2017 February California Bar Exam

angiesmirnoff
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Re: 2017 February California Bar Exam

Postby angiesmirnoff » Thu May 18, 2017 7:44 pm

Hi guys!

Thanks for the messages.

I spent 1hr 20 min on Essay 3 first (Evidence was fresh in my mind), and I was hoping that I killed it for a 75-80? HAD TO FORCE MYSELF TO STOP (My girlfriend who passed eventually told me she got a 90 on an Evidence essay coz she went into detail, so I decided to try and follow into her footsteps).
I knew I made some mistakes in it (afterwards), that's why they lowered 65 to 60.

Then I started Essay 1 and spent 1hr 10min on Wills. I had much more to write, I just felt really comfortable about it and started analyzing all the facts step by step, supported by the rules. I also FORCED myself to STOP (even though had a few more things I wanted to mention).

And then I was left with 30-35 min for Remedies. Wrote out the Torts portion of it and mentioned some Remedies but TOTALLY ran out of time. I am sure if I had 10-15 more minutes, it would have been at least a 60-65. At least a 60. But not 50 :( TIME ISSUES for me.

p.s. spending those extra 20 min on Evidence was not worth it. I just spent too much time structuring the essay on paper. Maybe 20-25 minutes. Anyways, big mistake. Extra 10 minutes on Remedies and extra 10 raw points would have passed me.


-----

For essays 3-6 I learned my lesson and tried to spend EXACTLY 1 hour on each.
Funny coz I think I saw a similar P.R. essay and I went in for the kill on it. I thought I wrote everything they wanted, no clue how I got a 55.

Anyways... I see the same thing happen on my prior tests... I get much lower scores on CALI subjects, no matter how much I study them and no matter how much I practice. Although I did spend a lot of time on Wills so I felt super comfortable. And the essay on Wills wasn't tricky.


ANY ADVICE ON CALI ESSAYS?
I Mean I don't know what they want on P.R.... I've done a ton of them before... :((((

I wish I hadn't spent extra 3-4 weeks on CALI subjects but instead worked more on MBEs. My MBEs on prior test were scaled 1546.... It also would've passed me now.

I don't know if I need maybe a tutor to look at how I write essays? No clue...

dredd16
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Re: 2017 February California Bar Exam

Postby dredd16 » Thu May 18, 2017 7:47 pm

angiesmirnoff wrote:Hi, thank you so much for the feedback. I am going slightly crazy after this breakdown of scores.

So I do know that I only had 35-40 minutes left on essay 2 and I knew it was a Remedies essay, I just simply ran out of time to write about all of the issues I wanted. I am SURE I would have gotten at least 60-65 if I wrote everything I wanted to. I had studied Remedies so much but ran out of time. I spent 1hr20min on Essay 3 first (and thought I wrote enough for 80 LOL, but I made some mistakes so I guess they dropped my score). Then I spent 1hr 10 min writing out Wills and I had more to write (for a 100, looking at the score???) but I FORCED myself to stop and go to Remedies. Then I had very little time left - 35-40min.

As far as the second set of essays... Essay 6 was Crim Law/pro, so I knew I did good on it. And the others are CALIFORNIA subjects essays. I actually failed my last CA bar exam because of the CA essays, my PTs were ok 60-65. And my MBE scaled score was 1546 (I focused on it A LOT!). But I saw that they gave me low grades specifically on California subject essays. And I have put in extra 3-4 weeks just for CALI subjects this time around, at the expense of doing lots of MBEs like before (and I think I did like 20-30 questions on Contracts, got them all right and that was it; I ran out of prep time - and I focused on thorough review of the Contracts outline plus the other subjects, instead. Plus memorizations).

PT s are tricky for me and risky because sometimes I get caught up in my own version of reasoning and structure. I might struggle with presenting both the CA subjects and the PTs in a certain structured manner. It's just so much information in the PT and I pay so much attention to every single case! I'm also a bit slower reader (of so much information) since English is my second language.

