Desperately need help with Essays

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streetlawyer
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Desperately need help with Essays

Postby streetlawyer » Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:43 pm

I have failed the bar exam for the second time, I passed the New York bar in 1990 but can't pass this exam for nothing. I got 144 on MBE and then got 111 for the Essays. To make matters worst I also work full time. I used BarBri prep last time but I think that their program wasted a lot of time with useless pep talk and rah rah speeches. It would take 12 hours a day to do all the work they want, I only have 4 may 6 on a slow day. I am thinking about taking a year off, study slowly at a leisurely pace and then take Themis before the July 2018 exam. The messed up part is that I can do research, write pleadings and motions but I can't pass the written part of this exam. Can anyone give me help, some guidance, maybe a sample of a written essay.

LockBox
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Re: Desperately need help with Essays

Postby LockBox » Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:19 pm

streetlawyer wrote:I have failed the bar exam for the second time, I passed the New York bar in 1990 but can't pass this exam for nothing. I got 144 on MBE and then got 111 for the Essays. To make matters worst I also work full time. I used BarBri prep last time but I think that their program wasted a lot of time with useless pep talk and rah rah speeches. It would take 12 hours a day to do all the work they want, I only have 4 may 6 on a slow day. I am thinking about taking a year off, study slowly at a leisurely pace and then take Themis before the July 2018 exam. The messed up part is that I can do research, write pleadings and motions but I can't pass the written part of this exam. Can anyone give me help, some guidance, maybe a sample of a written essay.


You want solutions from others, Barbri and themis, but in reality all of that is unnecessary and I am willing to bet that you realize that. You need to be honest with yourself regarding the work you put in on the essays. This includes giving/receiving critical feedback.

Depending on which state you are in, all you really need are (1) all of your states past released bar questions/answers, (2) a former bar grader hired to solely give you critiques on your essays (3) a baressays membership.

In addition to the above, you need take however many full written essays you did last time and DOUBLE them. If you do 2/day for 10 weeks, you'd have fully written 100 essays. This should be your minimum. Now, not all people need to do this, but if you aren't getting over the hump with the essay portion, this should be your baseline. Stop wasting time on lectures, barbri, themis etc. Just get to work.

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streetlawyer
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Re: Desperately need help with Essays

Postby streetlawyer » Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:44 pm

I'm in Connecticut. CT just joined UBE last February (of 2017) so this was the second administration of exam. I didn't even know that there were programs that focused exclusively on essays. I've been out of the law school, bar exam loop for at least 26 years. If you could recommend a good one I would appreciate it. Can't find a former grader. My plan is just to work each subject 10 pages out of the Bar Bri big book every day and concentrate on essays til I can give them whatever they want.

JoeSeperac
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Re: Desperately need help with Essays

Postby JoeSeperac » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:11 am

streetlawyer wrote:I'm in Connecticut. CT just joined UBE last February (of 2017) so this was the second administration of exam. I didn't even know that there were programs that focused exclusively on essays. I've been out of the law school, bar exam loop for at least 26 years. If you could recommend a good one I would appreciate it. Can't find a former grader. My plan is just to work each subject 10 pages out of the Bar Bri big book every day and concentrate on essays til I can give them whatever they want.


Usually there is a strong correlation between MBE scores and essay scores. For example, according to a 1976 American Bar Association Journal interview with Joe E. Covington, the director of testing of the National Conference of Bar Examiners, when asked whether state bar examiners can use only the MBE score and not look at the essays at all to make a pass or fail designation, the NCBE director responded:

At least four jurisdictions do not read the essay answers of applicant who make a predetermined score or above that score. Some states select an M.B.E, score of 140 for this purpose. Applicants who achieve this selected score or above are admitted to the bar solely on the M.B.E. score. If an applicant scores this high on the M.B.E., the correlation of the essay and M.B.E tests is so good that in only very rare cases would the essay score of an applicant be low enough to bring the average of the scores below the passing score were his essay answers graded.
see Everything You Always Wanted to Know about the Multistate Bar Examination, American Bar Association Journal; Mar 1976, Vol. 62 Issue 3, p315

Although this article is from 1976, I believe this still holds true today. For example, of the 121 NY UBE examinees that sent me their failing scores, the average difference between their written scores and their MBE scores was 2.8 points.

