BarReviewSolutions.com New York Bar Exam Newsletter

A periodic bar review newsletter for individuals preparing for the New York Bar Exam, addressing exam study strategy, our Essays In-Depth feature, and newsletter-only discounts and specials.

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We are getting ready to share some great content and programs for individuals taking the New York Bar Exam in 2016 and beyond, including the last administration of the full New York bar exam in February 2016 prior to the administration of the Uniform Bar Exam in July 2016. We know you may have passed or taken the bar exam already. However, if you are still interested our free content, then please re-subscribe to our mailing list.

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Anatomy of a New York Bar Exam Essay Issue & $150 Off our July 2015 Ultimate and Paced Programs

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Read this newsletter issue online.

Hello,

Welcome to the latest issue of our New York Bar Exam Newsletter. For those of you taking the July 2015 New York bar exam, we hope your review is progressing well. As mentioned below, we are excited to release our "Anatomy of a New York Bar Exam Essay Issue," which we've used with great success in our 1-on-1 programs. In this issue, we consider:

  • Important New Bar Exam Dates
  • July 2015 New York Ultimate and Paced Programs Available (only a few spots)
  • Organize a Passing New York Bar Exam Essay Issue with Our Anatomy of a New York Bar Exam Essay Issue
  • New York Bar Exam Newsletter Discount: $150 off our Ultimate and Paced Programs for the July 2015 New York Bar Exam

Important Upcoming New York Bar Exam Dates


  • July 2015 Exam: July 28-29, 2015

July 2015 New York Ultimate and Paced Programs Available (only a few spots remain)


A few spots remain in our Ultimate and Paced programs for the July 2015 exam. With six weeks prior to the July exam, either program can be completed via our Accelerated (1 submission every 3 days) or Expedited Scheduling (1 submission every 2 days). Our Paced program can be completed in just 4 weeks via our Accelerated (1 submission every 3 days) Scheduling.

If you have a recognized essay deficiency or weakness, then we encourage you to consider either of these programs. We've found the following individuals can benefit the most from these programs: exam repeaters, foreign educated bar exam candidates (we've helped individuals from Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, and Germany), and individuals simply seeking the peace of mind and confidence that a structured essay writing program can provide.

Organize a Passing New York Bar Exam Essay Issue with Our Anatomy of a New York Bar Exam Essay Issue


As you may know, the New York Bar Exam is changing. Beginning in July 2016, the current format of the New York bar exam will change to the Uniform Bar Exam. We know both the Uniform Bar Exam and the New York Bar Exam, and we recognize that the highly specific approach we've developed for New York bar exam essays over 15 years will soon be moot. With this development in mind, we are releasing our "Anatomy of a New York Bar Exam Essay Issue" for consumption beyond our 1-on-1 programs. There is no catch. We simply want to disseminate this information as widely as possible for individuals taking the July 2015 and February 2016 New York Bar Exam. You can read and view our "Anatomy of a New York Bar Exam Essay Issue" at http://barreviewsolutions.com/ny-bar-exam/anatomy-of-new-york-bar-exam-e.... This is a simple but effective approach to writing passing essays on the New York bar exam.

New York Bar Exam Newsletter Discounts: $150 OFF Our July 2015 Ultimate or Paced Programs Through June 19, 2015


If you are struggling with essays and/or essay practice during your bar review, we encourage you to consider our New York Ultimate or Paced programs. You can receive $150 off either program through June 19, 2015, or until all spots are filled, whichever comes first (we only have a couple spots remaining for each program). As mentioned above, either program can be completed via Accelerated or Expedited Scheduling if you begin this week and our Paced program can be completed in just four weeks with Accelerated Scheduling. You can signup now to reserve your spot and begin at a later Start Date if you so desire. To obtain the $150 off utilize the discount code NY150 at checkout. You can learn more, signup now, and begin either our Ultimate or Paced program immediately.

Questions? Comments?


If you have any questions or comments about this newsletter or any of our California bar exam writing programs, then please feel free to Contact Us.

Study smart,

-The BarReviewSolutions.com Team




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Your Bar Exam:

How to Create Passing Essay Issue Statements

New York bar applicants,

Welcome to the latest issue of our New York Bar Exam newsletter. For those of you preparing for either the February 2013 or taking the July 2013 New York bar exam, in this issue, we consider:

  • Important Upcoming New York Bar Exam Dates
  • Recent BarReviewSolutions.com New York Bar Exam News & Announcements
  • New York Bar Exam Essays In-Depth: How to Create Passing Essay Issue Statements
  • New York Bar Exam Newsletter-Only Discount

Important Upcoming New York Bar Exam Dates


  • February 2013 Laptop registration December 3-21, 2012
  • New York Bar Exam: February 26-27, 2013


Recent BarReviewSolutions.com New York Bar Exam News & Announcements


A few spots remain for our February 2013 Ultimate program--learn how to write essays that pass the New York bar exam. Learn more...

Thinking about the July 2013 New York bar exam or just starting a February 2013 review? Start your bar review off on the right step with our FREE Improve Your Bar Review Guide (2013 Edition). Learn more...


New York Bar Exam Essays In-Depth: How to Create Passing Essay Issue Statements


Our Essays In-Depth feature includes excerpts from the information provided in our writing programs (e.g., our Ultimate program).

Why are Issue Statements Important on NY Bar Exam Essays?

Issue Statements are one component of effective Issue Organization and presentation that should be employed on all of your New York bar exam essays. Keep in mind, whether your essay is effectively organized and includes all the essential issue components will impact your overall essay score.

