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#Maine Bar Results Come Out Low

14 Apr

If you compare the February 2017 applicant list with the passing list, only 20/62 people passed Maine’s exam (32.2%). I don’t know how many people were no-shows, but that’s really low for Maine. Compare to last year’s 60%.

Maybe I’m missing something – I only compared the list of applicants with the number of numbers on the passing list.  Anyone have an explanation for this?

If you failed the bar. . .

7 Apr

For anyone interested, I thought I’d mention a couple things I’ve learned from experience.

1. Studying for the Bar
Granted, I studied for the bar a couple years ago. But still, I think the way I studied for it worked out pretty well, and might help some of you. First, I was working for a law firm at the time and packing up for my move to China, so I had WAY limited time to study. I started by watching all of the Barbri videos and making a detailed outline (like 56 pages for one class, no lie). Which got me a great outline, but I didn’t really learn anything. I’m actually part visual part kinesthetic learner, so just hearing someone talk about it does absolutely NOTHING for me. So I changed my approach about 6-7 weeks before the exam. I started with the legal SPARKCHARTS. They are awesome, amazing, and all things good. They contained all the basics of what I needed to know, a great foundation. So I spent about a week learning them by heart for all the subjects on the test – MBE or Essay (I think there were 2 that it didn’t include — UCC and Commercial Papers). Once I understood the basics, I followed up with Emanuel’s books. I started with the brief outline at the beginning, filling in the gaps in my foundation. Again I spent about 3 weeks making sure those were well memorized. I just went over them, and over them. For the next 2 weeks, I studied the more in-depth reviews. Adding the odd exceptions in here and there where I needed them. If I were you, I’d probably try to spend more than 4 weeks on exceptions if that’s where you get stuck a lot. I just didn’t have time. I spent about 2 days reviewing the Barbri outlines. By this point, I actually knew most of the stuff in those outlines, but there were a few things Emanuel and Sparcharts hadn’t covered, so I’m glad I did the review. Finally, the last few days before the exam, I just did questions. Questions from Emanuel, Questions from the Barbri books. I did questions over and over and over. When I took the exam, my essays were my lower score (UCC and Commercial Papers showed up, so that sucked). But I still passed!

2. I didn’t do any practice essays. Once I figured out the MPT it was a piece of cake. That was actually really easy for me. I didn’t have to know about the law – I just had to write a good essay. For that, I would read the question – write down all the laws. Then I would re-read the question and add all the facts under each law. Then I spent a little time (10 min. or so) writing an Introduction and Conclusion. Last I spent a little time making sure my law and facts actually formed complete sentences in a logical pattern. This gave me the intro, each law was a paragraph, and a conclusion. For the other essays, I figured I knew how to do a good essay. I always get top scores on essay writing in general, and as long as I knew the law I knew I could do the essay. This turned out to be true for me. I know a lot of people who aren’t as good at writing or who go blank on essays who need to write the essays. I’d say that’s up to your study style.

3. For Civil Procedure, I found that making an outline wasn’t helpful since I’m so visual / kinesthetic. So I took out giant poster-boards and used colored markers to make charts. I showed with different colors all the “If yes x” and “If no y” and made a map. It really helped me to see how things were connected and the flow of thought.

4. I’ve since become a law professor and found some other ways that helped me learn the law. The first is to make powerpoints for each subject. Pretend you are teaching students who cannot speak the language and have no background. Then create a powerpoint slide for each rule. It forces you to simply and make the connections more easily. Breaks everything down. Then allows you to re-organize the flow of the slides into something logical pattern that works for you. The second thing I find helpful is making up your own questions. Instead of just answering questions from other people, as you learn a rule and/or exception try creating your own multiple choice question on it with a fact pattern. You’ll find it’s more difficult, but it also gets you thinking how the Bar Testers think. I’ve found going back and reviewing the Barbri books and stuff that some of the questions I create for my students are basically the same as those they ask. But because I created it, I remember it better.

