Exam results appeal/OH

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Winter is Coming

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Re: Exam results appeal/OH

Postby Winter is Coming » Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:50 pm

Isn’t half of you first answer the exact opposite of what the model answer says? It’s definitely not “identical.”

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pancakes3

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Re: Exam results appeal/OH

Postby pancakes3 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:08 pm

essays are scored from 1-7.

i don't know if you're a 1, but I don't think you deserve a 3-4 if 3-4 are supposed to be "average" answers.

you didn't put the rule statements at the top, you missed the mark on a number of issues, and you didn't use the right buzzwords and didn't sound like a lawyer.

FinallyPassedTheBar

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Re: Exam results appeal/OH

Postby FinallyPassedTheBar » Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:17 pm

IMHO, your answer is not close to the model answers.

After a quick skim, it looks like you generally know the correct conclusion (the least important part of any essay answer). But I do not see any IRAC going on in your answers. Note how each part of the model answer starts off with a rule statement. Your answers did not have that critical part.

kc128

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Re: Exam results appeal/OH

Postby kc128 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:45 pm

I feel almost bad jumping on the bandwagon here, but I think you're getting too caught up in the fact that some of your conclusions are the same. How we wish it were that simple, right?

As a re-taker too (I feel your pain), I feel like my writing has developed so much in terms of structure and the "buzzwords" people have referred to. There are so many essays graders review in such a short period of time; you need to look and sound like a lawyer quickly.

Also, to reiterate what someone said about typos. Not to be a jerk, it's bad.

If you're taking Feb., don't focus on this b/c it's a waste of your time. Use the essay for practice and outline how the sample answer is formatted + the conclusions that are reached. Good luck.

albanach

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Re: Exam results appeal/OH

Postby albanach » Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:25 pm

I agree with the other points made above.

It's important to note that the model answer isn't a perfect answer written by the Board in non-timed conditions. That's an actual answer from someone who was in the room with you. That's your competition.

The grader was looking at answers like that, with clear statements of the rule, clear and succinct legal analysis, and a clear and correct conclusion.

For example, you're statement "Moreover, Matt signed the will at the end of the document, as such this is an invalid attempt to make a will."

Now compare it to the first paragraph that lays out the rule, in the model answer.

See how much clearer that is? And if you had written the rule like that - and you knew the rule, so you could have done this - your next step, the analysis would have been trivial.

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lady_gaga

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Re: Exam results appeal/OH

Postby lady_gaga » Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:53 am

Very interesting thanks for sharing. I don't think it's a "1" by any means but I think if you include "whether" statements i.e. "whether or not the will is valid" and space it out a bit more/format better (including typos) you'll be just fine because the info is all there. Clearer more explicit rule statements too perhaps, separate from the analysis.

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pancakes3

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Re: Exam results appeal/OH

Postby pancakes3 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:35 pm

the info is by no means "all there"

Jmari

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Re: Exam results appeal/OH

Postby Jmari » Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:15 pm

Appreciate all of your comments and analysis of my answer. I’m in no way saying that my answer is perfect or it is a 7 point answer, but it is definitely not a 1point answer. The model answer does not include statement of the issue and that is why it got me frustrated. I appreciate all of your help.

JoeSeperac

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Re: Exam results appeal/OH

Postby JoeSeperac » Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:27 pm

What was your MBE score?

mka2016

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Re: Exam results appeal/OH

Postby mka2016 » Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:22 pm

I am sort of in the same boat. I had reviewed my essays with the sample essays they provide. I definitely agree that a 1 was really harsh. That being said, you can definitely improve (format, buzz words, typo's etc.) .I have had multiple essays that are almost verbatim and yet significantly lower. There is absolutely no logical explanation other than grader negligence.