ANY ADVICE ON HOW TO BEAT THE CALIFORNIA SUBJECTS??? I KNOW that they will give 3/5 essays on CALI subjects this July. They have to, it's California's thing and differentiator.
Well... I focused so much on CALI subjects (And Wills and Trusts is one of them) that I got my knowledge of Wills to a result of a 90 score. I thought I was pretty good on others, too. But apparently not as much yet.

ADVICE?

I am so happy that I posted in this forum... the feedback and the support is SO HELPFUL! And I sort of feel like I am not alone in this.

p.s. I truly believe that if I focus my attention on MBEs like before I can try to get to 80% accuracy on them. And it's 50% of the exam now!!!
The new PT sample on the website is kinda tough since there is so much reading just for 90 minutes! But I am happy that the two 3-hour PTs are over.



Since it's clear you know how to write an essay if you got an 85 on one, check out my guide for tips especially on the PT: viewtopic.php?f=41&t=277682

I also had your issue in terms of timing when I took the bar the very first time. I spent 90 minutes on essay 1 and barely left myself any time for essay 3. I ended up getting only a 60 on essay one and so my effort was completely wasted.

This time around, I stuck to the advice many people gave me: one hour per essay. If you need to go over by 5 minutes, then ok. But then, YOU MUST MOVE ON. I also got advice from my former CA bar tutor that you should not do the essays out of order (specifically, the advice was not not peek at the subjects at all). This is to solely focus on the subject you have at and and not necessarily think about the other subjects in the back of your mind. Take that advice whichever way you want to.

On test day, I stuck to the advice of strictly 1 hr per essay. However, I did not listened to my tutor's advice and peeking to see what subject 2 and 3 were. Despite knowing that Remedies was my weakest subject, I did not do it last and still did it in the order as given. I struggled real badly with the Remedies question because the whole thing was a complete clusterfuck (was this a torts or contracts question? Does it include a property aspect?). By the time I realized how I should attempt to answer this crazy question, there was only 1 hour left and I did not even mention any sort of remedies. I knew that with 1 hour left and the next essay being Evidence, I just had to accept a 50 and move on to try to issue spot the next essay as quickly as possible. This is because Evidence is not your typical essay that you can pre-game for 10-15 minutes and then write a super neat organized essay. Evidence is a race-horse subject very akin to a law school issue spotter (is there any presentation problems? hearsay problems? how many hearsay exclusions and/or exceptions?).

The moral of my story? Sticking to the allotted time will give you more or less consistent scores. It seems like when you try to write your essays, you try to aim for a particular score (80+). You should not be taking the exam this way. You should be focused on (1) spotting every issue possible and (2) writing decent analysis that connects the facts to the law to give the reader some sort of conclusion. You're trying to just pass the CA bar, not get the highest score on the CA bar. Try to write the best answer you can within 1 hour, not the best answer within an unlimited amount of time. But issue spotting is priority #1.

And don't say that you KNOW the bar will have 3/5 essays as CA essays. Study every single subject with the same attention and care. If you have trouble in a subject, obviously spend some more time on it. But don't try to game the system: They had this subject last time, so I won't really study it as much...

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Guchster
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Re: 2017 February California Bar Exam

Postby Guchster » Thu May 18, 2017 7:55 pm

angiesmirnoff wrote:
ANY ADVICE ON CALI ESSAYS?
I Mean I don't know what they want on P.R.... I've done a ton of them before... :((((

I wish I hadn't spent extra 3-4 weeks on CALI subjects but instead worked more on MBEs. My MBEs on prior test were scaled 1546.... It also would've passed me now.

I don't know if I need maybe a tutor to look at how I write essays? No clue...


If you're really stressed out maybe it makes sense to work with a tutor, but honestly, you're so close to passing I'm not sure you need to dramatically change anything you did this time around. I'd practice timing more, ESPECIALLY doing 2-3 essays at a time before you grade them. You have the substantive knowledge down, and it doesn't look like you're having a tough time memorizing things.

I'd just focus on polishing your substantive knowledge, essay structuring and heading titles, and look at baressays and practice Cali subjects to see what kinds of issues you frequently miss when outlining/writing and drill setting up your essays so you eliminate subjectivity as best as you can in your graders.

