Article: Why Smart People Fail the Bar Exam

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virgoyum

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Article: Why Smart People Fail the Bar Exam

Postby virgoyum » Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:07 pm

Why Smart People Fail the Bar Exam

by Ashley Heidemann

Smart students frequently fail the bar exam. Some of these students did really well in law school. Some of them are brilliant. How can they fail?

Here are six reasons that you may fail the bar exam even if you are intelligent:

1. You think too far outside of the box.

A person who falls into this category may see the fact pattern “A hit B” and think: “Well, what is a ‘hit’ -Is it merely a tap? Or was it a punch? Was A acting in self-defense? Were A and B playing sports? Was there implied consent? . . . No, A is not necessarily liable for battery!”

This person tends to think of a plethora of creative arguments for every bare fact pattern on the exam. This is not necessarily bad - after all, inquisitiveness, creativity, and thinking outside of the box can be ingredients for a fabulous lawyer. Unfortunately, however, these ingredients are not highly valued on the bar exam. These students lose points on multiple choice questions for arriving at incorrect conclusions even if they understand the law. These students also tend to shy away from the boxy, formulaic answers that graders expect to see on state essay exams and lose points there as well.

If you tend to think outside of the box (and the fact pattern) a bit too much, use your study period to train your brain to work on approaching the bar exam in a more systematic, formulaic way.

2. You do not know the law well enough.

There are several reasons that may explain why you do not know the law well enough.

A common reason is simply a lack of time. Maybe you were working while you were studying for the bar exam. Or maybe you didn’t take as many bar exam-related courses in law school and simply need more time to learn the material.

Another reason may be that you did not comprehend the law. Perhaps your bar review course wasn’t tailored to your learning style. Some students find themselves furiously filling in the blanks on lecture handouts and checking items off of a To-Do list provided by their bar review course – without actually learning anything.

If you fall into this category of students, take the time you need to study. Additionally, consider acquiring bar exam materials that are tailored to your learning style or retaining a tutor.

3. You suffer from anxiety.

Anxiety may inhibit your ability to study well throughout the bar exam study period. It may also cause you to “freeze” during the exam. If you suffer from anxiety, take steps to actively reduce it, and perhaps seek professional help.

4. You need to improve your time management.

You may study really well, know the law, complete all of the practice problems – but not complete the exam. If this describes your bar exam experience, make time management a priority when you study for the next exam. Take several timed exams before the actual bar exam and bring a watch or timer with you to your next exam.

5. You simply have bad luck.

You slept in. You were sick the morning of the exam. You got into an accident. Or you suffered an unexpected death in the family. If you happened to have a bad day when you took the bar exam, the solution is to simply gear up to take the exam again.

6. You did not practice answering questions.

Maybe you did not complete nearly enough multiple choice questions or essay questions when you studied. Students that do not practice tend to know the law really well but do not know how to apply it to fact patterns. As a result, they feel blindsided by the exam. If this describes your bar exam experience, it is a good idea to make practicing a priority. Schedule a set amount of multiple choice questions and essay questions to answer each day.

If you failed the bar exam, do not be discouraged or think of yourself as any less intelligent. Instead, figure out why you failed so you can improve your score on the next exam.

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virgoyum

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Re: Article: Why Smart People Fail the Bar Exam

Postby virgoyum » Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:09 pm

#1 and #4 resonates with me. I'm an ENFP so #1 is basically who I am as a person.

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Re: Article: Why Smart People Fail the Bar Exam

Postby happyhour1122 » Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:42 pm

virgoyum wrote:#1 and #4 resonates with me. I'm an ENFP so #1 is basically who I am as a person.


You better be a trial lawyer

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Re: Article: Why Smart People Fail the Bar Exam

Postby virgoyum » Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:14 pm

happyhour1122 wrote:
virgoyum wrote:#1 and #4 resonates with me. I'm an ENFP so #1 is basically who I am as a person.


You better be a trial lawyer


Lol I'm not a fan of public speaking in large groups. I'm an ENFP-T so if it's not perfect I feel embarrassed and obsess about it.

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Re: Article: Why Smart People Fail the Bar Exam

Postby Tiny Rick! » Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:27 pm

Lol smart people don't fail the bar exam.

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Re: Article: Why Smart People Fail the Bar Exam

Postby mjb447 » Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:31 pm

virgoyum wrote:
happyhour1122 wrote:
virgoyum wrote:#1 and #4 resonates with me. I'm an ENFP so #1 is basically who I am as a person.


