2018 February North Carolina Bar

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dreamofNYC

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2018 February North Carolina Bar

Postby dreamofNYC » Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:01 pm

Any takers of the Feb 2018 NC Bar who want to meet/greet/commiserate with other takers? With less than one month to go, we could use some extra support from each other as we are powering through the last stretch of studying for the exam.

The purpose of this forum is to ask any questions related to the exam or concerning the license adjudication process by the NC Board of Law Examiners, ask any questions you might have about the scoring process (has anyone figured it yet?!), encourage each other, find a study buddy, or simply vent about something whether or not related to the exam. If this is the second or third, forth or Nth time that you are taking the North Carolina Bar exam, perhaps you might wish to share your insights with first takers.

Hopefully we could even organize a post-exam meeting/celebration once we are done. The best of luck to all for a successful performance! Look forward to reading everyone's thoughts! :D

DurhamNC2017

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Re: 2018 February North Carolina Bar

Postby DurhamNC2017 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:06 pm

Good luck to all of those who are sitting for the exam later this month! I was in your shoes this time last year.

I don't know if I am able to answer many questions regarding the overall process, but I'd be happy to try.

I wrote a longer post and posted it in the 2017 thread linked to above, but here are a few general thoughts I came away with that I hope will help you:

I was only able to spend about 6 weeks fully engaged in studying. I did about 85-90 essays and about (I think) 950 multiple choice. I made notecards especially on the things I did not understand very well. For the last week or so, I focused a lot on memorization. Just reviewing outlines and drilling myself on notecards. I really wanted to be able to tick through rules on my essays and get as many "free points" on the MBE, which I thought of as particular rules or issues that I just knew cold. For the 6 weeks or so I studied, I only worked a little bit (a few hours a week at most), tried to put in at least 8 hours a day actually studying, and I tried to work out at the end of every day. I really benefited from having a schedule like this; for me working out is very relaxing so I really looked forward to it at the end of each day. Also, and I think this is key, I probably spent more time on going over my answers, right or wrong, compared to anything else. This really helped me.

Despite a lot of personal obligations and taking a little less time than recommended to study, I passed. The exam I took had a very low pass rate (in the 30% range), and I saw the rates before I got my results so I was not feeling very confident.

My overall recommendations to those taking it again:

- Pick a daily schedule and try to stick to it but plan to do something you like at the end of each day. I tried to make the last thing I did every day be an MBE problem set and then the first thing I'd do in the morning would be to review the answers, 1 by 1, for an hour or so.
- Spend a lot of time reviewing right and wrong answers
- Focus on putting your essays in a good, lawyerly format (e.g. IRAC)
- If you get an essay topic on the exam you don't know, skip it till the end, and then try to, to the extent you can, tick through as many rules or portions of rules as you can.
- If you enjoyed a particular topic in law school, for me Con. Law and Crim Pro., max out on studying those, especially if they are MBE and state topics that are the same or nearly the same. This way, studying will not seem so bad and hopefully you can really max out your points on those topics.
- Generally try to treat the studying as a job especially if you are not working. e.g. get up early, work until lunch, work after lunch for several more hours, quit around 7 and then do something other than study. If you are working, dedicate the hours between 6-10pm after work to studying and study all day one weekend day, and start a bit earlier than 2 months away if you can. Save stuff that you like for when you think you'll be tired.
- Know that you are going to get frustrated and feel like you'll fail. Just move forward from it. Just keep going on.
- Save some time at the end to do straight memorization.
- Consider Themis- I really recommend Themis, I liked the way the lectures were short and followed by some multiple choice questions. E.g. each topic is broken into chapters of about 20 minutes or less each and after each chapter you have 5 mc questions.

dreamofNYC

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Re: 2018 February North Carolina Bar

Postby dreamofNYC » Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:40 pm

Thank you so much DurhamNC2017 for sharing your very helpful insights!

I would like to share a dilemma and insight regarding "when do you think you know enough to pass?"

For example, let's take CivPro. I thought I knew Civ Pro, but then as I went back to review CivPro I realized that there was so much that I didn't understand about CivPro. Only after going over and over several times did I started to really understand CivPro. And then the insight: oh if I didn't understand the rules on Jury Instructions and on Directed Verdict, then maybe I really didn't understand Evidence either, which made me go back to Evidence. And I also wondered, if I thought I knew Federal Question Jurisdiction maybe I didn't really understand Judicial Review in Con Law.

