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THE KEY TO PASSING THE BAR EXAM THE FIRST TIME Bar Exam consists of –MPRE (ethics) offered 3x/year/Friday – Nov., March or Aug. –Two day exam – Feb. and.

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Presentation on theme: "THE KEY TO PASSING THE BAR EXAM THE FIRST TIME Bar Exam consists of –MPRE (ethics) offered 3x/year/Friday – Nov., March or Aug. –Two day exam – Feb. and."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE KEY TO PASSING THE BAR EXAM THE FIRST TIME Bar Exam consists of –MPRE (ethics) offered 3x/year/Friday – Nov., March or Aug. –Two day exam – Feb. and July Day one: –State essays -- Ill- 2 ILL Civ pro and one ILL equity –Missouri – 4 essays – Ad Law, Remedies, Mo civ Pro, Trusts, Family, Estates & MEE topics – Mo questions

2 THE KEY TO PASSING THE BAR EXAM THE FIRST TIME –MPT -- Multistate performance exam – lawyering tasks »Writing jury instructions, wills, memos, client letters, opening statements, etc. -- MEE -- National essays – Day Two: –200 multiple choice questions

3 THE KEY TO PASSING THE BAR EXAM THE FIRST TIME You must – –Apply for the bar in your jurisdiction Update 1L –Register for the bar exam for the time you want to take it –Register for the MPRE ACT – on line –Pay the applicable fees by the deadlines See the rules of your jurisdiction –Dont rely on BarBri for the dates and fees

4 THE KEY TO PASSING THE BAR EXAM THE FIRST TIME MEE- essays -- answer six of seven –Topics: Civil pro (tested 14)*Wills and estates (14) Family (14)Corporations (11) Sales (9)Commercial paper (14) Secured transaction (12)Conflicts (9)** Agency and partnership (12) Trust (12) and future interests (5) –Each state decides which six questions to use. *Between 1995-2001 ** often joined with another question –Questions are not labeled as to topic area

5 THE KEY TO PASSING THE BAR EXAM THE FIRST TIME HOW HAS SIU DONE RECENTLY? –Between 1976 and 1994, SIU exceeded the states pass rate for first time takers in all but 4 years –Most rates were 90%s -- 11 years –Or 80%s -- 8 years –Illinois pass rate was in the 80-90% range

6 THE KEY TO PASSING THE BAR EXAM THE FIRST TIME Some recent comparisons –In July, 1997 SIU -- 79%IL – 87% –In July, 1998 SIU -- 79IL -- 82 –In July, 1999 SIU -- 74IL -- 83 –In July, 2000 SIU -- 75IL -- 84 –In July, 2001 SIU -- 83IL -- 85 –In July 2002 SIU -- 83IL -- 82 –In July 2003 SIU -- 79IL -- 86 –In July 2004 SIU -- 83IL -- 86

7 THE KEY TO PASSING THE BAR EXAM THE FIRST TIME –In February, 1997 SIU -- 89%IL – 84% –In February, 1998 SIU -- 57IL -- 80 –In February, 1999 SIU -- 75IL -- 81 –In February, 2000 SIU -- 88IL -- 78 –In February, 2001 SIU -- 38IL -- 79 –In February, 2002 SIU -- 88IL -- 75 –In February, 2003 SIU -- 88 IL – 77 –IN February, 2004 SIU -- IL --

8 THE KEY TO PASSING THE BAR EXAM THE FIRST TIME Faculty have helped students who failed review their exams on five occasions. Some conclusions reached by the faculty were: –1. The exam is hard. –2. Our students (those who failed) did not know the material in sufficient depth. –3. Organization of answers was important – IRAC –4. Other Applying law to facts is critical On MPT, follow directions Those in the fourth quarter are at risk. Students must take preparation for the bar seriously.

9 THE KEY TO PASSING THE BAR EXAM THE FIRST TIME The most common mistakes we find – –Students do not state the issue. It may be obvious but state it. –Students do not state the law or if they do, they do it imprecisely. –Students fail to do factual analysis. This is the most common problem we see on the bar exams of students who failed. –Students do not state a conclusion or their conclusion is inconsistent with their analysis. –Answers are poorly organized.

10 THE KEY TO PASSING THE BAR EXAM THE FIRST TIME The most common problem we hear – –I did not do enough practice questions –I panicked/froze/could not sleep/had a panic attack –I worked/got sick/had to deal with family –I did not take a review course

11 THE KEY TO PASSING THE BAR EXAM THE FIRST TIME What has worked? –Menus – more bar classes (But taking every bar course will not help if you cannot reason like a lawyer (use IRAC) and write in an organized fashion) –Students taking bar exam more seriously –Bar exam workshops –Students improving the organization and analysis portion of their essay exams Students invested the time and money –This is not the time to save money.

12 THE KEY TO PASSING THE BAR EXAM THE FIRST TIME What can I do to ensure my success the first time? –Know the law very well Devote 8-10 hours a day to bar prep –Learn to use IRAC effectively Do factual analysis. –Write in an organized fashion, using IRAC –Live healthy lifestyle. Get some exercise and eat decently while studying. Model life style of exam 8-5

13 THE KEY TO PASSING THE BAR EXAM THE FIRST TIME By Now – –Select a bar review course. Consider MPBR – 6 day – along with BarBri –Know where you will live this winter. –Have a plan to finance the summer. DO NOT WORK. Do Not Work. Do not work. –Free up Jan. and Feb. from personal, social, financial, and family responsibilities.

14 THE KEY TO PASSING THE BAR EXAM THE FIRST TIME By now - –Have a hotel reserved for the bar exam. DO NOT WAIT FOR YOUR TICKET. SEE MAP IN 114. –Have a transportation plan worked out. You will want to avoid driving in Chicago.