Just for laughs the other night I researched a little about the process and I have spoken to former bar examiners and the process is pretty unbelievable. Corporate attorneys grading criminal procedure essays. I realize they are given grading criteria etc. However, I have been told a lot of examiners spend less than a minute on an essay and that if the first "response" is incorrect that they essentially nix the entire essay. They are given weeks to complete grading and do it at the last minute. This is absolutely ridiculous and what's worse is as you have said, absolutely zero recourse for students. I just cannot believe they have no responsibility to be transparent. Sorry for the rant, I will try and post my essays and sample answers when I have time but yes, I feel your pain.

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RCinDNA

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Re: Exam results appeal/OH

Postby RCinDNA » Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:48 pm

mka2016 wrote:I am sort of in the same boat. I had reviewed my essays with the sample essays they provide. I definitely agree that a 1 was really harsh. That being said, you can definitely improve (format, buzz words, typo's etc.) .I have had multiple essays that are almost verbatim and yet significantly lower. There is absolutely no logical explanation other than grader negligence.

Just for laughs the other night I researched a little about the process and I have spoken to former bar examiners and the process is pretty unbelievable. Corporate attorneys grading criminal procedure essays. I realize they are given grading criteria etc. However, I have been told a lot of examiners spend less than a minute on an essay and that if the first "response" is incorrect that they essentially nix the entire essay. They are given weeks to complete grading and do it at the last minute. This is absolutely ridiculous and what's worse is as you have said, absolutely zero recourse for students. I just cannot believe they have no responsibility to be transparent. Sorry for the rant, I will try and post my essays and sample answers when I have time but yes, I feel your pain.


I agree that there is a fundamental lack of professionalism and transparency associated with the grading of this exam. What is very sad is that you can “fail” an essay not on lack of knowlesge of the law or application but just because your answer did not fit a particular format. This is the quintessential problem with the grading methodology - it proves that the test has less to do with competence and more to do with justifying it’s own existence. Unfortunately, we still have to pass this thing so no sense concentrating on it now. You should look into Japan’s system which is so brutal that it makes our inconvenient system look quite fair. Anyway, directing too much energy in that direction will not help now so the best thing to do is embrace the suck.

mka2016

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Re: Exam results appeal/OH

Postby mka2016 » Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:22 pm

RCinDNA wrote:
mka2016 wrote:I am sort of in the same boat. I had reviewed my essays with the sample essays they provide. I definitely agree that a 1 was really harsh. That being said, you can definitely improve (format, buzz words, typo's etc.) .I have had multiple essays that are almost verbatim and yet significantly lower. There is absolutely no logical explanation other than grader negligence.

Just for laughs the other night I researched a little about the process and I have spoken to former bar examiners and the process is pretty unbelievable. Corporate attorneys grading criminal procedure essays. I realize they are given grading criteria etc. However, I have been told a lot of examiners spend less than a minute on an essay and that if the first "response" is incorrect that they essentially nix the entire essay. They are given weeks to complete grading and do it at the last minute. This is absolutely ridiculous and what's worse is as you have said, absolutely zero recourse for students. I just cannot believe they have no responsibility to be transparent. Sorry for the rant, I will try and post my essays and sample answers when I have time but yes, I feel your pain.


I agree that there is a fundamental lack of professionalism and transparency associated with the grading of this exam. What is very sad is that you can “fail” an essay not on lack of knowlesge of the law or application but just because your answer did not fit a particular format. This is the quintessential problem with the grading methodology - it proves that the test has less to do with competence and more to do with justifying it’s own existence. Unfortunately, we still have to pass this thing so no sense concentrating on it now. You should look into Japan’s system which is so brutal that it makes our inconvenient system look quite fair. Anyway, directing too much energy in that direction will not help now so the best thing to do is embrace the suck.



You are absolutely right. Just need to keep grinding. However, considering how immensely important it is, how much work and preparation is required etc.. I think exam takers are entitled to a little more transparency. I really don't think it is too much to ask for better grading procedures and I do not see any risk to the integrity of the exam.

perplixityparanoia

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Re: Exam results appeal/OH

Postby perplixityparanoia » Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:36 pm

Transparency is definitely needed in essay grading!!!