Sounds like a familiar process?

dreamofNYC

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Re: 2018 February North Carolina Bar

Postby dreamofNYC » Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:44 pm

- Spend a lot of time reviewing right and wrong answers --> AGREED

- If you enjoyed a particular topic in law school, for me Con. Law and Crim Pro., max out on studying those, especially if they are MBE and state topics that are the same or nearly the same. This way, studying will not seem so bad and hopefully you can really max out your points on those topics. --> I found that spending a lot of time on subjects I didn't enjoy was most rewarding in terms of gaining confidence and scoring points.

- Know that you are going to get frustrated and feel like you'll fail. Just move forward from it. Just keep going on. --> ABSOLUTELY TRUE; KEEP GOING; DO NOT GIVE UP; IN THE END IT WILL ALL CLICK!

- Save some time at the end to do straight memorization. --> i find that really understanding the material helps with memorization. I agree that memorization should be done at the end, but memorization at the beginning without a good grasp of the material can be time wasting and inefficient.

- Consider Themis- I really recommend Themis, I liked the way the lectures were short and followed by some multiple choice questions. E.g. each topic is broken into chapters of about 20 minutes or less each and after each chapter you have 5 mc questions.[/quote] --> I chose Themis and really like them (i.e., I do not regret not signing up for Barbri).

nbaall

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Re: 2018 February North Carolina Bar

Postby nbaall » Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:26 am

I found NC state-specific essay really cost inefficient - more than 40 pages of rules per subject, Knowingly only one topic will be tested in the essay... how do you guys memorize these?

dreamofNYC

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Re: 2018 February North Carolina Bar

Postby dreamofNYC » Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:59 am

[quote="nbaall"]I found NC state-specific essay really cost inefficient - more than 40 pages of rules per subject, /quote]

I agree! And the rules are written in such confusing and convoluted ways!

What I found worked for me was first trying to understand/knowing the structure of the MBE material first and only then try to integrate the NC distinctions only...

Anony1234

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Re: 2018 February North Carolina Bar

Postby Anony1234 » Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:19 pm

dreamofNYC wrote:
nbaall wrote:I found NC state-specific essay really cost inefficient - more than 40 pages of rules per subject, /quote]

I agree! And the rules are written in such confusing and convoluted ways!

What I found worked for me was first trying to understand/knowing the structure of the MBE material first and only then try to integrate the NC distinctions only...


I thought Barbri’s mini review outlines for state-specific subjects were very helpful on the July 2017 exam. Two of the essays (family law and secured transactions) required a simple recitation of the rule that Barbri gave then applying them to a basic fact pattern. A few of the others (i.e. agency) were only slightly more nuanced applications of the rule that Barbri gave.

I would highly recommend going through each of Barbri’s essays in the last few days as you’re trying to memorize everything. I just outlined the majority of the answers but reading through them also simplified the state-specific subjects into smaller buckets that were easier to digest.

dreamofNYC

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Re: 2018 February North Carolina Bar

Postby dreamofNYC » Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:45 am

How is everyone feeling? I'm exhausted, anxious, and hoping for the best. How should one feel about taking the exam? Is this feeling of anxiety normal?

DurhamNC2017

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Re: 2018 February North Carolina Bar

Postby DurhamNC2017 » Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:51 am

dreamofNYC wrote:How is everyone feeling? I'm exhausted, anxious, and hoping for the best. How should one feel about taking the exam? Is this feeling of anxiety normal?


I don't think many people walk out of the exam thinking that it was easy and they surely passed; no one I spoke with who has taken the NC exam has expressed sentiments like this to me. I did not pass the first time (missing by 1 pt) and felt very unsure about the first exam after taking it. I felt a little better after the second, like I did as well as I could do, and I passed. But after the second, i definitely did not feel confident at all and convinced myself that I failed again.

But, bottom line is: Its very normal to feel very anxious and even that you did not pass. NC is one of the hardest exams in the country in terms of cut score, percentage passing, and just on the basis of not being UBE (that will change soon); so you've just been through a difficult experience.

