Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2015 Exam

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anon sequitur
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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2015 Exam

Postby anon sequitur » Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:35 pm

BelugaWhale wrote:Cool, in that case, is the tax on the amount of the taxable estate in excess of the threshold? That is, if threshold is 5million and taxable estate is 6. Is the tax on the whole 6 or just 1 million?


Just on the excess of the threshold amount for the year of death. We can't tax people with estates of just 5 million dollars, think of the farmers!!

kateebee
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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2015 Exam

Postby kateebee » Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:35 pm

Nelson wrote:
zot1 wrote:Anyone else having trouble concentrating?

Since I finished the first pass on all of the material, I've had a really hard time trying to "review." I'm just reading outlines over again once every couple of days and doing a couple of practice essays each day. But I don't really have the focus to put in more than 6 hours a day on this stuff.


I am also having a hard time with "review." For subjects where I haven't already done so, I am going through the long outline and making kind of shorthand notes with rule elements and notes to myself on what I don't know, but this takes a long time. For subjects where I have already done something like that (aka the early ones when I was an eager beaver), I am glancing through my abridged outline then looking at the MBE questions I got wrong and writing out the rule statements from the answer explanations. I don't feel like any of this is actually helping. I would love to hear what others are doing for review.

I also have no idea how to improve my essays. Totally lost on how to write a good one. It just seems like dumb luck. Either I get something I know enough about to write a couple of paragraphs, or I don't and I have no idea where to begin. Also, seems like my answers keep getting shorter and shorter even on topics I know some stuff about.

Feeling pretty screwed at this point. Pinning all my hopes on the fact that statistically, the likelihood of me dropping from top of my class (even at a less prestigious school) to failing the bar exam is probably pretty low.

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anon sequitur
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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2015 Exam

Postby anon sequitur » Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:46 pm

I also have no idea how to improve my essays. Totally lost on how to write a good one. It just seems like dumb luck. Either I get something I know enough about to write a couple of paragraphs, or I don't and I have no idea where to begin. Also, seems like my answers keep getting shorter and shorter even on topics I know some stuff about.


Just reset your expectations on writing an exam, I'm confident after going through this process and talking to people who went through it and reading old threads that the exams are a shitshow; there is no way a median exam score is very good. You're just looking to do decently, which won't require you to memorize every rule, or even most of the rules. Most lawyers are not geniuses, as I'm sure you're aware.

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zor
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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2015 Exam

Postby zor » Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:56 pm

kateebee wrote:
Nelson wrote:
zot1 wrote:Anyone else having trouble concentrating?

Since I finished the first pass on all of the material, I've had a really hard time trying to "review." I'm just reading outlines over again once every couple of days and doing a couple of practice essays each day. But I don't really have the focus to put in more than 6 hours a day on this stuff.


I am also having a hard time with "review." For subjects where I haven't already done so, I am going through the long outline and making kind of shorthand notes with rule elements and notes to myself on what I don't know, but this takes a long time. For subjects where I have already done something like that (aka the early ones when I was an eager beaver), I am glancing through my abridged outline then looking at the MBE questions I got wrong and writing out the rule statements from the answer explanations. I don't feel like any of this is actually helping. I would love to hear what others are doing for review.

I also have no idea how to improve my essays. Totally lost on how to write a good one. It just seems like dumb luck. Either I get something I know enough about to write a couple of paragraphs, or I don't and I have no idea where to begin. Also, seems like my answers keep getting shorter and shorter even on topics I know some stuff about.

Feeling pretty screwed at this point. Pinning all my hopes on the fact that statistically, the likelihood of me dropping from top of my class (even at a less prestigious school) to failing the bar exam is probably pretty low.


I was talking to a friend who passed last year about this and she said you don't really need to know the law. You can forget the elements and be fine. What matters is writing down the most basic things you can remember and then doing an analysis based on whatever rules you happen to remember. She said they got one essay last year about a totally obscure and random topic (not sure if I can say it?), and she didn't remember anything about it at ALL, so she was just like "this obscure topic is a thing. It's in NY. it involves X." and she just did analysis based on what seemed reasonable.

