How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

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ndbigdave
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby ndbigdave » Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:36 am

UBETutoring wrote:
Halp wrote:
JoeSeperac wrote:If you do well on the MBE, you will likely pass. According to NCBE: "MBE scores are highly related to total bar exam scores." see http://www.ncbex.org/assets/media_files ... esting.pdf

This doesn't mean you ignore the MEE, but you certainly don't put 30% of your study-time into it. In the August 2009 issue of the Bar Examiner, the Chair of NCBE had this to say about the essay component of bar exams: "I wonder whether we will one day discard the traditional essay questions as a time consuming and inefficient way to measure the analytical skills and knowledge we believe new lawyers should have. It may be hard at first to imagine bar examinations without such questions. Essay questions are used to determine whether applicants can demonstrate knowledge of specific legal subjects by identifying legal issues and analyzing those issues clearly and concisely. However, good essay questions (i.e., questions that distinguish applicants sufficiently) can be a challenge to write consistently; they are time consuming and expensive to grade; and ideally they are also scaled to the MBE, because the MBE is a valid exercise in distinguishing those who are more knowledgeable from those who are less so. The Multistate Essay Examination has solid essay products, but would bar examining test legal knowledge more efficiently and easily if we had an expanded MBE? If essay questions do not measure different knowledge from the MBE, then why, other than tradition, do we continue to use them? If the answers are not graded for the quality of written expression, then essay questions are not measuring legal writing skill, either. The examinations for lawyers are coming to resemble increasingly the national examinations that physicians must take to secure their licenses. If physicians can be tested adequately on a broad variety of subjects using multiple-choice questions, why not lawyers?"


Am I correct in reading your statement to also apply to states with 50% state specific essays+MPT (rather than MEE)?

And reliability of .9 - does that mean 90% of those who pass the MBE, pass the entire exam? Surely not...

I'm not doubting the data, but they generally have a specific list of what they're looking for so there is some objectivity. There's just not a 1:1 correlation b/w knowing the law and getting the right answer. A lot of people don't know how to take the MBE, which is to just move element by element on each problem. For example, an MBE where someone applies strict liability to a factory without saying "factory is a commercial supplier". As intuitive as it is, they're not going to award the point.

There are absolutely people who have six 60 essays. They just always pass so these aren't getting released. I think it's more that a poor performance on the MBE is predictive of a poor performance on the MEE. Without being elitist, I've definitely found a marked division between MEE starting scores among t-14 grads and the rest of the population.


I think you may be proving his point to a certain extent.

Those who are truly elite, say the top 10% or so (maybe higher) know the law so well and are also capable writers that they certainly will get excellent scores even when accounting for human error/bias in grading and different topics/subtopics on each exam. I think the same is true for the bottom 20% (or so) of test takers who did not prep for the MEE and/or fail to write appropriately for essays. What Joe is pointing out is this middle glut of students who, depending on who is doing the grading and the "luck of the draw" on the topics selected for that year can have pretty wide ranging differences in scores.

I am but one data point, but I fit Joe's model to an absolute "T." I was a May 2015 graduate of a tier-4 law school, non-traditional student who went year-round at night to graduate in 3 years. I worked full-time through law school and bar prep, I had just over a 3.0 accumulative GPA while having great success in all MBE subjects outside of property. My work experience gave me tons of practice in reading/reviewing/drafting (7 year judicial clerk and roughly 1 year as a head clerk at busy med-mal firm where I wrote EVERYTHING). Joe's MBE predictor was 100% accurate, I scored a 141 in Michigan while scoring a 142 on the written portion (while putting in only a handful of hours reviewing essay topics). I passed comfortably if not spectacularly with my scores.

Fast forward just over a year and a half to Illinois February 2017. I scored a 139 on the MBE (a 2 point difference) meanwhile my essay scores went from a scaled 142 to a 122. While leaving each exam I had basically the same feelings (a few essays were in my strong areas and I felt good, had one I was just BS-ing, meanwhile the others I felt like I had something competent to say). The MPT (though I had never done one before) was a simple memo (something Ive done a few dozen times) and yet my scores plummeted and nowhere near a margin for error. I was totally baffled by my scores and I ultimately failed by 5 scaled points.

So the MBE has proven to be consistent for me (139 is merely 1.5% lower than my first score), meanwhile the essays total score dropped by just under 15%.

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UBETutoring
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby UBETutoring » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:03 am

ndbigdave wrote:
UBETutoring wrote:
Halp wrote:
JoeSeperac wrote:If you do well on the MBE, you will likely pass. According to NCBE: "MBE scores are highly related to total bar exam scores." see http://www.ncbex.org/assets/media_files ... esting.pdf

This doesn't mean you ignore the MEE, but you certainly don't put 30% of your study-time into it. In the August 2009 issue of the Bar Examiner, the Chair of NCBE had this to say about the essay component of bar exams: "I wonder whether we will one day discard the traditional essay questions as a time consuming and inefficient way to measure the analytical skills and knowledge we believe new lawyers should have. It may be hard at first to imagine bar examinations without such questions. Essay questions are used to determine whether applicants can demonstrate knowledge of specific legal subjects by identifying legal issues and analyzing those issues clearly and concisely. However, good essay questions (i.e., questions that distinguish applicants sufficiently) can be a challenge to write consistently; they are time consuming and expensive to grade; and ideally they are also scaled to the MBE, because the MBE is a valid exercise in distinguishing those who are more knowledgeable from those who are less so. The Multistate Essay Examination has solid essay products, but would bar examining test legal knowledge more efficiently and easily if we had an expanded MBE? If essay questions do not measure different knowledge from the MBE, then why, other than tradition, do we continue to use them? If the answers are not graded for the quality of written expression, then essay questions are not measuring legal writing skill, either. The examinations for lawyers are coming to resemble increasingly the national examinations that physicians must take to secure their licenses. If physicians can be tested adequately on a broad variety of subjects using multiple-choice questions, why not lawyers?"


Am I correct in reading your statement to also apply to states with 50% state specific essays+MPT (rather than MEE)?

And reliability of .9 - does that mean 90% of those who pass the MBE, pass the entire exam? Surely not...

I'm not doubting the data, but they generally have a specific list of what they're looking for so there is some objectivity. There's just not a 1:1 correlation b/w knowing the law and getting the right answer. A lot of people don't know how to take the MBE, which is to just move element by element on each problem. For example, an MBE where someone applies strict liability to a factory without saying "factory is a commercial supplier". As intuitive as it is, they're not going to award the point.

There are absolutely people who have six 60 essays. They just always pass so these aren't getting released. I think it's more that a poor performance on the MBE is predictive of a poor performance on the MEE. Without being elitist, I've definitely found a marked division between MEE starting scores among t-14 grads and the rest of the population.