You better be a trial lawyer


Lol I'm not a fan of public speaking in large groups. I'm an ENFP-T so if it's not perfect I feel embarrassed and obsess about it.

Which of the reasons do I use if I'm a Sagittarius?

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Re: Article: Why Smart People Fail the Bar Exam

Postby virgoyum » Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:10 pm

Tiny Rick! wrote:Lol smart people don't fail the bar exam.


Lol ok.

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Re: Article: Why Smart People Fail the Bar Exam

Postby virgoyum » Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:10 pm

mjb447 wrote:
virgoyum wrote:
happyhour1122 wrote:
virgoyum wrote:#1 and #4 resonates with me. I'm an ENFP so #1 is basically who I am as a person.


You better be a trial lawyer


Lol I'm not a fan of public speaking in large groups. I'm an ENFP-T so if it's not perfect I feel embarrassed and obsess about it.

Which of the reasons do I use if I'm a Sagittarius?



Lmao I have no idea.

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Re: Article: Why Smart People Fail the Bar Exam

Postby rcharter1978 » Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:41 pm

mjb447 wrote:
virgoyum wrote:
happyhour1122 wrote:
virgoyum wrote:#1 and #4 resonates with me. I'm an ENFP so #1 is basically who I am as a person.


You better be a trial lawyer


Lol I'm not a fan of public speaking in large groups. I'm an ENFP-T so if it's not perfect I feel embarrassed and obsess about it.

Which of the reasons do I use if I'm a Sagittarius?


You're a water sign. Water blurs the words on the exam and you can't read it. Duh.

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Re: Article: Why Smart People Fail the Bar Exam

Postby Tiny Rick! » Sat Apr 01, 2017 8:02 pm

virgoyum wrote:
Tiny Rick! wrote:Lol smart people don't fail the bar exam.


Lol ok.


What you're doing is called "post hoc rationalization."

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Re: Article: Why Smart People Fail the Bar Exam

Postby virgoyum » Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:56 pm

Tiny Rick! wrote:
virgoyum wrote:
Tiny Rick! wrote:Lol smart people don't fail the bar exam.


Lol ok.


What you're doing is called "post hoc rationalization."


Not really but I'm glad you know me so well or even know my circumstances. Good on you darling!

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Re: Article: Why Smart People Fail the Bar Exam

Postby Tiny Rick! » Sun Apr 02, 2017 2:07 pm

virgoyum wrote:
Tiny Rick! wrote:
virgoyum wrote:
Tiny Rick! wrote:Lol smart people don't fail the bar exam.


Lol ok.


What you're doing is called "post hoc rationalization."


Not really but I'm glad you know me so well or even know my circumstances. Good on you darling!


I mean it's not rocket science. Not many people who've passed the bar spend their time reading articles taking about how "smart people fail the bar."

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Re: Article: Why Smart People Fail the Bar Exam

Postby kellyfrost » Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:13 pm

Tiny Rick! wrote:Lol smart people don't fail the bar exam.


Tiny Rick! isn't happy practicing law. There is a good chance he/she is just an unhappy, unpleasant, and bitter person altogeher. But I'm glad he/she was able to pass the bar exam so they could do something they don't enjoy. Sounds like the life I'd want to live!

Or maybe Tiny Rick is just incredibly book smart and can ace exams easily, but lacks the real life and people skills to successfully practice law. Most of mt colleagues who don't like the practice are just lost and suck at it, but they did really well in law school and passed the bar on their first try.
Last edited by kellyfrost on Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Article: Why Smart People Fail the Bar Exam

Postby Tiny Rick! » Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:32 pm

kellyfrost wrote:
Tiny Rick! wrote:Lol smart people don't fail the bar exam.


Tiny Rick! isn't happy practicing law. There is a good chance he/she is just an unhappy, unpleasant, and bitter person altogeher. But I'm glad he/she was able to pass the bar exam so they could do something they don't enjoy. Sounds like the life I'd want to live!

Or maybe Tiny Rick is just incredibly book smart and can ace exams easily, but lacks the real life and people skills to successfully practice law. Most of mt colleagues who don't like the practice are just lost and suck at it, but they did really well in law school and passed the bar on their first try.


Nah I just chased preftige, which is obviously dumb. But what're you gonna do.

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Re: Article: Why Smart People Fail the Bar Exam

Postby kellyfrost » Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:44 pm

Tiny Rick! wrote:
kellyfrost wrote:
Tiny Rick! wrote:Lol smart people don't fail the bar exam.