For candidates who fail in DC, DC bar allows to come in to the courthouse to review the essays.

When I went to review my essays, I was so disappointed.DC bar graders seemed to grade my essays arbitrarily. I find no rhyme or reason for each grade.

On the corner of each essays they just put the score and there was not a single mark-up on the essays and no way to tell where I got points and where I didn’t.

In fact I have started to think even with UBE there is so much discrepancy in different jurisdictions with Essay grading because graders from each jurisdiction varies in terms of their grading style.

I am convinced if my essays were graded in another UBE jurisdiction I would have passed. I wish there was a way to transfer the written part to another jurisdiction and see what would I have received (but that’s just wishful thinking on my part)

Anyways, essays grading will always remain a factor that will be uncertain. That’s why I guess consensus is to get as high a score possible on MBE.

Good luck everyone!

maxmartin

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Re: Exam results appeal/OH

Postby maxmartin » Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:24 am

perplixityparanoia wrote:Transparency is definitely needed in essay grading!!!

For candidates who fail in DC, DC bar allows to come in to the courthouse to review the essays.

When I went to review my essays, I was so disappointed.DC bar graders seemed to grade my essays arbitrarily. I find no rhyme or reason for each grade.

On the corner of each essays they just put the score and there was not a single mark-up on the essays and no way to tell where I got points and where I didn’t.

In fact I have started to think even with UBE there is so much discrepancy in different jurisdictions with Essay grading because graders from each jurisdiction varies in terms of their grading style.

I am convinced if my essays were graded in another UBE jurisdiction I would have passed. I wish there was a way to transfer the written part to another jurisdiction and see what would I have received (but that’s just wishful thinking on my part)

Anyways, essays grading will always remain a factor that will be uncertain. That’s why I guess consensus is to get as high a score possible on MBE.

Good luck everyone!


Of course, OR has the highest passing rate among all UBE jurisdictions with the 274 passing score.

Jmari

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Re: Exam results appeal/OH

Postby Jmari » Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:45 pm

Don’t you love how all these procedures are secretive? No information whatsoever. Not only they are unfair, but provide no guidelines for us. I have read model answers that completely misstated rules, yet, were published as “better or over average” answers. To be frank, I have never liked the whole process of law school and internships. The only effective way for us to actually learn is to put these rules into practice, which some of us never do. Mostly, interns do jack sh*t and never learn from their experience. They should develop a process similar to that of residency of medical students. Maybe they will have more bar passers. Went off topic a bit.

Bla Bla Bla Blah

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Re: Exam results appeal/OH

Postby Bla Bla Bla Blah » Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:47 am

You're probably right, and maybe that's why the passage rate was higher back when a larger portion of students fell into jobs and summer clerkships. Makes sense that people would do better overal when more practical training existed, and employers had a vested monetary incentive to get their new hires up to speed with the law. Nothing invested in interns, no skin in the game.

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RCinDNA

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Re: Exam results appeal/OH

Postby RCinDNA » Fri Mar 02, 2018 4:55 am

I think the passage rate was higher in the past because the test was more straightforward. My jurisdiction added obscure topics because “the test makers wanted to add more variety to the questions”. And we already know that actual practitioners and law professors do not fare well on these tests because practical skills are not tested on the bar.

You should look up the test from twenty years ago and compare it to the modern version.

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RCinDNA

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Re: Exam results appeal/OH

Postby RCinDNA » Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:29 am

This is an interesting read: https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/view ... ontext=nlr

It is a law review paper criticizing the bar exam methodology written by a student who went on to graduate with high honors and eventually become a law professor.

mka2016

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Re: Exam results appeal/OH

Postby mka2016 » Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:46 am

RCinDNA wrote:I think the passage rate was higher in the past because the test was more straightforward. My jurisdiction added obscure topics because “the test makers wanted to add more variety to the questions”. And we already know that actual practitioners and law professors do not fare well on these tests because practical skills are not tested on the bar.

