Texas Saloon- Feb. 2016 Texas Bar

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KTnKT

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Texas Saloon- Feb. 2016 Texas Bar

Postby KTnKT » Fri Nov 06, 2015 4:40 pm

Hahaha... get it? Texas Saloon for the Texas Bar discussion??? I'm already addled. :oops:

Just wanted to start a forum for Texas peeps to discuss the Feb. 2016 bar exam.

I'm a first time taker, using Themis. Full time job and single mom... so I'm starting as early as possible.

Let's do this.

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bluesplitter

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Re: Texas Saloon- Feb. 2016 Texas Bar

Postby bluesplitter » Fri Nov 06, 2015 4:45 pm

Checking in....


Fulltime job and family? WOW, get it!


Just left me full time job couple of weeks back, now will be focusing on Feb Bar Tx!

I too will be using Themis.

Let's do this !

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LittleJohnBull

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Re: Texas Saloon- Feb. 2016 Texas Bar

Postby LittleJohnBull » Fri Nov 06, 2015 6:50 pm

Howdy y'all. Ready to get to rootin' tootin' saloonin'. Also taking Themis and working part time. Sent in my reapplication today. Feels bad, man.

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KTnKT

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Re: Texas Saloon- Feb. 2016 Texas Bar

Postby KTnKT » Sat Nov 07, 2015 4:34 pm

Nice to meet you LittleJohn and Blue.

LittleJohn... what were your thoughts taking the test for the first time... anything really surprise you that you'd wished you knew going in?

Also... how does lunch work... do people mostly eat at places near the site, or bring lunches?

Really sorry you have to take it again.

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BVest

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Re: Texas Saloon- Feb. 2016 Texas Bar

Postby BVest » Sat Nov 07, 2015 5:03 pm

KTnKT wrote:Also... how does lunch work... do people mostly eat at places near the site, or bring lunches?


I was at Austin in July and can speak to some of this since you'll all be here at Palmer.

Lunch Bringers:
Some people eat in the hallway outside the exam room. Some outside on the lawn (although that will depend on weather for Feb exam). Some in their cars (attached garage) while they crammed some more. The lawn was more social while the hallway tended to be people on their own reviewing notes. BTW, there's a place out in the hall (at the corner of the hall) that's designated as a personal items area where you can leave your lunch bag (and coat, or backpack, or whatever -- but don't leave all your layers out there because the room could be any temperature).

Lunch Getters:
Some people did this, though there aren't a lot of places around there. There's a whataburger about 8 minute walk away, and Short Bus Subs (sandwich trailer). A bit of a longer walk will get you to McD's, Jack in the Box, or P Terry's. You end up getting about 60-75 minutes to eat (when you factor in that you have to come back in), so you can drive somewhere too -- and some people did -- but I wouldn't want to.
Last edited by BVest on Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Texas Saloon- Feb. 2016 Texas Bar

Postby tealeaf23 » Mon Nov 09, 2015 11:21 am

Hi folks!

I'm a retaker leaving my full-time job today and hoping to find something part-time. Otherwise, I'll be focusing on the February bar. Can verify that it feelsbad -sigh- Anyway, nice to meet everyone!

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Re: Texas Saloon- Feb. 2016 Texas Bar

Postby austinmom » Mon Nov 09, 2015 11:45 am

I'm a stay at home mom to two kids under 5. I'm taking the February bar using Themis.

I'm already licensed in NY but didn't practice long enough to waive in :cry:

I haven't sat for an exam in over 7 years. That, along with Texas info, intimidates me! I'm hoping my experience from practicing and taking the MBE before (no civ pro) will help me.

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Re: Texas Saloon- Feb. 2016 Texas Bar

Postby houstonlawyer1987 » Mon Nov 09, 2015 2:21 pm

deleted

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LittleJohnBull

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Re: Texas Saloon- Feb. 2016 Texas Bar

Postby LittleJohnBull » Mon Nov 09, 2015 2:24 pm

Thanks for the kind words KTnKT. The thing that took me by surprise was the sheer number of Civ Pro questions on the MBE. Also, don't skimp on your P&E preparation. You can gain points easily in this area that can make up for a lackluster MBE performance. Highly recommend studying the old P&E and Texas essays off of the BLE site. There's only so much material for the P&E that they can test on...

and w/r/t lunches, yes, many people sat in the forum area or sat outside. Personally I had a friend bring me lunch and then I ate in my car to try to cram some more. :shock:

oh and tealeaf23, don't worry, I did the same. Working part-time now.

