Best MEE Practice Book

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Best MEE Practice Book

Post by michael_bcls2018 » Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:29 pm

Hi guys,
I'm wondering if anyone can make some recommendations on what book(s) are best for MEE practice. (I.e. sample essays and model answers)

I'm retaking the UBE in February 2020 and want to start getting things together now. I used Barbri materials in the past and found their MEE book decent, but now that I'm doing things a bit more ad-hoc, are there MEE books from other companies you find superior? I appreciate the recommendations!


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Re: Best MEE Practice Book

Post by SilvermanBarPrep » Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:23 pm

No doubt about it, the released NCBE essays on its website. Only problem is that their answers are unrealistically perfect and so it's tough to learn from the model answers. But you really want to be working through the official material as much as possible.

Sean (Silverman Bar Exam Tutoring)


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Re: Best MEE Practice Book

Post by JoeSeperac » Sat Sep 07, 2019 11:16 am

Long post coming. I’ve always been fascinated with the statistical aspects of the bar exam. When I sat for the exam in 2005, I noticed patterns with the essays and I’ve been examining the exam ever since. One thing I do is analyze examinee essays/MPTs in an excel spreadsheet. I call it the Essay/MPT Analysis. Through this analysis, I generate a 40+ page report where I identify statistics about an examinee’s essays by comparing them to other examinees and to the best answers. I have done this for almost 700 examinees to date (see if you are interested). I find that lower-scoring examinees fail to issue spot and/or use the appropriate legal terminology (i.e. “buzz-words”). It’s likely the graders do not spend a lot of time reviewing an essay (or some form of automated grading may be at play), so the failure to signal to the grader that you understand the topic(s) at play will simply hurt your essay score.

For example, at a March 2011 bar exam workshop at New York Law School, Bryan R. Williams, the chairman of the NYBOLE said: "Everybody is grading all the same way so that it is fair to everyone. So if someone in theory grades harder or easier than someone else, everyone is given points for the exact same issue spotting and whatever it is that we determine gets points in a certain way." What Mr. Williams is implying is that while a hard grader may give a poor score to certain non-issue spotting components (e.g. analysis), the graders attempt to be consistent score-wise through the identification of essay issues. Therefore, the issue spotting portion component should be the one least prone to grading unreliability.

The November 2008 issue of the Bar Examiner stated that essay questions were weak assessment tools: (1) in part because of the inherent limits on sampling; and (2) it is likely impossible to even get score agreement between raters. The process of grading essays is just too complex - one rater may be angered by illegible writing, another by deficient grammar or spelling, another by poor sentence structure, and a fourth by poor arguments and inadequate knowledge. According to the article, the reliability of the MBE scaled score is 0.90. NCBE found that for the essays to have a reliability of 0.90, they needed to be 16 hours long with 32 different essay questions. Thus, you can’t expect reliability in your essay scores when all you answer are 6 essays.

That said, in my opinion, the safest way to ensure success on the MEE is to accurately issue spot. MEE issue spotting involves identifying the relevant issue and using the correct terminology to demonstrate that you identified the issue. While a grader can subjectively downgrade an essay based on format, rule statements and analysis, if the issues are properly addressed, it is very difficult for a grader to discount this. For example, following is the highest scoring essay (score of 65) that I received for MEE Essay #2 (Secured Transactions) on the February 2019 UBE. As you can tell, there is nothing special about it except that is correctly spotted most of the issues.

1. Company's claim against Bank
When debtor default the loan, the creditor is entitled to reposess without breaching the peace and foreclose the collateral. Before the foreclosure, the creditor should give advance notice to the debtor. If creditor did not give the notice, he is not entitled to any deficiency and debtor is entitled to the damage claim to the Bank.
Here, the company is entitled to claim of damage because bank did not give an advance notice to the company. The company may be entitled to the actaul value of the gramophone against the bank.

2. Bank v. Judgment creditor
When there is a value, contract, and the right of the collateral, there is an attachment. The perfection is made when the creditor filed a financing statment in the office, with the name of debtor and the collateral.
Here, The bank properly filed a financign statement in the filing office but listing only "all personal property." It may include the inventory or equipment of the company but it is not clarified in this filing. However, the bank took possession of one of the most valuable items. When the creditor took a possesision of the collateral, the perfection can be made for that collateral. Therefore, since bank have a possesion earlier than the judicial lien, bank has a superior claim to the gramophone to the judgment creditor.

3. Bank's security interest in any personal property
The bank may not have an enforceable security interest in any personal property of the company other than the gramophone becuae it was wrongfully filed. The bank did not list the specifial collateral (i.e. inventory, equipment..) but listed only all personal property. Also, because bank did not give a proper notice to the company before the sale to collector, he is not entitled to any deficiency claim to the company. Thus, the bank does not have an enforceable security interest in any personal property.

