Virginia Bar Exam - Feb. 2017

passed1
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Virginia Bar Exam - Feb. 2017

Postby passed1 » Mon Nov 14, 2016 3:50 pm

Just wanted to start this thread to get advice from people who will be studying and from those who have already passed. Good luck to all.

passed1
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Re: Virginia Bar Exam - Feb. 2017

Postby passed1 » Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:57 pm

bump

passed1
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Re: Virginia Bar Exam - Feb. 2017

Postby passed1 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 2:14 pm

Bump.

Youppi
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Re: Virginia Bar Exam - Feb. 2017

Postby Youppi » Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:27 pm

Hey bud, reposting this. Passed in July 2015, hope it helps:

I miraculously passed in Virginia. They do not provide a score report, but it is weighted 60% Virginia essays/40% MBE.

I studied working full-time, typically 45 hours a week. I was an evening student, so I am used to cramming and prioritizing.

First, I was able to take a Virginia bar review class during my 4E spring semester for credit. I believe we got through about 400 MBE questions and 20 essay questions. We completed broad outlines of the MBE subjects and most of the Virginia subjects.

Second, I took BARBRI. I watched every lecture at 1.5 - 1.75x speed and filled in the outlines. I completed all of the MBE mini-sets (?), the midterm, and the final review sets. I also did my own customized sets whenever I had time, focusing on my weaker areas. I did not write out any essays, but rather reviewed a subject, read topical questions, and reviewed the model answer.

I typically worked about 2-3 hours a night, at least 4 days during the week. On weekends, I worked around 15 hours total but dialed it up as the bar got closer.

I was able to use vacation time and take off work the week before the exam. I downloaded the Critical Pass App on my phone and skimmed through my weak subjects a few times a day. In between custom MBE sets on BARBRI, I condensed outlines and tried to memorize the basics. I studied at the hotel the night before Day 1 and again before Day 2.

I went in emotionally and physically drained with little confidence. The essays did not seem nearly as difficult as I anticipated, but I definitely made up several rules here and there. The MBE questions seemed nothing like the BARBRI practice questions, but I kept my composure and guessed where needed (everywhere). I kept pace through the first 80-85 questions in each set before rushing to beat the clock.

I still have no idea how I passed, but here is my advice:

(1) Do not burn yourself out. Take mental and physical breaks when you need them -- but do not do so simply out of laziness or procrastination. I did not do any studying on July 4th and it was wonderful.

(2) Find something to help you unwind every night. I watched the John Adams miniseries on HBO around midnight every night in the week leading up to the exam. It somehow managed to put my mind at ease.

(3) Do not get bogged down in the details. I panic studied towards the end, simply memorizing terms and their elements and hoping that I could word vomit out a rule statement on the exam. Apparently it worked.

(4) Do as many MBE practice questions as possible. Again, even though I felt like BARBRI's questions did not resemble any of the questions on test day, apparently it worked.

(5) Keep your damn composure. I had a few mental breakdowns, but I got them out before the exam. Once I was in Roanoke, I got into the mindset of giving it my best shot as a warm-up for February.

(6) Limit your drinking. I did not exercise like most people recommend, mostly because I did not have the time. Instead, I tried to keep drinking and binge-eating to a minimum. Or at least gave it my best shot. I ate a lot of ice cream.

(7) Warn your friends/family/dog/etc. that they are not going to see much of you until after the exam. But do not cut them out completely. I went out for a friend of mine's birthday party a week before the exam and it was a needed break.

(8) Trust your instincts and make up shit when needed.

I hope this helps. It probably will not, but I felt the need to type this out.

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ttnguyen
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Re: Virginia Bar Exam - Feb. 2017

Postby ttnguyen » Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:04 pm

Hi All

I haven't been on here since before law school. I passed CA in 2015 first try. Got a new job here on the East Coast and they asked me to waive into D.C. and take VA. They gave me 4 weeks off but compared to how much I studied for CA i'm not feeling great.

It's down to the wire and I still have most of the VA subjects to learn (about 14 of them...) so...any advice is appreciated! WHY ARE THERE SO MANY TOPICS??? Everyone keeps saying that if I passed CA i'll be fine, but you can't pass when you know nothing about 14 topics....Haven't written a single practice essay btw...

TIA!

totesTheGoat
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Re: Virginia Bar Exam - Feb. 2017

Postby totesTheGoat » Fri Feb 10, 2017 4:56 pm

I can't offer any advice, but I can tell you that I'm in a somewhat similar time crunch. I sold and bought a house between graduation and mid-January, and moved across the country in mid-January. Between unpacking and getting sick, I made minimal progress the week after the move. Needless to say, I wasn't studying in earnest until mid- to late-January. I'm doing Themis, there is an assload of material that I haven't gotten to yet, and I'm cranking 8-10 hours a day at this point. Thankfully, after a lecture on a certain topic, I'm scoring ~70% on multiple choice, so I'm not having to do triage on my learning method. Unfortunately, I'm completely lost on the essays at this point. I know the concepts well enough to use the multiple choice answers to my advantage, but I don't have them memorized to the point of recalling the elements of a certain concept from thin air. At this point I'm just outlining the essays in quick bulletpoint before checking the sample answers. I'm given something like 20 to 25 tasks per day, and can maybe complete 10 or 12 on a good day. Even at 1.5X, the average topic's lectures take ~4 hours. Toss in some MC practice and some Essay practice, and I can get through 1.5 or 2 topics.