I think you may be proving his point to a certain extent.

Those who are truly elite, say the top 10% or so (maybe higher) know the law so well and are also capable writers that they certainly will get excellent scores even when accounting for human error/bias in grading and different topics/subtopics on each exam. I think the same is true for the bottom 20% (or so) of test takers who did not prep for the MEE and/or fail to write appropriately for essays. What Joe is pointing out is this middle glut of students who, depending on who is doing the grading and the "luck of the draw" on the topics selected for that year can have pretty wide ranging differences in scores.

I am but one data point, but I fit Joe's model to an absolute "T." I was a May 2015 graduate of a tier-4 law school, non-traditional student who went year-round at night to graduate in 3 years. I worked full-time through law school and bar prep, I had just over a 3.0 accumulative GPA while having great success in all MBE subjects outside of property. My work experience gave me tons of practice in reading/reviewing/drafting (7 year judicial clerk and roughly 1 year as a head clerk at busy med-mal firm where I wrote EVERYTHING). Joe's MBE predictor was 100% accurate, I scored a 141 in Michigan while scoring a 142 on the written portion (while putting in only a handful of hours reviewing essay topics). I passed comfortably if not spectacularly with my scores.

Fast forward just over a year and a half to Illinois February 2017. I scored a 139 on the MBE (a 2 point difference) meanwhile my essay scores went from a scaled 142 to a 122. While leaving each exam I had basically the same feelings (a few essays were in my strong areas and I felt good, had one I was just BS-ing, meanwhile the others I felt like I had something competent to say). The MPT (though I had never done one before) was a simple memo (something Ive done a few dozen times) and yet my scores plummeted and nowhere near a margin for error. I was totally baffled by my scores and I ultimately failed by 5 scaled points.

So the MBE has proven to be consistent for me (139 is merely 1.5% lower than my first score), meanwhile the essays total score dropped by just under 15%.

Yeah, but the MBE is not that easy to improve 10 points on in a few days. With essays a lot of people don't know what they're doing.

It's not arbitrary. There's a predetermined rubric. All you're looking to do is hit each point on the rubric. The difference between the bar and law school is if there's a huge issue in law school, you can cite 5 cases and have a fine exam focused around that issue. On the bar, you have a low ceiling and need to hit each point. The points are not difficult to guess or arbitrary. If you have a negligence case, the rubric will invariably award points for:

Right conclusion, right major issues

Rule

Duty
Breach
Causation
Damages

Application of Rule to Elements
At least 5 points as causation will be two.
Two or more will probably have issues
Comparative negligence will almost always be at least a potential issue, and thus have a few points.
If there's a legitimate fork, you get a ton of points for analyzing the whole problem according to each.


What i'm saying is the grading is predictable, and it's not about having an answer that looks/sounds good. It's like eating a steak. You want to get all the meat off the bone. A lot of people take the test, and just focus on the main issues, which is where most of the points are so probably sufficient to pass (assuming they have spot on analysis) but they're limiting themselves by foregoing all the easy points.

Another common trait of failing essays are 300 word paragraphs of law, which I think is indicative of a lack of confidence and thus may be related to school choice. The person is trying to prove they know the law rather than tailoring that knowledge to the facts they're given.

champloo
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby champloo » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:14 am

UBETutoring wrote:
Another common trait of failing essays are 300 word paragraphs of law, which I think is indicative of a lack of confidence and thus may be related to school choice. The person is trying to prove they know the law rather than tailoring that knowledge to the facts they're given.


wouldn't be an advantage to write as much as you're allowed? i tend to throw the kitchen sink at essays even if im confident in the rules and analysis just so that i could maybe pick up some few extra points. sometimes, i feel like i spend a bit too much on the application part and not enough on the rules. would this be a big problem?

eta: i don't have much confidence in the accuracy of my grades on my graded exams, so i have no idea what a passing essay looks like.

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ndbigdave
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby ndbigdave » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:28 am

UBETutoring wrote:Yeah, but the MBE is not that easy to improve 10 points on in a few days. With essays a lot of people don't know what they're doing.

It's not arbitrary. There's a predetermined rubric. All you're looking to do is hit each point on the rubric. The difference between the bar and law school is if there's a huge issue in law school, you can cite 5 cases and have a fine exam focused around that issue. On the bar, you have a low ceiling and need to hit each point. The points are not difficult to guess or arbitrary. If you have a negligence case, the rubric will invariably award points for:

Right conclusion, right major issues

Rule

Duty
Breach
Causation
Damages

Application of Rule to Elements
At least 5 points as causation will be two.
Two or more will probably have issues
Comparative negligence will almost always be at least a potential issue, and thus have a few points.
If there's a legitimate fork, you get a ton of points for analyzing the whole problem according to each.


What i'm saying is the grading is predictable, and it's not about having an answer that looks/sounds good. It's like eating a steak. You want to get all the meat off the bone. A lot of people take the test, and just focus on the main issues, which is where most of the points are so probably sufficient to pass (assuming they have spot on analysis) but they're limiting themselves by foregoing all the easy points.

Another common trait of failing essays are 300 word paragraphs of law, which I think is indicative of a lack of confidence and thus may be related to school choice. The person is trying to prove they know the law rather than tailoring that knowledge to the facts they're given.


I dont discount that there are ways to improve essays and that it isnt a total shot in the dark, it is just far more random, unpredictable and more difficult to prep for when you compare it to the MBE. I can tell you exactly the 7 subjects that will be on the MBE, there are about 1,500 licensed questions available and these are subjects that are otherwise required courses at every school (so every student taking the bar should have a basis of knowledge) meanwhile the MBE topics make up more than half of the potential subjects for the MEE so you are killing two birds with one stone. Seeing as I have no clue what non-MBE subjects will be tested (let alone the subtopic) my time is better spent trying to claw every point available out of the MBE.

Students certainly need to be familiar with how the MEE is presented and know the proper way to write an essay. Your advice about how to write when you know the law and then when you dont is great (ill be re-reading it for my own sake) and I do accept that essays arent totally random but the amount of time/energy needed to be put in to in any way feel good about the essays simply isnt worth it to me when I could throw another hour at doing/reviewing questions for MBE. The story I like to tell people is - I feel very, very good about evidence, I did great in the class, I have a ton of real-world experience watching evidentiary issues argued and briefed before my former judge and then I spent nearly a year writing some evidientiary motions/responses. I threw myself into the rules and can see how they are utilized. That all being said I am not expert on ALL of it and there are certainly essay topics on evidence where Ill get a "passing score" but not great score that could help drag me across the finish line with knowing there will be other essays I am weaker. Due to the unpredictability of subject/subtopic I can go from positions of strength to positions of weakness (which is true for all but many of the truly elite students) which is why scores on a student-by-student basis can fluctuate on the essays meanwhile the MBE should be relatively static.