What is an Issue Statement?

An Issue Statement, as the name implies, is a statement identifying the legal issue being tested by the question presented. Keep in mind, a single question may contain multiple issues. However, regardless of the number of issues, each issue raised should always include an Issue Statement. Your identification of the legal issue, via the Issue Statement, should identify the underlying legal concept being tested and those key, operative, and material facts that the concept turns upon.

Common Issue Statement Mistakes on New York Bar Exam Essays

In our experience assisting individuals prepare for the New York bar exam essays, a number of common mistakes will inevitably surface when individuals initially attempt to create effective Issue Statements. Three of these common mistakes include the following:

  1. Omission of the Issue Statement Altogether. We are constantly surprised to see individuals omit Issue Statements entirely even after being instructed to include them in their essays. Individuals most frequently commit this mistake when they fail to adequately outline their response.
  2. Restating the Question. This is, perhaps, the most common mistake we see with Issue Statements. Although a minority of essay questions may state the issue in its' entirety, most questions do not. Instead, almost all questions require you to look beyond the question presented and to material facts that suggest the applicable legal concept that will answer the question.
  3. Too Broad or Too Vague. Another common mistake is an Issue Statement that fails to succinctly and specifically identify the legal concept upon which the question turns and those key, operative facts that the issue turns upon. An Issue Statement the states "The issue is Negligence" is a perfect example. What aspect of Negligence? What parties? How is this responsive to the question presented?

How to Craft Effective Issue Statements

Considering these common mistakes, there are a couple of principles you should keep in mind when creating Issue Statements on your New York essays. First, your Issue Statement should be narrowly-tailored to reflect the specific legal concept at issue and those key, operative facts that impact this legal concept. Avoid the tendency to simply restate or rephrase the question when the issue that answers the question is a legal issue not specifically provided by the question.

Issue Statement Examples

A comparison of poor and passing Issue Statements is especially useful to understand what your Issue Statements should contain to receive a passing score. Consider the following question from a real, past NY bar exam essay question:

"The partner would like you to prepare a memorandum discussing: whether the general release bars a successful claim by Chips [name of company in fact pattern]."

Now, let's examine some non-passing examples that commit some of the common mistakes cited above, including:

  • The issue is whether the general release bars a successful claim by Chips [restating question; does not identify the legal concept that is actually the issue (which happens to be agent authority)]
  • The issue is whether an employee possess authority to execute a release [although the legal concept is identified, the key operative facts are omitted (what employee? what employer?)]
  • The issue is whether the representative's signature is valid [omits legal concept]

In contrast, here are two issue statements that received passing scores

  • The issue is whether Chips’ employee had authority to return the acknowledgement form of his own volition on Chips’ behalf.
  • The issue is whether the supervising clerk had the authority as an agent or employee of Chips to execute such a release.

Based on the above discussion, the differences between the non-passing and passing Issue Statements above should now be obvious. Notice how the passing Issue Statements are narrowly-tailored and not only identify the underlying legal concept (agent authority) but also the material facts that raise the issue (the employee's action and relationship to employer). The passing Issue Statements do well to avoid the common mistakes cited above.


New York Bar Exam Newsletter-Only Discount: $150 OFF our New York Ultimate Program for a Limited Time


Receive $150 Off our February 2013 Ultimate program's regular price from now until December 12, 2012. There is no discount code necessary to receive the discount. You can sign-up and begin today at: http://barreviewsolutions.com/catalog/nybar/ultimate. Please note, plenty of time remains to complete our Ultimate program for the February 2013 exam with either our Accelerated or Expedited Scheduling options.


Questions? Comments?


If you have any questions or comments about this newsletter or any of our New York bar exam programs, then please feel free to Contact Us.

Study smart,

-The BarReviewSolutions.com Team




Planning For the February 2013 New York Bar Exam

New York bar applicants,

Welcome to the latest issue of our New York Bar Exam newsletter. Congratulations to everyone that passed the July 2012 New York bar exam! For those of you preparing for either the February 2013 or July 2013 New York bar exam, in this issue, we consider:

  • Important Upcoming New York Bar Exam Dates
  • Recent BarReviewSolutions.com New York Bar Exam News & Announcements
  • New York Bar Exam Study Strategy: Balancing Substantive Review vs. Exam Component Practice
  • New York Bar Exam Essays In-Depth: Fundamental Issue Organization on New York Essays
  • New York Bar Exam Newsletter-Only Discount

Important Upcoming New York Bar Exam Dates


  • 30-day Period to Obtain July 2012 Essay Answers from BOLE ends: December 1, 2012
  • February 2013 Application Filing Period ends: November 30, 2012
  • New York Bar Exam: February 26-27, 2013


Recent BarReviewSolutions.com New York Bar Exam News & Announcements


FREE 2013 New York Bar Exam Calendar Solution now available with updated and detailed Guidelines. Learn more...

FREE Improve Your Bar Review Guide (2013 Edition) now available. Learn more...

February 2013 Ultimate program now available. Learn more...

February 2013 Paced program now available. Learn more...

For repeaters, July 2012 Assessments now available. Learn more...