Not sure what to tell you about the PT. It looks like you either knock it out of the park or struggle, and no middle ground, and it seems more like a crapshoot on what you'll get in July. I'd really just try to maintain your MBE and cali knowledge.

angiesmirnoff
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Re: 2017 February California Bar Exam

Postby angiesmirnoff » Thu May 18, 2017 7:57 pm

Hi, thank you so much for all your advice and the response.

I so agree that every subject has to be studied thoroughly. I did... Just tried to focus more on CALI subjects.

I never got more than a 70 on an essay before so my goal was actually to get 65's and 70's (to never get to the second read) and to get as much as possible on MBEs (as an insurance). I simply have timing issues... And I so wish I stuck to my prior way of writing the essays - i.e. in the order they are given! Right before the exam, my friend who was taking the test with me told me he skims through the three essays and starts writing out the one subject he's stronger in. And I don't know why but first time EVER I've decided to try it, too. I am sure that had I started with Wills and then moved on to Remedies, I would have finished on time, with same Wills score but with completed Remedies essay as well... My guess was I had to write about both Contracts and Torts remedies on it (when I first looked at it), but I so ran out of time :((( cost me the whole bar exam.

THANK YOU for the advice! Don't know why I decided to try something new 5 minutes before starting the exam. I guess the creative side of me persuaded me to.

angiesmirnoff
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Re: 2017 February California Bar Exam

Postby angiesmirnoff » Thu May 18, 2017 8:05 pm

You are so, so right! And I actually never practiced it back to back!!! I will so totally do that. I always practiced an essay per hour but never 3 essays in 3 hours. Now that I have the law in my memory (I of course need to brush up on it), I should probably start doing these drills.

I did time myself for the MBEs (and I always finish them 30 seconds before the time runs out on the actual test. I am a slower reader as I try to grasp every single detail in every single MBE).

"I'd just focus on polishing your substantive knowledge, essay structuring and heading titles, and look at baressays and practice Cali subjects to see what kinds of issues you frequently miss when outlining/writing and drill setting up your essays so you eliminate subjectivity as best as you can in your graders." ----- AMAZING ADVICE! Structure is my issue because I am a very creative person and I structure things my way... Also used one book by the previous bar exam grader and he gave examples of writing without the IRAC and said that they get the same scores. For example, it's really difficult to use IRAC in P.R. or Business Associations. Or especially in Con Law when they say 'discuss'?

I will try to do as much practice as I can. I will get a few 90-minute PTs done but quite frankly I'd rather focus most of my attention on structuring the essays right and boosting the MBE scores as much as possible.

THANK YOU!!!!!!!

dredd16
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Re: 2017 February California Bar Exam

Postby dredd16 » Thu May 18, 2017 8:08 pm

angiesmirnoff wrote:Hi, thank you so much for all your advice and the response.

I so agree that every subject has to be studied thoroughly. I did... Just tried to focus more on CALI subjects.

I never got more than a 70 on an essay before so my goal was actually to get 65's and 70's (to never get to the second read) and to get as much as possible on MBEs (as an insurance). I simply have timing issues... And I so wish I stuck to my prior way of writing the essays - i.e. in the order they are given! Right before the exam, my friend who was taking the test with me told me he skims through the three essays and starts writing out the one subject he's stronger in. And I don't know why but first time EVER I've decided to try it, too. I am sure that had I started with Wills and then moved on to Remedies, I would have finished on time, with same Wills score but with completed Remedies essay as well... My guess was I had to write about both Contracts and Torts remedies on it (when I first looked at it), but I so ran out of time :((( cost me the whole bar exam.

THANK YOU for the advice! Don't know why I decided to try something new 5 minutes before starting the exam. I guess the creative side of me persuaded me to.


Keep in mind that the timing aspect will be especially critical for this new bar with a the afternoon session's 2 essays and 1 PT. Spend 10 minutes over on each essay and that leaves you only with 70 minutes to complete the PT which will severely handicap you especially since you yourself admit to being a slow reader.


angiesmirnoff wrote: PT s are tricky for me and risky because sometimes I get caught up in my own version of reasoning and structure. I might struggle with presenting both the CA subjects and the PTs in a certain structured manner.