JoeSeperac
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby JoeSeperac » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:46 am

A detailed explanation of how bar exam essays are graded is here:
http://seperac.com/pdf/Concurring%20Opi ... Solove.pdf

All joking aside, I have looked at thousands of graded examinee essays and I still can’t determine exactly how essays are graded. For example, please take a look at the following:
http://seperac.com/pdf/J14-Essay%20Anal ... ay%201.pdf

It contains obvious and serious mistakes in July 2014 essay grading. You will need to Zoom in on this PDF to read the material (I try to put a number of essays on one page so it can be visually compared). This PDF is a small sample of 15 answers from Essay 1 from the July 2014 exam. As part of this Essay Analysis, I try to determine the weight of each issue and then I calculate each examinee’s score for each issue (for example, PROF-RES: Solicitation/Referral Fees (Seperac Est. score of 2/10)). The final result is the “Seperac Estimated Score.” Bar graders have neither the time or the interest to put similarly scored essays side by side to see if the grading is indeed accurate. However, when I do this, grading inaccuracies often come to light. For example, if you look at the 5th essay (Jul2014-Essay-001-ID 002-Typed-Score 38.66), this “Examinee J” received a score of 38.66. If you compare this essay to the other essays that scored around 38.66, you will see that this essay is far superior. I feel this essay score was severely discounted – just compare this essay to the released Model Answers and you will see what I mean. How this essay is not a passing essay is a complete mystery to me.

Now let’s suppose that you studied heavily for the exam and focused on the essays and you were the examinee that wrote the above essay in question. You would have written what was objectively a good essay that should have been well above passing, but instead would have received a terrible score. Don’t think this can’t happen to you because it happens to many examinees. This is what no one can control – the unreliability of essay grading.

Whenever an examinee receives a very high essay score, I follow up with them to ask how they did it. About half the time, they tell me that they have no clue. For example one examinee told me: “According to my essay score breakdown, I scored an astonishing 67 on Essay 5 which was about trusts/essays. I remember very clearly that I thought I had absolutely bombed this question. I had no idea what the rules were, I did not know how to even conceptualize what was going on. I know my answer was complete garbage. Yet, I scored a 67? Incredible. My second highest score was a 58 and based on the essay content and questions, I'm also questioning how I got a 58 for that one. The crazy thing is that I was within 10 points of passing which meant they had to regrade my written exam (essays and mpt) and have it reread by the original graders....yet, I will received a 67...did they confuse my essays with someone else's? CRAZY.

Based on the results of the MEE/MPT Analysis I conduct on examinee essays, I feel that either the graders strictly focus on the NCBE point sheets or there is some type of automated grading or perhaps a combination of both (as an aside, the 2nd MPT for the Feb 2017 UBE was the type of question one would ask they wanted to test automated grading – it didn’t care about the format and was only looking to see if examinees could identify the pertinent facts and conclusions of law in a list form). For example, below is part of my analysis of Essay #3 (Family Law) on the F17 MEE.

http://seperac.com/image/F17-3.png

To make this analysis, I examine the NCBE Answer Analysis for each question and then I extract the top 50 words/phrases that I expect the graders to look for in the examinee answers. I bolded the ones that covered the central concepts. The 'With Word' column reports how many examinees used that word along with the average points these examinees received (green is above passing while red is below passing). For example, for Essay #3, about 17% of examinees used the word/phrase 'equitable distribution' and received an average of 18.9 points for their essays (whereas a passing MEE essay received 13.3 points). The W/O Word column shows the average essay points for the examinees who did not use that particular word or phrase. Often, the average score for such examinees is below passing, demonstrating the importance of issue spotting and keywords in achieving a passing MEE score. In the prior example, for the 83% of examinees who did not use the word/phrase 'equitable distribution' in their answers, these examinees averaged 12.4 points on the essay (below passing). I see this occur with every MEE answer. To me, this is concrete evidence that the graders rely on the NCBE Answer Analysis for their grading and specifically look for the keywords. So basically, the more you have in common with what NCBE is looking for, the better your essay/MPT score.

I suggest you try my UBE Score Estimator:
http://www.seperac.com/zcalc-passcalc.php

If you are expected to pass by 20+ points, continue your current course of study and stop worrying about all this.

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UBETutoring
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby UBETutoring » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:51 am

ndbigdave wrote:
UBETutoring wrote:Yeah, but the MBE is not that easy to improve 10 points on in a few days. With essays a lot of people don't know what they're doing.

It's not arbitrary. There's a predetermined rubric. All you're looking to do is hit each point on the rubric. The difference between the bar and law school is if there's a huge issue in law school, you can cite 5 cases and have a fine exam focused around that issue. On the bar, you have a low ceiling and need to hit each point. The points are not difficult to guess or arbitrary. If you have a negligence case, the rubric will invariably award points for:

Right conclusion, right major issues

Rule

Duty
Breach
Causation
Damages

Application of Rule to Elements
At least 5 points as causation will be two.
Two or more will probably have issues
Comparative negligence will almost always be at least a potential issue, and thus have a few points.
If there's a legitimate fork, you get a ton of points for analyzing the whole problem according to each.


What i'm saying is the grading is predictable, and it's not about having an answer that looks/sounds good. It's like eating a steak. You want to get all the meat off the bone. A lot of people take the test, and just focus on the main issues, which is where most of the points are so probably sufficient to pass (assuming they have spot on analysis) but they're limiting themselves by foregoing all the easy points.

Another common trait of failing essays are 300 word paragraphs of law, which I think is indicative of a lack of confidence and thus may be related to school choice. The person is trying to prove they know the law rather than tailoring that knowledge to the facts they're given.


I dont discount that there are ways to improve essays and that it isnt a total shot in the dark, it is just far more random, unpredictable and more difficult to prep for when you compare it to the MBE. I can tell you exactly the 7 subjects that will be on the MBE, there are about 1,500 licensed questions available and these are subjects that are otherwise required courses at every school (so every student taking the bar should have a basis of knowledge) meanwhile the MBE topics make up more than half of the potential subjects for the MEE so you are killing two birds with one stone. Seeing as I have no clue what non-MBE subjects will be tested (let alone the subtopic) my time is better spent trying to claw every point available out of the MBE.

