Taking the Bar Exam in a 2nd State + Clerking?

ajmb241
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Taking the Bar Exam in a 2nd State + Clerking?

Postby ajmb241 » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:21 pm

In July, I took the PA bar exam. Prior to this year, one could take the bar in both PA & NJ in one sitting but because NJ adopted the UBE, the testing dates conflicted and we were SOL. Although I won't get my PA results until mid-October, I wanted to figure out if I should take the NJ bar in February if I pass PA.

In my current situation, I am clerking full time at a state court. I would do the bulk of my studying while working full time. Although I don't need to be barred in PA & NJ right now, I may essentially need it by the time I start looking for another position next summer. Most of the firms that are hiring require applicants to be barred in PA & NJ. Additionally, most of these firms don't know the changes that were made to the exams and most still think that applicants can take both PA & NJ together, like they did several years ago. Also, I am taking into consideration that even though PA is not a UBE state, they still test the MBE. I'm thinking that if I do NJ in February, the MBE material will be easier to study now than if I wait until the summer or longer. NJ only allows the MBE score to be transferred concurrently so I cannot transfer my July MBE score over for the February exam.

Is anyone else in the same boat? Has anyone had experience studying for a second bar exam while working full time? Is it worth the effort in February? Also - if anyone took Themis, what kind of rate did you get for taking a second bar exam?

hockeyman969
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Re: Taking the Bar Exam in a 2nd State + Clerking?

Postby hockeyman969 » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:27 pm

My advice is to avoid February, get yourself mentally prepared for July, and go ham at it starting April 1. I did this for Florida while working in a busy clerk pool.

Pass302
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Re: Taking the Bar Exam in a 2nd State + Clerking?

Postby Pass302 » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:50 pm

I took the July 2016 MD bar and then took the July 2017 FL Bar while clerking at a state court. TBH, I don't think I could have done the Feb. bar, only because I would have been so brunt out. HOWEVER, if you think you can do it and it will better you chances at landing a job, go for it. It is not impossible, but it is hard. I basically studied during breaks at work, if I could, and then got home around 5:30pm and studied until 11:00pm with only a small break for dinner. I passed Florida and honestly staying consistent with studying is what got me through it. You can do it!

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grand inquisitor
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Re: Taking the Bar Exam in a 2nd State + Clerking?

Postby grand inquisitor » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:53 pm

i would disagree with the waiting recommendation. i thought taking the feb bar in a 2d state was pretty easy after just studying. all the mbe stuff came back pretty easily and then you just supplement with a little state brush-up.

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los blancos
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Re: Taking the Bar Exam in a 2nd State + Clerking?

Postby los blancos » Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:00 pm

Yeah I don't see what the point of waiting for Jul would be.

I just took a bar while studying full time. It was brutal and idk if I passed. But I'm also 5 years out.

Jwood
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Re: Taking the Bar Exam in a 2nd State + Clerking?

Postby Jwood » Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:45 pm

I took two bar exams during a federal clerkship. Graduated in May. Started clerkship in June. Took July bar in a UBE jurisdiction and then February bar in a different jurisdiction. It wasn't bad. I studied hard for the first bar exam, but only studied for a week for the second. Everything was fresh on my mind and the second was a breeze. No way would I wait. Just get them out of the way. Unless for some reason you really want to wait and have to relearn the material. My 2 cents.

westie25
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Re: Taking the Bar Exam in a 2nd State + Clerking?

Postby westie25 » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:47 pm

A benefit of waiting would be knowing what they're probably going to test as topics on the MEE in July, especially for a UBE jurisdiction. This year the February 2017 test pretty much mimicked the February 2012 MEE exam, and the July 2017 test was almost identical to the July 2012 MEE exam.

I mention this because I really hit those predicted topics hard with studying and it paid off. I scored very high on the essays, and my MBE score was low. I was testing low on the MBE during prep, so I knew I had to really do a points grab on the MEE & MPT. Knowing those predicted topics for the MEE helped me immensely.

Lawyerinwaiting89
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Re: Taking the Bar Exam in a 2nd State + Clerking?

Postby Lawyerinwaiting89 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:38 am

I actually did the same exact thing this past year. I was clerking at a NJ state court and took the February NJ Bar (the first administration of the UBE). My advice would be first to assess your clerkship (hours, emotional drain, whether you usually bring work home on the weekends, if there are quiet places to study during lunch, etc.) Not sure which court you're at or which division you're in, but every clerk's experience is different. Some clerks stay 2-3 hours late every night or regularly bring work home at night or on the weekends. Some just work during work hours and that's pretty much it. By now you should have a sense of the demands of your position (even if it somewhat changes on a weekly basis). Once you know that, you can make an informed decision.

For what it's worth, unless your schedule is VERY demanding, consider going for it. At least where I clerked, we got A LOT of paid time off. You could start by studying evenings and weekends and as it gets closer, take some of your vacation or personal days. Because clerkships are typically temporary positions judges and staff are usually supportive. I know some clerks who used their lunch hours to study too. If it's nice out, find a quiet place to get some fresh air. Or just find an empty jury room. I think all courts have a law library too that's open to the public. Not that many outsiders use it so it's probably a quiet place. I specifically chose not to use a commercial company to study for the UBE because I didn't like mine that much the first time around (Kaplan) so I can't speak to that aspect. I effectively self studied for the UBE and found it less overwhelming than learning state distinctions. If you have any questions regarding recommendations for UBE study materials, feel free to ask. Good luck with your decision!

ajmb241
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Re: Taking the Bar Exam in a 2nd State + Clerking?