Before Connecticut switched to the UBE exam, most examinees who took NY/CT would study only for NY, spend about one day reviewing the CT essays, and were more likely to pass the CT exam than the NY exam. I really don't know if the grading changed with the UBE, but your results are pretty anomalous. The Estimated LSAT percentile for Connecticut is 56.9% which means the average Connecticut law school graduate (who will likely sit for the Connecticut bar exam) did better than just 56.9% of examinees on the LSAT nationwide. This means the pool of examinees you are competing with is weaker as compared to a state like NY where the average New York law school graduate did better on the LSAT than 84.8% of examinees nationwide. Your 144 MBE is also above average - the July CT MBE average from 2000-2016 is 141. Even more perplexing is that 4/6 of the J17 MEE questions were on MBE subjects so you should have done well on them since you did well on the MBE.

I strongly suggest you buy the CT Feb 2017 sample answers for $35:
https://www.jud.ct.gov/cbec/questions.htm

This will give you the best insight into what CT expects for a passing MEE/MPT answer.

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streetlawyer
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Re: Desperately need help with Essays

Postby streetlawyer » Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:41 pm

JoeSeperace

I strongly suggest you buy the CT Feb 2017 sample answers for $35:
https://www.jud.ct.gov/cbec/questions.htm

This will give you the best insight into what CT expects for a passing MEE/MPT answer.

Thanks I did just that.

Law&coffee
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Re: Desperately need help with Essays

Postby Law&coffee » Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:54 pm

Are you formatting your essays in CIRAC or CRAC?

Barbri has sample essays to review. Most state bars also have sample essays online to review.

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UBETutoring
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Re: Desperately need help with Essays

Postby UBETutoring » Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:17 pm


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crumb cake
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Re: Desperately need help with Essays

Postby crumb cake » Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:27 pm

If it’s the MEE, I found the JD Advising One-Sheets to be really helpful. They show you the testing frequency of each issue and have crisp rule statements prepared for you. I skipped the Barbri materials for multiple topics and just memorized the One-Sheets.

Edit: I got a 160+ on the written portion of the UBE.
Last edited by crumb cake on Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ndbigdave
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Re: Desperately need help with Essays

Postby ndbigdave » Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:32 pm

crumb cake wrote:If it’s the MEE, I found the JD Advising One-Sheets to be really helpful. They show you the testing frequency of each issue and have crisp rule statements prepared for you. I skipped the Barbri materials for multiple topics and just memorized the One-Sheets.


I thought for the money SmartBar Prep was outstanding. You get the same analysis for testing frequency (how often and what test each rule was tested) with both a more deep outline of all MEE subjects along with the focused outlines. I thought they were well organized and laid out giving me the key topics and then both a more in-depth take and more focused take for when it got down to crunch time. I'm all for maximizing just how much you can get for your dollar spent. The website is: http://www.smartbarprep.com

I am not a rep, but did buy their stuff for July 2017 so I can endorse from experience.

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ndbigdave
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Re: Desperately need help with Essays

Postby ndbigdave » Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:32 pm

crumb cake wrote:If it’s the MEE, I found the JD Advising One-Sheets to be really helpful. They show you the testing frequency of each issue and have crisp rule statements prepared for you. I skipped the Barbri materials for multiple topics and just memorized the One-Sheets.


I thought for the money SmartBar Prep was outstanding. You get the same analysis for testing frequency (how often and what test each rule was tested) with both a more deep outline of all MEE subjects along with the focused outlines. I thought they were well organized and laid out giving me the key topics and then both a more in-depth take and more focused take for when it got down to crunch time. I'm all for maximizing just how much you can get for your dollar spent. The website is: http://www.smartbarprep.com

I am not a rep, but did buy their stuff for July 2017 so I can endorse from experience.

ur_hero
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Re: Desperately need help with Essays

Postby ur_hero » Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:31 pm

[Disclaimer - my advice is most directly applicable to the CBX.]

