anon sequitur wrote:Passing along what I have heard from lawyers who have passed the bar:
on average, people complete about 50% of these programs (I heard this specifically about Barbri, but I'm assuming it's the same for Themis, Kaplan).
I've also been told that you get 3/10 points (that's how they're scored in my jurisdiction) just for setting up a valid legal analysis; that is, stating a rule for the major issues, applying the facts from the question to that rule, and drawing a conclusion.
Again, this is gossip, so take it for what it's worth.
This is probably close to correct. I used Themis and did all of the practice MBE questions but didn't really mess around with the essays or MPT's. I read most of the essay model answers to get a feel for them, but that's really it. On the MBE topic essays, you will generally know enough law from law school and studying for the MBE itself to at least craft a coherent enough essay to score some points on it. I did a pretty good review of the non-MBE topics in order to prepare for the non-MBE essays, but really just from the summary outlines. I wouldn't say I memorized everything or drilled myself into submission. It's not possible to retain everything, so don't sweat it.
The best advice I could probably give for the essays and MPT is time management. You really aren't going to have time to do the suggested "read the question, outline, the answer, write the answer" stuff. The time FLIES during the writing section. Once you hit about 25 minutes on a question, start wrapping it up and move on. You don't want to get to the last essay with 7 minutes left. For the MBE, just make a mental note (or write down where you need to be) of time benchmarks to make sure you can get through all of the questions. You want to be at 33-35 questions per hour. I think I had about 5-7 minutes to spare on each section of the MBE. If you don't know the answer, make your best guess, write the question number off to the side, and revisit if you have time to do so. Theoretically, you have a 25% chance of guessing right, however, it's more like 50% in reality because you can almost always narrow it down to two answers right away. I remember after finishing the exam, there were maybe about 10 questions where I had NO clue on. The rest, I think I at least made a pretty good guess on or knew the answer.
Lastly, for the people who are worried about what percentage of the program they have completed, you shouldn't. I maybe finished half of the assignments. I didn't watch all of the lectures, I didn't do any of the workshops, and I maybe wrote four or five practice essays total (I did do all of the graded essays, but open book). I did do ALL of the MBE questions, however. I'm now a practicing lawyer with a small practice consisting of just myself and another partner (for now). That's what I wanted to do when went to law school, and I did. The bar exam is just a barrier to entry that you need to knock over. You can.