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Re: Texas Saloon- Feb. 2016 Texas Bar

Postby gadfish333 » Tue Nov 10, 2015 2:32 pm

Does anyone remember the alternating pattern for the trust vs. guardianship question that will be on Texas Essays (and therefore which is more likely to show up in Feb)?

DueProcessDoWheelies

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Re: Texas Saloon- Feb. 2016 Texas Bar

Postby DueProcessDoWheelies » Tue Nov 10, 2015 3:09 pm

Retaking in February. Using Barbri again because it's free as a repeater. But, I was very frustrated about the MBE questions being so different from Barbri's. Can anyone recommend any effective MBE supplements? Adaptibar is a little too pricey, unless they really do have the results to back that up. Is Critical Pass just flash cards with MBE topics?

DueProcessDoWheelies

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Re: Texas Saloon- Feb. 2016 Texas Bar

Postby DueProcessDoWheelies » Tue Nov 10, 2015 3:10 pm

gadfish333 wrote:Does anyone remember the alternating pattern for the trust vs. guardianship question that will be on Texas Essays (and therefore which is more likely to show up in Feb)?

Not sure but I do know trusts was in July and guardianship was last February.

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Re: Texas Saloon- Feb. 2016 Texas Bar

Postby ihatethetexasbar » Tue Nov 10, 2015 3:29 pm

Retaking this February as well, and, frankly, this sucks. If anyone else is struggling with the fact that they failed and is feeling lost, alone, and defeated, this random blog entry I found helped me feel a little bit better: http://barexammaster.com/2015/05/re-tak ... etachment/

I'm beginning my studies again this week after an absolutely miserable weekend. I'm gonna take Themis again since it's free, but I also have Critical Pass and Texas Bar Flash. I think doing a ton of practice tests is key for me. I failed by only a few points.

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Re: Texas Saloon- Feb. 2016 Texas Bar

Postby texasbar » Tue Nov 10, 2015 4:39 pm

I also only failed by a few points. I am re-doing barbri because, like all of you, it's free (even though I hated it and wouldn't recommend it to anyone). I plan to purchase the NCBE MBE questions. Any other suggestions are welcome.

jamescastle

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Re: Texas Saloon- Feb. 2016 Texas Bar

Postby jamescastle » Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:31 pm

Retaker here.

DueProcessDoWheelies

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Re: Texas Saloon- Feb. 2016 Texas Bar

Postby DueProcessDoWheelies » Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:11 pm

So... past retakers, when should we new retakers start studying? Is November too early? I need all the help on the MBE I can get...

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unlicensedpotato

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Re: Texas Saloon- Feb. 2016 Texas Bar

Postby unlicensedpotato » Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:18 pm

Passed July 2015. I would highly recommend getting a hotel room nearby. It made the experience much less stressful for me. I had everything ready to go and all of my books set up. I could study in the morning right up until walking over and then study for 30-45 minutes during the break in a quiet, relatively comfortable environment. I made my lunch so it was ready when I got back and I could eat while studying.

This is definitely worth some points on the margins. My firm (I don't know about others) will reimburse you for the hotel room costs.

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Re: Texas Saloon- Feb. 2016 Texas Bar

Postby ladylawyer1221 » Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:19 pm

DueProcessDoWheelies wrote:Retaking in February. Using Barbri again because it's free as a repeater. But, I was very frustrated about the MBE questions being so different from Barbri's. Can anyone recommend any effective MBE supplements? Adaptibar is a little too pricey, unless they really do have the results to back that up. Is Critical Pass just flash cards with MBE topics?


I used Critical Pass this past July. I liked them, but will admit I did not have time to use them as much as I planned on... They are big flash cards that have pretty much Barbri's outline material on them, and then a column of blank lines where you can write in whatever you want. I found them to be helpful, but towards the beginning of July I started making a pile of the most important flashcards and putting the extra cards to the side. There are just too many flashcards to feasibly go through enough to memorize.

I heard good things about Adaptibar. I understand your frustration with Barbri, because I felt like I studied for the wrong exam after leaving the MBE. I got a 118 raw on the Barbri midterm, but ended up with a 152.5 on the real thing........I did ~50 MBE questions a day, and really spent time reading the explanations and understanding why the answer was right. I was consistently terrible at evidence, con law and criminal law, so I would use the MBE online software with Barbri and did a ton of those questions. I regret not spending more time on civ pro, because Barbri civ pro was nothing like MBE civ pro....