1.) Get membership on baressays and barissues.com
2.) Download every exam from 1990 to present.
3.) Create your own model template outlines to every issue/sub-issue that comes up, by outlining exam responses OPEN BOOK. Use the model answers, etc., to draft these.

For example, on Crim law I generally followed the below template for a murder question. Once you become familiar with your templates, the only thing you have to think about is paying attention to the facts and throwing in a few sentences of analysis. You'll be less likely to miss issues, and can obviously easily omit stuff that clearly isn't relevant as you go. No guarantees all substance below is correct, but the point is it's a system I could crank out in my sleep by test-day:

b. The death of Bert?

i. Causation

To prove homicide, the prosecution must show both (1) actual; and (2) proximate cause.

1. Actual

The prosecution must show that but for defendant's actions, the victim would have lived. If there is more than one but-for cause, the prosecution must show that defendant's conduct was a substantial factor in victim's death.

Here, [ . . . insert analysis . . . ]

Thus, [ . . . insert conclusion . . .]

2. Proximate

The prosecution must show that defendant's conduct foreseeably resulted in the victim's death.

Here, [ . . . insert analysis . . . ]

Thus, [ . . . insert conclusion . . .]

ii. First Degree Murder

First degree murder, created by statute, is murder committed (1) during the perpetration of an inherently dangerous felony; (2) under premeditation and deliberation; or (3) using egregious means.

1. During Perpetration of Inherently Dangerous Felony (First Degree Felony Murder)

Common inherently dangerous felonies include Burglary, arson, rape, robbery, and kidnapping.

Here, [ . . . insert analysis . . . ]

Thus, [ . . . insert conclusion . . .]

a. Exception - Redline Rule

i. Under the Redline Rule, felons are not liable for the deaths of co-felons that occur during the commission of the crime, so long as the death is caused by the victim or police officer attempting to prevent escape or further criminal activity.

Here, [ . . . insert analysis . . . ]

Thus, [ . . . insert conclusion . . .]

2. Under Premeditation and Deliberation

Premeditation means defendant planned the killing; premeditation can occur in mere seconds. Deliberation means that defendant reflected on the idea of killing long enough before forming the intent to kill (even if briefly) to be fully conscious of and have considered the killing.

Here, [ . . . insert analysis . . . ]

Thus, [ . . . insert conclusion . . .]

3. Using Egregious Means

First degree murder may result by the use of egregious methods such as lying in wait, ambush, bombing, torture, terrorism, and poison.

Here, [ . . . insert analysis . . . ]

Thus, [ . . . insert conclusion . . .]

4. Conclusion

iii. Second Degree Murder

Second degree murder is (1) common law murder; and (2) all other murder that is not in the first degree.

1. Common Law Murder

At common law, murder was the (1) unlawful (without legal excuse) (2) killing; (3) of another living human being (4) with malice aforethought.

a. Malice Aforethought

Malice aforethought requires (1) intent to kill; (2) intent to inflict serious injury; (3) reckless indifference to an unjustifiably high risk to human life (depraved heart); or (3) intent to commit certain felonies (felony murder).

i. Intent to Kill

Conduct accompanied by the intent to kill that causes the death of another living human being constitutes intent-to-kill murder.

Here, [ . . . insert analysis . . . ]

Thus, [ . . . insert conclusion . . .]

ii. Intent to Inflict Serious Injury

A person who intends to inflict serious bodily injury upon another, but actually succeeds in killing that person, is guilty of murder despite the lack of intent to kill.

Here, [ . . . insert analysis . . . ]

Thus, [ . . . insert conclusion . . .]

iii. Reckless Indifference to Unjustifiably High Risk to Human Life (Depraved Heart)

Depraved heart murder is a killing that results from reckless actions by the defendant that manifests in extreme indifference to human life.