I have 15 topics left, so I'm gonna ramp up to 12 hours per day and see if I can get through the new material by Monday or Tuesday, giving myself a week to get enough into short/mid term memory to not get slammed on the essays.

evergirl23
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Re: Virginia Bar Exam - Feb. 2017

Postby evergirl23 » Sun Feb 12, 2017 2:37 pm

Also passed California and am now sitting for Virginia post-move. I have been studying for weeks and still feel like I know nothing. There are just so many subjects. Here to commiserate.

shaq23
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Re: Virginia Bar Exam - Feb. 2017

Postby shaq23 » Sat Feb 25, 2017 1:58 am

So how did you all feel after the exam? Any retakers? What did you all think compared to July. Curious to know how it went

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VirginiaBarExamTutor
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Re: Virginia Bar Exam - Feb. 2017

Postby VirginiaBarExamTutor » Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:52 pm

Almost all of my students who took the Feb 2017 essay exam all came out with the same handful of concerns/questions about the Virginia essays. Anyone have any different questions/concerns after the essay day? https://www.virginiabarexamtutor.com/essay-question-analysis-february-2017-virginia-bar-exam/

totesTheGoat
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Re: Virginia Bar Exam - Feb. 2017

Postby totesTheGoat » Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:32 pm

shaq23 wrote:So how did you all feel after the exam?


First-time taker. Felt unexpectedly good after the essays. Didn't find anything particularly challenging. Everything was either stuff I knew or stuff I should have known and knew I should have known, except for the multiple choice about Supreme Court tenure. Being from out-of-state, I had no flippin' clue.

MBE was harder than I expected, but I could at least eliminate 2 answer choices on almost every question. I felt confident on about 1/3 of the answers, somewhat confident on another 1/3, and 50% or less confident on the final 1/3.

Hokies2011
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Re: Virginia Bar Exam - Feb. 2017

Postby Hokies2011 » Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:19 am

First time Virginia Bar taker.

Licensed in Kentucky.

Overall, feel decent about my chances, but prepared to retake if necessary.

Essays:

Essays were pretty straight forward. If you studied the issues were pretty clear. Multiple choice, who knows? Maybe got half right.

MBE:

Thought it was pretty tough, particularly the morning session. I can remember about 120 of the 200 questions and of those 120 I'm pretty confident I got about 95ish correct. Rest of them I can't really remember. As long as I got half of the remaining questions correct I should be in good shape (or at least that's what I've been telling myself). Hopefully upping the experimental questions from 10 to 25 doesn't mess any of us up.

Good luck to everyone!

evergirl23
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Re: Virginia Bar Exam - Feb. 2017

Postby evergirl23 » Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:59 am

First time taker in Virginia. Licensed in California.

I feel like it could go either way. I did not have a clue on the UCC related essay (I have despised the UCC since 1L year of law school) but tried to write some lawyer-ly sounding BS. The remaining essays seemed fairly straightforward, as did the VA specific multiple choice.

I felt the MBE was much harder than my previous Bar, or maybe I have just blocked the other experience.

I really don't want to have to do this again (nor do I think my firm will pay for a second go-round) so I am desperately hoping the graders go my way.

evergirl23
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Re: Virginia Bar Exam - Feb. 2017

Postby evergirl23 » Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:01 am

I did enjoy that one of the essay questions (Wills related) was pretty much verbatim a repeat of a prior year's essay question that I had worked through just before bed the night before the exam. That definitely helped my confidence level. Before it was dashed by the UCC.

pianogirl
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Re: Virginia Bar Exam - Feb. 2017

Postby pianogirl » Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:15 pm

Sample answers for the essays written by VA professors have been posted:

http://law.wm.edu/academics/howto/prepa ... 0Q%20A.pdf

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VirginiaBarExamTutor
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Re: Virginia Bar Exam - Feb. 2017

Postby VirginiaBarExamTutor » Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:23 pm

The model answers written by the law profs do contain an error, though I do not think it affects the correct answer. In question 7, the Crim Law/Evidence question, they cite to Va Code 8.01-398 as part of the answer. I don't think that code section applies, as it refers to the civil version of the spousal communication privilege, which is a bit different than the criminal version which can be found at Va Code 19.2-272.1. While there are some differences between those two statutes, I do not think the differences would have changed the outcome of the model answer. So perhaps this doesn't really matter, but I just though I'd point it out in case anyone finds it confusing. More about this here: https://www.virginiabarexamtutor.com/essay-question-analysis-february-2017-virginia-bar-exam/




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