New York Bar Exam Study Strategy: Balancing Substantive Review vs. Exam Component Practice


A common dilemma individuals face when reviewing and preparing for the New York bar exam is trying to strike the correct balance between "studying the law" and improving exam-taking skills, especially the written component of the New York bar exam (i.e., essays and MPTs). In our experience, many individuals will prioritize the study of black-letter law over improving exam-taking skills. These same individuals will wait to practice essays until "they know the law." Unfortunately, many of these individuals will delay practicing essays altogether. Consequently, although these individuals may "know the law" by the exam, they are unable to convey and apply this law in an effective, passing manner because of inadequate and/or ineffective essay practice during their bar review.

To combat this problem, we always suggest and advise individuals to begin their essay and performance test practice as soon as they begin their exam preparation, if not sooner (e.g., practice performance tests can be completed at anytime, as the multistate performance test is a skills test and not dependent upon legal knowledge like the essays). Essay and performance test practice should be a regular component of your NY bar exam preparation just like practice multiple choice questions. In fact, all of our tutorial programs actually advise individuals to answer their essays in an open-book or open-note fashion at the beginning of their bar review. This approach combats the problem of an individual waiting to practice essays until "they know the law." In our experience, the sooner you begin effective essay practice, the higher your essay scores.

Remember, don't feel like you need to wait to begin practicing essays until you "know all the law" or until "the exam is closer." Likewise, don't discount the value of performance test practice to familiarize yourself with the format and different "types" (e.g., memo, brief, or letter to client) of MPTs. One of the biggest mistakes individuals make when preparing for the New York bar exam is waiting too long to start practicing essays and performance tests.


New York Bar Exam Essays In-Depth: Fundamental Issue Organization on New York Essays


What is New York Bar Exam Essay Organization?

In the course of helping other prepare for, and pass, the New York bar exam, we often see individuals struggle with the fundamental concept of issue organization. As you will soon discover, if you have not already, essay answers on the New York bar exam follow a very strict form of issue organization. For each issue you raise on any essay answer, your issue discussion should include the following discrete, independent components: an issue statement based upon the material facts, a statement of the applicable principles of law, an analysis and application of the applicable law to the facts, and a sound conclusion. An important recognition to make early in your NY bar exam preparation is that this particular issue organization applies to any essay question regardless of the actual legal subject being tested.

Why is Organization Important on New York Essays?

Quite simply, essay issue organization is important because it is part of your overall essay grade. In the description of the NY bar exam, the Board of Law Examiners state that "in grading [each essay], consideration is given to whether the answer is appropriately organized...." Accordingly, all other items being equal, a highly organized essay will receive a higher score than an unorganized essay.

How You Can Start Improving Your New York Bar Exam Essay Organization

In our experience, practice essays, early and often during a bar review, are vital for individuals to become acquainted with the unique strictures of New York bar exam essay organization. Keep in mind, the law does not need to be fully memorized for you to undertake a practice essay. As suggested above, it is more than advisable to use your notes and outlines as you review each subject to write "open-book" essays. Even if an essay tests multiple subjects, including subjects you have not yet covered in your review, you can benefit from answering those parts of the essay that address those subjects you have reviewed. A corollary benefit to any essay practice is the active engagement and learning of the tested law that you will experience for the tested concepts.


New York Bar Exam Newsletter-Only Discount


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Questions? Comments?


If you have any questions or comments about this newsletter or any of our New York bar exam programs, then please feel free to Contact Us.

Study smart,

-The BarReviewSolutions.com Team




3 Days Until the February 2011 New York Bar Exam

Dear New York Bar Exam Applicants,

Welcome to the latest issue of our NY bar exam newsletter. In this issue, we consider:

  • Important Upcoming New York Bar Exam Dates
  • New York Bar Exam-Taking Strategy: Avoid Silly Mistakes
  • New York Bar Exam Essays In-Depth: Recognize the Possibility Of Multiple Issues
  • Good Luck!

Important Upcoming New York Bar Exam Dates


  • New York Bar Exam administered, February 22-23, 2011

New York Bar Exam-Taking Strategy: Avoid Silly Mistakes


For weeks, if not months, you've been preparing and reviewing for the bar exam, including countless hours of review and practice. However, do not forsake this personal investment in time and effort by making "silly mistakes" during the exam. Silly mistakes are those mistakes that have nothing to do with the substantive material that is tested on the bar exam, and these mistakes are all preventable, regardless of your level of bar exam preparation. The most common of these mistakes include:

  1. Time Mismanagement: Follow the suggested time limits for all components of the exam. Answer the essays in the order presented (the "hard" essay will not magically become easier 90 minutes later).
  2. Worrying About Others: Ignore what others have to say about the exam, including what will be tested and what has been tested. This can only lead to an acute condition: "bar exam paranoia."
  3. Dwelling on the Past: Remember, once the multiple choice are over or an essay session is over, there is no going back. Likewise, thinking about what should have been or could have been will be of no benefit to you. Instead, focus on the task at hand.

Remember, silly mistakes are "silly" because they are easily preventable.

New York Bar Exam Essays In-Depth: Recognize the Possibility Of Multiple Issues


Our Essays In-Depth feature is an excerpt from our upcoming New York Bar Exam Essay Solution On-Demand Workshop. This week we identify the possibility that a single question on the NY bar exam can include multiple issues.

The general framework: 1 Question, 1 Issue

In most cases, the call of the question presented for NY essays will implicate one, or sometimes two, separate, independent legal issues. Often, the essay will be divided into several (e.g., three) separate questions with each question raising a singular issue.

The Possibility of Multiple, Independent Issues for 1 Question

However, you should be aware of the possibility of several, multiple issues for any one question presented on a NY bar exam essay, especially when the question does not expressly identify the issues for you. A good example is Question 3 from this past July's NY bar exam. The question presented included the following:

Your law firm represents X Corporation. You have been asked to advise the firm’s
senior partner on whether the proposal received sufficient votes to be approved. Explain
your conclusion.

