This course is designed to provide structure and predictability, and thus to reduce anxiety and wasted prep time by using a systematic approach to preparing the known and recurring issues for both the MBE and the essay portion the Bar Exam. For the essay portion of the exam, students gain mastery in both the issue identification process and application of the substantive law to essay writing by identifying the recurring testable issues and preparing the substantive law on the issues repeatedly tested. Unlike the MBE portion of the exam, which tests the entire scope of the law in a superficial fashion, the essay portion is designed to test a small and predictable portion of the law, but in a much deeper way. For this reason, preparation for the essay portion of the exam cannot be achieved simply through practice for the MBE, or by watching lectures. Essay preparation requires application of a different skill set.
For the MBE portion of the exam, though the scope of the law tested is much greater than in essays, the depth of knowledge required in the applied task is much more superficial. As a result, students gain mastery of questions through an emphasis on exposure to both form and substance, rather than wasting effort memorizing tests for every concept of law under the sun, typically presented in day-long lecture formats. Lectures do not help in the actual task of answering questions! Though the course does not conflict with other substantive commercial prep courses per se, this course focuses on mastering applied tasks by using authentic bar materials. Contrary to the fear that this course will add to students’ time constraints, this course’s defined instruction allows students to make better use of their time and material resources, especially after commercial course lectures have ended and students need the most guidance to make the most effective use of the time remaining before the exam.
As much as possible, we rely on authentic bar examiner materials.
The course meets several times over the several weeks leading up to the exam, depending on course delivery method (e.g. one-on-one or online via Skype or FaceTime) and individual need. Though the course methodology is set, each student has unique needs. I adapt my work to what best suits individual strength and weaknesses, but in within a defined approach. Students are given discrete tasks and instruction during meetings and return to subsequent meetings with completed work in preparation for the next assignment. The essay portion of the course culminates in a completed study tool used to apply toward actual exam-writing practice.