So don't forget the super basics "Adverse possession is a way for someone who does not own land to nevertheless acquire good title. It happens when...", don't worry too much about the legalese, and just try to remember a few important things about every topic.

Confused7
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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2015 Exam

Postby Confused7 » Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:58 pm

Whelp I got another 68% on a mixed MBE set. Guess I'm stuck in a rut after almost 5 consecutive 68%s.

zot1
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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2015 Exam

Postby zot1 » Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:07 pm

zor wrote:
kateebee wrote:
Nelson wrote:
zot1 wrote:Anyone else having trouble concentrating?

Since I finished the first pass on all of the material, I've had a really hard time trying to "review." I'm just reading outlines over again once every couple of days and doing a couple of practice essays each day. But I don't really have the focus to put in more than 6 hours a day on this stuff.


I am also having a hard time with "review." For subjects where I haven't already done so, I am going through the long outline and making kind of shorthand notes with rule elements and notes to myself on what I don't know, but this takes a long time. For subjects where I have already done something like that (aka the early ones when I was an eager beaver), I am glancing through my abridged outline then looking at the MBE questions I got wrong and writing out the rule statements from the answer explanations. I don't feel like any of this is actually helping. I would love to hear what others are doing for review.

I also have no idea how to improve my essays. Totally lost on how to write a good one. It just seems like dumb luck. Either I get something I know enough about to write a couple of paragraphs, or I don't and I have no idea where to begin. Also, seems like my answers keep getting shorter and shorter even on topics I know some stuff about.

Feeling pretty screwed at this point. Pinning all my hopes on the fact that statistically, the likelihood of me dropping from top of my class (even at a less prestigious school) to failing the bar exam is probably pretty low.


I was talking to a friend who passed last year about this and she said you don't really need to know the law. You can forget the elements and be fine. What matters is writing down the most basic things you can remember and then doing an analysis based on whatever rules you happen to remember. She said they got one essay last year about a totally obscure and random topic (not sure if I can say it?), and she didn't remember anything about it at ALL, so she was just like "this obscure topic is a thing. It's in NY. it involves X." and she just did analysis based on what seemed reasonable.

So don't forget the super basics "Adverse possession is a way for someone who does not own land to nevertheless acquire good title. It happens when...", don't worry too much about the legalese, and just try to remember a few important things about every topic.


This! I've been wondering how much of this is true because my essay grader does not give me any points for analysis if it involves an incorrect/incomplete rule.

dunneab
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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2015 Exam

Postby dunneab » Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:10 pm

BelugaWhale wrote:Can someone help me with federal estate tax. Not sure if there is a typo(s) in the themis book.

In 1 section of the book, it says "federal estate tax is a tax imposed by the gov't for decedent's having a gross estate over a certain dollar amount"

But in another section, the book says "if the taxable estate exceeds a threshold exemption amount, the decedent must pay federal estate tax"

In another section, it says "a return must be filed if the gross estate exceeds the exemption amount"

In yet another section, "federal estate tax is due if the taxable estate exceeds the exemption amount"

So I'm totally confused. Which is it? Is it that if your gross estate is higher than the exemption amount you need to FILE for the estate tax, but you only need to PAY if your taxable estate is higher than the exemption?

Say exemption is 5 million. I have a gross estate of 6 million but have 2 million in deductions. So would I be correct in saying I would need to file for the tax but would not have to pay anything because 6-2=4 million is less than the exemption amount?


In which subject is this!?!

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anon sequitur
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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2015 Exam

Postby anon sequitur » Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:33 pm

dunneab wrote:
In which subject is this!?!


Virginia essays.

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IamIn
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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2015 Exam

Postby IamIn » Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:43 pm

Confused7 wrote:Just got one of these in an answer explanation "This answer is best arrived at by the process of elimination." :evil:


I saw something similar today.. "All other answers are so clearly wrong that Answer D is the best" (although answer D is kind of shitty too). wtf

Ahyis
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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2015 Exam

Postby Ahyis » Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:35 pm

BelugaWhale wrote:
paulshortys10 wrote:Wills question - Can anyone explain the difference between omitted/pretermitted child/spouse, if any?