Students certainly need to be familiar with how the MEE is presented and know the proper way to write an essay. Your advice about how to write when you know the law and then when you dont is great (ill be re-reading it for my own sake) and I do accept that essays arent totally random but the amount of time/energy needed to be put in to in any way feel good about the essays simply isnt worth it to me when I could throw another hour at doing/reviewing questions for MBE. The story I like to tell people is - I feel very, very good about evidence, I did great in the class, I have a ton of real-world experience watching evidentiary issues argued and briefed before my former judge and then I spent nearly a year writing some evidientiary motions/responses. I threw myself into the rules and can see how they are utilized. That all being said I am not expert on ALL of it and there are certainly essay topics on evidence where Ill get a "passing score" but not great score that could help drag me across the finish line with knowing there will be other essays I am weaker. Due to the unpredictability of subject/subtopic I can go from positions of strength to positions of weakness (which is true for all but many of the truly elite students) which is why scores on a student-by-student basis can fluctuate on the essays meanwhile the MBE should be relatively static.

Just focus on what you control, and disregard the rest. At the end of the day, a just passing essay is like getting 6.5/10 on a set of MBE questions and you have a floor of around 4/10 just common sensing it and talking about facts that seem sketchy.

I agree with the MBE, and would go even further. These mini-subjects are largely predicated on MBE topics and evolved from broader topics like contracts and property. If you "get contracts and property", you already have the basic framework for wills and trusts, family law and most of corporate law and agency.

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Yugihoe
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby Yugihoe » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:53 am

JoeSeperac wrote:
I suggest you try my UBE Score Estimator:
http://www.seperac.com/zcalc-passcalc.php

If you are expected to pass by 20+ points, continue your current course of study and stop worrying about all this.


Seriously? What kind of garbage is this? This "calculator determines the mean total score for a particular demographic and then adjusts based on other criteria such as MPRE/UGPA/LSAT/LPGA." I don't know if your website is trolling or what.


How about use a real UBE score estimator based on, i don't know, how you'v'e been doing on your bar prep course so far. :roll:

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ndbigdave
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby ndbigdave » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:56 am

Yugihoe wrote:
JoeSeperac wrote:
I suggest you try my UBE Score Estimator:
http://www.seperac.com/zcalc-passcalc.php

If you are expected to pass by 20+ points, continue your current course of study and stop worrying about all this.


Seriously? What kind of garbage is this? This "calculator determines the mean total score for a particular demographic and then adjusts based on other criteria such as MPRE/UGPA/LSAT/LPGA." I don't know if your website is trolling or what.


How about use a real UBE score estimator based on, i don't know, how you'v'e been doing on your bar prep course so far. :roll:


I dont think you took the time to read everything that goes into the predictor. I cant speak as much to the way it predicts the MEE, but I feel very confident in how it predicts the MBE.

I can tell you that it predicted my MBE 100% accurately when I provided all of my information.

The amount of time, research and effort Joe has put into his site and the calculator (among other offerings) is tremendous.

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UBETutoring
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby UBETutoring » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:58 am

Yugihoe wrote:
JoeSeperac wrote:
I suggest you try my UBE Score Estimator:
http://www.seperac.com/zcalc-passcalc.php

If you are expected to pass by 20+ points, continue your current course of study and stop worrying about all this.


Seriously? What kind of garbage is this? This "calculator determines the mean total score for a particular demographic and then adjusts based on other criteria such as MPRE/UGPA/LSAT/LPGA." I don't know if your website is trolling or what.


How about use a real UBE score estimator based on, i don't know, how you'v'e been doing on your bar prep course so far. :roll:

In his defense, these factors have predictive value and it makes sense - LSAT affects MBE more than the MEE (multiple choice), and law school affects MEE more than MBE (primarily not MC). However, I read in many places that 1L GPA was the most predictive variable. It's a controversial undertaking, but the basis of his algorithm can be fascinating.

I think he may be double penalizing some groups, because if race, LSAT and LSGPA and the bar are all correlated with each other then some groups are essentially being penalized 4 times (I'm guessing his formula accounts for that). It will evoke some bad blood, because it's basically saying people are likelier to fail based on variables that should be arbitrary.

Obviously, practice MBE scores will be more indicative of your test day performance, but my presumption is his formula is based on the presumption one doesn't have that data yet. There's no way he's arguing that a 150 LSAT is more predictive of your MBE score than a 150 MBE.

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Yugihoe
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby Yugihoe » Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:05 am

UBETutoring wrote:
Yugihoe wrote:
JoeSeperac wrote:
I suggest you try my UBE Score Estimator:
http://www.seperac.com/zcalc-passcalc.php

If you are expected to pass by 20+ points, continue your current course of study and stop worrying about all this.


Seriously? What kind of garbage is this? This "calculator determines the mean total score for a particular demographic and then adjusts based on other criteria such as MPRE/UGPA/LSAT/LPGA." I don't know if your website is trolling or what.


How about use a real UBE score estimator based on, i don't know, how you'v'e been doing on your bar prep course so far. :roll:

In his defense, these factors have predictive value and it makes sense - LSAT affects MBE more than the MEE (multiple choice), and law school affects MEE more than MBE (primarily not MC). However, I read in many places that 1L GPA was the most predictive variable. It's a controversial undertaking, but the basis of his algorithm can be fascinating.

I think he may be double penalizing some groups, because if race, LSAT and LSGPA and the bar are all correlated with each other then some groups are essentially being penalized 4 times (I'm guessing his formula accounts for that). It will evoke some bad blood, because it's basically saying people are likelier to fail based on variables that should be arbitrary.



Well yea, if you got a 170+ on your lsat, and you went to a top law school, you'll probably pass the bar because you have the work ethic to do so. You would know this already because your school likely has like a 95% passage rate. Likewise, if this is your 4th attempt at the bar, or had a 2.0 gpa, it assumes that you're going to get a low score because individually you're not so great at studying. But I don't see how this is useful.

It would be better if you could put in how you're doing in your prep course with the practice MBE sets, and it would spit out what it thinks your scaled score will be.

JoeSeperac
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby JoeSeperac » Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:54 pm

With each iteration of the estimator, I expect it to be more accurate as I adjust based on examinee responses. As I explain on the UBE Score Estimator page:

"Please keep in mind that these statistics are merely estimates (as you can see from the two standard deviation statistics, scores can vary widely, meaning that even if the average examinee in that demographic is predicted to fail, an above-average examinee in that demographic may not). Your MBE practice scores, assuming the MBE practice questions are of sufficient difficulty and representative of the topics tested, will give you the most insight as to whether or not you will pass the UBE."

myrtlewinston
Posts: 427
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby myrtlewinston » Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:35 am

Yugihoe wrote:
JoeSeperac wrote:
I suggest you try my UBE Score Estimator:
http://www.seperac.com/zcalc-passcalc.php

If you are expected to pass by 20+ points, continue your current course of study and stop worrying about all this.