You should look up the test from twenty years ago and compare it to the modern version.


My girlfriend took it in mid 2000’s. We printed out her exam and the feb 2017 exam, she was blown away. Not one of her fact patters was over a page long.

mka2016

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Re: Exam results appeal/OH

Postby mka2016 » Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:50 am

Jmari wrote:Don’t you love how all these procedures are secretive? No information whatsoever. Not only they are unfair, but provide no guidelines for us. I have read model answers that completely misstated rules, yet, were published as “better or over average” answers. To be frank, I have never liked the whole process of law school and internships. The only effective way for us to actually learn is to put these rules into practice, which some of us never do. Mostly, interns do jack sh*t and never learn from their experience. They should develop a process similar to that of residency of medical students. Maybe they will have more bar passers. Went off topic a bit.


I clerked in federal court and I didn’t learn much. What’s hilarious is my job is mostly appellate work and I love it. This is really starting to make me feel like I’m playing a carnival game, getting to that “what’s the point?” wall. I get the feeling my MBE is going to be high and I’m still never going to get a fair shake at essays.

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RCinDNA

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Re: Exam results appeal/OH

Postby RCinDNA » Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:52 am

mka2016 wrote:
Jmari wrote:Don’t you love how all these procedures are secretive? No information whatsoever. Not only they are unfair, but provide no guidelines for us. I have read model answers that completely misstated rules, yet, were published as “better or over average” answers. To be frank, I have never liked the whole process of law school and internships. The only effective way for us to actually learn is to put these rules into practice, which some of us never do. Mostly, interns do jack sh*t and never learn from their experience. They should develop a process similar to that of residency of medical students. Maybe they will have more bar passers. Went off topic a bit.


I clerked in federal court and I didn’t learn much. What’s hilarious is my job is mostly appellate work and I love it. This is really starting to make me feel like I’m playing a carnival game, getting to that “what’s the point?” wall. I get the feeling my MBE is going to be high and I’m still never going to get a fair shake at essays.


I think they should ditch the bar exam and let law firms and the market dictate training and standards. But I have always been a Contracts guy and dislike licensing protocols that end up becoming ends unto themselves. I don’t know - probably sounds bitter but I think the minimum competence a lawyer should have is the ability to read, write, and research. The bar exam is more about memorization. I also legitimately wonder how many people would pass if there were no prep companies standardizing the elements and language because if you work in law, you’ll quickly see multiple variants of the elements for various claims.

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Re: Exam results appeal/OH

Postby Crockidator » Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:44 am

RCinDNA wrote:
mka2016 wrote:
Jmari wrote:Don’t you love how all these procedures are secretive? No information whatsoever. Not only they are unfair, but provide no guidelines for us. I have read model answers that completely misstated rules, yet, were published as “better or over average” answers. To be frank, I have never liked the whole process of law school and internships. The only effective way for us to actually learn is to put these rules into practice, which some of us never do. Mostly, interns do jack sh*t and never learn from their experience. They should develop a process similar to that of residency of medical students. Maybe they will have more bar passers. Went off topic a bit.


I clerked in federal court and I didn’t learn much. What’s hilarious is my job is mostly appellate work and I love it. This is really starting to make me feel like I’m playing a carnival game, getting to that “what’s the point?” wall. I get the feeling my MBE is going to be high and I’m still never going to get a fair shake at essays.


I think they should ditch the bar exam and let law firms and the market dictate training and standards. But I have always been a Contracts guy and dislike licensing protocols that end up becoming ends unto themselves. I don’t know - probably sounds bitter but I think the minimum competence a lawyer should have is the ability to read, write, and research. The bar exam is more about memorization. I also legitimately wonder how many people would pass if there were no prep companies standardizing the elements and language because if you work in law, you’ll quickly see multiple variants of the elements for various claims.