Since the graders are referring to a point-sheet, I believe issue-spotting is paramount on the MEE (which is why I made an MEE Issue Spotting Practice outline which is available on my UBE Essays subscription site). Because an MEE question must be answered in 30 minutes, there is less time for an examinee to write a thoughtful analysis that might sway the grader. Instead, the MEE is seemingly designed as a hit-and-run exam where examinees must hit each issue and then simply run to the next one. In such circumstances, if what you say is not on the grader’s checklist, you are not likely to earn points for it. For example, following is a J16 MEE essay that received an above-passing score by merely spotting the issues and writing the rules with some short analysis and correct conclusions.

1 The issue is what type of the LLC was created.
The general rule is that LLC was created as member-manages unless the intent expressly states the establishment of manager-managed LLC. Here, neither the certificate of organization nor the member's operating agreement specifies the typs of LLC. Thus the the member-managed LLC was created.

2 The issue is wheter the LLC is bound under the tire contract.
The general rule is that the patner of the LLC has authority to make contract in the ordinaly course of business. Here, the main porpose of the LLC is to run a bike shop. So the brother has a authority to make a tire contract as this LLC's partner. Thus, the LLC was bound under the tire contract.

3 The issue is the LLC is bound by hte sale of the farmland.
The general rule is that the partner's authority is limited when the operating agreement or other document in the LLC clealy limit the scope of the partner's authority.
Here, the operating agreement provides that the LLC's farmland may not be sold without the approval of all three members. And actually the brother and the sister objected the sale. Thus the LLC is not bound by the sale of the falmland.

4 The issue is what is the legal effect of the brother'e email.
Generally, diassociation arises when the partner expressly shows his intent to leave the partnership.
Here, brother showed his clear intent in the email that he wants to leave the LLC. Its effect is disassociation. Some states allows that disaccociation invokes automatic termination of the LLC.

Comprehensively seeing how the MEE tests a subject will help you spot issues for that subject because you will have a complete picture of what has been tested in the past. This is why my outlines arrange the MEE questions by subject and sort then from newest to oldest (NCBE also does this now with their new MEE offerings). An examinee with very little study time should look at the first few questions from each MEE subject while an examinee who has a good bit of study time should look at atleast 5-10 questions from each MEE subject. Basically, the less you know about a subject, the further back you should review. For example, the examinee who scored the 65 on the above F19 Secured Transaction essay told me: “I did put my effort on reviewing past exams to the Secured Transaction. While I only reviewed past 10 years' exams in other subjects, I reviewed past 15 years' exam (2005-2018) on Secured Transactions so that I can cover almost all issues. I think the Feb 2019 questions of ST is similar with 2005's, so that would be the reason I earned the highest score on ST. I read the question for 10 minutes, 5 minutes for outlining and completed my answer on 15 minutes." If a subject is unfamiliar to you, reviewing all the past essays (e.g. through the comprehensive released NCBE answers or through my abbreviated Issue Spotting outline) will help you to understand all the different angles of how a topic can be tested which will better prepare you for that subject.

Sean is correct is stating that the NCBE answers are unrealistically perfect. Through one of my subscriptions (UBE Essays), I offer MEE/MPT Comparison Banks which are basically graded examinee answers compared to one another. For the more recent Comparison banks (starting in 2018), I now convert all scores to a 0 - 10 scale. A Score of 5 is exactly passing (i.e. this essay would contribute 13.3 UBE points to your total UBE score in a state where 266 is the passing score) whereas a Score of 10 is a perfect score (i.e. this essay would contribute the maximum of 20 UBE points to your total UBE score). For the MEE answers, each score integer represents two correct MBE questions. For example, if one examinee's MEE answer received a score of 7 and another examinee's MEE answer received a score of 4, the examinee with the MEE score of 4 would have needed to answer 6 more MBE questions correctly to end up with the same amount of total UBE points as the first examinee. Therefore, if you scored 3s on all six of your MEE answers and someone else scored all 5s, you would have needed to answer about 24 more MBE questions to end up with the same score.

This is quite honestly the best way to develop a very good understanding of what a “realistic” passing MEE answer requires. All you need to do is read an MEE question from one of the Comparisons, issue spot in your head, and then start looking at the high scoring answers for that essay in the Comparison Bank by comparing them. You will pick up a lot when you do this. Also look at high scoring answers to see what you can take from them in regards to analysis, layout, format, style, etc. Then look at exactly passing examinee answers and use them as a gauge to understand what the graders are seeing when deciding what is needed for passing. Then look at lower scoring answers to see what they missed. Put simply, the more you act as a grader yourself, the better you will understand the components of a good essay answer.

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