Use the task memo as a very very rough guide of how to structure the PT overall. For example, if opposing counsel writes and details to 3 points on why they disagree with you on 3 points and they explain why, your format should mirror that. To format the structure within, identify any rules/tests in the cases from the case library. They will be your issues/subissues and the resulting rule statements. From there, you can pick and choose facts to bolster your analysis when connecting them to the rules.

PTs are not the time to get fancy.

angiesmirnoff
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Re: 2017 February California Bar Exam

Postby angiesmirnoff » Thu May 18, 2017 8:30 pm

O wow, they are actually going to be back to back? I thought there will be a a 2-hour essays session, then a break and then the 90-minute PT.
You are so right - timing is more critical than ever! Thank you

dredd16
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Re: 2017 February California Bar Exam

Postby dredd16 » Thu May 18, 2017 8:31 pm

angiesmirnoff wrote: For example, it's really difficult to use IRAC in P.R. or Business Associations. Or especially in Con Law when they say 'discuss'?

THANK YOU!!!!!!!


For P.R., structure your answer around specific acts that bring about ethics issues.

So organization should be:

I. Act in question
    A. Issue 1
      1. SubIssue 1
    B. Issue 2

If they say "Discuss" for con law, then you're supposed to spot every single possible issue and organize the essay by issue.

angiesmirnoff
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Re: 2017 February California Bar Exam

Postby angiesmirnoff » Thu May 18, 2017 8:33 pm

The way I learned to write essays was

_Heading

Issue
Background Law (not just one rule but also not many rules all at once)
Analysis
Conclusion

Subheading

Minor Issue
Rules
Analysis
Conclusion

angiesmirnoff
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Re: 2017 February California Bar Exam

Postby angiesmirnoff » Thu May 18, 2017 8:34 pm

Hm.... Yes, looks different to me... and maybe that's what the issue is.

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Guchster
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Re: 2017 February California Bar Exam

Postby Guchster » Fri May 19, 2017 2:35 am

angiesmirnoff wrote:You are so, so right! And I actually never practiced it back to back!!! I will so totally do that. I always practiced an essay per hour but never 3 essays in 3 hours. Now that I have the law in my memory (I of course need to brush up on it), I should probably start doing these drills.

I did time myself for the MBEs (and I always finish them 30 seconds before the time runs out on the actual test. I am a slower reader as I try to grasp every single detail in every single MBE).

"I'd just focus on polishing your substantive knowledge, essay structuring and heading titles, and look at baressays and practice Cali subjects to see what kinds of issues you frequently miss when outlining/writing and drill setting up your essays so you eliminate subjectivity as best as you can in your graders." ----- AMAZING ADVICE! Structure is my issue because I am a very creative person and I structure things my way... Also used one book by the previous bar exam grader and he gave examples of writing without the IRAC and said that they get the same scores. For example, it's really difficult to use IRAC in P.R. or Business Associations. Or especially in Con Law when they say 'discuss'?

I will try to do as much practice as I can. I will get a few 90-minute PTs done but quite frankly I'd rather focus most of my attention on structuring the essays right and boosting the MBE scores as much as possible.

THANK YOU!!!!!!!


I'm really excited to see how much you're going to crush July. I wish they gave you your score when you pass so we could see how good your MBE score will be.

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rcharter1978
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Re: 2017 February California Bar Exam

Postby rcharter1978 » Fri May 19, 2017 6:44 am

angiesmirnoff wrote:O wow, they are actually going to be back to back? I thought there will be a a 2-hour essays session, then a break and then the 90-minute PT.
You are so right - timing is more critical than ever! Thank you


Get the red PT book. It was written for the 90 minute MPT but the strategies helped me immensely with the 3 hour pt.

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rcharter1978
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Re: 2017 February California Bar Exam

Postby rcharter1978 » Fri May 19, 2017 6:49 am

angiesmirnoff wrote:Hm.... Yes, looks different to me... and maybe that's what the issue is.