The facts of the question described several shareholders (4) and how they granted or revoked proxies and/or voted their shares. Under the general framework, an individual would create a singular issue in attempting to answer this question. However, this is the incorrect approach. Instead, to correctly answer the question, four distinct, independent issues need to be discussed. Since the resolution of how each shareholder's shares were voted implicate different principles of the Corporations law, different, independent issues need to be addressed. Don't let preconceived notions of how an essay must be organized or answered blind you to the reality of what is being asked.

Good Luck on the New York Bar Exam!


We wish you the best of luck on the bar exam. Hopefully, we've been able to impart a bit of guidance via our newsletter. If you have any questions or comments about this newsletter, then please feel free to Contact Us.

Study smart,

-The BarReviewSolutions.com Team




3 Weeks Until the February 2011 New York Bar Exam

Dear New York Bar Exam Applicants,

Welcome to the latest issue of our NY bar exam newsletter. In this issue, we consider:

  • Important Upcoming New York Bar Exam Dates
  • New York Bar Exam Study Strategy: The Home Stretch
  • New York Bar Exam Essays In-Depth: Issue Identification & Recognition, Part 3
  • Next Issue Preview

Important Upcoming New York Bar Exam Dates


  • New York Bar Exam administered, February 22-23, 2011

New York Bar Exam Study Strategy: The Home Stretch (Or, What One Does the Last Two Weeks of Bar Review)


If everything is going to plan, via your bar review study schedule, then the last two weeks of your review should be spent utilizing your reference system to memorize materials and practicing MBE questions, NY multiple choice, essays, and MPTs.

Memorizing, Memorizing, Memorizing...

For memorization of the materials, there are no shortcuts. It is long, tiring work. Of course, there are memorization techniques that you will become familiar with and most likely utilize (e.g., mnemonics, etc…). However, even with such memorization techniques, the memorization process is still a daunting challenge. You know better than anyone else what learning methods and memorization techniques work best for you. Use those methods that have worked in the past (e.g., during law school), eliminate ineffective methods. Avoid sticking with something that is not working, even if it is working for your friend.

Condensing NY Bar Review Materials

It is at this time that many individuals will begin condensing their reference system to create condensed/synthesized outlines for each testable subject found on the NY bar exam. If you followed this method in law school, then you will be very familiar with it. If not, condensing your outlines is akin to whittling the wheat from the shaft. Comprehensive outlines will often state the why, the how, and provide examples of a legal issue or topic. Condensed outlines simply state the what, i.e., the rule statement or elements of a testable issue in a highly abbreviated fashion. Keep in mind, condensed/synthesized outlines are a very effective tool if YOU are the one doing the condensing and synthesizing. We believe utilizing someone else’s condensed outlines eliminates almost all of the benefit received in creating condensed versions of the materials in the first place. Of course, we have all heard the tale of an individual only studying with someone else’s condensed outlines and passing the NY bar exam. However, we never hear of the many more tales of those individuals that used such condensed outlines and failed. Don’t let an exception to a rule guide your own NY bar exam preparation.

New York Bar Exam Essays In-Depth: Issue Identification & Recognition, Part 3


Our Essays In-Depth feature is an excerpt from our upcoming New York Bar Exam Essay Solution On-Demand Workshop. This week we complete our series on Issue Identification & Recognition. Specifically, we demonstrate how to utilize an issue checklist with a mini-question.

Sample Checklist Refresher

If you recall, in our last issue we provided a sample checklist for intentional torts (minus defenses). For sake of economy and illustrative purposes, we will use this same sample checklist and limit the "universe of testable law" for our mini-question to Intentional Torts only (again, omitting defenses). As a reminder and caveat, the purpose of both the sample checklist and this mini-question is to illustrate the nature of checklists and their application in a concise, easy to understand fashion. Any Torts checklist(s) you rely upon for the actual exam should cover the entire testable subject. Our sample checklist for Intentional Torts included the following:

  • Assault
  • Battery
  • False Imprisonment
  • Infliction of Emotional Distress
  • Trespass to Land
  • Trespass to Chattels
  • Conversion

Mini-Question:

"D works with A and B. During a normal workday, D had a heated argument with A over a malfunctioning printer and the best method to fix the malfunction. During the argument, D picked up a toner cartridge and threw it at A. A covered her head with her hands and ducked to avoid the cartridge. The cartridge missed A but hit B who was passing by the printer room in an adjacent hallway. The toner cartridge broke B's wrist. The toner cartridge was the property of D, A, and B's employer.
What intentional tort claims, if any, do A and B have against D? Discuss."

How Our Sample Checklist Can Help You Answer This Mini-Question

Keep in mind, the function of an issue checklist on the NY bar exam essays is to provide you one method to help you identify "issues" germane to the question presented. For purposes of this question, the "issues" are "intentional tort claims" (again, for sake of economy, discussion of pertinent defenses is omitted). Also, you should recognize the limitations of issue checklists. Such checklists do not include the elements of the "issues" (i.e., the rule statements that naturally accompany their discussion in an actual essay answer). Instead, in this variation of an issue checklist, the sole purpose is to assist in the identification of legal "issues" germane to the question presented. Also, of course, you will need to be able to recall any checklist from memory during the actual examination.

