UBE Bar Exam Tutor - AMA

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UBETutoring
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UBE Bar Exam Tutor - AMA

Postby UBETutoring » Fri Jun 23, 2017 12:18 pm

Hi, I am a bar exam tutor. This is the third test cycle I've tutored, but have gone more intensely at it - >20 students. I mostly tutor for a very large bar prep company, but also have a few students from small boutiques. I'd like to start tutoring on my own as well to provide a more affordable service.

With the test coming up, I'm happy to answer any review questions.

A few ground rules and comments at the start:

1.) I won't name any employer(s).
2.) No, I am not bound by an exclusivity agreement.
3.) Make sure your substantive questions are about law, not specific questions as a copyright also extends over derivative works (which would likely include discussions about the content that the underlying copyright governs).

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pancakes3
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Re: UBE Bar Exam Tutor - AMA

Postby pancakes3 » Fri Jun 23, 2017 3:54 pm

what's the best way to approach MBE subjects?

a) binge BLL (via lectures, outlines, notecards)
b) go HAM on practice problems
c) other?

i'm leaning towards (b) bc there are but so many things they can test you on and if you've done a couple hundred questions, you're bound to have "seen it all."

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UBETutoring
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Re: UBE Bar Exam Tutor - AMA

Postby UBETutoring » Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:19 pm

pancakes3 wrote:what's the best way to approach MBE subjects?

a) binge BLL (via lectures, outlines, notecards)
b) go HAM on practice problems
c) other?

i'm leaning towards (b) bc there are but so many things they can test you on and if you've done a couple hundred questions, you're bound to have "seen it all."

Thanks for your question!

I'd actually:

1.) First read written outlines and have a solid grasp of the law generally, and then
2.) Use the practice problems to identify and fill in your weak spots.

Think of it like building a house. You first build a solid foundation, and then you fill it in brick by brick. MBE problems are your bricks.

If you just go HAM on practice problems without first having a solid grasp of the law, it could be overwhelming because those answers turn on a specific exception or one fact. A lot of people who do this wind up applying incorrect doctrine on a subsequent question.

For example, it doesn't make sense to do a question on the Rule Against Perpetuities that turns on the charitable exception doctrine without first understanding what RAP is and why it is exists. Also, on grading essays, the most common mistake I see is people focus so much on exceptions to exceptions that they miss all the free and easy points from just going through the law broadly.

Point in case, The basic "there must be an offer, acceptance and consideration for a legally binding contract to be in place" statement will 100% be something you will get points for on test day. Further, understanding the basics helps you understand the complex.

So this is a long way of saying, don't just HAM on the MBE questions. First, get your foundation down and then use the practice q's to practice and fill in the deets.

Lectures are very helpful but neither sufficient nor necessary. Companies focus on the lectures to hide the fact you're passing because of their written materials, which though invaluable, aren't things people shell out five grand for. Start by listening to a lecture and/or reading a larger outline, and then move onto MBE questions. You don't want to spend weeks memorizing the outline first - just make sure you understand the big picture!

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Yugihoe
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Re: UBE Bar Exam Tutor - AMA

Postby Yugihoe » Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:19 pm

tag

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UBETutoring
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Re: UBE Bar Exam Tutor - AMA

Postby UBETutoring » Thu Jun 29, 2017 8:04 pm

Bump!

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UBETutoring
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Re: UBE Bar Exam Tutor - AMA

Postby UBETutoring » Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:52 pm

bump

SowhatsNU
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Re: UBE Bar Exam Tutor - AMA

Postby SowhatsNU » Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:33 pm

How much time would you suggest allocating to MEE topics that aren't on the MBE (wills, trusts, family law, secured tranx, etc.) as opposed to working on MBE topics that might appear on both essays and multiple choice?

TIA!

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UBETutoring
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Re: UBE Bar Exam Tutor - AMA

Postby UBETutoring » Sun Jul 09, 2017 6:30 pm

SowhatsNU wrote:How much time would you suggest allocating to MEE topics that aren't on the MBE (wills, trusts, family law, secured tranx, etc.) as opposed to working on MBE topics that might appear on both essays and multiple choice?

TIA!

I'd go about 85-15%.

It's not only that the other areas aren't on the MBE. It's also that if you're combining topics, more often than not you're focusing on those MBE topics.

Think about it from the BOA's perspective:

Sarah: Nelson, scribble something up an essay that tests contracts, secure transactions and wills.
Nelson: Bittity boppity.

Now if you're Nelson, how will you write this problem? You'll focus it around the contract so it winds up probably being more important than the other 2 subjects anyway. Now with evidence that's not the case but topics like Property, Contracts, Torts, Con Law and Crim are more often than not where you'll start on the essay.

The proportion assumes you're way behind. If you're up to speed, and in passing territory on the MBE topics then you'll probably get more value acquiring similar knowledge on the other topics. As a general matter, it's easy to go from having no substantive knowledge to having passable knowledge than going from having passable knowledge to top 5-10% knowledge.