Congrats on being done, try to do something enjoyable over the next few days and be thankful that the wait in NC is not long at all compared to other states!

deliriousxix

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Re: 2018 February North Carolina Bar

Postby deliriousxix » Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:01 pm

dreamofNYC wrote:How is everyone feeling? I'm exhausted, anxious, and hoping for the best. How should one feel about taking the exam? Is this feeling of anxiety normal?


I feel this way too. Waking up in the middle of the night remembering things I should have wrote about on the essays. It’s the worst! But I took and passed a bar before and felt the same way, so it’s normal and definitely doesn’t mean you failed! I felt anxious for a week after and then it went away until a week before I got my scores. Just keep busy!

dreamofNYC

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Re: 2018 February North Carolina Bar

Postby dreamofNYC » Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:00 pm

DurhamNC2017 wrote:
I don't think many people walk out of the exam thinking that it was easy and they surely passed; no one I spoke with who has taken the NC exam has expressed sentiments like this to me. I did not pass the first time (missing by 1 pt) and felt very unsure about the first exam after taking it. I felt a little better after the second, like I did as well as I could do, and I passed. But after the second, i definitely did not feel confident at all and convinced myself that I failed again.

But, bottom line is: Its very normal to feel very anxious and even that you did not pass. NC is one of the hardest exams in the country in terms of cut score, percentage passing, and just on the basis of not being UBE (that will change soon); so you've just been through a difficult experience.

Congrats on being done, try to do something enjoyable over the next few days and be thankful that the wait in NC is not long at all compared to other states!


Thank you so much for responding, DurhamNC2017! What's scary is that you can be so close to passing and yet miss by one point?? Anyway, I put together a best-case and worst-case scenario analysis based on how NC scores the essays and the MBEs, including the curves, and it looks like you can get a big boost by getting at least a 140 on the MBE. I thought putting everything down on paper and thinking conservatively how I have done on the essays and on the MBE helped me rest easy for the remainder of the score-waiting period.

Thank you again so much for your kind answer and for taking the time to write.

dreamofNYC

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Re: 2018 February North Carolina Bar

Postby dreamofNYC » Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:01 pm

deliriousxix wrote:
I feel this way too. Waking up in the middle of the night remembering things I should have wrote about on the essays. It’s the worst! But I took and passed a bar before and felt the same way, so it’s normal and definitely doesn’t mean you failed! I felt anxious for a week after and then it went away until a week before I got my scores. Just keep busy!


Likewise! I absolutely feel the same way. Thank you for your encouragement and for taking the time to respond!

DurhamNC2017

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Re: 2018 February North Carolina Bar

Postby DurhamNC2017 » Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:52 am

dreamofNYC wrote:
DurhamNC2017 wrote:
I don't think many people walk out of the exam thinking that it was easy and they surely passed; no one I spoke with who has taken the NC exam has expressed sentiments like this to me. I did not pass the first time (missing by 1 pt) and felt very unsure about the first exam after taking it. I felt a little better after the second, like I did as well as I could do, and I passed. But after the second, i definitely did not feel confident at all and convinced myself that I failed again.

But, bottom line is: Its very normal to feel very anxious and even that you did not pass. NC is one of the hardest exams in the country in terms of cut score, percentage passing, and just on the basis of not being UBE (that will change soon); so you've just been through a difficult experience.

Congrats on being done, try to do something enjoyable over the next few days and be thankful that the wait in NC is not long at all compared to other states!


Thank you so much for responding, DurhamNC2017! What's scary is that you can be so close to passing and yet miss by one point?? Anyway, I put together a best-case and worst-case scenario analysis based on how NC scores the essays and the MBEs, including the curves, and it looks like you can get a big boost by getting at least a 140 on the MBE. I thought putting everything down on paper and thinking conservatively how I have done on the essays and on the MBE helped me rest easy for the remainder of the score-waiting period.

Thank you again so much for your kind answer and for taking the time to write.


You are very welcome. I wish that someone had given me a some perspective after I took the exam and since I took it once and did not pass and then another time and passed, I am happy to pass on whatever wisdom I have.

For what its worth, I created an excel sheet after the second exam with best and worst case scenarios, including curves, etc. etc. Since you don't get you scores back if you pass, its hard to say if I was right. I did something similar the first time and my estimates of the essays were fairly close, although I did generally better than I thought I would. The first exam I took was the first one administered with the new higher cut score, so it was frustrating and encouraging at the same time to know that under any previous administration, I would have passed given I missed by only one point.