Your method is also what I've seen and what I learned from my former bar grader tutor. I have to think that the graders are looking for uniformity in how the essay is written since they have to read 100s of them. So writing one subject differently from another wouldn't be uniform....although it may also be that as long as the information is presented in a logical and coherent and easy to read way it's not that big a deal.

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2807
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Re: 2017 February California Bar Exam

Postby 2807 » Fri May 19, 2017 10:03 am

angiesmirnoff wrote:The way I learned to write essays was

_Heading

Issue
Background Law (not just one rule but also not many rules all at once)
Analysis
Conclusion

Subheading

Minor Issue
Rules
Analysis
Conclusion



hmmm...
Overall, yes, your structure is solid
HOWEVER..

The Bar is NOT LAW SCHOOL.
YOU MUST break free from flowing, verbose, nonsense.
Be precise, be succinct, be done.

So... Your "rule" concepts concern me.
"Background law?" for a precise issue? NO
"Rule-s?" ...multiple rules for precise issue?.. NO
How would you possibly "analyze" the facts in your next paragraph?
You would have to identify...WHICH RULE you are now APPLYING..
So--that is why WE DO NOT NAME MULTIPLE RULES... EVER.
And, there will not be multiple rules.
There will be ONE. Use IT.

read on....

Your PRECISE LEGAL "ISSUE" will have a PRECISE LEGAL "RULE"
Use that.
DO NOT CONFUSE "ISSUE" with "TOPIC" !! (that is certain death)

Then for "analysis"-- train your mind to think "application"
Application is MUCH MORE precise than analysis.
Your brilliance + analysis = lost in the trees, time passing, tangents, tick-tock, tick-tock..

Instead: think "APPLICATION" and merely APPLY THE GIVEN FACTS TO THE SIMPLE CONCISE RULE YOUR JUST STATED.

If you think you are going to state an "issue" (and you don't already conceive that task as stating a PRECISE LEGAL ISSUE) and then your next goal is to discuss "background law" ....buddy, you are in for an incoherent mess, and will be in constant damage control trying to claw your way out of your head.
EVERYTHING you write will be solid and true and worthy, and you will wonder "Gee, how did I not pass with all that brilliance ?"

BECASUE--THIS IS NOT THAT TEST.

Folks, you must be precise and succinct.
Also, your layout/form is very IMPACTFUL.
Do not underestimate the power of the form.

I have helped countless folks who needed clarity and a reliable approach.
This basic IRAC approach will save you.
Yes, there are many ways, but FUNDAMENTALS WORK.
The Bar exam is 100% passable with the basic fundamentals.
Start there.

ISSUE: PRECSIE LEGAL ISSUE (not topic !!)
RULE: (the precise law for that precise issue. Generally it will use similar words that are in the issue)
APPLICATION: " Apply" ONLY THE FACTS GIVEN. (they will jump off the page when you do I and R correctly)
CONCLUSION: Simple, make sure it is consistent with the A.

Then, repeat. Over and Over.
This IS and Issue Spotting test.
See an Issue, grab it, IRAC it, go back and grab anther one.

My essays looked more like an outline with bolded Issues, and italics/underlining and so forth.
Make it easy for the grader to SEE you SPOT the ISSUES and state the RULE and can APPLY the GIVEN FACTS.

Folks, thats what lawyers do. They want to see if you can...
This is not law school where you "analyze law" and dream about the evolution of legal theory and 200 years of blah blah blah..

one word: SUCCINCT

A large breakdown of all of this is here on TLS from a few years back.
If this approach clicks for you, seek out the other thread.
or PM me.

SUPERFEVER
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Re: 2017 February California Bar Exam

Postby SUPERFEVER » Fri May 19, 2017 11:07 am

Guchster wrote:
SUPERFEVER wrote:How long after results does the bar post the model answers?

I know it's crazy but I wrote an essay that I think was worthy.


to which question?


I watched a youtube video on question 2 by some professor. I had the exact same headings and even made most of the same arguments.

I'm mostly just curious to see what the heck they were actually looking for.