If you're in passing territory on the MBE topics and haven't started the other topics, I'd go 50-50.
If you're almost in passing territory and have some knowledge, I'd go 75-25.

Hope this helps. The basic theme is it's very unlikely you'll fail because you don't know sec reg, but the more topics you're at least okay with, the safer you are. For example, if you just don't get property (which is pretty common), you can easily still pass, but if you combine that with shakiness on the smaller subjects, you may be in trouble.

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Yugihoe
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Re: UBE Bar Exam Tutor - AMA

Postby Yugihoe » Sun Jul 09, 2017 8:08 pm

Hey so 2 weeks out from the test now, and I have a question for you.

I'm doing pretty well on the MBE multiple choice questions. Got a 124/200 on the midterm (Kaplan) and probably going to get around a 140 for the final (haven't taken it yet). I've been doing about a 100 qbank questions a day, and doing ok (70% correct).

So the problem is I haven't done any essays yet. What should be my plan for the next two weeks? Though I'm good at issue spotting for multiple choice, I don't think I can actually come up with the black letter law if I had to write about it.

I was thinking I should review a MBE topic each day thoroughly (as in read the 10-15 pages quick sheet outline thing for the subject) and then write like 2-3 essays on that topic? So in a week I can do all 7 MBE topics. Then use the following week to do the remaining MEE topics? Is there a heirarchy of which ones are most important?

I've watched the lecture videos for all of the MEE topics (except conflict of law and secured transactions).

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UBETutoring
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Re: UBE Bar Exam Tutor - AMA

Postby UBETutoring » Sun Jul 09, 2017 9:34 pm

Yugihoe wrote:Hey so 2 weeks out from the test now, and I have a question for you.

I'm doing pretty well on the MBE multiple choice questions. Got a 124/200 on the midterm (Kaplan) and probably going to get around a 140 for the final (haven't taken it yet). I've been doing about a 100 qbank questions a day, and doing ok (70% correct).

So the problem is I haven't done any essays yet. What should be my plan for the next two weeks? Though I'm good at issue spotting for multiple choice, I don't think I can actually come up with the black letter law if I had to write about it.

I was thinking I should review a MBE topic each day thoroughly (as in read the 10-15 pages quick sheet outline thing for the subject) and then write like 2-3 essays on that topic? So in a week I can do all 7 MBE topics. Then use the following week to do the remaining MEE topics? Is there a heirarchy of which ones are most important?

I've watched the lecture videos for all of the MEE topics (except conflict of law and secured transactions).
'
Re: Your Plan

In your situation, it makes sense to flip that order around a bit.

The logic is that you're already in fairly good shape on the MBE, and will be sharpening and memorizing. With the MEE topics, you're probably still learning the law for the first time. MEE topics tend to be about 1/2 the size so I would just do 1/2 of each MBE topic and 1/2 of 1 MEE topic per day.

The issue with your plan is at this point you want to be memorizing while learning (not verbatim, but enough to B+ a closed book law school test). You risk knowing the MBE subjects better 10 days out than 3 out, which is the opposite of what you want.

You also absorb things you memorize right away, and lose them gradually thereafter. Learning substantive material works the opposite way - so if you're reviewing MEE material now, you will probably actually understand it better in 3 days after your brain's had time to process and store it.

Re: What MEE is most important

It depends what your gambling preference is. If you like blackjack, conflict of laws is probably the most important because it will definitely show up but won't pay a ton on the return. It's super easy to throw into any question, but because most of the points are in analyzing the right issues, not reaching the right conclusion, you're only going to get a few points for it.

If you prefer the slot machines, it's one of the other topics because they could wind up being the entire basis of an essay. Wills and trusts show up a lot - I'd actually study it the same day you review contracts, and think about it as just a type of contract. I think secured transactions will probably show up too, because it's relatively new and they've been moving to trying to test things more practicable to young lawyers and in today's day and age, clients aren't necessarily using lawyers for their wills but are always using them for sec-reg. This is just a guess. Sec reg is also kind of a pain so best to attack it head on. Family law is really easy and probably something you don't need a full day for.

If you get an essay on that topic you're weakest on, the trick is to skip it and not think about it until after you do the other ones. This will both allow you to develop the confidence to BS (which depending on your analytical and BS abilities can still get you a close to passing score), and also preclude the possibility of a meltdown - very unlikely you'll pass/fail because of a single essay and it's unlikely they'll test a non-choice of lawMEE topic twice.

Hope this helps! If not, I deflect all responsibility onto Donald Trump.

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UBETutoring
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Re: UBE Bar Exam Tutor - AMA

Postby UBETutoring » Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:29 pm

Shameless plug:

Essay reviewing is available upon request.

How it works:

1.) You e-mail me a bar essay you've completed.
2.) it must be an essay that I have access to.
3.) You get detailed feedback on your essay of a minimum of 200 words- no 50/80 "use headings" five word reviews.