Anyway, I hope/assume that you and others on here will pass and at that time I can post some thoughts on the next steps. But until then, fingers crossed, enjoy not studying, and try not to re-hash everything so much.

dreamofNYC

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Re: 2018 February North Carolina Bar

Postby dreamofNYC » Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:30 am

Is there any way to figure out the MBE score before the official pass/fail scores are released? I’m thinking knowing you got a 160 on the MBE should be enough for a pass unless you really bombed the essay portion?

dreamofNYC

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Re: 2018 February North Carolina Bar

Postby dreamofNYC » Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:49 am

Is there any way to figure out the MBE score before the official pass/fail scores are released? I’m thinking knowing you got a 160 on the MBE should be enough for a pass unless you really bombed the essay portion?

dreamofNYC

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Re: 2018 February North Carolina Bar

Postby dreamofNYC » Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:51 pm

One more week to go until we get our results! How is everyone feeling?

DCVA999

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Re: 2018 February North Carolina Bar

Postby DCVA999 » Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:58 pm

Good luck to all who took the NC bar last month. I was just reminiscing with a co-worker about the best thing about it being the quick turnaround (the least-best, taking it in a barn lol).

dreamofNYC

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Re: 2018 February North Carolina Bar

Postby dreamofNYC » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:21 pm

Has anyone gotten their results yet? According to this forum, some people received their results: http://all4jds.com/forums/aft/25844

deliriousxix

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Re: 2018 February North Carolina Bar

Postby deliriousxix » Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:52 am

dreamofNYC wrote:Has anyone gotten their results yet? According to this forum, some people received their results: http://all4jds.com/forums/aft/25844


don’t pay attention. those are trolls. the office has said they are not mailing results this week.

JMD.USMC

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Re: 2018 February North Carolina Bar

Postby JMD.USMC » Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:00 pm

dreamofNYC wrote:Has anyone gotten their results yet? According to this forum, some people received their results: http://all4jds.com/forums/aft/25844



Just got my results today.

Didn't pass.

I'm not sure if I want to sit for it again this summer, or wait till next Feb and try the new UBE.

game6

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Re: 2018 February North Carolina Bar

Postby game6 » Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:51 pm

Passed here in Charlotte.

If it's at all helpful to future exam takers: I took Kaplan, did a boatload of MBE questions and was scoring very well on the practice MBE exams. As for essays, I did approximately 90-95 practice essays. Practice makes perfect. Good luck.

dreamofNYC

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Re: 2018 February North Carolina Bar

Postby dreamofNYC » Thu Apr 05, 2018 10:32 am

Passed but have to go through Character and Fitness review... :(

DurhamNC2017

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Re: 2018 February North Carolina Bar

Postby DurhamNC2017 » Thu Apr 05, 2018 12:10 pm

Congrats to all those receiving passing letters! For those who are not getting the news that they hoped for, I know how it feels and there is nothing I can really say that will help but I can say that life is not over and I failed my first time and then passed and I'm practicing now and life is going well.

Here is my experience/some advice regarding next steps for those who passed;

I passed in Feb. 2017 and when i got my passing letter it stated that the board does not typically finish review of the overall application until four weeks after the results are released (or something like that). I got my formal license and letter to bring to the swearing in ceremony in lieu of the formal license about 3 weeks later.

In terms of the timing of the swearing in, there are mass swearing in ceremonies or you can find a lawyer who is the member of the bar in a particular county/local bar association and ask that person to arrange a swearing in separately. They didn't offer a mass swearing in for my local area following the February exam, so I did the individual swearing in and it was very nice. If you can do that, I think its a better experience (although I don't know if the courts will offer it this time of year given that there are mass ceremonies). However, if you don't do a mass ceremony, note that you'll need to get sworn in to the federal courts separately; the mass ceremonies, per my understanding, involve swearing in for state and federal purposes.

dreamofNYC

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Re: 2018 February North Carolina Bar

Postby dreamofNYC » Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:09 pm

Can anyone weigh in on the timeline for a Character and Fitness hearing? I have some credit card/consumer debt issues (in months leading up to the exam).

dreamofNYC

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Re: 2018 February North Carolina Bar

Postby dreamofNYC » Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:49 pm

I highly recommend future takers of the North Carolina Bar to sign up for USPS' Informed Delivery service to electronically track delivery of their USPS mail.



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