Here, [ . . . insert analysis . . . ]

Thus, [ . . . insert conclusion . . .]

iv. Intent to Commit Certain Felonies (Felony Murder)

Felony murder is an unintended killing proximately caused by and during the commission or attempted commission of an inherently dangerous felony. Common inherently dangerous felonies include burglary, arson, rape, robbery, and kidnapping. To show felony murder, the prosecution must establish that defendant committed the underlying felony.

Here, [ . . . insert analysis . . . ]

Thus, [ . . . insert conclusion . . .]

1. Exception - Redline Rule

Under the Redline Rule, felons are not liable for the deaths of co-felons that occur during the commission of the crime, so long as the death is caused by the victim or a police officer attempting to prevent escape or further criminal activity.

Here, [ . . . insert analysis . . . ]

Thus, [ . . . insert conclusion . . .]

2. Voluntary Manslaughter

Voluntary manslaughter is murder committed in response to adequate provocation. Provocation is adequate if (1) it inflames the passion of a reasonable person; (2) it causes the person to momentarily act out of passion rather than reason; (3) there is insufficient time between the provocation and killing for a reasonable person to cool off, and (4) the defendant in fact does not cool off between the provocation and killing.

a. Inflames the Passion of a Reasonable Person

Words alone are not sufficient provocation, except when words carry provocative information such as threats of deadly force or adultery. The defendant cannot be inflamed by conduct that would not bother the reasonable person.

Here, [ . . . insert analysis . . . ]

Thus, [ . . . insert conclusion . . .]

b. Causes Person to Momentarily Act out of Passion Rather than Reason

There must be a causal connection between the provocation, passion, and act. There is no mitigation if malice aforethought is formed prior to the provocation.

Here, [ . . . insert analysis . . . ]

Thus, [ . . . insert conclusion . . .]

c. Insufficient Time to Cool Off

If there is sufficient time between the provocation and the killing for a reasonable person to cool off, murder is not mitigated to manslaughter.

Here, [ . . . insert analysis . . . ]

Thus, [ . . . insert conclusion . . .]

d. Defendant In Fact Does Not Cool Off

Defendant must not in fact cool off.

Here, [ . . . insert analysis . . . ]

Thus, [ . . . insert conclusion . . .]

3. Conclusion



4.) Practice Practice Practice. You should practice outlining a ton of past exams, testing yourself against your templates. Also write a good number of full essays to get the feel for the timing. You should start to see patterns in what is tested together, and realize that the exam repeats the same groups of issues and sub-issues every several sittings. You will eventually know 90% of what you're going to write just by reading the question, and have more time to focus on getting it all out rather than unnecessary thinking.
Last edited by ur_hero on Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

RaceJudicata
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Re: Desperately need help with Essays

Postby RaceJudicata » Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:37 pm

Past exams (preferably w/ sample answers) are the best essay practice tools. Rather than spending a ton of money on another bar prep co, spend the money on the more recent MEEs and state essays.

Work from oldest to newest and work your way through ALL of them.

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streetlawyer
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Re: Desperately need help with Essays

Postby streetlawyer » Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:13 pm

RaceJudicata wrote: Past exams (preferably w/ sample answers) are the best essay practice tools. Rather than spending a ton of money on another bar prep co, spend the money on the more recent MEEs and state essays.


I just got a copy of the Feburary 2017 written questions and answers for Connecticut. I am confused and amazed at the same time. The answers were not all that long or quoted word for word the BLL. I don't have to know the prudent investor standard by heart. Apparently you just have to remember to use the word "here" a lot. The messed up part is that I do remember making these points on that exam. Apparently I just didn't make it the way they wanted it. Everyone who says to dump the Big Box Bar Review program was right. I think I got better results just using Emanuel's Law in a Flash. I'll just use Adaptibar for good measure; even though I got 144 on last MBE I don't want to lose a point.