The first essay is FREE until this post is edited, subsequent essays are $30. PM for details. If taking advantage of the free system, I'd prefer but don't require you post objective feedback of your experience and my skill level. Thank you.

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UBETutoring
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Re: UBE Bar Exam Tutor - AMA

Postby UBETutoring » Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:30 pm

Free submission ends at 11:59 PM. Thereafter, essays are $30 for one, $100 for 4. I'd appreciate it if anyone who took advantage of the free essay could post an honest review of their experience.

godfavorny
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Re: UBE Bar Exam Tutor - AMA

Postby godfavorny » Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:32 pm

I have a question. Everyone says to use the real MBE questions but the ones I find have warnings telling you not to use them. One book says: The 581 questions contained in this document appeared on MBEs administered between 1972 and 1991. Because of their dated nature, many of the questions may test principles that have been altered by changes in the law and thus are no longer suitable topics to be tested. As a result, some of the answers shown in the answer key may be incorrect under currently accepted principles of law. Further, many of these questions do not reflect the current style of MBE questions, and a number of the questions appear in formats that are no longer used on the MBE.
The questions and answers in this document are provided only for the purpose of providing applicants with a sample of the range and general format of questions that appeared on previously administered MBEs, not as examples of the content currently tested or of the material to be studied for the substance of the examination. Many of these questions are currently in use, sometimes with alteration, by commercial bar review courses under a licensing arrangement with NCBE. Because these questions are available in the marketplace, NCBE is choosing to make them available online.
DO NOT USE THESE QUESTIONS TO STUDY CONTENT FOR THE MULTISTATE BAR EXAMINATION!

So is it worth doing these questions or should I ignore them?

godfavorny
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Re: UBE Bar Exam Tutor - AMA

Postby godfavorny » Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:32 pm

By the way, this is the book in question:
https://donbushell.com/lawaudio/pdf/MBE ... 061411.pdf

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UBETutoring
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Re: UBE Bar Exam Tutor - AMA

Postby UBETutoring » Sun Jul 23, 2017 2:54 pm

That's probably more of a disclaimer than anything else, because most of the laws the bar tests don't change very often. Personal jurisdiction and the elements of murder haven't changed since 1992, but interpretations of the Constitution have and a number of laws that were once emerging doctrine are now established law.

The major companies do a good job modeling their answers after real exam questions, and you should trust a company like Barbri, Themis or whoever knows what it's doing. They've obviously determined it's more cost effective to make their own MBE questions, and wouldn't have made this determination if it significantly affected pass rates.

I'm sure your book will help more than it will hurt overall assuming the alternative is not doing questions, but my general advice would be that using 25-45 year old questions is a much bigger impairment than anything you'd lose just doing Barbri/Themis/Kaplan questions.

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de minimis
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Re: UBE Bar Exam Tutor - AMA

Postby de minimis » Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:31 pm

I wanted to give an update. I had UBETutoring review some bar essays for me. He pointed out some critical mistakes I was making in how I approached the MPT and pointed out some additional flaws in my approach to the MEE. These tips proved helpful on exam day and definitely helped me from making the same critical mistakes on the actual UBE. He was fast and detailed in is feedback. Highly recommend having at least a few essays reviewed. The feedback is actually useful (unlike what I got from Barbri).

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UBETutoring
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Re: UBE Bar Exam Tutor - AMA

Postby UBETutoring » Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:24 pm

de minimis wrote:I wanted to give an update. I had UBETutoring review some bar essays for me. He pointed out some critical mistakes I was making in how I approached the MPT and pointed out some additional flaws in my approach to the MEE. These tips proved helpful on exam day and definitely helped me from making the same critical mistakes on the actual UBE. He was fast and detailed in is feedback. Highly recommend having at least a few essays reviewed. The feedback is actually useful (unlike what I got from Barbri).

Thanks! I actually teach essay writing for Barbri, and a number of other companies (as opposed to essay grading). Essay graders at all the large companies are paid per essay (approximately $3-6) depending on the company so it's not really possible for the graders to give high quality feedback, which is where I come in.

I know Barbri, Themis and Kaplan's systems, but use the model answers released from the state to develop a grading checklist so generally have a more detailed rubric. Depending on how far in advance I work with someone, I may advocate a different approach (I even did this when working with Barbri students).

I disagree with the "throw out what you did in law school" approach. If you did well on law school exams, there's no reason to do a 180 on the bar. It's just more of a getting to maybe versus a getting to yes/no approach. In addition, sometimes the 10-20 outline-writing split is dumbing down people's scores so I'm all about helping people come up with their own system.

The above poster and other person I tutored were both really intelligent, and in general the Barbri sample may be skewed because a large %age of the students are big law bound. These test takers did well at top law schools, and aren't necessarily indicative of the average bar taker. The real test of my ability will be working with retakers (and I've only worked with 1 so far and she just took the July test).

B/w now and the results, I welcome anyone to post and also welcome other independent bar tutors/essay graders with an interest in tutoring to comment and PM me. I'd love to be able to offer in person services for February.


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