Looking at our sample checklist above, we know there are only 7 possible intentional torts claims in our universe of mini-question Torts law. Since the question only asks for intentional tort claims, and knowing there are only 7 such claims, we can quickly evaluate our checklist to see if any of these intentional torts fit within the question. Quickly, we can eliminate most of the 7 intentional torts. Since the facts state that the toner cartridge was the property of their employer, and not D, we know (or should know) all property-related intentional torts can be omitted, including Conversion, Trespass to Chattels, and Trespass to Land (remember, we are looking for claims A and B might have against D and not the claims of the employer). Also, since no emotional distress was mentioned in the facts and neither A nor B were forced against their will to stay in one location, we can eliminate both Infliction of Emotional Distress and False Imprisonment. The only claims that remain from the checklist are Assault and Battery. Since we know (or should know) a Battery can include objects put into motion by a defendant, then the throwing of the toner cartridge will suffice for the inclusion of Battery in our answer. Also, since we know (or should know) apprehension of an imminent battery is an Assault, then we can include Assault in our answer based upon A's covering her head and ducking (in most cases, one only covers their head under imminent apprehension of something hitting their head). At this point, our checklist should now resemble something like this:

  • Assault
  • Battery
  • False Imprisonment
  • Infliction of Emotional Distress
  • Trespass to Land
  • Trespass to Chattels
  • Conversion

The stream of consciousness narrative of the preceding paragraph should only take you a couple of minutes on an actual NY bar exam essay utilizing a full subject checklist. Even if Assault and/or Battery was apparent to you after reading the question, and prior to considering the checklist, you could still utilize the checklist as a verification tool and to ensure no other issues are omitted from your answer. Then, after identifying Assault and Battery as the claims germane to the question presented (i.e., "the issues"), you would continue organizing the answer to this mini-question by creating an essay outline.

Next Issue Preview


In our next issue, our Essays In-Depth feature will examine how and when to raise multiple issues on NY bar exam essays.

If you have any questions about this newsletter or any of our products or services, then please feel free to Contact Us.

Study smart,

-The BarReviewSolutions.com Team




6 Weeks Until the February 2011 New York Bar Exam

Dear New York Bar Exam Applicants,

Welcome to the latest issue of our NY bar exam newsletter. In this issue, we consider:

  • Important Upcoming New York Bar Exam Dates
  • New York Bar Exam Study Strategy: Sensible MPT Preparation
  • New York Bar Exam Essays In-Depth: Issue Identification & Recognition, Part 2
  • Next Issue Preview

Important Upcoming New York Bar Exam Dates


  • New York Bar Exam administered, February 22-23, 2011

New York Bar Exam Study Strategy: Sensible MPT Preparation


An often overlooked aspect of NY bar exam preparation is preparing for the Multistate Performance Test (MPT) in a sensible, effective manner. Far too often, individuals will neglect or put-off MPT practice and preparation. The main reason for such neglect is that most individuals believe that their time will be better spent studying for other components of the NY bar exam instead of the MPT.

Conduct a Self-Evaluation of Your MPT Ability

For some individuals, it's a sensible decision to spend more time on substantive review of testable materials instead of spending time on the MPT. However, such individuals should possess a demonstrated competence from previous MPT-like experience. To determine if you possess such competence, ask yourself questions like the following:

  • Did you ace your legal research and writing class in law school?
  • Do you write legal research memoranda, brief, and client letters on a regular basis?
  • Are you comfortable with the time constraints and amount of material found on the MPT?

If you answered no to any of the preceding questions, then you can most likely benefit from structured MPT practice during your NY bar review.

MPT Preparation Tips

If you possess the need to include additional MPT practice during your bar review, consider some of the following MPT preparation tips:

  1. Simulate exam conditions: Utilize a full, uninterrupted 90 minutes to complete your practice MPTs (turn off all distractions and devices).
  2. Use a hard copy: Print out or utilize an available hard copy for each practice MPT.
  3. Outline answers: If you are pressed for time, spend 45 minutes to organize and outline an answer instead of writing out a complete answer. Check your outline against sample answers to confirm whether your effort is on target.
  4. Critically evaluate your efforts: Avoid the tendency to merely go through the motions of completing a practice MPT. Instead, identify weaknesses in your practice answers, as well as strengths. Apply lessons learned in future efforts.

As a reminder, if you know your legal writing contains weaknesses, then you will most likely benefit from regular MPT practice during your NY bar review.

New York Bar Exam Essays In-Depth: Issue Identification & Recognition, Part 2


Our Essays In-Depth feature is an excerpt from our upcoming New York Bar Exam Essay Solution On-Demand Workshop. This week we continue our series on Issue Identification & Recognition. Specifically, we continue our explanation of issue checklists and present a sample, albeit rudimentary, checklist.

A Sample Checklist

As explained in our last issue, each entry in a Checklist should be a cognizable "issue" for the subject being tested. To help organize the large body of material an individual needs to know for any one subject on the NY bar exam, it is often helpful to break up a subject into several checklists. For example, the subject of Torts can be divided into several, discrete areas, including: Intentional Torts, Negligence, Strict Liability, Products Liability, and Other Torts. In fact, this list of discrete areas itself is an overall checklist for the subject as a whole. Each area, though, can contain a checklist unto itself. For example, consider Intentional Torts. A sample checklist for Intentional Torts could include the following:

  • Assault
  • Battery
  • False Imprisonment
  • Infliction of Emotional Distress
  • Trespass to Land
  • Trespass to Chattels
  • Conversion

Notice how each entry in the above checklist is a cognizable legal claim or defense one party may raise against another.