Postby ajmb241 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:24 pm

Lawyerinwaiting89 wrote:I actually did the same exact thing this past year. I was clerking at a NJ state court and took the February NJ Bar (the first administration of the UBE). My advice would be first to assess your clerkship (hours, emotional drain, whether you usually bring work home on the weekends, if there are quiet places to study during lunch, etc.) Not sure which court you're at or which division you're in, but every clerk's experience is different. Some clerks stay 2-3 hours late every night or regularly bring work home at night or on the weekends. Some just work during work hours and that's pretty much it. By now you should have a sense of the demands of your position (even if it somewhat changes on a weekly basis). Once you know that, you can make an informed decision.

For what it's worth, unless your schedule is VERY demanding, consider going for it. At least where I clerked, we got A LOT of paid time off. You could start by studying evenings and weekends and as it gets closer, take some of your vacation or personal days. Because clerkships are typically temporary positions judges and staff are usually supportive. I know some clerks who used their lunch hours to study too. If it's nice out, find a quiet place to get some fresh air. Or just find an empty jury room. I think all courts have a law library too that's open to the public. Not that many outsiders use it so it's probably a quiet place. I specifically chose not to use a commercial company to study for the UBE because I didn't like mine that much the first time around (Kaplan) so I can't speak to that aspect. I effectively self studied for the UBE and found it less overwhelming than learning state distinctions. If you have any questions regarding recommendations for UBE study materials, feel free to ask. Good luck with your decision!



Thanks for the advice. My typical day clerking doesn't require me to take work home with me and I currently don't stay late but I know I will if I have multiple opinions that are due around the same time. I also know that my judge is good with arranging for time off to study for a second bar exam. As for studying, I do have all of my old Themis books to help prepare me for the MBE which will help. For UBE study materials that aren't a commercial bar prep group, what did you use?

Mobster1983
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Re: Taking the Bar Exam in a 2nd State + Clerking?

Postby Mobster1983 » Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:16 am

I am in the same boat you are. Clerking now at a state court and planning on taking a UBE exam this February. My state uses the MEE, MPT and MBE, so I I figure the materials are the same. Kept my Barbri materials instead of returning for the $200 credit, and will just use those to study. Also got Lean Sheets (which is awesome) and transferred the flashcards into the Brainscape App on my phone so I can study anywhere, even with just a few minutes here and there.

Only downside is no lectures, which I did find helpful, but I am sure I will be ok. Less break between exams means much more is retained, especially if you continue to review the topics whenever you can.

Still have not received results from my state, but I am cautiously optimistic.

Lawyerinwaiting89
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Re: Taking the Bar Exam in a 2nd State + Clerking?

Postby Lawyerinwaiting89 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:11 am

ajmb241 wrote:
Lawyerinwaiting89 wrote:I actually did the same exact thing this past year. I was clerking at a NJ state court and took the February NJ Bar (the first administration of the UBE). My advice would be first to assess your clerkship (hours, emotional drain, whether you usually bring work home on the weekends, if there are quiet places to study during lunch, etc.) Not sure which court you're at or which division you're in, but every clerk's experience is different. Some clerks stay 2-3 hours late every night or regularly bring work home at night or on the weekends. Some just work during work hours and that's pretty much it. By now you should have a sense of the demands of your position (even if it somewhat changes on a weekly basis). Once you know that, you can make an informed decision.

For what it's worth, unless your schedule is VERY demanding, consider going for it. At least where I clerked, we got A LOT of paid time off. You could start by studying evenings and weekends and as it gets closer, take some of your vacation or personal days. Because clerkships are typically temporary positions judges and staff are usually supportive. I know some clerks who used their lunch hours to study too. If it's nice out, find a quiet place to get some fresh air. Or just find an empty jury room. I think all courts have a law library too that's open to the public. Not that many outsiders use it so it's probably a quiet place. I specifically chose not to use a commercial company to study for the UBE because I didn't like mine that much the first time around (Kaplan) so I can't speak to that aspect. I effectively self studied for the UBE and found it less overwhelming than learning state distinctions. If you have any questions regarding recommendations for UBE study materials, feel free to ask. Good luck with your decision!



Thanks for the advice. My typical day clerking doesn't require me to take work home with me and I currently don't stay late but I know I will if I have multiple opinions that are due around the same time. I also know that my judge is good with arranging for time off to study for a second bar exam. As for studying, I do have all of my old Themis books to help prepare me for the MBE which will help. For UBE study materials that aren't a commercial bar prep group, what did you use?


Sorry for the delayed reply. I found Rigos really helpful. I bought the UBE MEE book and used that to learn all of the tested essay info. (I just read it front to back and used the sample essay questions after each topic). I also used Lean Sheets to some extent as well as found a lot of good info and advice on the JD Advising website. I liked the info they provided so much that I spoke with a rep and opted to take the one day online MEE course towards the end of my studying. It wasn't super cheap but it was worthwhile and made me feel a bit better because I had been self-studying. They mail you a booklet with a lot of tested areas and map out when they were tested. They're very user friendly. Between these resources and my old Kaplan stuff + Emanuel's MBE book I felt prepared.

gaddockteeg
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Re: Taking the Bar Exam in a 2nd State + Clerking?

Postby gaddockteeg » Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:16 pm

Totally doable. I've taken 3 bar exams, 2 while working full time in big law.

What was helpful for me is this MBE app I downloaded on my phone, BarMax. The app itself is pretty mediocre for the price but having the ability to do 2-3 MBE questions throughout the day whenever I had a spare moment really made a difference.




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