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SilvermanBarPrep
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Re: Desperately need help with Essays

Postby SilvermanBarPrep » Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:27 pm

You've got to treat these essays almost like a mathematical proof. Just be very analytical because some of the scoring is based on your logical progression rather than the content. You need to know the law, of course, but the conclusion tends to be the least important part of the task.

So, stick to a very rigorous form of IRAC. Lay out the issue. State the rule of law and consider breaking the rule up into individual elements. Analyze each element of the rule individually. And then base on the analysis of all elements make a conclusion.

It takes practice, but when you get the formula down the only thing left is to ensure you adequately memorized the rules to get them down on paper!

Sean (Silverman Bar Exam Tutoring)

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UBETutoring
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Re: Desperately need help with Essays

Postby UBETutoring » Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:53 am

For anyone in need of assistance, I offer essay grading and tutoring for both the MEE and MPT, and MBE. I worked with approximately 30 students for the July 2017 exam, and have stellar feedback. My rate is normally $30 per graded essay with feedback, but on TLS I can offer this serve for $25. i provide much more substantial feedback than what you will get from Barbri/any other program, and have experience teaching for Barbri.

The most common mistake I've observed among TLS users is not that they don't know the law, but that they often fail to show their work and miss out on the easy points. For instance, if negligence has 4 elements (DBCD), and only C is at issue, they may skip applying DBD, which leaves those 3 points on the table. You should always be able to get most of the points regardless of how well you know the law.

fordham_636
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Re: Desperately need help with Essays

Postby fordham_636 » Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:26 pm

Does anyone know if there is a guaranteed minimum score on an essay (like the bottom scaled score is above zero)? If someone doesn't get to a question, would they get a zero?

teaearlgreyhot
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Re: Desperately need help with Essays

Postby teaearlgreyhot » Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:47 am

fordham_636 wrote:Does anyone know if there is a guaranteed minimum score on an essay (like the bottom scaled score is above zero)? If someone doesn't get to a question, would they get a zero?


Even if you leave an essay completely blank they don't give you a zero. I know from personal experience they give you a scaled score around 29.

fordham_636
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Re: Desperately need help with Essays

Postby fordham_636 » Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:50 am

teaearlgreyhot wrote:
fordham_636 wrote:Does anyone know if there is a guaranteed minimum score on an essay (like the bottom scaled score is above zero)? If someone doesn't get to a question, would they get a zero?


Even if you leave an essay completely blank they don't give you a zero. I know from personal experience they give you a scaled score around 29.



What jurisdiction was this for? Also, whats the median score for the same essay's score?

teaearlgreyhot
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Re: Desperately need help with Essays

Postby teaearlgreyhot » Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:55 am

fordham_636 wrote:
teaearlgreyhot wrote:
fordham_636 wrote:Does anyone know if there is a guaranteed minimum score on an essay (like the bottom scaled score is above zero)? If someone doesn't get to a question, would they get a zero?


Even if you leave an essay completely blank they don't give you a zero. I know from personal experience they give you a scaled score around 29.



What jurisdiction was this for? Also, whats the median score for the same essay's score?


That was from NY, last February. I'm not sure what the median essay score was for that exam.

fordham_636
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Re: Desperately need help with Essays

Postby fordham_636 » Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:57 am

What was your MBE for that test if you don't mind me asking?

teaearlgreyhot
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Re: Desperately need help with Essays

Postby teaearlgreyhot » Tue Oct 24, 2017 1:03 am

fordham_636 wrote:What was your MBE for that test if you don't mind me asking?


129

fordham_636
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Re: Desperately need help with Essays

Postby fordham_636 » Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:51 pm

If you want someone that will give you the care, attention to detail, and compassion you deserve as a tutor, I think Silverman Bar exam tutoring is a no brainer, especially for those re-taking the exam. I was fortunate enough to pass on my first try, however, the process was full of self doubt, stress, and misery. After I did not write a word for the MPT and an entire essay, I was convinced I failed. There was no point in showing up for day two. I e-mailed both Joe Separac and Sean Silverman, asking them what I would need on the MBE to have a shot at passing. I was having a panic attack in the hotel room and desperately wanted a reply. In my time of need, Sean Silverman was the only one that responded. He told me to show up the next day and give it my all. He said if I got at least a 150 on the MBE, I would have a fighting shot. This meant the world to me, and (fortunately/unfortunately) I will never be able to re-pay him. He helped me muster the confidence and hope to even show up the next day. In the state of utter despair that I was in, I don't think I would have been able to mentally show up the next day with a shrivel of hope or focus, but for Mr. Silverman. Luckily, with his help, I showed up and got a 172 on the MBE.