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a male human
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Re: 2017 February California Bar Exam

Postby a male human » Fri May 19, 2017 12:22 pm

Listen to 2807, the legendary wielder of IRAC.

One question I have for you is, what is the difference between "issue" and "topic"? You make a point to distinguish them. Could you give us an example to clarify?

angiesmirnoff
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Re: 2017 February California Bar Exam

Postby angiesmirnoff » Fri May 19, 2017 1:03 pm

This is so, so, so helpful.
I have a question... if let's say I am writing about an Issue of Inadmissible evidence as a result of the illegal search. Based on the IRAC structure, where do I plug in the rules about the 4th Amendment? I guess this is what I mean by background law. To get to the issue of Illegal Search and Illegal Seizure, there are all these layers of constitutional law I have to discuss before I get there. Would 4th Amendment heading be part of a separate IRAC? I believe in some of my essays that's where I have the background law instead of one specific rule. I'd discuss te 4th Amendment and the Illegal Search and Illegal Seizure, and then I'd analyze and apply the facts to each rule. I think I did headline each rule separately as much as I could. Thankfully, the first read was a 65, but the second reader gave me 70. I am sure that the reason is my structuring. The same happened on PT. - first reader 60, second reader 70 (who maybe read more closely? one of the Essays bar exam books I studied by the former grader gave multiple examples (by him personally) of how a 1-page well-written essay can get you the same 70-75-80 as a 8-page perfectly IRAC-ed essay. He said they need Key Words to be there, and, if correctly to the facts, they must earn the same points. I guess I never really understood the intensity of subjectivity factor on the part of the graders. I couldn't imagine there'd be a 10-point discrepancy in grading of the PT - you either write a Passing work, or a Failing one. I thought it is not possible that two people grade it completely differently. And I thought the first graders are instructed to read into the essays even if it's not perfectly IRAC-ed.
Surprisingly, I always get the highest scores (and now I saw it with my 90-85 on wills) when I use the deduction method kf writing: I start with the topic (what area of say wills are we dealing with - i.e. attested will) and then I just go through the whole essay stopping on every point that I see is worth discussing, per facts given. I argue some of them both ways (and maybe that's why they gave me a high score on first essay?). It's sort of like flowing through the discussion of the whole essay step by step. It took 1 hr 10 min total. I got 70 on Agency when I did the same. Same with Real Property once - step by step.
On other essays, as soon as I divide it by topics, issues and subissues instead of 'cruising' through every step of the essay (surprisingly always in the sequence of facts as given), my scores drop. I used the word 'analysis' because for my highest scored essays that's whAt I did... It was almost a Discussion of the essay, with using lots of law and deductions and arguments along the way. As soon as I switch to IRAC there's no such flow anymore.
I absolutely listen to any possible advice I can get regarding this because I can't afford to fail the next one, and delivering exactly what the graders want is key.

angiesmirnoff
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Re: 2017 February California Bar Exam