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Re: Texas Saloon- Feb. 2016 Texas Bar

Postby ladylawyer1221 » Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:23 pm

texasbar wrote:I also only failed by a few points. I am re-doing barbri because, like all of you, it's free (even though I hated it and wouldn't recommend it to anyone). I plan to purchase the NCBE MBE questions. Any other suggestions are welcome.


I purchased the NCBE questions, but still felt like they were nothing like the real exam. The NCBE exams available for purchase were too easy, I thought.

Another thing I did was create my own "lean sheets" for MBE topics. If you didn't use lean sheets for the essays, they are basically a 1 page outline of the entire subject. So, I would go on Word, make 3 columns, and type in the smallest font possible... Then I went through lecture handout outline and condensed it down as much as I could, trying to make it 1-2 pages. I used lots of abbreviations. I found this reallllly helpful to study from, because at the end I had a 5-6 page summary of all MBE topics.

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Re: Texas Saloon- Feb. 2016 Texas Bar

Postby ItsBobLoblawsLawBlog » Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:29 pm

Re-taker here too. Failed by <10 points. Somehow just completely bombed the MPT, but no idea as to how. Doing Barbri again (because free), and working part-time. I plan on starting my studying (at least looking over things) later this week, just in case work picks up next month.

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Re: Texas Saloon- Feb. 2016 Texas Bar

Postby ladylawyer1221 » Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:30 pm

Side note: I also made lean sheets for each essay subject. I had the commercial lean sheets, but I didn't like them. When you are the one to actually go through the outline and condense it down to 1-2 pages, it REALLY helps you memorize it. I don't think I would've passed if I had not done that for the essay topics. After you make super condensed outlines, just start writing as many essays as you can every day. I used to pick 2 essay topics a day, and just attack the Barbri essay book and read the "sample" answers on Barbri AND the BLE website.

Just wanted to throw my two cents in for any first timers or retakers! Y'all can do it!!! It's NOT fun but it is possible!!

I studied while working full-time (but no kids) so I understand the struggle! It's SO IMPORTANT to take breaks. I literally did not take a day off, and about 10-12 days before the exam, I got so burned out. I laid on the couch for 3 days straight and didn't open a book. It was terrible.

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BVest

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Re: Texas Saloon- Feb. 2016 Texas Bar

Postby BVest » Tue Nov 10, 2015 9:53 pm

ladylawyer1221 wrote:Side note: I also made lean sheets for each essay subject. I had the commercial lean sheets, but I didn't like them. When you are the one to actually go through the outline and condense it down to 1-2 pages, it REALLY helps you memorize it.



This. I did this just for certain subjects. Mine were longer but were also handwritten. E.g. I think UCC-3 was 3 or 4 pages. For Crim I had a sheet for criminal elements sorted by mens rea.

As for hotels at the Austin site for February, the three closest hotels are the Extended Stay on S. First, the Hyatt Regency and the Embassy Suites.
Last edited by BVest on Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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KTnKT

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Re: Texas Saloon- Feb. 2016 Texas Bar

Postby KTnKT » Tue Nov 10, 2015 11:27 pm

DueProcessDoWheelies wrote:Retaking in February. Using Barbri again because it's free as a repeater. But, I was very frustrated about the MBE questions being so different from Barbri's. Can anyone recommend any effective MBE supplements? Adaptibar is a little too pricey, unless they really do have the results to back that up. Is Critical Pass just flash cards with MBE topics?


Yeah. Cp cards are essentially just outlines on cards. I actually kind of hate them... pain to drag around. But, after going through a subject in themis then going through the critical pass cards, I liked them a lot more. Same essential info, just a bit different than my themis notes. So we'll see.

My suggestion if adaptibar is too pricey is to buy ncbe tests. You get 100 questions for $50 I think. And you can do them one subject, or mixed. It also tracks how good you are at each subject. And you can retake as many times as you want. I don't like that they don't give you the right answers... they just tell you why you're wrong. But still think it's a better bang for my buck.