5. Don’t forget there are plenty of jobs you can do even without the bar exam. I know some people who fail it once, are quick to pass it the second time. But a lot of people struggle with test anxiety or other problems that keep them from getting over that hump. A lot of us simply cannot afford to keep taking it. Or maybe you figure out that anything this difficult or boring (after studying it forever, it gets boring) isn’t something you really want to do. There are lots of other options available. Some of my friends have gone on to become Court Clerks, Paralegals, School Librarians, University Department Heads, Government Teachers, Social Sciences Teacher, Legal English Teachers, and more. You can teach legal studies to undergraduates and the like. Others went back to school, got an alternative masters, and did something else. Or they became CPAs or Auditors or Business professionals. You can become a writer – did you know many of the crime shows are written by ex-criminal law lawyers? It’s because they can see the story and how it developed. I passed the bar exam, but knew really quickly that it wasn’t where I wanted my life to go. I went to law school to study Cultural Heritage Law. I had NO interest in being a family lawyer (tried that, got a corrupt / chauvinistic judge), criminal lawyer (tried that, got abused, called all hours of the night, and was never paid by the clients), guardian ad litem (tried that, saw more corrupt cops and judges and got depressed being around all the abusive families). You see a pattern? Let’s just say it wasn’t my cup of tea. That’s why I’m now a law and business professor in Asia. I teach international students and I love it! I use what I learned in school and work hard, but I get good pay and fine vacations. The students are a lot more fun to work with, and I get to travel around. I’m not telling you not to try to take the bar again, just know that you have options if you decide it isn’t what you want to do. Even if you passed, but aren’t looking forward to the normal line of work.

As my students say, “Fighting!”

#IL, #ND, #WV, and #IA Bar Results are Out!

31 Mar

Congratulations to everyone who passed!  Illinois, North Dakota, West Virginia, Kansas, and Iowa have released the Bar Exam Results from the February Exam – beat out North Carolina this year. 🙂

Passing Rates:

Kansas ~ 66%
Iowa ~ 69%

North Dakota ~ 39%
West Virginia ~ 52.4%

 

#LawSchool ~ Ruining #Books since Forever

25 Feb

myfairlady01

How Law School Ruins Your Life #3billion – You suddenly realize that every great library in movies is actually filled with law books (you can tell from the bindings). And suddenly the library seems just a little bit less fun and more like school 0_0 SADNESS!!!

library.gif

 

#Cooking Abroad

23 Feb

#cooking in #China 😄 When you live in a #itsybitsy apartment with no counter space and definitely nooven, you have to do a little engineering for #baking #chocolatechipcookies 😂  So instead we use an old #target game board and a table oven. My life is so much fun!
#foodie #Cookies #lifeisfun #travel #lifeabroad #international 

#LawSchool and #BarExam Study Aids!

17 Feb

LAW SCHOOL & BAR EXAM STUDY RESOURCES

A few people have asked me for a list of resources for studying. For those of you still in Law school, still studying for the bar, or who need to try again, I tried putting together a comprehensive list (sorted Alphabetically and by Series) of the best Study Guides for the bar based on what I used, what my friends recommended, and what other lawyers I’ve spoken with advised. I’ve used all of these, and I think they really helped me with both Law School itself and the bar exam.  In fact, If I were taking the exam in again (eg in different state), I’d probably use Sparkcharts and Emanuel all by themselves.  You can find the list HERE (or click on one of the images below).

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Tips & Advice for the Bar Exam

30 Nov

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I’ve Met This Judge!

