital watches are banned. But I brought #2 pencils (a bunch of them). I had a digital watch, and it was fine. But note that you can't use erasable pens. For the first day Texas Civ and Crim Pro, you have to write answers in pen, in the test booklet (no typing). It would be nice to have erasable pens, but they are not allowed, per the instructions.

BeachedBrit
Posts: 339
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:30 am

Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby BeachedBrit » Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:49 pm

Question on the Texas Civ and Crim Pro section: BarBri has two 3-hour lectures, about 90 pages of handout and another 45 pages of outline dedicated to Texas Crim Pro, which is fairly discrete in their materials from the stuff on multi-state crim pro. Would I be better served just skipping this couple of days worth of BarBri material and spending those days studying the old P/E sections instead?

User avatar
OklahomasOK
Posts: 394
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:10 pm

Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby OklahomasOK » Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:47 am

BeachedBrit wrote:Question on the Texas Civ and Crim Pro section: BarBri has two 3-hour lectures, about 90 pages of handout and another 45 pages of outline dedicated to Texas Crim Pro, which is fairly discrete in their materials from the stuff on multi-state crim pro. Would I be better served just skipping this couple of days worth of BarBri material and spending those days studying the old P/E sections instead?


Yes. I did just that. Your return on study time investment will be minimal. It's great if you can remember every single factor the judge considers when evaluating whether to grant someone deferred adjudication but thats one question out of 20 for a 5% of your overall bar score (there's two fact patterns, crim is one, civ is another). You don't need to spend much time on these. I started reviewing these a week before for an hour each day. The questions repeat and you'll be able to memorize the correct answer very quickly. I did pretty well with almost no review (and being from out of state).

I can't emphasize enough how little you should be studying for these. Spend your time memorizing a perfect answer to the DTPA question, "why you should form an LLC/LLP" question, pretermitted child stuff, etc.

User avatar
LLB2JD
Posts: 745
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:32 pm

Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby LLB2JD » Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:26 pm

So with the exception of the email to register laptops, has anybody received anything else from BLE?

Grapes
Posts: 50
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 2:50 pm

Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby Grapes » Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:45 pm

Issue spotting on Texas essays is extremely difficult unless you've gone thru many old essays in the past and see how they test certain rules. after time, issue spotting becomes much easier.

User avatar
logdog
Posts: 129
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:22 am

Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby logdog » Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:52 pm

DO NOT overlook mortgage/foreclosure stuff. It seemed like every other MBE question related to that topic, and there was a very specific essay question about it.

User avatar
LLB2JD
Posts: 745
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:32 pm

Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby LLB2JD » Mon Jan 26, 2015 1:12 pm

Does anyone have a outline/list of topics tested for each of the released past administrations under each subject?

Neve
Posts: 180
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 7:45 pm

Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby Neve » Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:52 am

LLB2JD wrote:Does anyone have a outline/list of topics tested for each of the released past administrations under each subject?


Barbri's essay workshops included a list of topics for each essay subject and their frequency. I would recommend studying each essay subject at least seven years back.

User avatar
txsunshine
Posts: 101
Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 1:49 pm

Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby txsunshine » Tue Jan 27, 2015 12:07 pm

LLB2JD wrote:So with the exception of the email to register laptops, has anybody received anything else from BLE?


Curious about this too. Anyone get their admission ticket yet?

edit: just got my admission ticket yesterday.

BeachedBrit
Posts: 339
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:30 am

Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby BeachedBrit » Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:04 pm

txsunshine wrote:
LLB2JD wrote:So with the exception of the email to register laptops, has anybody received anything else from BLE?


Curious about this too. Anyone get their admission ticket yet?

edit: just got my admission ticket yesterday.


How did you get your admission ticket? Digital or mail?

Edit: I'm a tard, hopefully it's in my mailbox.

Raven1228
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:11 pm

Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby Raven1228 » Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:04 pm

Do you guys think it will be trusts or guardianships this time around?

Also, am I the only one skipping bankruptcy and just hoping it isn't on the exam?

BeachedBrit
Posts: 339
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:30 am

Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby BeachedBrit » Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:12 pm

Raven1228 wrote:Do you guys think it will be trusts or guardianships this time around?

Also, am I the only one skipping bankruptcy and just hoping it isn't on the exam?


I'm betting on guardianships, just because the sequence has been: GTGGTT and it seems like it would be weird for them to give trusts 3x in a row.

It seems like the odds of BK being on there are incredibly low. I was disappointed to see that because I just took a semester of BK and figured it would be a nice freebie.

Raven1228
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:11 pm

Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby Raven1228 » Wed Feb 11, 2015 7:30 pm

How are you guys "studying" for MPT?

It feels kind of pointless...I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing for it since it's "closed world"




Return to “Bar Exam Prep and Discussion Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: a male human and 4 guests