Understand How Checklist Entries Relate to Essay Issues

In most cases, an essay question will be asking you to identify and discuss possible legal claims or defenses, or elements of legal claims or defenses, (i.e., "issues") that one party may bring or possess against another. In the case of a Torts question, this Intentional Torts checklist can provide you with a quick, easy way to recall all the possible intentional torts a party may claim against another party. Please note, for simplicity of illustration, defenses to Intentional Torts are omitted from the above checklist. Additionally, if you combine this Intentional Torts checklist with checklists for the other Torts subject areas (Negligence, Strict Liability, Products Liability, and Other Torts), then you will have a powerful, simple tool to assist you in identifying and recognizing possible "issues" on Torts essays.

Next Issue Preview


In our next issue, our Essays In-Depth feature will complete our series on issue identification and recognition via issue checklists.

If you have any questions about this newsletter or any of our products or services, then please feel free to Contact Us.

Study smart,

-The BarReviewSolutions.com Team




7 Weeks Until the February 2011 New York Bar Exam

Dear New York Bar Exam Applicants,

After a one week holiday hiatus, welcome to the latest installment of our NY bar exam newsletter. In this issue, we consider:

  • Important Upcoming New York Bar Exam Dates
  • New York Bar Exam Study Strategy: Improving MBE Exam Fitness
  • New York Bar Exam Essays In-Depth: Issue Identification & Recognition, Part 1
  • Next Issue Preview

Important Upcoming New York Bar Exam Dates


  • New York Bar Exam administered, February 22-23, 2011

New York Bar Exam Study Strategy: Improving MBE Exam Fitness


A key to preparing effectively and efficiently for the bar exam is balancing reviewing/memorizing the material with improving test-taking skills, including essay writing, answering MBE questions, and completing performance tests. If you spend too much time reviewing the substantive material, your essay writing and multiple-choice fitness will be limited and under-developed.

MBE Practice With Answer Explanations

In terms of MBE exam fitness, the best way to prepare for the MBE is practicing questions and reviewing answers to missed questions. As part of your bar review, you should possess a number of practice MBE questions available to you. Remember, you need MBE questions with explanations to the answers in order to correct your incorrect answers and learn from your mistakes. Unless you are taking a diagnostic or full practice MBE, answering practice MBE questions without answer explanations is counter-productive, as you will not know why a question was answered incorrectly.

Frequency and Volume of MBE Practice

The frequency, nature, and volume of MBE practice sessions should be an elementary component of your bar review. There are several variables you should consider when undertaking practice MBE questions. First, you should spend just under 2 minutes (1:48 to be exact) on each question to mimic exam conditions. Avoid the temptation to spend 3 or even 4 minutes per question during your initial practice sessions. You will get more out of the practice if you spend 2 minutes on a question, answer it incorrectly, and then review the explanation as to why your answer was incorrect, then if you spend 4 minutes on a question and answer it incorrectly anyway. Additionally, by adhering to a per question time limit, you are constantly training yourself under exam time constraints. Besides a per question time limit, you should also consider the volume of practice questions as your bar review progresses. This should be spelled out in your bar review study schedule with each MBE practice session becoming longer while simultaneously increasing the time interval between practice sessions. For example, in the first couple of weeks of your bar review it is not uncommon to do 25-50 practice MBE questions a day in several sittings per day. However, by the last couple of weeks of your bar review, MBE practice sessions should reach at least 100 in one sitting. Of course, due to the sheer time commitment to complete 100 questions and review incorrect answers, the sessions will be less frequent than your initial practice sessions of just a handful MBE questions at a time. Remember, the difference in mental and physical effort between completing 10 MBE questions in 20 minutes and 100 questions in 3 hours is significant.

New York Bar Exam Essays In-Depth: Issue Identification & Recognition, Part 1


Our Essays In-Depth feature is an excerpt from our New York Bar Exam Essay Solution On-Demand Workshop. This week we begin a series on Issue Identification & Recognition. Specifically, we introduce the concept of subject checklists.

The Problem: Failing to Identify "The Issue"

A common problem individuals face when preparing for the NY bar exam essays is a tendency to fail to identify or "miss" an issue on an essay question. Unfortunately, a "missed" or incorrectly identified issue can lead to a significantly reduced essay score.

The Solution: Create and Utilize a System to Identify and Confirm Essay Issues

To avoid the predicament of "missed" issues, one method that minimizes the possibility of missing an essay issue is the utilization of a systematic approach in identifying or verifying essay issues.

Subject Checklists as One Alternative

In simplest terms, a Checklist is a highly synthesized subject outline in a list or other format (e.g., a "Torts Checklist"). Generally, each entry in a checklist will be a cognizable "issue" or set of issues for the subject being tested. Continuing with the Torts example, a Torts Checklist might include, among other items, each testable intentional tort.

Checklists can be created in a wide variety of formats. A simple list is one possible format for a checklist. Other formats include acronyms or other mnemonic devices. Regardless of the format, the substantive content of the checklist will not vary: cognizable legal issues.

How A Checklist Can Help You Identify NY Essay Issues

The function of a checklist is to serve as an aid in recognizing and/or recalling possible issues for the particular subject being tested. For many individuals, the task of issue recognition on essay questions is problematic. Checklists are designed to alleviate issue recognition problems by providing a definitive list of possible issues, which can be relied upon and "checked" when such individuals are unable to recognize legal issues being tested from reading the fact pattern alone. Additionally, a subject checklist can serve as a mental security blanket for an individual during the bar exam itself. When time or exam pressures mount, a checklist can be an invaluable tool for an individual to rely upon.