There isn't. Though I guess omitted more generally refers to intentional omissions whereas pretermittion statutes are "stale will" doctrines, that is unintentional omissions.


Pretty much this. If you're born before the will was made and STILL omitted, it's presumed it was intentional. If you're born after (pretermitted) then it's presumed you were NOT intentionally left out.

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zor
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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2015 Exam

Postby zor » Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:54 pm

Hey NYers--can someone explain to me the difference between a discretionary trust and a spendthrift trust? Because I thought that a spendthrift trust protects the trust from creditors (with some exceptions) and gives the trustee total control over how to distribute the funds, so how is that different from a discretionary trust?

sp1kedrat
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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2015 Exam

Postby sp1kedrat » Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:57 pm

zor wrote:Hey NYers--can someone explain to me the difference between a discretionary trust and a spendthrift trust? Because I thought that a spendthrift trust protects the trust from creditors (with some exceptions) and gives the trustee total control over how to distribute the funds, so how is that different from a discretionary trust?


they're the same re protection from creditors. but a spendthrift trust gives trustee no discretion (its more like a mandatory trust in that way). a discretionary trust gives trustee discretion.

zot1
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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2015 Exam

Postby zot1 » Wed Jul 15, 2015 6:00 pm

Finally got a practice essay completely correct AND I dare say my answer was better than the model answer.

BOOM!

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paulshortys10
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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2015 Exam

Postby paulshortys10 » Wed Jul 15, 2015 6:24 pm

Ahyis wrote:
BelugaWhale wrote:
paulshortys10 wrote:Wills question - Can anyone explain the difference between omitted/pretermitted child/spouse, if any?

There isn't. Though I guess omitted more generally refers to intentional omissions whereas pretermittion statutes are "stale will" doctrines, that is unintentional omissions.


Pretty much this. If you're born before the will was made and STILL omitted, it's presumed it was intentional. If you're born after (pretermitted) then it's presumed you were NOT intentionally left out.

how then do we apply the 3 Omitted unless factors?

Velours
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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2015 Exam

Postby Velours » Wed Jul 15, 2015 6:27 pm

zot1 wrote:Finally got a practice essay completely correct AND I dare say my answer was better than the model answer.

BOOM!


Nice!

12 essays (simulated essay day for TX) in a day is rough though. I felt like some of them I could answer no problem and others I just blankly stared at the screen and had no idea other than a vague idea what the rule/issue was but didn't feel confident at all for a conclusion or analysis.

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sd5289
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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2015 Exam

Postby sd5289 » Wed Jul 15, 2015 6:41 pm

IamIn wrote:
Confused7 wrote:Just got one of these in an answer explanation "This answer is best arrived at by the process of elimination." :evil:


I saw something similar today.. "All other answers are so clearly wrong that Answer D is the best" (although answer D is kind of shitty too). wtf


I got one of those too. I think yesterday or the day before. I have no idea. Days have completely melded together at this point.

On a NY multiple choice set I got an incredible (sarcasm) question. I only chose this answer (correctly) because my reaction to a question about whether an attorney exercised undue influence over the testator based on the facts I was given was “fuck if I know." The correct answer was: “whether or not Attorney exercised undue influence is a triable issue of fact.” In other words the correct answer to the question was "I don't know, maybe."

These kinds of questions should not be allowed.

always_raining
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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2015 Exam

Postby always_raining » Wed Jul 15, 2015 6:50 pm

Confused7 wrote:Whelp I got another 68% on a mixed MBE set. Guess I'm stuck in a rut after almost 5 consecutive 68%s.


Me too. Really kills whatever spirit I have left. Not to mention the MBE set I'm on right now is insanely hard and I've gotten every answer wrong so far. I'm sure it will be closer to 60%.

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Pleasye
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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2015 Exam

Postby Pleasye » Wed Jul 15, 2015 6:51 pm

paulshortys10 wrote:
Ahyis wrote:
BelugaWhale wrote:
paulshortys10 wrote:Wills question - Can anyone explain the difference between omitted/pretermitted child/spouse, if any?

