2015 February Texas Bar Exam

TxBarTaker09
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Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby TxBarTaker09 » Wed Feb 18, 2015 9:48 pm

They are five points each, so thinking of it as "5 point answers" is a good way to think about it. This isn't necessarily true for every question, but it's a good rule of thumb.

For example, on pretty much ever Civil Procedure test is the question: name the 5 types of discovery. Boom, a point a piece.

TxBarTaker09
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Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby TxBarTaker09 » Thu Feb 19, 2015 1:02 pm

Ok my MBE numbers are jumping all over the place, I am clearly burnt out I am going to stop doing so many.

BeachedBrit
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Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby BeachedBrit » Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:42 am

RE: Joint tenancy with right of survivorship

I keep seeing stuff that notes that the doctrine of survivorship has been abolished in Texas "for many years."

Yet the essay questions in Wills & Estates have regularly brought up JT w/ RoS and the BLE answers reflect a system where it still exists and don't mention it being abolished.

Can anyone explain this discrepancy? Is this something I should plan on noting or that would affect my answer on either a Real Property or a Wills question?

BeachedBrit
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Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby BeachedBrit » Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:19 pm

Also, procedurally: I know we are supposed to bring our laptop in that giant 2.5 gallon ziploc. Does everything else (timer, pens/pencils, laptop charger, photo ID, etc.) go in that bag as well?

TxBarTaker09
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Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby TxBarTaker09 » Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:24 pm

Yes, put everything you are brining with you in the bag.

BearLaw
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Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby BearLaw » Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:13 pm

BeachedBrit wrote:RE: Joint tenancy with right of survivorship

I keep seeing stuff that notes that the doctrine of survivorship has been abolished in Texas "for many years."

Yet the essay questions in Wills & Estates have regularly brought up JT w/ RoS and the BLE answers reflect a system where it still exists and don't mention it being abolished.

Can anyone explain this discrepancy? Is this something I should plan on noting or that would affect my answer on either a Real Property or a Wills question?


I am not totally sure, so take this with a grain of salt; I believe the legislature repealed a lot of the survivorship statues in 2009, to go into effect on Jan 1 of 2014. It also appears that there is still survivorship with regards to things like bank accounts and real property, at lest as long as one of the joint tenants is alive.

Not sure though.

TxBarTaker09
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Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby TxBarTaker09 » Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:04 pm

BearLaw wrote:
BeachedBrit wrote:RE: Joint tenancy with right of survivorship

I keep seeing stuff that notes that the doctrine of survivorship has been abolished in Texas "for many years."

Yet the essay questions in Wills & Estates have regularly brought up JT w/ RoS and the BLE answers reflect a system where it still exists and don't mention it being abolished.

Can anyone explain this discrepancy? Is this something I should plan on noting or that would affect my answer on either a Real Property or a Wills question?


I am not totally sure, so take this with a grain of salt; I believe the legislature repealed a lot of the survivorship statues in 2009, to go into effect on Jan 1 of 2014. It also appears that there is still survivorship with regards to things like bank accounts and real property, at lest as long as one of the joint tenants is alive.

Not sure though.


Not quite correct Texas has no automatic joint tenancy, but two parties can specifically agree to a joint tenancy to a piece of real property or account through a written agreement. So, without that written agreement, contract, what have you, no joint tenancy can exist.

BeachedBrit
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Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby BeachedBrit » Sat Feb 21, 2015 12:34 pm

Another quick question, this time on Secured Transactions:

If you have a security agreement that says it covers "all assets of Cutco Inc." then it won't be valid because it is too broad. A security agreement that says it covers "all inventory and equipment," however, is specific enough to be valid. When you have one that says "all inventory, equipment, and all other assets," it is valid as to the inventory and equipment, but is the "all other assets" part valid also or is that just struck as invalid leaving the rest of the security agreement valid?

BeachedBrit
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Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby BeachedBrit » Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:46 pm

Also, I know we were discussing what a bad essay score looks like. I talked to a friend about this. He said on the July '14 test, he hadn't studied or done anything for trusts and just counted on muddling his way through it and making up stuff. He said that's exactly what he ended up doing, that most of what he made up was probably pretty wrong and that he made very few statements of law. His scaled score on that essay was still an 11/25.