Seriously? What kind of garbage is this? This "calculator determines the mean total score for a particular demographic and then adjusts based on other criteria such as MPRE/UGPA/LSAT/LPGA." I don't know if your website is trolling or what.


How about use a real UBE score estimator based on, i don't know, how you'v'e been doing on your bar prep course so far. :roll:


Joe is no troll. His website contains all you need for Bar prep and then some.

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PourMeTea
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby PourMeTea » Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:45 am

JoeSeperac wrote:With each iteration of the estimator, I expect it to be more accurate as I adjust based on examinee responses. As I explain on the UBE Score Estimator page:

"Please keep in mind that these statistics are merely estimates (as you can see from the two standard deviation statistics, scores can vary widely, meaning that even if the average examinee in that demographic is predicted to fail, an above-average examinee in that demographic may not). Your MBE practice scores, assuming the MBE practice questions are of sufficient difficulty and representative of the topics tested, will give you the most insight as to whether or not you will pass the UBE."

do you control for effort/hours put in

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MelaPela
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby MelaPela » Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:09 am

Ha - this calculator puts me at scoring ~40 points above the score required to pass, yet I'm freaking out about the MEE. I just do not know the elements of certain MEE topics (and some MBE topics, tbh) well enough to feel comfortable enough on Tuesday.

Brian_Wildcat
Posts: 48
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby Brian_Wildcat » Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:14 am

MelaPela wrote:Ha - this calculator puts me at scoring ~40 points above the score required to pass, yet I'm freaking out about the MEE. I just do not know the elements of certain MEE topics (and some MBE topics, tbh) well enough to feel comfortable enough on Tuesday.



Same. I do okay on my practice essays but sometimes I completely blank. Tried to do a torts (defamation) essay last night and just went stupid faced.

SowhatsNU
Posts: 178
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby SowhatsNU » Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:24 am

JoeSeperac wrote:A detailed explanation of how bar exam essays are graded is here:
http://seperac.com/pdf/Concurring%20Opi ... Solove.pdf

All joking aside, I have looked at thousands of graded examinee essays and I still can’t determine exactly how essays are graded. For example, please take a look at the following:
http://seperac.com/pdf/J14-Essay%20Anal ... ay%201.pdf

It contains obvious and serious mistakes in July 2014 essay grading. You will need to Zoom in on this PDF to read the material (I try to put a number of essays on one page so it can be visually compared). This PDF is a small sample of 15 answers from Essay 1 from the July 2014 exam. As part of this Essay Analysis, I try to determine the weight of each issue and then I calculate each examinee’s score for each issue (for example, PROF-RES: Solicitation/Referral Fees (Seperac Est. score of 2/10)). The final result is the “Seperac Estimated Score.” Bar graders have neither the time or the interest to put similarly scored essays side by side to see if the grading is indeed accurate. However, when I do this, grading inaccuracies often come to light. For example, if you look at the 5th essay (Jul2014-Essay-001-ID 002-Typed-Score 38.66), this “Examinee J” received a score of 38.66. If you compare this essay to the other essays that scored around 38.66, you will see that this essay is far superior. I feel this essay score was severely discounted – just compare this essay to the released Model Answers and you will see what I mean. How this essay is not a passing essay is a complete mystery to me.

Now let’s suppose that you studied heavily for the exam and focused on the essays and you were the examinee that wrote the above essay in question. You would have written what was objectively a good essay that should have been well above passing, but instead would have received a terrible score. Don’t think this can’t happen to you because it happens to many examinees. This is what no one can control – the unreliability of essay grading.

Whenever an examinee receives a very high essay score, I follow up with them to ask how they did it. About half the time, they tell me that they have no clue. For example one examinee told me: “According to my essay score breakdown, I scored an astonishing 67 on Essay 5 which was about trusts/essays. I remember very clearly that I thought I had absolutely bombed this question. I had no idea what the rules were, I did not know how to even conceptualize what was going on. I know my answer was complete garbage. Yet, I scored a 67? Incredible. My second highest score was a 58 and based on the essay content and questions, I'm also questioning how I got a 58 for that one. The crazy thing is that I was within 10 points of passing which meant they had to regrade my written exam (essays and mpt) and have it reread by the original graders....yet, I will received a 67...did they confuse my essays with someone else's? CRAZY.

Based on the results of the MEE/MPT Analysis I conduct on examinee essays, I feel that either the graders strictly focus on the NCBE point sheets or there is some type of automated grading or perhaps a combination of both (as an aside, the 2nd MPT for the Feb 2017 UBE was the type of question one would ask they wanted to test automated grading – it didn’t care about the format and was only looking to see if examinees could identify the pertinent facts and conclusions of law in a list form). For example, below is part of my analysis of Essay #3 (Family Law) on the F17 MEE.

http://seperac.com/image/F17-3.png

To make this analysis, I examine the NCBE Answer Analysis for each question and then I extract the top 50 words/phrases that I expect the graders to look for in the examinee answers. I bolded the ones that covered the central concepts. The 'With Word' column reports how many examinees used that word along with the average points these examinees received (green is above passing while red is below passing). For example, for Essay #3, about 17% of examinees used the word/phrase 'equitable distribution' and received an average of 18.9 points for their essays (whereas a passing MEE essay received 13.3 points). The W/O Word column shows the average essay points for the examinees who did not use that particular word or phrase. Often, the average score for such examinees is below passing, demonstrating the importance of issue spotting and keywords in achieving a passing MEE score. In the prior example, for the 83% of examinees who did not use the word/phrase 'equitable distribution' in their answers, these examinees averaged 12.4 points on the essay (below passing). I see this occur with every MEE answer. To me, this is concrete evidence that the graders rely on the NCBE Answer Analysis for their grading and specifically look for the keywords. So basically, the more you have in common with what NCBE is looking for, the better your essay/MPT score.

I suggest you try my UBE Score Estimator:
http://www.seperac.com/zcalc-passcalc.php

If you are expected to pass by 20+ points, continue your current course of study and stop worrying about all this.


So are there any tips you could suggest for someone sitting for the bar in a few days? Basically just try to make sure we use all the buzzwords? I heard from a few people that bolding buzzwords/elements helps, have you found this to be true?

Thanks for all your help!

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MelaPela
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby MelaPela » Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:03 am

Brian_Wildcat wrote:
MelaPela wrote:Ha - this calculator puts me at scoring ~40 points above the score required to pass, yet I'm freaking out about the MEE. I just do not know the elements of certain MEE topics (and some MBE topics, tbh) well enough to feel comfortable enough on Tuesday.



Same. I do okay on my practice essays but sometimes I completely blank. Tried to do a torts (defamation) essay last night and just went stupid faced.