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-The BarReviewSolutions.com Team




9 Weeks Until the February 2011 New York Bar Exam

Dear New York Bar Exam Applicants,

Welcome to the latest installment of our NY bar exam newsletter. In this issue, we consider:

  • Important Upcoming New York Bar Exam Dates
  • New York Bar Exam Study Strategy: Outlining Practice Essays
  • New York Bar Exam Essays In-Depth: Essay Time Management
  • BarReviewSolutions.com NY Bar News & Announcements:
    • July 2010 New York Bar Exam Assessments Now Available
  • New York Bar Exam Newsletter-Only Discounts
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Important Upcoming New York Bar Exam Dates


  • New York Bar Exam administered, February 22-23, 2011

New York Bar Exam Study Strategy: Outlining Practice Essays


As we've discussed in previous newsletter issues, increasing the frequency of full, complete practice essays during your New York bar exam preparation can yield tremendous benefits. Practice essays enable you to actively engage, self-test, and review the legal concepts that will ultimately be tested on the NY bar exam. In addition to full, complete practice essays, another exam preparation technique to consider is practice essay outlining.

Practice essay outlining can be an effective tool for your NY bar exam preparation. Practice essay outlining mimics the approach you would take to complete a full, complete practice essay but in an abbreviated fashion. The simple difference with practice essay outlining is that you omit the writing out of the full, complete answer. Instead, with essay outlining, you stop the process after an outline of your answer is completed and then review whether your issue spotting, organization, and overall approach were on target for the essay. The obvious advantage to this essay preparation technique is that you can complete the entire exercise in approximately 20-25 minutes (e.g., outline and read the question in 15 minutes and review your results in 10 minutes).

When employing essay outlining, there are several caveats to keep in mind. First, to be effective, the outline you create with this approach should be a complete, skeletal version of a full, written answer. Each issue in your outline should include the key points of law and key facts that impact the application of the tested legal concept. Second, do not rely upon essay outlining to the exclusion of full, written practice essays. Essay outlining should supplement, not replace, full practice essays. Third, learn from your mistakes. Just as with practice essays, critically evaluate your practice essay outlines and incorporate missed issues or misapplication of the law into subsequent review sessions.

New York Bar Exam Essays In-Depth: Essay Time Management


Our Essays In-Depth feature is an excerpt from our New York Bar Exam Essay Solution On-Demand Workshop. This week we discuss several principles and guidelines that can improve time management on the New York bar exam essays.

The Importance of Essay Time Management

The value of effective time management on the New York bar exam essays cannot be overstated. Adhering to sound time management principles can prevent a host of bar exam calamities, including the "I only had 10 minutes for the last essay" or the "I don't know what happened, I just stared at the fact pattern for 45 minutes." Problems like these can be avoided if individuals adhere to a few, simple time management guidelines.

Obey the Suggested Essay Time Limit

The essays on the New York bar exam are designed to be answered in 40-45 minutes (40 minutes Tuesday AM; 45 minutes Tuesday PM). Accordingly, and although seemingly obvious, an individual should spend no more than 40-45 minutes per essay. The primary problem created by exceeding the 40-45 minute suggested time limit per essay is the collateral damage inflicted upon subsequent essays or, in the case of the afternoon session, the multistate performance test. For example, if you spend 75 minutes on Question 4, then you will only have 105 minutes to answer Question 5 and complete the 90 minute MPT instead of the recommended 135 minutes. Since each essay is designed to be answered in 40-45 minutes, trying to answer one or two subsequent essays in significantly less than the suggested time-frame places an individual at a fundamental disadvantage. You can avoid such a predicament by simply obeying the 40 or 45 minute time limit, depending upon the session (morning or afternoon), for all 5 essays.

The 1/3-2/3 Rule

Another common time management problem individuals face on an individual essay is spending either too little or too much time reading, organizing, and outlining their answers. Some individuals will read the question and begin writing an answer immediately. The result is typically an unorganized mess that omits or misidentifies a number of key issues. Conversely, other individuals will spend too much time reading the question, fretting and worrying, instead of simply getting down to the business of writing out an answer.

To avoid either of the above scenarios, we suggest that individuals follow the "1/3-2/3 Rule," allocating 1/3 of their time to reading, organizing, and outlining an answer and devoting the remaining 2/3 of the allotted time to writing out the answer. For individuals that adhere to the 40-45 minute time limit per essay, the application of this rule results in 13-15 minutes for organizing an answer and 27-30 minutes for writing the answer.

By adhering to the 40-45 minute time limit per essay and following the 1/3 - 2/3 Rule, you can place yourself in a position to answer competently all 5 essays.

BarReviewSolutions.com NY Bar Exam News & Announcements:


July 2010 New York Bar Exam Assessments Now Available

Our July 2010 New York Bar Exam Essay Review and Assessment is now available for individuals that did not pass the July 2010 New York bar exam. The Review and Assessment provides a comprehensive, detailed critique of the written portion of the July 2010 New York bar exam. Learn more about how our July 2010 New York Bar Exam Essay Review and Assessment can help individuals retaking the New York bar exam pass.

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Next Issue Preview


In our next issue, our Essays In-Depth feature will begin a series on essay issue identification and recognition.

