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

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

Postby ConfusedL1 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:07 am

I'm basically just making flash cards, but at this point the essays are the only things that worry me because I don't want to misstate the law/miss an issue. Any help?

Bluem_11
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby Bluem_11 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:31 am

Lot of studying and time, over and over again, and come game day, there will still be multiple issues that pop up that you don't have a handle on. As well, mastering the MBE topics goes a long way.

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

Postby jkpolk » Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:26 am

It's a minimum competency test. No need to learn everything. Formatting is like 50% of the points.

redsox550
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby redsox550 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:12 am

jkpolk wrote:It's a minimum competency test. No need to learn everything. Formatting is like 50% of the points.


What do u mean by this?

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

Postby Capitol_Idea » Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:15 am

Also it's more about big themes than specific laws. Don't get lost in the details.

For instance, family law questions almost always boil down to "best interest of the child." Expound on that with sufficiently reasoned bs and you'll be fine.

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

Postby TooMuchTuna » Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:41 am

When you really don't know what the law is, make up what you think the law should be. So long as you keep everything organized and make a coherent argument, you'll still receive some points.

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

Postby jkpolk » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:11 am

TooMuchTuna wrote:When you really don't know what the law is, make up what you think the law should be. So long as you keep everything organized and make a coherent argument, you'll still receive some points.


This is what I mean. Look at how your jurisdiction scores answers and, to the extent you don't know a law, fake that part of the answer based on the scoring rubric.

Identify the issue (no legal knowledge required), write down your made up rule (how you'd do it, based on what you know about other laws, because that's basically how common law works so you're likely close), analyze each prong of the made up rule (bar analysis is simple, just tie out facts from the prompt to the prongs, no need to go back and forth forever) and conclude the analysis (he's totally guilty, going to inherit the stuff, etc.).

You probably know something about something (or you will in a couple months) - study to learn more but the process is the most important part.

Kalani111
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby Kalani111 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:35 am

The short outlines in Bar prep are a pretty good source of law that you should know. They cover the big ticket items. The rest of the law you just try to be familiar with. Flash cards help, or the method you used in law school to retain information.

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

Postby LockBox » Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:45 pm

jkpolk wrote:It's a minimum competency test. No need to learn everything. Formatting is like 50% of the points.


This type of attitude will have you receiving your scores back in november and prepping to take the exam again in February.

I believe it is a mistake to try to memorize the law. What you need is experience with it. For essays, that comes in the form of WRITING full length essays out, over and over.

Don't know the law? Take your best shot at a former released bar question, get it horribly wrong, and then write out the model answer. A good goal of writing out 5 full-length essays per topic is one to strive for, though writing out 8 per topic is better. The work you are doing now is what is going to help you memorize the law. Regardless of what your prep course schedule says, there is no harm in writing more starting now. Don't worry about "knowing" the law on the exam, just write for now and try and understand what you are saying.

Suprman37
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby Suprman37 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:04 pm

ConfusedL1 wrote:I'm basically just making flash cards, but at this point the essays are the only things that worry me because I don't want to misstate the law/miss an issue. Any help?

Well, the first thing is you don't learn EVERYTHING. You hit the high points of each subject and make sure you have an overview of it. Then you learn the frequently tested topics. For instance, Family Law for the bar exam is not the same as learning all about family law, and it is not the same as practicing family law. With this topic, you want to learn Marriage Formation, Property Distribution on Dissolution, Child Custody, and Child Support. Once you have those, move on to the next subject.

Jkpolk said that half of the exam was just about formatting. I wouldn't say that it's half, but they have a good point. Each grader has a few minutes per essay. Don't write a novel that is just a listing of everything you know about the topic. Also, format it so that it's easier to read. For my exam F2017, I IRAC'd every answer even when it didn't seem to make sense. It made the answer easier to read with all of the sections labeled.

Lastly, the exam is about application. Even if you don't know 100% of the law, it's not just about regurgitating black letter. You need to apply it to the facts. For my F2017 exam, I got a family law question with something I hadn't studied (joint custody and one parent moving out of state for employment, how the father can gain full custody). There is relevant law for that, but I went with a custody modification/determinant factors for custody/application. It was good enough because I passed.

Don't psyche yourself out and get overwhelmed.

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cnk1220
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby cnk1220 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:20 pm

ConfusedL1 wrote:I'm basically just making flash cards, but at this point the essays are the only things that worry me because I don't want to misstate the law/miss an issue. Any help?



If you're taking a UBE state with the MEE look into MEE one-sheets by JD Advising. They provide the highly tested issues- I only read and memorized those rules verbatim along with going over the past essays from barbri's essay book, it helps keep it condensed so you're not overwhelmed with the law in each subject. For some topics though- such as agency and family law, the rules/issues are minimal- like agency is only 5 main things you need to remember which overlaps with torts so you likely already understand/know this stuff, and family law is either going to be a divorce/equitable dist. hypo or a child support/child custody hypo with best interests of the child, or (less likely)- a common law marriage issue, you don't need to know EVERYTHING about a subject- in fact that's a poor allocation of your time- focus on the big concepts and have those rules memorized for each subject and just apply the facts and keep it organized in CIRAC format on your exam and you'll be good to go! I didn't take any of the MEE subjects in school, I studied this way and got a 151 on the essays.