Been there. Defamation is one of the Torts concepts I can't seem to get down... :\

JoeSeperac
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby JoeSeperac » Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:40 pm

PourMeTea wrote:
JoeSeperac wrote:With each iteration of the estimator, I expect it to be more accurate as I adjust based on examinee responses. As I explain on the UBE Score Estimator page:

"Please keep in mind that these statistics are merely estimates (as you can see from the two standard deviation statistics, scores can vary widely, meaning that even if the average examinee in that demographic is predicted to fail, an above-average examinee in that demographic may not). Your MBE practice scores, assuming the MBE practice questions are of sufficient difficulty and representative of the topics tested, will give you the most insight as to whether or not you will pass the UBE."

do you control for effort/hours put in


No. The UBE Estimator score estimates are based on large data sets. For example, the main source I use covers every single examinee who took the July 2005 exam (which ironically includes myself). If I were to try to control based on hours studied, the data set would be insufficient. For example, of the 180 examinees who sent me their July 2016 UBE scores, only 115 provided me with additional information such as how long they studied. This is really too small to try to extrapolate into useful stats. I can tell you that some foreign examinees put in 1,200 hours and fail while some domestic examinees put in 100 hours and pass. To me, it really comes down to how you test on practice MBE questions, assuming you are doing them under timed conditions and they are representative of the current MBE exam. For example, if you can study for 3 weeks and consistently get 65% or better on unfamiliar MBE practice questions from Barbri or Kaplan, you are in great shape even though you only studied for 3 weeks.

ConfusedL1
Posts: 251
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby ConfusedL1 » Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:48 pm

JoeSeperac wrote:A detailed explanation of how bar exam essays are graded is here:
http://seperac.com/pdf/Concurring%20Opi ... Solove.pdf

All joking aside, I have looked at thousands of graded examinee essays and I still can’t determine exactly how essays are graded. For example, please take a look at the following:
http://seperac.com/pdf/J14-Essay%20Anal ... ay%201.pdf

It contains obvious and serious mistakes in July 2014 essay grading. You will need to Zoom in on this PDF to read the material (I try to put a number of essays on one page so it can be visually compared). This PDF is a small sample of 15 answers from Essay 1 from the July 2014 exam. As part of this Essay Analysis, I try to determine the weight of each issue and then I calculate each examinee’s score for each issue (for example, PROF-RES: Solicitation/Referral Fees (Seperac Est. score of 2/10)). The final result is the “Seperac Estimated Score.” Bar graders have neither the time or the interest to put similarly scored essays side by side to see if the grading is indeed accurate. However, when I do this, grading inaccuracies often come to light. For example, if you look at the 5th essay (Jul2014-Essay-001-ID 002-Typed-Score 38.66), this “Examinee J” received a score of 38.66. If you compare this essay to the other essays that scored around 38.66, you will see that this essay is far superior. I feel this essay score was severely discounted – just compare this essay to the released Model Answers and you will see what I mean. How this essay is not a passing essay is a complete mystery to me.

Now let’s suppose that you studied heavily for the exam and focused on the essays and you were the examinee that wrote the above essay in question. You would have written what was objectively a good essay that should have been well above passing, but instead would have received a terrible score. Don’t think this can’t happen to you because it happens to many examinees. This is what no one can control – the unreliability of essay grading.

Whenever an examinee receives a very high essay score, I follow up with them to ask how they did it. About half the time, they tell me that they have no clue. For example one examinee told me: “According to my essay score breakdown, I scored an astonishing 67 on Essay 5 which was about trusts/essays. I remember very clearly that I thought I had absolutely bombed this question. I had no idea what the rules were, I did not know how to even conceptualize what was going on. I know my answer was complete garbage. Yet, I scored a 67? Incredible. My second highest score was a 58 and based on the essay content and questions, I'm also questioning how I got a 58 for that one. The crazy thing is that I was within 10 points of passing which meant they had to regrade my written exam (essays and mpt) and have it reread by the original graders....yet, I will received a 67...did they confuse my essays with someone else's? CRAZY.

Based on the results of the MEE/MPT Analysis I conduct on examinee essays, I feel that either the graders strictly focus on the NCBE point sheets or there is some type of automated grading or perhaps a combination of both (as an aside, the 2nd MPT for the Feb 2017 UBE was the type of question one would ask they wanted to test automated grading – it didn’t care about the format and was only looking to see if examinees could identify the pertinent facts and conclusions of law in a list form). For example, below is part of my analysis of Essay #3 (Family Law) on the F17 MEE.

http://seperac.com/image/F17-3.png

To make this analysis, I examine the NCBE Answer Analysis for each question and then I extract the top 50 words/phrases that I expect the graders to look for in the examinee answers. I bolded the ones that covered the central concepts. The 'With Word' column reports how many examinees used that word along with the average points these examinees received (green is above passing while red is below passing). For example, for Essay #3, about 17% of examinees used the word/phrase 'equitable distribution' and received an average of 18.9 points for their essays (whereas a passing MEE essay received 13.3 points). The W/O Word column shows the average essay points for the examinees who did not use that particular word or phrase. Often, the average score for such examinees is below passing, demonstrating the importance of issue spotting and keywords in achieving a passing MEE score. In the prior example, for the 83% of examinees who did not use the word/phrase 'equitable distribution' in their answers, these examinees averaged 12.4 points on the essay (below passing). I see this occur with every MEE answer. To me, this is concrete evidence that the graders rely on the NCBE Answer Analysis for their grading and specifically look for the keywords. So basically, the more you have in common with what NCBE is looking for, the better your essay/MPT score.

I suggest you try my UBE Score Estimator:
http://www.seperac.com/zcalc-passcalc.php

If you are expected to pass by 20+ points, continue your current course of study and stop worrying about all this.


Joe, are the MEE and the MPT sections also scaled?

JoeSeperac
Posts: 70
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:30 pm

Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby JoeSeperac » Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:07 pm

SowhatsNU wrote:
So are there any tips you could suggest for someone sitting for the bar in a few days? Basically just try to make sure we use all the buzzwords? I heard from a few people that bolding buzzwords/elements helps, have you found this to be true?

Thanks for all your help!


As I explain above, I have found that the most important aspect of the MEE is issue-spotting. According to the maker of the MEE: “NCBE’s grader training and materials also assign weights to subparts in a question. So an examinee who performs well on one subpart of an MEE question worth 25% of the total score that could be awarded for that question is not assured a 6 unless he performs well on the other parts of the question, too, in comparison with other examinees. In other words, there is a weighting framework for assigning points, which helps to keep graders calibrated and consistent.” see the March 2015 NCBE Testing Column: Judith A. Gundersen, The Testing Column, Essay Grading Fundamentals, The Bar Examiner (March 2015).