I agree with a lot of this. Trying to back up the bar exam as a measure of ability to practice law is a huge farce. I think it makes sense to set some basic appropriate standards for law school curriculums. Then either give people their license for graduating or use some type of apprenticeship system or other practical training to obtain a license to practice without supervision. Maybe it could happen during the last semester of school, kind of like student teaching. Putting months of prep into the bar exam is just wasting time you could spend developing actual skills.

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Re: Exam results appeal/OH

Postby Bla Bla Bla Blah » Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:18 pm

RCinDNA wrote:
mka2016 wrote:
Jmari wrote:Don’t you love how all these procedures are secretive? No information whatsoever. Not only they are unfair, but provide no guidelines for us. I have read model answers that completely misstated rules, yet, were published as “better or over average” answers. To be frank, I have never liked the whole process of law school and internships. The only effective way for us to actually learn is to put these rules into practice, which some of us never do. Mostly, interns do jack sh*t and never learn from their experience. They should develop a process similar to that of residency of medical students. Maybe they will have more bar passers. Went off topic a bit.


I clerked in federal court and I didn’t learn much. What’s hilarious is my job is mostly appellate work and I love it. This is really starting to make me feel like I’m playing a carnival game, getting to that “what’s the point?” wall. I get the feeling my MBE is going to be high and I’m still never going to get a fair shake at essays.


I think they should ditch the bar exam and let law firms and the market dictate training and standards. But I have always been a Contracts guy and dislike licensing protocols that end up becoming ends unto themselves. I don’t know - probably sounds bitter but I think the minimum competence a lawyer should have is the ability to read, write, and research. The bar exam is more about memorization. I also legitimately wonder how many people would pass if there were no prep companies standardizing the elements and language because if you work in law, you’ll quickly see multiple variants of the elements for various claims.


So true. Bar exams actually act as a market inhibitor. Unless you intend to hang out a shingle, the market already filters out incompetent lawyers. Frustrates me to no end that my arguments are consistent winners in intellectual property cases for my firm against big name players, and all the way up through the Federal Circuit. I'm with a Dallas based firm, and the expectation is that I will handle their California cases since I now live in San Diego. But that can't happen if I fail the CA Bar Exam. Essentially, if I fail this exam my firm will not be able to utilize me out here until after Thanksgiving. Along with cutting my workload down for the past month, that means that my firm will lose almost 10 months of full productivity from me because all I will be able to contribute towards is motion practice.

So the rub is that even though I've proven myself, and the market desires my skill set, that isn't good enough. Instead, a test that asks me to answer nonsensical questions in a way that would result in malpractice will put my position at risk by disqualifying me if I can't jump through the arbitrary hoop. 10 months of legal incapacity is handicap that I will pray to God won't affect my standing with the partners if I have to deal with it.

If you intend to hang a shingle out, then sure, maybe a test that disqualifies more than 50 percent of the takers should be a requirement. But if not, the market should obviously dictate. It's a market controlled by whether you can consistently win on valid legal arguments, which can't be done without actually being competent and knowing knowing how to practice. Firms aren't going to keep around malpractice liabilities. I agree with the "market should dictate" argument, and it already does this better than a bar exam.

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RCinDNA

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Re: Exam results appeal/OH

Postby RCinDNA » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:59 pm

Most attorneys are notoriously bad at economics, statistics, or gauging market effects. That is partially why so many theories of legal economics are criticized as gross over-simplifications or misapplications of economic principles. It is probably a side effect of the industry wherein attorneys are particularly prone to not looking into changing existing systems or questioning them because you could be censured for unpopular opinions or quite simply being a place where an intellectually lazy response is often the “right one” on tests and IRL (e.g attorneys probably did not realize the effect of settling so many intellectual property disputes was to drive up the overall costs and leave some fields without any caselaw reflecting new technological developments but that seems to be the right response given the all or nothing nature of most IP disputes).

The bar exam certainly is a gauge of how many hours you invest memorizing to pass it. And one thing is for sure - bad attorneys, those who are great at test taking but burned out after 1-3 years of practice, and those who are disbarred for ethics violations have one thing in common.



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