Bar Exam Study Program For Those Who Work Full Time

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Dotson525

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Bar Exam Study Program For Those Who Work Full Time

Postby Dotson525 » Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:39 am

Does anyone know of a bar study program that offers a study schedule for those who work full time? Unfortunately I am a repeater who currently works 40 hours a week. Currently I am doing a self-study program. For the MBE I am currently using Kaplan, PMBR, Strategy and Tactics one and two, and Barbri questions. I have found that I test better when answering questions in print instead of online/computer. I am concerned regarding balancing MBE and State subject essays (taking the Massachusetts Bar exam July 2016). With only 3 weeks left I want to make sure I am somewhat on schedule (compared to those who will be studying part time, instead of full time). Any suggestions?

L_William_W

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Re: Bar Exam Study Program For Those Who Work Full Time

Postby L_William_W » Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:12 pm

I didn't have to work when I passed the bar (I'm also a repeater) so I'm not quite sure my strategy will work, but this is my advice: Like you, I also prefer print over online. My advice is to do as many MBE's as you can. And don't just focus on getting the correct answer. Know why an answer is correct. Also look for patterns in both the correct and incorrect answers. Do not jump at the first appealing answer choice since it might be misleading.

Personally, my stronger MBE subjects were torts, crim, con law, and evidence. I sucked ass in contracts, civ pro, and property. I don't recommend this strategy unless you're absolutely desperate: I focused on improving my stronger subjects, and just winged it in my weaker subjects. I figured that if I could get at least 75% of the questions in my 4 strongest subjects correct, then that would compensate for a mediocre performance on my weaker subjects.

I recommend Ameribar. They grade each of your essays and provide constructive criticism. IMO, it's better than Barbri ,which uses a cookie-cutter approach. Do as many essays as you can. Continue to use Kaplan- those questions are the closest to the questions that are on the actual bar.

As far as time management, I'd suggest reviewing your outlines during your lunch break. Once you're done for the day, take a break for an hour (go for a walk, watch TV, swim, etc...). Then, spend an hour learning the material. Make your own outlines. Spend another hour doing MBE's. Spend the third hour outlining 3-4 essays- don't do the full essay. Simply spot the issue, write the rule, and do a brief analysis. During the weekends, you'll have to study 8-9 hours. If it's possible, take the week before the bar off.
Last edited by L_William_W on Thu Jul 07, 2016 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Dotson525

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Re: Bar Exam Study Program For Those Who Work Full Time

Postby Dotson525 » Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:18 pm

Thanks for the input! Unfortunately I am unable to take a week before off the exam. Currently I am doing about 30 to 40 mbe questions during Monday to Thursday. On Saturdays I have scheduled 100 question exams. During the weekends I start really early (around 3 or 4 am), and end around 5 or 6 pm. I struggle with the MBE. Though I received a passing mbe score this past February two essays killed me. I am thinking of adding "The Multistate Goat" to my MBE resources. The OPE's are in print instead of online.

I have both Barbri and Kaplan essay books. I will look into AmeriBar for essays. Now I just need to figure out how to include more essays during the weekday (while strengthening my mbe). I am thinking 3 essays and 30 mbe's Monday to Thursday may be manageable during the week. Any thoughts?

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Re: Bar Exam Study Program For Those Who Work Full Time

Postby sdimo » Wed Jul 13, 2016 5:04 pm

also a repeater here. failed NJ in Feb on my first attempt by 2 points. Same situation, worked full time then, still working FT and not in my capability to take any time off. I did fine on the essays the first go around so I have been focusing on trying to get my MBE score up. I purchased Adaptibar and have been slowly working my way through their bank of questions while creating outlines and notecards based on the mass amount of notes and outlines I had the first time, during that time I was not doing as well on MBEs. Those are done and I have been working to take a lot more practice now that I can review. I am doing 50-100 MBEs a day, while trying to review my notecards and it's helping. My averages are going on for the different MBE subjects, though not as much as I would hope. but, like you said, it's hard to balance the time. I probably get about 1-1.5 hours in the morning, maybe 3-4 hours at night. The weekends I put in as much time as my mental focus allows. Most of my averages are in the mid-upper 60% and then I have con law, evidence and civ pro dragging me down--all hovering around 53% I'm spending the rest of this week trying to strengthen them a bit more, then I'm just going to start doing 100 question mixed bag everyday. I can't really speak to state essays, as NJ only tests the 7 subjects so I plan to read the last few years of posted essays and familiarize myself with the best answers. 2 weeks to go, and the time is flying by now. ugh!

L_William_W

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Re: Bar Exam Study Program For Those Who Work Full Time

Postby L_William_W » Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:03 pm

I flunked NY twice (February and July 2014). I flunked Jersey in February 2015 but I passed by the skin of my teeth in July 2015. My MBE was a mediocre 130.2, but in Jersey, an excellent essay score can offset a weak MBE. If you want to pass Jersey, you have to feast off of the Torts and crim essays. In those subjects, the issues are literally right in front of you. Simply go line by line. IMO, the hardest Jersey essay is Property. After reviewing every NJ essay since the year 2000, I noticed that the fact patterns repeat themselves. The characters may have different names, but the scenarios are the same. I basically memorized the model answers (after verifying that they were correct) and then regurgitated it on the exam.

The MBE's are a doozy. My strategy was simply to study extra hard for my 4 strongest subjects (Torts, Crim, Con law, Evidence). I basically went through the motions for my 3 weakest subjects (contracts, property, civ pro). With con law, if you do enough problems then you'll start to see patterns in the correct answers. With evidence, you have to know the hearsay exceptions hands down. It's tricky, but doable. Civ pro is the hardest MBE. On the actual exam, I think I got about 25% of the civ pro questions correct (torts and crim saved my ass).

The Kaplan MBE book has questions that are very similar to the questions on the actual bar. I'm not a fan of Adapitbar- I feel that their questions are too easy and not representative of what you'll see on the bar. Also, you'll be doing the MBE section of the bar with a pencil and paper, not on a computer.

After you read this post, I suggest getting off the internet and focusing on the task at hand.



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