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

Postby UBETutoring » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:25 pm

Focus on memorizing the big picture elements first, and then worry about the other material. If flashcards are not your thing, record yourself reciting the laws. Psychologically, we're most in tune with our own voice. Think of it almost like giving a speech in written form. You're looking to remember talking points, not pre-scripted responses.

jtom195
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby jtom195 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:02 pm

ConfusedL1 wrote:I'm basically just making flash cards, but at this point the essays are the only things that worry me because I don't want to misstate the law/miss an issue. Any help?


There's too much information out there to try and memorize everything that could possibly be tested on the essay portion of the bar exam. You need to prioritize your flashcards/issues by focusing on the most important rules first (e.g., negligence, diversity jurisdiction, hearsay, etc.). Working on the rules that are most frequently tested is a good starting place (you can download a free top 120 list here: https://www.barnumbers.com/). If you know these rules cold, you'll rack up enough points to pass without having to worry about every exception to every exception and all the nuanced details of the law. Focus on the rules/issues that are gonna get you the most points, and then (if you have extra time) you can look at some of the finer details. But if you get bogged down by all the little details, and don't know the really important issues, you'll shoot yourself in the foot. Ultimately, the bar exam (like most exams) is about getting points - focus on the rules that are going to yield the most points for you. Best of luck!

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

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:07 pm

LockBox wrote:
jkpolk wrote:It's a minimum competency test. No need to learn everything. Formatting is like 50% of the points.


This type of attitude will have you receiving your scores back in november and prepping to take the exam again in February.

I believe it is a mistake to try to memorize the law. What you need is experience with it. For essays, that comes in the form of WRITING full length essays out, over and over.

Don't know the law? Take your best shot at a former released bar question, get it horribly wrong, and then write out the model answer. A good goal of writing out 5 full-length essays per topic is one to strive for, though writing out 8 per topic is better. The work you are doing now is what is going to help you memorize the law. Regardless of what your prep course schedule says, there is no harm in writing more starting now. Don't worry about "knowing" the law on the exam, just write for now and try and understand what you are saying.

I don't think this is at all necessary.

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

Postby LockBox » Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:37 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
LockBox wrote:
jkpolk wrote:It's a minimum competency test. No need to learn everything. Formatting is like 50% of the points.


This type of attitude will have you receiving your scores back in november and prepping to take the exam again in February.

I believe it is a mistake to try to memorize the law. What you need is experience with it. For essays, that comes in the form of WRITING full length essays out, over and over.

Don't know the law? Take your best shot at a former released bar question, get it horribly wrong, and then write out the model answer. A good goal of writing out 5 full-length essays per topic is one to strive for, though writing out 8 per topic is better. The work you are doing now is what is going to help you memorize the law. Regardless of what your prep course schedule says, there is no harm in writing more starting now. Don't worry about "knowing" the law on the exam, just write for now and try and understand what you are saying.

I don't think this is at all necessary.


Care to elaborate?

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

Postby Yugihoe » Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:54 pm

LockBox wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
LockBox wrote:
jkpolk wrote:It's a minimum competency test. No need to learn everything. Formatting is like 50% of the points.


This type of attitude will have you receiving your scores back in november and prepping to take the exam again in February.

I believe it is a mistake to try to memorize the law. What you need is experience with it. For essays, that comes in the form of WRITING full length essays out, over and over.

Don't know the law? Take your best shot at a former released bar question, get it horribly wrong, and then write out the model answer. A good goal of writing out 5 full-length essays per topic is one to strive for, though writing out 8 per topic is better. The work you are doing now is what is going to help you memorize the law. Regardless of what your prep course schedule says, there is no harm in writing more starting now. Don't worry about "knowing" the law on the exam, just write for now and try and understand what you are saying.

I don't think this is at all necessary.


Care to elaborate?


She's saying your method is inefficient. It's a waste of time to write out the model answer for 5 essays per topic when other methods will suffice.

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

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:02 pm

Yes, exactly. I don't see any reason to write out full essays over and over. Most people should be more than capable of writing in an essay format without significant practice, and outlining practice essays to issue spot is sufficient. If for some reason writing out essays over and over is the best way for you, personally, to memorize the law at issue, then go for it, of course, but I think for most people, learning the law through other methods and then applying it in your essays is plenty.

I have seen some advice about using headings and so on to really focus your grader on what you know, and think that focusing on that kind of thing can be helpful for people who struggle with applying the law in an essay format. But I think that this is different from writing out full essays to learn the law.

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

Postby FSK » Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:10 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
LockBox wrote:
jkpolk wrote:It's a minimum competency test. No need to learn everything. Formatting is like 50% of the points.


This type of attitude will have you receiving your scores back in november and prepping to take the exam again in February.