This also brings up an interesting question: if they scale each essay individually and you get an essay you have absolutely no idea on and don't really know enough to even make stuff up intelligently, are you better off only spending 10-15 minutes on that essay, doing just enough that it's not obvious what you're doing, counting on the scaling to bump your score up to a 9-10/25ish and then using that extra time to max out points on another essay that you know a lot more about.

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LLB2JD
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Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby LLB2JD » Sat Feb 21, 2015 3:20 pm

So I planned on not doing much with the MPT until I decided to just do a full length today. I must say that I'm surprised at how easy it is to run out of time pretty quickly. So I'll say that if you're looking to blow off the MPT somewhat, think again. It was a wake up call for me for sure. I did another full length one and was able to manage better.

TxBarTaker09
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Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby TxBarTaker09 » Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:09 pm

On the MPT I recommend at least practicing against the clock once. If you're not naturally good at the MPT, do it more than once. Not everything they give you is relevant, so you have to determine that pretty quick. Some people prefer reading the case law/statutes and then the assignment and facts, some people do it in reverse you need to figure out which works best for you.


11/25, as compared to other people who are going to take the bar, is a pretty low score. You can make it up on the other essays obviously, but that is pretty low.

The highest I've scored on the MPT is a 180, and the lowest is a 167, so I've got the MPT down pretty good. I'm living testament though that the MPT will not save you if you can't do the MBE or Essays very well. (MBE for me.)

februarybartaker
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Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby februarybartaker » Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:20 pm

RE: JT and JTROS - Direct from the Barbri outline: "A common law joint tenancy does not exist in Texas. However, a right of survivorship can be created by agreement between the parties." Thus, look for express language, which is the only way it can be created.

W/r/t scoring, below is a relevant score distribution breakdown for the Texas Bar Exam from a post elsewhere on TLS:

bgdddymtty wrote:
tfer2222 wrote:
gonezo77 wrote:

152 was my raw score. I felt good about it until I heard about a 171 in our Barbri class.



no. comparing to the "best" score is so pointless. you should feel good about it.

PSA: goal is to pass. you're way above passing with that score. i got a 145 but i would have been completely stoked with a 120 or even a 112 which is average.
+Eleventy billion

To put this all in perspective, here's what you need to pass with that sort of an MBE score. These numbers are for Texas and use the July 2011 scale but should good enough to illustrate the general principle.

Passing Score: 675

MBE: 40%
152 simulated MBE = 76% = 144 raw MBE = 157.9 scaled MBE = 315.8 weighted score

MPT/Procedure & Evidence Exam: 20%
29th percentile performance = 135 scaled score = 135 weighted score
(You should obviously expect to do better than this, but this is kind of a "worst reasonable case" scenario.)

Essay Exam: 40%
675 - 315.8 - 135 = 224.2 weighted score = 112.1 scaled score
This score is somewhere between the 2nd and 4th percentiles

You're in a great spot. Don't burn out or freak out. Even if you get no better between the simulated MBE and the real thing, as long as you don't regress you're pretty much in "auto-pass" territory.

BeachedBrit
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Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby BeachedBrit » Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:51 pm

TxBarTaker09 wrote:11/25, as compared to other people who are going to take the bar, is a pretty low score. You can make it up on the other essays obviously, but that is pretty low.


My point is really that that's the absolute lowest you can expect to score on any given essay that you actually write anything at all for. That's still 44%. As the post above by febbartaker illustrates, with a good MBE and worst reasonable scenario MPT/P&E, you don't need to do much better on the essays than the absolute worst case scenario. Indeed, given the numbers in that scenario, you could get 11/25 on SIX of the essays and still pass as long as you got a 17/25 on the other six. The real point of all this was to note that if you have an essay topic you're really struggling with but your MBE is good, you may be better served just accepting that you will almost certainly do no worse than 10/25 or 11/25 and just moving on to other topics where you can increase your score.