15 THE KEY TO PASSING THE BAR EXAM THE FIRST TIME What happens if I fail –Take it the next time –We will still love you. Your family will still love you. –The sun will rise. –But there are consequences Lose a job Dont get a job Keep a job but at lower salary Incur costs of re-examination and need for study and no wages, again for the period of study

16 THE KEY TO PASSING THE BAR EXAM THE FIRST TIME –Where will it be given –Chicago – 5 sites – Water Tower –Check your state –When –Last Tuesday & Wednesday of Feb. IllinoisMissouri Tues. 8:15 – 12:157:30-12:15 1:30 – 5:151:30 – 4:45 Wed. 8:30 – 12:157:30 – 11:15 1:30 – 5:1512:15-3:30 *

17 THE KEY TO PASSING THE BAR EXAM THE FIRST TIME Bring – –#1 or 2 lead pencils & blue or black non- erasable ink pens, erasers, sharpener –Photo ID and blue seat voucher/letter –Sweater, jacket –Watch –Ear plugs –Medicine – pre-approved, properly packaged & labeled meds

18 THE KEY TO PASSING THE BAR EXAM THE FIRST TIME Do NOT bring – –Food, water, gum, candy Missouri – water is in room –Scrap paper, notes, books –Purse, bag, briefcase, back pack put in common area –Watches with alarms, pagers, computers, cell phones, PDAs, head phones, etc. –Hats (Missouri)

19 THE KEY TO PASSING THE BAR EXAM THE FIRST TIME –You may leave to use restroom Sign in and out –You may leave to eat or drink when signed out to restroom how to get to food/drink?? –You may not smoke except outside before or after or at lunch –You may not access purses, etc., except at lunch or afterwards

20 THE KEY TO PASSING THE BAR EXAM THE FIRST TIME If you need medicine – get pre-approval now If need accommodation – get pre-approval now

21 THE KEY TO PASSING THE BAR EXAM THE FIRST TIME No scrap paper Write on exam booklet Write only on 4 pages lined paper No typing Missouri – Computer Experiment

22 THE KEY TO PASSING THE BAR EXAM THE FIRST TIME Help? I am worried. I get at or just below the median and I cannot figure out what more I can do?????? –Lets figure out how to maximize the points on the essays and MPT – lets use what you know and make it count for the most points –Help on essay writing and on MPT.

23 THE KEY TO PASSING THE BAR EXAM THE FIRST TIME Now I am really worried. I am in the bottom quarter. (well, 25% of us have to be!) –You are at risk. –Follow this advice and improve your chances significantly. Be sure to take a bar review course. Do not work. Study the long outlines, not the short outlines. Listen to the tapes; take notes; be an active learner. Do practice exams. Do practice exams. Do practice exams. Take advantage of the workshops offered. Take PMBR. –6 DAY SEMINAR FOCUSED ON MULTIPLE CHOICE ONLY.

24 THE KEY TO PASSING THE BAR EXAM THE FIRST TIME Wow! I am relieved. I always do well on exams. Dont be too relieved! –Anyone can have a crisis during the summer that affects ability to prepare. –Anyone can have a bad day. –People in the upper half do fail. –Heed this advice. Do not get cocky. –This exam will be the worst two days of your life excluding personal family crisis, war, or the CPA exam.

25 THE KEY TO PASSING THE BAR EXAM THE FIRST TIME All this organization takes a lot of time. I got through law school without getting organized. NOW HEAR THIS: The bar examiners have about 2.5 minutes to read each answer. An answer that is easy to read and looks like others answers will get a quick passing score. The easier it is for the examiner to find your thinking, the more points you will receive. R.J. says organization is important on the bar.

26 THE KEY TO PASSING THE BAR EXAM THE FIRST TIME So, get on with it. –What are the secrets to maximizing points on the essay exams? Using IRAC, using IRAC, using IRAC!!!!! Writing in an organized fashion Doing factual analysis. Of course, knowing the law well helps. Being healthy. –Workshops Come, do, learn.

27 THE KEY TO PASSING THE BAR EXAM THE FIRST TIME But this will take a long time! You bet and you only have 30 minutes per question. –See the need for practice. –If you are a slow reader, you must do a lot of practice this summer. –If you are slow thinker, you must do a lot of practice this summer. –If you are a not-so-good thinker or writer, you must do a lot of practice this summer.

28 THE KEY TO PASSING THE BAR EXAM THE FIRST TIME Essay exams are worth up to five points. You will miss one or two questions. You can pass if you have some 4s and 5s to offset the 1s and 2s on one or two questions. But you will fail if you have 3s on questions you know and then miss one or two questions. An organized answer will go far toward getting those 4-5 points on areas where you do know the law. Many students who failed scored 3 points on questions they knew when they could have gotten 4- 5 if they had done factual analysis and had organized to produce a clear and concise answer.

29 THE KEY TO PASSING THE BAR EXAM THE FIRST TIME If you are taking the bar exam here, we will offer some additional workshops. We will also offer a one day, 6-hour essay exam which will be a mock of the first day of the bar exam. –Can you hand write for six hours? –Can you pace yourself and stay focused for six hours? If you are not here, what can we do to help?

30 THE KEY TO PASSING THE BAR EXAM THE FIRST TIME In conclusion, –The bar exam is hard. You must prepare and prepare well. –The School helps ensure that you learn most of the topics examined by required classes and menus. –The skills classes will be helpful on the MPT. –We offer workshops on writing exams. –We offer advice. –Now it is up to you.


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