This is not to take away from Separac or what he does with providing detailed calculators (which I never really could figure out :( ). I just wanted to share the story of how compassionate and kind Sean Silverman is.

verejacob
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Re: Desperately need help with Essays

Postby verejacob » Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:19 pm

I missed passing July 2017 NY exam by 10 points. MBE 135, MEE/MPT - 121. Seems I was underprepared for MEE/MPT. Will retake Feb 2018 exam. I have access to Barbri and I have purchased Emanuel MBE S&T and Critical Pass.

My question to those who passed and especially did well in MEE/MPT -
1. What gameplan/strategy did you follow that helped you ace MEE/MPT?
2. Did anyone find Studicata, JD Advising's One Sheets, or Lean Sheets helpful for MEE?
3. What are the best resources to learn and memorize BLL? Conviser? Any other suggestions?

I want to make sure I'm in the right track and prepared well this time for MEE/MPT.

For July 2017 exam, I had spent most of my time making my own outline of MBE subjects and listening to video lectures, and I didn't get much time to go through Barbri's Conviser and the MEEs/MPT books thoroughly and maybe that's why I deserve the numbers I got.

There's just so much of noise out with different TLS posters using and recommending Adaptibar, NCBE MBE OPEs, Serapac UBE Master, JD Advising's One Sheets, etc. It's making me confused and has left me wondering if I'm on the right track for Feb 2018 exam. Thanks again in advance for any suggestion/advise/strategy you may have for me. :D

Phoenix1234
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Re: Desperately need help with Essays

Postby Phoenix1234 » Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:06 am

Looking to buy the Barbri Virginia Essay Book and the Barbri Virginia Distinction Book. If you have either, please PM me.

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Asroma
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Re: Desperately need help with Essays

Postby Asroma » Wed Nov 01, 2017 5:08 pm

verejacob wrote:I missed passing July 2017 NY exam by 10 points. MBE 135, MEE/MPT - 121. Seems I was underprepared for MEE/MPT. Will retake Feb 2018 exam. I have access to Barbri and I have purchased Emanuel MBE S&T and Critical Pass.

My question to those who passed and especially did well in MEE/MPT -
1. What gameplan/strategy did you follow that helped you ace MEE/MPT?
2. Did anyone find Studicata, JD Advising's One Sheets, or Lean Sheets helpful for MEE?
3. What are the best resources to learn and memorize BLL? Conviser? Any other suggestions?

I want to make sure I'm in the right track and prepared well this time for MEE/MPT.

For July 2017 exam, I had spent most of my time making my own outline of MBE subjects and listening to video lectures, and I didn't get much time to go through Barbri's Conviser and the MEEs/MPT books thoroughly and maybe that's why I deserve the numbers I got.

There's just so much of noise out with different TLS posters using and recommending Adaptibar, NCBE MBE OPEs, Serapac UBE Master, JD Advising's One Sheets, etc. It's making me confused and has left me wondering if I'm on the right track for Feb 2018 exam. Thanks again in advance for any suggestion/advise/strategy you may have for me. :D


I know it sounds weird, but this thread viewtopic.php?f=41&t=278583&start=50 and in particular this post viewtopic.php?f=41&t=278583&start=50#p10087436 really helped me with the MEE part of the bar! It gave me enough confidence to write down whatever and it worked. My preparation was 90% on the MBE and I only studied 2 weeks for the essays, mostly following what JD Advising was predicting. I still do not know what conflict of laws is.




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