As a quick example, i'll cite Commercial Paper. I've looked at it now pretty extensively but it's just not clicking to where I can write a quality essay on it. I could spend another ten hours on it and probably get it all ironed out, but that would be a waste when I can accept a 10/25 or 11/25 on that and spend the 10 hours getting more than a ~0.93% return (assuming I would go from a 10/25 to a 17/25 & entire essay section has 300 points which make up 40% of the available credit) on that time.

YibanRen
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Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby YibanRen » Sat Feb 21, 2015 7:18 pm

Hey guys: I made the following thread: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=244074 (for takers in all states).

The purpose is to pool simple explanations/knowledge on the hardest topics that some of us have probably written off. I know that each time I've taken the bar in a different jurisdiction, I've written off a harder topic because I ran out of time, and missed a couple MBE points because I didn't have a concise/easy explanation to guide me.

Anyway, I'm going to be contributing there. It would be great if others would as well.

TxBarTaker09
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Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby TxBarTaker09 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 9:56 am

My quick last bit of advice as far as what to expect for first timers at the bar sites, as I expect most will be doing last minute prep today:

1. First day get there a bit early, your seat is assigned so you're not going to get to pick it, I just prefer to get acclimated to the environment and get settled before the exam starts on Day 1. Also, if you're going to a big site and you're not staying in an attached hotel or anything, it's important to know what the parking situation is so that you can find your way around without having to rush.

2. Eat something light between sessions for lunch on day 2 and day 3. Helps keep your energy up, but you don't want to be full of greasy food either.

3. Take your time! If you finish before the 15 minute warning, you're allowed to leave early, and maybe you will finish with time to spare, but go over your answers, why would you leave early when you can clean up some essay answers with some headers or even just checking your spelling?

4. There is a good chance, especially if you're at a big site, that there isn't a clock readily available in front of you. If you need to keep track of your time, get an analog watch to bring with you, also if you're handwriting your answers as well, bring one to help keep track of your time. To make it easier, set your watch to 12:00 when you start that why it's easy to see when one hour has passed, two hours, etc.

5. On essay day, pretty much everyone reviews their outlines during the break over the remaining subjects that are left. As you guys know, there are only certain subjects tested, so once you're done with the morning, you know which subjects are left. If you're going to review 6your outline during the break, find a quiet place to do it.

6. Relax! I know this is stressful, but you guys know this stuff. Pretty much everyone on here is going to pass as you are well prepared and likely not nearly as handicapped by the MBE as I am :wink: so just trust yourself that you know your stuff and you'll do fine!

7. Studying the day before: I have different thoughts on this, I pretty much always do, but I'm not going to before the MBE this year. I have been told, and do recommend, doing about 7 or 8 questions in the morning before the exam wherever your staying to kind of "warm up" your brain. That way you don't start MBE just cold out the gate.

That's it, if anyone has any questions I'll be around today.

Raven1228
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Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby Raven1228 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:31 pm

Hey guys,

I didn't get to see the CivPro MBE lecture because I used old barbri materials, but the Con Law lecture had an "almost always wrong answers" section that helped eliminate some answer choices pretty quickly.

CivPro seems like an area that would have something similar. Does anyone know if they went over that, or if there's a list you can share? Any help is appreciated.

BeachedBrit
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Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby BeachedBrit » Sun Feb 22, 2015 2:07 pm

Raven1228 wrote:Hey guys,

I didn't get to see the CivPro MBE lecture because I used old barbri materials, but the Con Law lecture had an "almost always wrong answers" section that helped eliminate some answer choices pretty quickly.

CivPro seems like an area that would have something similar. Does anyone know if they went over that, or if there's a list you can share? Any help is appreciated.


I don't remember seeing anything like that. Honestly, Barbri's Civ Pro materials were pretty shitty all around. Working some problems with explanations was the most helpful part for me. PM me your email address and i'll send you some problems I have.

Also, do you know what time in the Con Law lecture that "almost always wrong" section was or where in the handouts it is?

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LLB2JD
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Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby LLB2JD » Sun Feb 22, 2015 2:26 pm

So I've been reviewing the essays for the past couple of years and have noticed that there are between 1-3 questions (depending on the administration) where I have "deer in the headlight" moments. Is this normal? I mean, I feel like I'm comfortable with most of the material, but it feels very disconcerting that this close to the exam, I'd read a question and have no clue where to even begin.