Accordingly, review the released NCBE MEE answers and you will pick up the buzzwords from them. Then make sure you are able to spot the issues and discuss the buzzwords. If the graders are constrained by the grading weights, a well written answer with good reasoning that misses issues can score lower than a poorly written answer with basic analysis that identifies all the issues. For example, to illustrate how pure issue spotting can lead to a passing MEE score, following is an examinee’s answer to MEE Essay #1 (Corps & LLCs) on the July 2016 UBE – it received a score of 49.46 (whereas 47.82 was a passing MEE score on the J16 NY UBE exam):

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1 The issue is what type of the LLC was created.
The general rule is that LLC was created as member-manages unless the intent expressly states the establishment of manager-managed LLC. Here, neither the certificate of organization nor the member's operating agreement specifies the typs of LLC. Thus the the member-managed LLC was created.

2 The issue is wheter the LLC is bound under the tire contract.
The general rule is that the patner of the LLC has authority to make contract in the ordinaly course of business. Here, the main porpose of the LLC is to run a bike shop. So the brother has a authority to make a tire contract as this LLC's partner. Thus, the LLC was bound under the tire contract.

3 The issue is the LLC is bound by hte sale of the farmland.
The general rule is that the partner's authority is limited when the operating agreement or other document in the LLC clealy limit the scope of the partner's authority.

Here, the operating agreement provides that the LLC's farmland may not be sold without the approval of all three members. And actually the brother and the sister objected the sale. Thus the LLC is not bound by the sale of the falmland.

4 The issue is what is the legal effect of the brother'e email.
Generally, diassociation arises when the partner expressly shows his intent to leave the partnership.

Here, brother showed his clear intent in the email that he wants to leave the
LLC. Its effect is disassociation. Some states allows that disaccociation invokes automatic termination of the LLC.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You can view the actual essay here:
http://seperac.com/pdf/Jul2016-Essay%201-49.46.pdf

NCBE has stated that the essays are not graded on the quality of their written expression and this essay is a perfect example of it. To provide another example of how issue-spotting contributes to your MEE score, the following answer to the Contracts question on the July 2016 MEE received a score of 37.74 despite being only 109 words long:

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
“1. The neighbor would not succed in a contract claim against the painter. Painting is a service and thus govern by the common law of contracts. A party to a contract is allowed to assign or delegate their rights under the contract. Here, the contract was for the painter to paint the homeowner's house for $6,000. The homeowner who was tight on cash decided to assign his contract to . In order for a party to modify a contract there must be offer, accpetance and new consideration. Here, the painter was aready under a pre-exisitng duty under an enforceable contract to paint the house for $6,000. The home”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On the July 2016 NY UBE exam, an exactly passing MEE answer received a score of 47.82 while a blank answer (nothing written) received a score of about 27. Thus, this examinee's answer of only 109 words was about half-way to passing even though all the examinee did was state the correct issue (that a party can assign or delegate their rights under a contract) and then discuss some relevant law. According to the NCBE Point Sheet, this issue was worth 45% of an examinee's score (the other two issues not discussed in this examinee's answer were worth 20% and 35%). Since the highest score a NY UBE examinee can receive on an MEE essay in July is about 85 (I have confirmed this as a former subscriber wrote one and then sent me the essay), the highest score this examinee could have theoretically received was 38.25 (85 x 45%). Thus, this examinee essentially received the highest possible score for the issue by merely spotting it correctly and discussing some relevant law.

SowhatsNU
Posts: 178
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:15 pm

Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby SowhatsNU » Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:22 pm

JoeSeperac wrote:
SowhatsNU wrote:
So are there any tips you could suggest for someone sitting for the bar in a few days? Basically just try to make sure we use all the buzzwords? I heard from a few people that bolding buzzwords/elements helps, have you found this to be true?

Thanks for all your help!


As I explain above, I have found that the most important aspect of the MEE is issue-spotting. According to the maker of the MEE: “NCBE’s grader training and materials also assign weights to subparts in a question. So an examinee who performs well on one subpart of an MEE question worth 25% of the total score that could be awarded for that question is not assured a 6 unless he performs well on the other parts of the question, too, in comparison with other examinees. In other words, there is a weighting framework for assigning points, which helps to keep graders calibrated and consistent.” see the March 2015 NCBE Testing Column: Judith A. Gundersen, The Testing Column, Essay Grading Fundamentals, The Bar Examiner (March 2015).

Accordingly, review the released NCBE MEE answers and you will pick up the buzzwords from them. Then make sure you are able to spot the issues and discuss the buzzwords. If the graders are constrained by the grading weights, a well written answer with good reasoning that misses issues can score lower than a poorly written answer with basic analysis that identifies all the issues. For example, to illustrate how pure issue spotting can lead to a passing MEE score, following is an examinee’s answer to MEE Essay #1 (Corps & LLCs) on the July 2016 UBE – it received a score of 49.46 (whereas 47.82 was a passing MEE score on the J16 NY UBE exam):

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1 The issue is what type of the LLC was created.
The general rule is that LLC was created as member-manages unless the intent expressly states the establishment of manager-managed LLC. Here, neither the certificate of organization nor the member's operating agreement specifies the typs of LLC. Thus the the member-managed LLC was created.

2 The issue is wheter the LLC is bound under the tire contract.
The general rule is that the patner of the LLC has authority to make contract in the ordinaly course of business. Here, the main porpose of the LLC is to run a bike shop. So the brother has a authority to make a tire contract as this LLC's partner. Thus, the LLC was bound under the tire contract.

3 The issue is the LLC is bound by hte sale of the farmland.
The general rule is that the partner's authority is limited when the operating agreement or other document in the LLC clealy limit the scope of the partner's authority.

Here, the operating agreement provides that the LLC's farmland may not be sold without the approval of all three members. And actually the brother and the sister objected the sale. Thus the LLC is not bound by the sale of the falmland.

4 The issue is what is the legal effect of the brother'e email.
Generally, diassociation arises when the partner expressly shows his intent to leave the partnership.