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KTnKT

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Re: Texas Saloon- Feb. 2016 Texas Bar

Postby KTnKT » Tue Nov 10, 2015 11:33 pm

unlicensedpotato wrote:Passed July 2015. I would highly recommend getting a hotel room nearby. It made the experience much less stressful for me. I had everything ready to go and all of my books set up. I could study in the morning right up until walking over and then study for 30-45 minutes during the break in a quiet, relatively comfortable environment. I made my lunch so it was ready when I got back and I could eat while studying.


That's a great comment. I didn't think of that before booking. I got a close hotel, but not close enough to walk on lunch.

Thanks for sharing.

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BVest

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Re: Texas Saloon- Feb. 2016 Texas Bar

Postby BVest » Wed Nov 11, 2015 12:33 am

Unsolicited rambling advice:

Texas Procedure: Sure it's only 10% of the test, but it's easy points; don't leave them on the table. (And it's the equivalent of 3 essay questions, so don't discount it too much). There is a very limited scope of questions they can ask. Most have been asked. Do the past twenty procedure exams (2006-2015 -- it sounds like a lot, but over a 9 week study schedule that's not too bad) and then review them now and then (especially the Monday before the bar. If you do this, you'll easily know the answer to 18 or 19 of the 20 questions they ask for both Crim and Civ pro.

Texas essays: You can't know it all; pick the subjects you know the least about (for me: Family Law, Wills/Trusts/Estates, and Consumer Law) and pick 2-3 broad topics within those subjects that you actually have to know based off what the Barbri/Themis profs identify as most tested, or just what you recognize from the past exams. Generally ignore the rest of the subject. If a question on the exam is outside those topics, well that's the luck of the draw, but a lot of people are in the same boat you are so just take 5-10 seconds to relax and not panic, make up the law,* and answer the question using that.

Always watch the clock. When they start you on essays, mark down your targets. If they start you at 8:47, mark down "1 8:47, 2 9:17, 3 9:47, 4 10:17, 5 10:47, 6 11:17, STOP 11:47." If you go over any of your marks by more 5 minutes, stop working on that question and go on to the next one. A friend of mine, spent too long on the question where she didn't know the law and had 2 questions left when they called 15 minute warning. As you can imagine, her answer to one question was short and terrible and her answer to another question was entirely blank, and those were questions for which she knew the answers. She failed by <10 points. If she had been rigorous about her schedule, she would have had at least 40 more minutes for those last two questions and that would have been the difference maker.

Oh, and do as many old questions as you can, even if this sometimes means just reading the question, thinking about your answer for two minutes, and then reading the sample answer. The same issues (with practically identical fact patterns) come up again and again.

For the two UCC questions, UCC-3 (Commercial Paper) is almost always tested and UCC-9 (Secured Credit) is usually tested. UCC-2 (K) comes up less often. Here's the breakdown of late:

SC, CP (July 2015)
K, CP
K, SC
SC, CP
SC, CP
K, CP
SC, CP
SC, CP
SC, CP
SC, CP
SC, Combo K/CP (payment-in-full check/breach of warranty)
SC, CP
SC, CP
SC, CP (Feb 2009)

Speaking of Consumer Law, these flashcards (made by some fellow traveller to whom I owe a debt) contain almost everything you need to know: https://quizlet.com/87434023/flashcards

And don't study any fed income tax. I know the BLE lists it as a crossover, but it's never been on there and if it were, it would be like 1/5th of a single family law question, or about 0.66% of your overall exam grade.

MBE: Drill Baby Drill! Do 30-50 questions a day from the time you start studying until you take the bar. I felt like this was more effective when I did them by subject, but to each their own. By the end of my bar prep, I found knocking out 36 practice MBE questions was actually somewhat relaxing.

Bar Prep generally: I treated it basically like I was an out-of-shape guy training for a 5k: start easy at about 3-4 hours a day and gradually work up to a 10 hour a day schedule by the last week or two before the bar. You don't have to take weekends off, but they should be significantly less work than weekdays to give you some recovery.





* How to make up the law: (1) Decide what the fairest result would be. (2) Make up a general rule that sounds good. If your general rule would result in the case coming out in favor of your pre-determined fairest result (3a) make up an exception to the general rule that will not be applicable in this case. If your general rule would prevent your fairest result, (3b) make up an exception to the general rule that applies to these facts. (4) State and apply your made up law and exception to the case in proper CRAC/CIRAC form.

Being cool about making up the law is critical. There will be at least one question where you have no clue -- see July 2015 question 9 in the afternoon portion of the essays.
Last edited by BVest on Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:31 am, edited 1 time in total.



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