Anyone else feeling this way?

TxBarTaker09
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Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby TxBarTaker09 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 2:35 pm

On the July 2014 Bar, the second half of one the estates questions dealt with "Small Estate Affidavits" when I saw that question I was like, well, I've never seen those words in that order before. I made up the rule based on the facts in the question, and was actually pretty close, I just got the amount required by a SEA wrong, but got the ultimate outcome correct. I find making up a rule is possible with Texas Essays if you read the facts closely enough.

That being said, sometimes I feel that way initially, but I'll try to start somewhere simple with the question and it usually gets me to where I need to go, if that makes any sense, haha.

BeachedBrit
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Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby BeachedBrit » Sun Feb 22, 2015 3:48 pm

LLB2JD wrote:So I've been reviewing the essays for the past couple of years and have noticed that there are between 1-3 questions (depending on the administration) where I have "deer in the headlight" moments. Is this normal? I mean, I feel like I'm comfortable with most of the material, but it feels very disconcerting that this close to the exam, I'd read a question and have no clue where to even begin.

Anyone else feeling this way?


Yes, 1-3 of them do the same for me. That's where my discussion earlier comes in of pretty much the lowest possible individual essay curved score being a 10/25 or 11/25 so long as you write some stuff down and take some guesses. As the guy above me said, go through the facts, find what seem like issues and make up rules to fit them.

I'm looking at these essays with the approach that for every 1-3 essays I feel like that, there are usually at least 1-3 where I feel like I could write a top-quality 20+/25 answer. Those essays will offset and then it just comes down to the other essays.

Raven1228
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Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby Raven1228 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:52 pm

The MBE is graded on a curve, right? I was thinking an extra subject on the MBE would bring the overall scores down, but I guess it's all relative if there's a curve.

februarybartaker
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Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby februarybartaker » Mon Feb 23, 2015 4:15 am

I was just looking over the February 2014 Bar Exam for P&E. About 1/2 of the criminal questions hadn't been tested for the past 7 exams.

Anybody else experiencing this?

crit_racer
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Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby crit_racer » Mon Feb 23, 2015 11:47 am

LLB2JD wrote:So I've been reviewing the essays for the past couple of years and have noticed that there are between 1-3 questions (depending on the administration) where I have "deer in the headlight" moments. Is this normal? I mean, I feel like I'm comfortable with most of the material, but it feels very disconcerting that this close to the exam, I'd read a question and have no clue where to even begin.

Anyone else feeling this way?


Yeah. Same here. I would say I feel solid on like 5-6 essays in an administration, shaky on like 3-4, and totally fucked on like 2-3

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LLB2JD
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Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby LLB2JD » Mon Feb 23, 2015 11:49 am

februarybartaker wrote:I was just looking over the February 2014 Bar Exam for P&E. About 1/2 of the criminal questions hadn't been tested for the past 7 exams.

Anybody else experiencing this?



I went through that the other day and went "hmmm" a few times. It wasn't that bad though. However, I'm amused by the so called "answers" though that the BLE releases for Crim Pro - "The question called for examinees to demonstrate knowledge of examining trials, which most examinees did."

Really? How does that help?

crit_racer
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Re: 2015 February Texas Bar Exam

Postby crit_racer » Mon Feb 23, 2015 11:50 am

BeachedBrit wrote:
Raven1228 wrote:Hey guys,

I didn't get to see the CivPro MBE lecture because I used old barbri materials, but the Con Law lecture had an "almost always wrong answers" section that helped eliminate some answer choices pretty quickly.

CivPro seems like an area that would have something similar. Does anyone know if they went over that, or if there's a list you can share? Any help is appreciated.


I don't remember seeing anything like that. Honestly, Barbri's Civ Pro materials were pretty shitty all around. Working some problems with explanations was the most helpful part for me. PM me your email address and i'll send you some problems I have.

Also, do you know what time in the Con Law lecture that "almost always wrong" section was or where in the handouts it is?


It's at the very end of the lecture by Guzman that was posted the day after we did or were supposed to do the 200 ? Practice test. Reasonably helpful.




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