Here, brother showed his clear intent in the email that he wants to leave the
LLC. Its effect is disassociation. Some states allows that disaccociation invokes automatic termination of the LLC.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You can view the actual essay here:
http://seperac.com/pdf/Jul2016-Essay%201-49.46.pdf

NCBE has stated that the essays are not graded on the quality of their written expression and this essay is a perfect example of it. To provide another example of how issue-spotting contributes to your MEE score, the following answer to the Contracts question on the July 2016 MEE received a score of 37.74 despite being only 109 words long:

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
“1. The neighbor would not succed in a contract claim against the painter. Painting is a service and thus govern by the common law of contracts. A party to a contract is allowed to assign or delegate their rights under the contract. Here, the contract was for the painter to paint the homeowner's house for $6,000. The homeowner who was tight on cash decided to assign his contract to . In order for a party to modify a contract there must be offer, accpetance and new consideration. Here, the painter was aready under a pre-exisitng duty under an enforceable contract to paint the house for $6,000. The home”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On the July 2016 NY UBE exam, an exactly passing MEE answer received a score of 47.82 while a blank answer (nothing written) received a score of about 27. Thus, this examinee's answer of only 109 words was about half-way to passing even though all the examinee did was state the correct issue (that a party can assign or delegate their rights under a contract) and then discuss some relevant law. According to the NCBE Point Sheet, this issue was worth 45% of an examinee's score (the other two issues not discussed in this examinee's answer were worth 20% and 35%). Since the highest score a NY UBE examinee can receive on an MEE essay in July is about 85 (I have confirmed this as a former subscriber wrote one and then sent me the essay), the highest score this examinee could have theoretically received was 38.25 (85 x 45%). Thus, this examinee essentially received the highest possible score for the issue by merely spotting it correctly and discussing some relevant law.


O wow, this is fantastic, thanks!

I'm sure someone has asked this before (and I apologize if they have) but in a UBE jurisdiction, can someone receive a failing score on one/two essays and still pass the MEE? For example, if two essays are very weak but four are very strong, will the student still pass? Or do you have to "pass" a certain number of essays in order to pass the MEE portion?

JoeSeperac
Posts: 70
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:30 pm

Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby JoeSeperac » Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:59 pm

SowhatsNU wrote:I'm sure someone has asked this before (and I apologize if they have) but in a UBE jurisdiction, can someone receive a failing score on one/two essays and still pass the MEE? For example, if two essays are very weak but four are very strong, will the student still pass? Or do you have to "pass" a certain number of essays in order to pass the MEE portion?


For the MEE, you can fail some essay questions and still pass the UBE. While there isn't much research on this, according to the November 2001 issue of NCBE’s Bar Examiner:

Analyses of actual scores from one state, Ohio, show that the overwhelming majority of candidates fail some essay questions— and that minimally competent candidates fail multiple essay questions. States that require candidates to pass a minimum number of essays, moreover, tend to require candidates to pass just over half of the essays. Delaware, for example, which ranks with California as one of the toughest bar exams in the nation, allows passing candidates to fail five of its twelve essays. Rhode Island, which also maintains one of the nation’s highest passing scores, likewise allows passing examinees to fail five out of twelve essays.

See http://seperac.com/pdf/700401_KaneMerri ... neille.pdf

Also, from another post of mine:

If you received a scaled score of 47.82 on a July 2016 MEE answer, this was an exactly passing score. This would have contributed 13.3 points to your total UBE score (which is 5% of 266). If you had exactly passing scores for all 6 MEE answers, this would have contributed 79.8 points to your total UBE score (which is 30% of 266). In theory, the most you could ever get in points on the MEE is 30% of 400, or 120 points (you would have to write 6 model answers). Interestingly, if you answered none of the 6 MEE essays, you would still receive about 35 points towards your total UBE score (meaning you could pass NY with a 170 MBE, above average MPTs and not a word written for the essays).

ConfusedL1
Posts: 251
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:53 pm

Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby ConfusedL1 » Fri Jul 21, 2017 2:03 pm

JoeSeperac wrote:
SowhatsNU wrote:I'm sure someone has asked this before (and I apologize if they have) but in a UBE jurisdiction, can someone receive a failing score on one/two essays and still pass the MEE? For example, if two essays are very weak but four are very strong, will the student still pass? Or do you have to "pass" a certain number of essays in order to pass the MEE portion?


For the MEE, you can fail some essay questions and still pass the UBE. While there isn't much research on this, according to the November 2001 issue of NCBE’s Bar Examiner:

Analyses of actual scores from one state, Ohio, show that the overwhelming majority of candidates fail some essay questions— and that minimally competent candidates fail multiple essay questions. States that require candidates to pass a minimum number of essays, moreover, tend to require candidates to pass just over half of the essays. Delaware, for example, which ranks with California as one of the toughest bar exams in the nation, allows passing candidates to fail five of its twelve essays. Rhode Island, which also maintains one of the nation’s highest passing scores, likewise allows passing examinees to fail five out of twelve essays.

See http://seperac.com/pdf/700401_KaneMerri ... neille.pdf

Also, from another post of mine:

If you received a scaled score of 47.82 on a July 2016 MEE answer, this was an exactly passing score. This would have contributed 13.3 points to your total UBE score (which is 5% of 266). If you had exactly passing scores for all 6 MEE answers, this would have contributed 79.8 points to your total UBE score (which is 30% of 266). In theory, the most you could ever get in points on the MEE is 30% of 400, or 120 points (you would have to write 6 model answers). Interestingly, if you answered none of the 6 MEE essays, you would still receive about 35 points towards your total UBE score (meaning you could pass NY with a 170 MBE, above average MPTs and not a word written for the essays).


So is every section of the bar scaled? I keep messing up on calculations try to figure out if getting "half" of an essay question right would still be a pass once the scale is taken into account.

JoeSeperac
Posts: 70
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:30 pm

Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby JoeSeperac » Fri Jul 21, 2017 2:15 pm

ConfusedL1 wrote:Joe, are the MEE and the MPT sections also scaled?


According to the F17 NYBOLE score report "The scaled score for each of the six MEE questions and two MPT questions are arrived at by converting the raw score for each question to a scale that generally ranges from approximately 20 to 80, with 50 as the mean." How the scores are scaled, I don't know. Please note that in NY, you cannot compare scaled essay/MPT scores between February and July exams because a higher scale score in February may contribute less points to your final score than a lower scale score in July. For example, a passing essay score in F17 required a scaled score of 50.95 while a passing score in J16 required a scaled score of 47.82. To equate the scores, a good rule of thumb is to subtract 3.5 points from a February score to estimate a comparable July score. For example, in NY, a February MPT scaled score of 38 is comparable to a July MPT scaled score of 34.5.

More on scaling from another post of mine:
viewtopic.php?f=41&t=276437&p=9935359&hilit=Michigan+scaled#p9935359

rdawkins28
Posts: 133
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:52 am

Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby rdawkins28 » Fri Jul 21, 2017 2:22 pm

Not too sure if this method will work for you, but it did for me. I read sample answers to previous essay questions. After a while, I just got a sense of the various laws and had a fuzzy kind of memory of those laws. There's a certain kind of "common" (for lack of a better word) sense to them, and the fuzzy memory was enough to pass, like someone else said, the minimum competency test.

Also I read them pretty close to bar exam time, cause as soon as the test was over, I promptly forgot most of it.




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