Postby angiesmirnoff » Fri May 19, 2017 1:04 pm

angiesmirnoff wrote:This is so, so, so helpful.
I have a question... if let's say I am writing about an Issue of Inadmissible evidence as a result of the illegal search. Based on the IRAC structure, where do I plug in the rules about the 4th Amendment? I guess this is what I mean by background law. To get to the issue of Illegal Search and Illegal Seizure, there are all these layers of constitutional law I have to discuss before I get there. Would 4th Amendment heading be part of a separate IRAC? I believe in some of my essays that's where I have the background law instead of one specific rule. I'd discuss te 4th Amendment and the Illegal Search and Illegal Seizure, and then I'd analyze and apply the facts to each rule. I think I did headline each rule separately as much as I could. Thankfully, the first read was a 65, but the second reader gave me 70. I am sure that the reason is my structuring. The same happened on PT. - first reader 60, second reader 70 (who maybe read more closely? one of the Essays bar exam books I studied by the former grader gave multiple examples (by him personally) of how a 1-page well-written essay can get you the same 70-75-80 as a 8-page perfectly IRAC-ed essay. He said they need Key Words to be there, and, if applied correctly to the facts, they must earn the same points. I guess I never really understood the intensity of subjectivity factor on the part of the graders. I couldn't imagine there'd be a 10-point discrepancy in grading of the PT - you either write a Passing work, or a Failing one. I thought it is not possible that two people grade it completely differently. And I thought the first graders are instructed to read into the essays even if it's not perfectly IRAC-ed.
Surprisingly, I always get the highest scores (and now I saw it with my 90-85 on wills) when I use the deduction method kf writing: I start with the topic (what area of say wills are we dealing with - i.e. attested will) and then I just go through the whole essay stopping on every point that I see is worth discussing, per facts given. I argue some of them both ways (and maybe that's why they gave me a high score on first essay?). It's sort of like flowing through the discussion of the whole essay step by step. It took 1 hr 10 min total. I got 70 on Agency when I did the same. Same with Real Property once - step by step.
On other essays, as soon as I divide it by topics, issues and subissues instead of 'cruising' through every step of the essay (surprisingly always in the sequence of facts as given), my scores drop. I used the word 'analysis' because for my highest scored essays that's whAt I did... It was almost a Discussion of the essay, with using lots of law and deductions and arguments along the way. As soon as I switch to IRAC there's no such flow anymore.
I absolutely listen to any possible advice I can get regarding this because I can't afford to fail the next one, and delivering exactly what the graders want is key.

angiesmirnoff
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Re: 2017 February California Bar Exam

Postby angiesmirnoff » Fri May 19, 2017 1:13 pm

Hi,
See you got the same instruction from the former bar gradee. When I use that method, I of course do as many headings and subheadings as I can. And I try to use margins for separatinf Application/Analysis.

The problem I have with a perfectly structured IRAC is that some essays need 7-8 of them (major and minor issues), and it completely kills the flow. Instead of writing a coherent essay, it suddenly becomes almost like a chart. And Barbri emphasizes IRAC so much that when I get an essay, I am more concerned with the perfect model IRAC-ed look because that's what the graders are used to seeing for a passing answer.

Still stuck somewhere in between... with the essays scores all over the place.

How did the former grader tutor instruct you to approach the CA subjects essays? I particularly struggle with the scores in remedies and PR, no matter how much I practice.

angiesmirnoff
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Re: 2017 February California Bar Exam

Postby angiesmirnoff » Fri May 19, 2017 1:14 pm

angiesmirnoff wrote:Hi,
See you got the same instruction from the former bar grader. When I use that method, I of course do as many headings and subheadings as I can. And I try to use margins for separatinf Application/Analysis.

The problem I have with a perfectly structured IRAC is that some essays need 7-8 of them (major and minor issues), and it completely kills the flow. Instead of writing a coherent essay, it suddenly becomes almost like a chart. And Barbri emphasizes IRAC so much that when I get an essay, I am more concerned with the perfect model IRAC-ed look because that's what the graders are used to seeing for a passing answer.

Still stuck somewhere in between... with the essays scores all over the place.

How did the former grader tutor instruct you to approach the CA subjects essays? I particularly struggle with the scores in remedies and PR, no matter how much I practice.

angiesmirnoff
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Re: 2017 February California Bar Exam

Postby angiesmirnoff » Fri May 19, 2017 1:24 pm

By Analysis, I meant Applying the facts to the rule but also discussing a possible different outcome. Issue - Rule - Applying te Facts - . Y is likely to succeed because.... But X could also argue that it was fraud in the inducement and then the outcome would be Z. But X is likely to lose on his argument because....(more analysis). X could also argue (something else).... but unlikely to succeed.

Thus, Y wins.

Then I go through the essay. More topics subheadings, more discussions starting with "The issue is whether..... [Rule, sometimes 2-3 rules if they are interconnected logically]. Application of the facts, arguing both ways sometimes. --- Conclusion.

At the end there is one more Issue. And it leads to the conclusion that Y will get 50%. And then I'd bring up my analysis (mentioned above): BUT IF X WERE TO SUCCEED ON (above) ARGUMENT, here is what the outcome would have been:....