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Study smart,

-The BarReviewSolutions.com Team




10 Weeks Until the February 2011 New York Bar Exam

Dear New York Bar Exam Applicants,

Welcome to the latest installment of our NY bar exam newsletter. In this issue, we consider:

  • Important Upcoming New York Bar Exam Dates
  • New York Bar Exam Study Strategy: The Testing Effect
  • New York Bar Exam Essays In-Depth: Issue Analysis, Part 3 of 3
  • New York Bar Exam Newsletter-Only Discounts
  • Next Issue Preview

Important Upcoming New York Bar Exam Dates


  • New York Bar Exam administered, February 22-23, 2011

New York Bar Exam Study Strategy: The Testing Effect


In our last issue, we discussed the "spacing effect," a concept derived from cognitive science (loosely, the study of how human beings learn and retain information) research. This week we address a related concept: the testing effect. An evaluation of the testing effect is important for your bar review, as it demonstrates why practice essays and performance tests are so important for ultimate success on the New York bar exam. Also, a brief explanation may provide additional impetus for you to faithfully integrate practice essays into your New York bar exam preparation.

The Testing Effect Explained

In simplest terms, the testing effect "refers to enhanced memory resulting from the act of retrieving information, as compared to simply reading or hearing the information. The effect is also sometimes referred to as retrieval practice or test-enhanced learning." See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Testing_effect. Research into the testing effect also demonstrates that an individual will know the material better, and be better prepared for an examination, if study is combined with testing vs. study alone. Moreover, the testing effect increases when "feedback" for the "test" is available to the student. "Study" simply means passively reading the testable material (e.g., reading an outline).

Leverage the Testing Effect to Your Advantage During Your NY Bar Review

So, how can the testing effect help you prepare for the New York bar exam? The significance for you is that you can improve your NY bar exam preparation, and take advantage of the testing effect, by integrating "testing" into your exam preparation instead of study alone. "Testing" can be any activity that requires you to recall ("retrieval" in cognitive science-speak) the testable concept or principle (e.g., rule of law). The "testing effect" has been utilized for many years in the form of flashcards and practice multiple choice questions for individuals preparing for bar exams.

However, one area where the testing effect has been neglected for NY bar exam preparation is the integration of full, practice essays with actionable feedback into an individual's bar exam preparation. You wouldn't dream of taking the MBE portion of the New York bar exam without consistent, regular multiple choice practice questions that provide you answer explanations (this type of practice already takes advantage of the testing effect). Likewise, to take advantage of the testing effect for the essays and performance tests, we believe effective, efficient New York bar exam preparation should include regular, practice essays and performance tests that provide you comprehensive, actionable feedback to improve upon your mistakes.

All of our New York bar exam programs are designed with the testing effect in mind, and we believe this type of essay practice with knowledgeable, actionable feedback is a major reason why individuals that complete our essay programs pass the New York bar exam at a significantly higher rate than the overall passing rate.

New York Bar Exam Essays In-Depth: Issue Analysis, Part 3 of 3


Our Essays In-Depth feature is an excerpt from our New York Bar Exam Essay Solution On-Demand Workshop. This week we conclude our 3-part series on Issue Analysis.

Issue Analysis on NY Bar Exam Essays

To recap, in our last two issues, we've explained that Issue Analysis on NY bar exam essays consists of analyzing a given set of facts in light of the applicable law and reasoning to a sound conclusion. We've also identified several, common mistakes that individuals make with their Issue Analysis in the hope that you can avoid similar pitfalls on your NY bar exam. In part 3, we conclude by highlighting an additional, common mistake individuals commit when presenting Issue Analysis on their NY bar exam essays: Cursory Analysis.

Common Issue Analysis Mistake: Cursory Analysis

Another common Issue Analysis mistake is Cursory Analysis. Cursory Analysis is Issue Analysis that fails to fully, and specifically, evaluate all of the relevant, pertinent facts presented by the essay fact pattern. As explained in previous issues, your Issue discussion on any New York bar exam essay should include an issue statement, statement of the law, analysis, and conclusion. The very function of any Issue Analysis is to apply the applicable legal standard(s) to the specific, pertinent facts presented by the fact pattern. The most common form of Cursory Analysis is Analysis that utilizes indirect reference to the facts.

For example, consider the common law burglary example from last week (the elements of common law burglary: a) the breaking and b) entering the c) dwelling house of another d) at nighttime e) to commit a felony therein). Additionally, consider a New York bar exam essay question that provides the following fact pertaining to a possible burglary charge: "the action occurred under moonlight at 2:00 am." Obviously, this fact would be relevant for the "at nighttime" element of common law burglary. However, how you utilize and integrate this fact into your essay answer will determine whether analysis of this element of the crime will include Cursory Analysis. A common approach is for an individual to address the "at nighttime" element of the possible burglary charge by simply stating "as the facts indicate, the defendant committed the act at night." However, this is a classic example of Cursory Analysis, lacking specific reference to the pertinent, relevant facts.

The Cursory Analysis Solution: Specificity of Factual Reference in Your Analysis

To avoid the common mistake of Cursory Analysis, provide specific, direct reference to the pertinent facts in your Issue Analysis. Instead of stating "as the facts indicate," as noted in the example above, explicitly state and integrate those facts into your essay answer. For example "the defendant clearly committed the act at nighttime because the act occurred at 2:00 am under moonlight" is far superior to the Cursory Analysis example provided above.

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Next Issue Preview


In our next issue, our Essays In-Depth feature will address how to manage your time effectively on the New York bar exam essays.

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Study smart,

-The BarReviewSolutions.com Team




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