The Bar Exam

Alex Verdegem is an LLS student blogger.

I am finished with my last law school classes and finished with last papers. The only requirement left before graduation is to complete two final exams – Criminal Procedure and Law of Sales. I don’t really get excited or emotional for things like graduations but I will admit, attending my very last law school class was a bit surreal. Everyone always says that the three years of law school fly by in a flash. It’s absolutely true and in some ways, I feel like I just started. It is also strange because I’m hardly done with my classwork. After finals, I transition immediately into bar prep – learning new areas of law and relearning things I’ve forgotten.

I had already started bar prep back in December. I am reading through a few books and sample problems on marital property, going back over old contract and property outlines, and doing some multiple-choice questions. I have already purchased my bar prep course. I decided to go with Kaplan over Themis and Barbri because I felt Kaplan offered the most comprehensive package for developing my essay-writing skills. The plan is to work on bar prep as though it is my 9-6 job. I have already carved out some time to attend a wedding in May but I have made a point not to fill my schedule with new plans.

I’m still rather focused on my finals so I can’t say I’ve given a lot of thought to my specific study schedule. I know that I need to learn at least the basics of marital property and wills and trusts in the next three months before the July Bar Exam. Those two subjects are not tested on the Multistate Bar Exam (aka the MBE, which is the multiple-choice section of the exam) but they could be tested in the essay section. I also need to extensively review criminal law and basic property law which I have not studied since the fall semester of my 1L year. I am more confident about contracts because the Law of Sales class, which I’m taking this semester, is grounded largely in concepts covered in 1L contracts classes. I’m also more confident about civil procedure because I’ve gotten a lot of experience over the last three years working with statutory deadlines, pleading requirements and motions. I am also very confident in my knowledge of business associations because of my experiences in the corporate concentration. Nevertheless, I am treating bar prep as an opportunity to start my law school education from scratch. I’m sure there are things in every subject that I have forgotten. I cannot afford to skip reviewing any part of any subject.

The great thing about bar prep is that there aren’t really any cases to read. The course books give the relevant rules without “hiding the ball.” Although this means I won’t get the richness of the case history, I can go through the basics of each area of law pretty efficiently. Wish me luck and I will see you on the other side!

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