Tiny Rick! isn't happy practicing law. There is a good chance he/she is just an unhappy, unpleasant, and bitter person altogeher. But I'm glad he/she was able to pass the bar exam so they could do something they don't enjoy. Sounds like the life I'd want to live!

Or maybe Tiny Rick is just incredibly book smart and can ace exams easily, but lacks the real life and people skills to successfully practice law. Most of mt colleagues who don't like the practice are just lost and suck at it, but they did really well in law school and passed the bar on their first try.


Nah I just chased preftige, which is obviously dumb. But what're you gonna do.



Yeah.
Last edited by kellyfrost on Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Article: Why Smart People Fail the Bar Exam

Postby Nebby » Sun Apr 02, 2017 5:37 pm

Tiny Rick! wrote:
kellyfrost wrote:
Tiny Rick! wrote:Lol smart people don't fail the bar exam.


Tiny Rick! isn't happy practicing law. There is a good chance he/she is just an unhappy, unpleasant, and bitter person altogeher. But I'm glad he/she was able to pass the bar exam so they could do something they don't enjoy. Sounds like the life I'd want to live!

Or maybe Tiny Rick is just incredibly book smart and can ace exams easily, but lacks the real life and people skills to successfully practice law. Most of mt colleagues who don't like the practice are just lost and suck at it, but they did really well in law school and passed the bar on their first try.


Nah I just chased preftige, which is obviously dumb. But what're you gonna do.

Another BM alt

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virgoyum

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Re: Article: Why Smart People Fail the Bar Exam

Postby virgoyum » Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:12 pm

Tiny Rick! wrote:
virgoyum wrote:
Tiny Rick! wrote:
virgoyum wrote:
Tiny Rick! wrote:Lol smart people don't fail the bar exam.


Lol ok.


What you're doing is called "post hoc rationalization."


Not really but I'm glad you know me so well or even know my circumstances. Good on you darling!


I mean it's not rocket science. Not many people who've passed the bar spend their time reading articles taking about how "smart people fail the bar."


Sorry didn't spend any time. It was emailed to me and I posted it for people who were feeling down. You should try caring about people's feelings sometimes. I was good before the bar professionally and I will be good after my friend so if this is just something you do because you're bored, do it on someone else's time.

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Re: Article: Why Smart People Fail the Bar Exam

Postby happyhour1122 » Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:54 pm

I don't know why many people think trial lawyers need public speaking skills. Jurors and Judges and not the public once you enter the court room.

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Re: Article: Why Smart People Fail the Bar Exam

Postby Tiny Rick! » Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:10 pm

virgoyum wrote:Sorry didn't spend any time. It was emailed to me and I posted it for people who were feeling down. You should try caring about people's feelings sometimes. I was good before the bar professionally and I will be good after my friend so if this is just something you do because you're bored, do it on someone else's time.


Have you passed the bar? How many times have you taken it?

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Re: Article: Why Smart People Fail the Bar Exam

Postby kellyfrost » Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:23 pm

happyhour1122 wrote:I don't know why many people think trial lawyers need public speaking skills. Jurors and Judges and not the public once you enter the court room.


I don't know why NFL scouts and GMs think that football players need to have a fast 40 yard dash time. Rarely do any of the players sprint 40 yards untouched, not wearing pads.
Last edited by kellyfrost on Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Article: Why Smart People Fail the Bar Exam

Postby MultiStateLawyer » Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:27 pm

Tiny Rick! wrote:
virgoyum wrote:Sorry didn't spend any time. It was emailed to me and I posted it for people who were feeling down. You should try caring about people's feelings sometimes. I was good before the bar professionally and I will be good after my friend so if this is just something you do because you're bored, do it on someone else's time.


Have you passed the bar? How many times have you taken it?


You need to cut it out with the trolling. All sorts of people pass/fail the Bar Exam. The results of the exam are no indication to any practical aspect of being a lawyer or a person. Hence why all State Bars have a separate Character & Fitness Portion in order to practice law -- you can pass a Bar Exam and still not be a lawyer (i've had classmates pass a Bar Exam then fail Character & Fitness).

People generally use sites like this to support one another, seek help to succeed, or encourage others. People like you give a bad name to lawyers and a bad name to humans in general. Internet trolling is for cowards.

And for the record, I've failed a Bar Exam (then I passed it). I'm licensed in 2 states and just sat for another Bar Exam to be licensed in a 3rd state. Failing didn't prevent me from being a successful lawyer. Failing made me have an appreciation for the work necessary, which, in turn, has made me work harder and become more successful than many of my peers.

So, instead of trolling and taking out whatever frustrations you have with your life on others, why don't you be productive and try being a decent person?



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