I believe that's what I did on wills (I know I wrote well and on point but did not expect a 90). Argued lots of things both ways - DOES THIS INCREASE THE NUMBER OF POINTS? Is it alwAys worth doinf this if facts allow us to argue both ways?

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a male human
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Re: 2017 February California Bar Exam

Postby a male human » Fri May 19, 2017 1:31 pm

I've always observed that ping-pong arguments and setting up strawmen were a waste of time and that people do well by drawing straightforward conclusions.

But if you got a 90, maybe there is something to be said about ping-pong arguments (assuming you can do them within time)? I still don't believe there is enough time to do that for every essay, so I would greatly hesitate to recommend it.

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Re: 2017 February California Bar Exam

Postby dredd16 » Fri May 19, 2017 1:54 pm

a male human wrote:I've always observed that ping-pong arguments and setting up strawmen were a waste of time and that people do well by drawing straightforward conclusions.

But if you got a 90, maybe there is something to be said about ping-pong arguments (assuming you can do them within time)? I still don't believe there is enough time to do that for every essay, so I would greatly hesitate to recommend it.


From my experience, only ping-pong if there's a specific fact that would lead you to ping-pong. But I wouldn't write a long paragraph as a counter-argument. Maybe max 2 sentences and then shut that counter argument down with a solid fact in the fact pattern and then conclude. Move on. Issue spotting is #1 priority for CA essays. Miss a major one and you are already in 50/60 territory.

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rcharter1978
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Re: 2017 February California Bar Exam

Postby rcharter1978 » Fri May 19, 2017 2:22 pm

angiesmirnoff wrote:Hi,
See you got the same instruction from the former bar gradee. When I use that method, I of course do as many headings and subheadings as I can. And I try to use margins for separatinf Application/Analysis.

The problem I have with a perfectly structured IRAC is that some essays need 7-8 of them (major and minor issues), and it completely kills the flow. Instead of writing a coherent essay, it suddenly becomes almost like a chart. And Barbri emphasizes IRAC so much that when I get an essay, I am more concerned with the perfect model IRAC-ed look because that's what the graders are used to seeing for a passing answer.

Still stuck somewhere in between... with the essays scores all over the place.

How did the former grader tutor instruct you to approach the CA subjects essays? I particularly struggle with the scores in remedies and PR, no matter how much I practice.


AFAIK it was always the same approach. I just went issue by issue, but my first issues/iracs were always the super basic/foundational things. And that's where I would generally give background law. My tutor was all about headings/subheadings.

PR is always a shit show imo because It's generally crossed over with another topic so the essay seems never-ending.

But I agree with others, you are pretty close. Had you just studied up on PTs you would have been good. I see no reason for a super major overhaul of your process. Maybe a little more work on timing, and work on PTs and you should be golden.

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rcharter1978
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Re: 2017 February California Bar Exam

Postby rcharter1978 » Fri May 19, 2017 2:28 pm

angiesmirnoff wrote:By Analysis, I meant Applying the facts to the rule but also discussing a possible different outcome. Issue - Rule - Applying te Facts - . Y is likely to succeed because.... But X could also argue that it was fraud in the inducement and then the outcome would be Z. But X is likely to lose on his argument because....(more analysis). X could also argue (something else).... but unlikely to succeed.

Thus, Y wins.

Then I go through the essay. More topics subheadings, more discussions starting with "The issue is whether..... [Rule, sometimes 2-3 rules if they are interconnected logically]. Application of the facts, arguing both ways sometimes. --- Conclusion.

At the end there is one more Issue. And it leads to the conclusion that Y will get 50%. And then I'd bring up my analysis (mentioned above): BUT IF X WERE TO SUCCEED ON (above) ARGUMENT, here is what the outcome would have been:....

I believe that's what I did on wills (I know I wrote well and on point but did not expect a 90). Argued lots of things both ways - DOES THIS INCREASE THE NUMBER OF POINTS? Is it alwAys worth doinf this if facts allow us to argue both ways?


My tutor drilled that back and forth argumentation right out of me. Simple and to the point. He had a good way about taking that stuff right out. My writing was much more streamlined and less muddled that way. It's important IMO to know what you have to put in an essay and what you can leave out.




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