Virginia Bar Exam Blog
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
  Sample Outline From The Study Group
A rep from The Study Group sent me 2 samples of their outlines. The 1st is called the "Bar Points" - a shorter outline. The 2nd is a Crim Law outline. I thought that they were very good and wanted to pass them on. I liked the format of the Bar Points and the charts and examples in the Crim Law outline...

OK - I cant figure out how to upload PDF files, so if you are interested, please post your email and I will send it to you.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006
  Response to Comment Posted 5/24
Here is the question:

Probably something brief like "how I passed the NY bar exam and what test takers should look out for". Whenever you get a chance to reply -- no rush.

How I passed the NY bar exam:
1. I took Pieper's class live (evening class). I honestly think that he is the best course out there because:
a. Unlike Barbri where each subject is taught by a different prof (sometimes not even from the jurisdiction where you are taking the exam), Pieper teaches all the classes himself.
b. Because Pieper teaches everything himself, he is able to combine subjects when doing hypos in class, like the bar exam itself. (Example: Family law and Wills of Family law and Property - Divorce and Property distribution). I found this very helpful because it got my mind out of "the subject of the day" mode and made doing essays that much easier.

2. I did both the 6 day and 3 day PMBR.
a. The 6 day is great because it jump starts your bar review studying. It generally is before Barbri or Pieper starting. It also helps because by the time you get to the 6 MBE subjects in whatever class you are taking, you have an idea on the subject (I certainly did not remember civ pro from 1L year).
b. The 3 day is great because it is generally right before the bar exam and is a great refresher and teaches more "tricky tricks" of the MBE. Also, it's another chance to do a full length MBE exam.
c. DON'T just get the books or go to the 3 day just to do the exam. GO to all the classes. They teach substantive stuff and tricks which are very helpful.
d. I think that the MBE is more about learning HOW to answer the questions than really learning.

3. DON'T stress!! Stress is only the product of bad planning and preparation. Just do what you need to do and you won't run out of time. I PROMISE!
a. Go to lecture everyday
b. Do 50 MBE questions everyday
c. By the 2nd month, issue spot at least 2 essays everyday
d. DO take a day off a week the 1st month

4. Active learning is the way to go. Don't just read outlines... can you retain 200 pages of an outline? If yes, then you are a champ. For me, forget retaining 200 pages, I can't even focus for 2 pages! That's why I issue spotted and read as many sample essays as possible. What you get wrong from the essays, go back to the outlines and read that part of the outline.

What test takers should look out for:
Not really sure what to say on this. I guess, don't compare yourself to other people taking the exam. I NEVER followed the suggested study schedule. You have been through 3 years of law school and you KNOW how to study... Don't let people psych you out... The above info is just how I study the best...

Also, this is a marathon and not a sprint. DON'T burn yourself out. I think that one of the hardest things for me was being constant and studying so hard for 2 months. By July 4th weekend I was like, can I take the test already? Slow and steady wins the race really applies to the bar exam.

Make sure that you have your hotel reservations and car service ready for the exam. You don't want to be scrambling the week or night before the exam.

Oh, the day before the exam, I quit at lunch time. Books AWAY! If you don't know by then, you are NOT going to know it and you will just stress yourself out and you will forget what you really do know. I got a massage and a well needed manicure the day before the exam. I rented my favorite movie and watched it. And EARLY to bed!! You have to be fully functional and awake from about 8-5 for 2 days straight. Get your ID and pens/pencils ready the night before, along with your sweater and put them by the front door.

Also, about 2 weeks before the exam, I studied during exam hours. Example, I pretended that I was taking the exam. Up at 7AM, studying 9-12, lunch 1-2, studying 2-5 (just like what I would be doing on exam day).

Hope this helps. If there is anything I missed, let me know.

Monday, May 29, 2006
  Officially Starting the Long Trek!!
The long weekend was great... Partying, relaxing and taking some time for myself. Now that I'm back, it's time to really start thinking about taking this bar exam. I will be working for the 1st time while studying for the bar exam. The other times I had either just graduated from law school or was taking some time off from work and taking a night class or just studying on my own. This time, I will be working the whole time. That's why I am starting now for the February 2007 exam. (Why can't I ever spell February?)