27 Nov

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Bar Exam Passage Rates (July 2015 and July 2016)

19 Nov
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July 2016 Results Compared to July 2013

The following Statistics are Comparing July 2016 to July 2015

Alabama (58.4% – down 1.6%)
Alaska (45% – down 15%)
Arizona (53% – down 4%)
Arkansas (Unknown)
California (43% – down 3%)
Colorado (73% – up 1%)
Connecticut (69% – down 6%)
Delaware (66% – Same)
DC (62% – up 18%)
Florida (68.2% – up 6.2%)
Georgia (65.8% – down 2.2%)
Hawaii (Unknown)
Idaho (72.5% – up 4.2%)
Illinois (72% – Fall 0f 4%)
Indiana (61% – down 13%)
Iowa (71% – down 15%)
Kansas (78% – up 3%)
Kentucky (65% – down 6%)
Louisiana (64.9% – up 3.1%)
Maine (Unknown)
Maryland (63% – Same)
Massachusetts (70.8% – down 1%)
Michigan (Unknown)
Minnesota (73.22% – down 4.3%)
Mississippi (Unknown)
Missouri (79.4% – down 4.6%)
Montana (77% – up 15%)
Nebraska (Unknown)
Nevada (51% – down 9%)
New Hampshire (Unknown)
New Jersey (65.35% – down 5.3%)
New Mexico (62% – down 8%)
New York (64% – up 3%)
North Carolina (Unknown, but believed to have dropped)
North Dakota (63% – Fall of 9%)
Ohio (70.4% – down 4%)
Oklahoma (68% – Same)
Oregon (58% – down 2%)
Pennsylvania (69% – down 2%)
Rhode Island (63% – down 1%)
South Carolina (Unknown)
South Dakota (Unknown)
Tennessee (63% – down 1%)
Texas (70.45% – up 4%)
Utah (Unknown)
Vermont (66% – up 13.6%)
Virginia (73% – up 2%)
Washington (70% – down 6%)
West Virginia (71% – up 2%)
Wisconsin (Unknown)
Wyoming (Unknown)

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July 2014 Results compared to July 2013

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July 2015 Results Compared to July 2014

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July 2016 Results Compared to July 2015

 

 

Georgia Bar Examination – Reported Students Failed, but they Actually Passed (2015-2016)

9 Sep

Just found this on Georgia’s Bar Examination website.  According to their report, “errors” were made when grading the February 2016 and July 2015 bar examinations.  90 people were told that they had failed, when in fact they actually passed the exam!

OMG! 

I cannot imagine how I would feel if I got a copy of their letter in the mail.  What do you think would outweigh the others? – Anger? Excitement? Annoyance?  Lawsuit-waiting-to-Happen?

Talk about infliction of emotional distress – maybe not intentional, but still. That’s a pretty HUGE error.  Gross Negligence if nothing else.  Their offering is that they will reimburse those people for any expenses they paid for taking the bar again since then.  But what about lost income? Lost time? What about the fees of the screwed-up bar exam?That seems like it’s going a bit under for reimbursement. I fully expect there will be arguments over that, what do y’all think?

Y’all can read the full report here.  But this is the letter they are sending out:

September 6, 2016

The Board of Bar Examiners has determined that you are one of 90 people who passed the Georgia Bar examinations administered in July 2015 or February 2016, despite prior notification that you had failed to pass. As Board members, we take full responsibility for these errors and offer our sincerest apologies to you.

Having taken the Bar examination ourselves, we recognize the distress that this mistake has caused you. As members of the Board, we are charged with upholding the integrity of the Bar examination.

We have conducted a thorough investigation and have confirmed the causes of the errors in the scoring process.  Those have been corrected and we are establishing procedures to ensure we will not make the same errors going forward. Credibility is our certification system’s greatest asset and we must restore the public trust.

The Board is prepared to reimburse you for fees associated with any subsequent exams taken as specified in the letter you have received from the Office of Bar Admissions, although we know your investment of time and effort greatly outweighs the additional cost of the examination.

Again, we offer our most sincere apology.

Sincerely,
John Sammon
Chair, Board of Bar Examiners”

How would you feel about this situation:

A. Relief

B. Fear that it will Happen to Your Score

C. Excitement

D. Anger

E. No Big Deal – It Can Happen to the Best Bar Examiners.

Let me know in the comments below!

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