There isn't. Though I guess omitted more generally refers to intentional omissions whereas pretermittion statutes are "stale will" doctrines, that is unintentional omissions.


Pretty much this. If you're born before the will was made and STILL omitted, it's presumed it was intentional. If you're born after (pretermitted) then it's presumed you were NOT intentionally left out.

how then do we apply the 3 Omitted unless factors?

I'm pretty sure the only difference is that it used to be called a Pretermitted Spouse/Child and now it's called Omitted Spouse/Child instead. They are not two separate doctrines.

zot1
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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2015 Exam

Postby zot1 » Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:09 pm

Velours wrote:
zot1 wrote:Finally got a practice essay completely correct AND I dare say my answer was better than the model answer.

BOOM!


Nice!

12 essays (simulated essay day for TX) in a day is rough though. I felt like some of them I could answer no problem and others I just blankly stared at the screen and had no idea other than a vague idea what the rule/issue was but didn't feel confident at all for a conclusion or analysis.


Yeah, this happened to me yesterday. On a agency question I just couldn't for the life of me figure out the answer.

zot1
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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2015 Exam

Postby zot1 » Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:10 pm

always_raining wrote:
Confused7 wrote:Whelp I got another 68% on a mixed MBE set. Guess I'm stuck in a rut after almost 5 consecutive 68%s.


Me too. Really kills whatever spirit I have left. Not to mention the MBE set I'm on right now is insanely hard and I've gotten every answer wrong so far. I'm sure it will be closer to 60%.


Ugh me too. I was excited just a second ago because did well on practice essay but then this happened. So I'm taking a break because why not.

dunneab
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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2015 Exam

Postby dunneab » Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:23 pm

anon sequitur wrote:
dunneab wrote:
In which subject is this!?!


Virginia essays.


PHHHEW. Thanks for the response!

Confused7
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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2015 Exam

Postby Confused7 » Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:48 pm

zot1 wrote:
always_raining wrote:
Confused7 wrote:Whelp I got another 68% on a mixed MBE set. Guess I'm stuck in a rut after almost 5 consecutive 68%s.


Me too. Really kills whatever spirit I have left. Not to mention the MBE set I'm on right now is insanely hard and I've gotten every answer wrong so far. I'm sure it will be closer to 60%.


Ugh me too. I was excited just a second ago because did well on practice essay but then this happened. So I'm taking a break because why not.


Glad to know I'm not the only one. I want to tell myself that it's not an objectively bad score but don't want to rely on the other parts of the exam being above average (because who the fuck knows).

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IamIn
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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2015 Exam

Postby IamIn » Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:00 pm

always_raining wrote:
Confused7 wrote:Whelp I got another 68% on a mixed MBE set. Guess I'm stuck in a rut after almost 5 consecutive 68%s.


Me too. Really kills whatever spirit I have left. Not to mention the MBE set I'm on right now is insanely hard and I've gotten every answer wrong so far. I'm sure it will be closer to 60%.


Got 82% on Mixed set 3, and then just finished mixed set 4.. 58%. Torts is killing me for some reason..

aladdinismyprince
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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2015 Exam

Postby aladdinismyprince » Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:17 pm

Remind me: I know it is different for every state, but generally what MBE score do we need to pass? I'm taking in a jx that's 50% MBE/50% state specific. I ask because the 70% "goal" on Themis seems overkill, but maybe I am wrong.

smalogna
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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2015 Exam

Postby smalogna » Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:00 pm

aladdinismyprince wrote:Remind me: I know it is different for every state, but generally what MBE score do we need to pass? I'm taking in a jx that's 50% MBE/50% state specific. I ask because the 70% "goal" on Themis seems overkill, but maybe I am wrong.


All depends on the state's specific scoring. MA you need 270 to pass so to "hold your own" on the MBE you need to score a 135 scaled MBE. If you are just looking to "hold your own" in MA the 70% goal is overkill but if you want some cushion in case you completely bomb one or two essays (ME!) then the 70% is a good goal.




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