I believe it is a mistake to try to memorize the law. What you need is experience with it. For essays, that comes in the form of WRITING full length essays out, over and over.

Don't know the law? Take your best shot at a former released bar question, get it horribly wrong, and then write out the model answer. A good goal of writing out 5 full-length essays per topic is one to strive for, though writing out 8 per topic is better. The work you are doing now is what is going to help you memorize the law. Regardless of what your prep course schedule says, there is no harm in writing more starting now. Don't worry about "knowing" the law on the exam, just write for now and try and understand what you are saying.

I don't think this is at all necessary.


Yeah wrote out exactly 0 full length essays. I did one simulated performance test. I think I scored like 30% more total points than I needed to.

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

Postby LockBox » Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:25 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Yes, exactly. I don't see any reason to write out full essays over and over. Most people should be more than capable of writing in an essay format without significant practice, and outlining practice essays to issue spot is sufficient. If for some reason writing out essays over and over is the best way for you, personally, to memorize the law at issue, then go for it, of course, but I think for most people, learning the law through other methods and then applying it in your essays is plenty.

I have seen some advice about using headings and so on to really focus your grader on what you know, and think that focusing on that kind of thing can be helpful for people who struggle with applying the law in an essay format. But I think that this is different from writing out full essays to learn the law.


Well obviously everyone's mileage will vary with whatever approach they use. A consistent theme amongst people who fail the exam, particularly on the essay portion, from what i've seen, is due to a failure to practice sufficiently. Can someone memorize the law without writing a single essay? Sure. But being able to regurgitate a rule and understanding how it's applied in specific scenarios are two different things.

I stand by my assertion that if you're not writing, because it's intimidating, you think you can figure things out other ways or for whatever reason, you're doing yourself a disservice. Can you still pass the bar? Sure, but if you could pass anyway, and you have to write essays on the exam, why not practice as you will perform?

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

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:32 pm

I have also seen failure to practice as a big part of failing, but really only as part of a failure to take the entire exam seriously and just not having done enough work. It wasn't about not writing essays, it was just about not learning the material, period. (In part this is because my experience is with a 50% MBE state where you can have weak essays and still pass fine.)

I don't think the average person needs to write out full essays, unless they know already that for whatever reason that they are going to disproportionately struggle with the essays, outside the general exam-taker (in which case they're probably not average). If you can pass without it, why put in the extra work? There's no bonus for doing well on the bar. No one cares.

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

Postby LockBox » Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:54 pm

Well I guess that's the differentiating factor. I had to take the California Bar when essays comprised of a third of score, iirc. Here, there was much more emphasis on essay writing because almost all of my colleagues who failed pointed to lack of substantive writing as the culprit. However, now that california is going to a 2-day 50% MBE format your advice may be more relevant. In any event, all of the writing I did to prepare, I believe, helped me on the MBE because I knew how the BLL was applied in many different situations.

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

Postby jkpolk » Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:16 pm

To study did about 1000 practice MBE problems and listened to the state lectures once through. Didn't write any essays. Would study less if I did it over again. If you need to do a million practice essays to feel good, fine, but def not necessary.

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

Postby criminaltheory » Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:57 pm

i didn't do practice essays, BUT i did literally copy word for word the answers to the essay questions from the BarBri book and study them until i understood it. for me it definitely wasn't about memorizing law but having a passing familiarity with some of the concepts so that when i recognized a subject i had a vocab bank to draw from and a vague idea how pieces fit together.

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

Postby UBETutoring » Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:05 pm

FSK wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
LockBox wrote:
jkpolk wrote:It's a minimum competency test. No need to learn everything. Formatting is like 50% of the points.


This type of attitude will have you receiving your scores back in november and prepping to take the exam again in February.

I believe it is a mistake to try to memorize the law. What you need is experience with it. For essays, that comes in the form of WRITING full length essays out, over and over.

Don't know the law? Take your best shot at a former released bar question, get it horribly wrong, and then write out the model answer. A good goal of writing out 5 full-length essays per topic is one to strive for, though writing out 8 per topic is better. The work you are doing now is what is going to help you memorize the law. Regardless of what your prep course schedule says, there is no harm in writing more starting now. Don't worry about "knowing" the law on the exam, just write for now and try and understand what you are saying.

I don't think this is at all necessary.


Yeah wrote out exactly 0 full length essays. I did one simulated performance test. I think I scored like 30% more total points than I needed to.

I had a similar experience, but you're probably naturally better at the test. >95% of people should be doing more than 1 full essay a week. If you don't break a 50 on your first essay, then you want at least 30% of your practice to be on essay writing and outlining, because you improve much quicker on essays than on MBE, where improvement is much more gradual.

Observationally, most people who fail know the law without sub-100 MBE raw scores know the law at least as well as most who pass. The difference comes down to the essays.

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

Postby UBETutoring » Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:11 pm

jkpolk wrote:It's a minimum competency test. No need to learn everything. Formatting is like 50% of the points.

And competency is not just substantive language. It's the ability to apply law to fact.




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