From what I have read and heard from others, I think that I am going to go with The Study Group. Because I will be studing for the VA exam from NY, I need a home study course. So The Study Group and Micromash are my only real alternatives (REFUSE to do Barbri - I think that they are aweful!) Because I am an audio studier, I need something that "lectures" at me. Micromash doesn't have an audio portion - only reading stuff from the computer software and books. That won't do it for me... start zoning out if I don't "actively" learn (ie. following the books and taking notes while being letured at). So TSG is the way to go for me... Does anyone have any other thoughts?

Of course, PMBR red and blue book... but no classes this time. Pretty confident on the MBE (169 for NY - got my score because of NJ). But definitely will do both the red and blue books again... Feel like I can teach the damn class at this point... (Have done both books twice.)

Well, any suggestions or words of advice would be great!
Friday, May 26, 2006
  Taking the Weekend OFF!!
Hi to all! OK, I am taking the weekend off... no studying, no thinking about studying and definitely no thinking about the bar exam.

February is a long ways away... I suppose once this weekend is over, I should start seriously thinking about finding a bar course... if anyone has any suggestions on this, please post it.

Have a GREAT weekend!!
Thursday, May 25, 2006
  Typical Schedule
Some people have asked what my typcial day would look like, so here it is.
Of course, if there was a subject that really didnt get, (such as when I took NY I totally did not get NY civ pro), I would spend additional days on it...

8 AM Rise and Shine/Shower/Eat Breakfast - we're still hygenic at this point
9 AM-1 Attend or Listen to Lecture
1-2:30 Lunch & Break Time or Nap
2:30-6:30 100 MBE Qs (2 hours to do & 2 hours to correct)
6:30-7 Break - usually to chat with friends - havent spoken to anyone all day!
7-8 Review "trouble" spots of the day (make mini outlines)
8-9:30 Dinner/Break
9:30-11:30 Issue spot 3 essays (20 mins each) and read sample essays (20 mins each)
Midnight - BED TIME

I suggest making up a schedule that you think that you can follow and be realistic. Dont say ok, 8AM - Midnight Review
Midnight - 2AM Essays
Dont go to bed

Remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint. You cant burn out too early. Otherwise you just wont be able to build up the last month.

I also am a true believer in sleep and rest. That's why my schedule has so many breaks, especially towards the end of the day when my brain is fried. I also need like 8-9 hours of sleep a night, that's why in bed at midnight.

Also, except for the last 3 weeks before the exam, I ALWAYS take Sunday off and a weekday afternoon or evening off to do errands that cant be done on a Sunday. I usually took it on Thursday when I started feeling burnt out... An afternoon or day off means a more productive week.

Hope this helps!
  Some Information About the Exam
This information is from the VA Board of Bar Examiner's Website (see Sidebar):

When and Where?
Feb 27-28 either in Richmond or Norfolk

What Subjects?
MBE Subjects + VA State Essay Subjects:
Conflict of Laws
Personal Property
Constitutional Law
Professional Responsibility
Real Property
Creditor's Rights
Criminal Law and Procedure
Domestic Relations
Uniform Commercial Code
Federal Practice and Procedure
Virginia Pleading, Practice, and Procedure in law and equity (including appellate practice)
Local Government Law
Wills and Estate Administration

Filing Deadlines:
Preceeding December 15 for the February exam

2004 Statistics for NCBEX:
53% passed in February 2004
In Feb 2004 - 60% of 1st time takers passed and 47% of repeaters passed

Hope this info helps!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006
  The 1st Entry
OK - I am pretty much technologically retarded, but couldn't find a blog out there for the VA bar exam... and looking at sites like JDJive and others, it seems as though there should be.

I am planning on taking the February 2007 VA bar exam, and need lots of help, advice and support. Have never lived in VA and know nothing about the VA bar exam, but need to take it for work and stuff.

I hope that you find this blog helpful, and PLEASE if you have suggestions let me know.

A Bit About Me:
I have taken the NY bar exam and passed and have been practicing for a couple of years. Now, I need to start my long and miserable journey of taking another bar exam.

I live in NY but may have to move to VA for personal reasons. That is why I am taking the VA exam.

A Bit About This Blog:
I hope that people post interesting information they have and share any advice, bar courses, outlines, etc...

This can be a place to complain and get support... We're all on the same journey.
This is a blog for people serious about taking the Virginia bar exam... Emotional and study support system.

Location: New York, New York, United States
May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 /

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