Dramatically raise your bar exam scores

Correction: Why Our MPT Workshop WILL be Online

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Why Our MPT Workshop WILL be Online
Teaching the Old-Fashioned Pre-Pandemic way: Dr. Gallagher teaching an MPT Workshop at the New York City Bar Association

BarWrite Systems Raise MPT Scores

BarWrite systems raise MPT scores. This is a confession. The BarWrite systems raise MPT scores. But once upon a time, I did not believe online courses could possibly be as effective as in-person courses, which were very effective, indeed. Accordingly, my company, BarWrite. provided only in-person courses, either at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) or at the New York City Bar Association. I liked it because I could walk around the room and look at the students’ papers and talk with each person. I often considered doing a course online, but I was reluctant. Year after year, I remained the last of the dinosaurs. Nothing was online.

But now I discover that I love teaching online

Well, that was then. As one of my law school classmates says, “The pandemic accelerates everything.” Suddenly I had no choice. In-person courses had become dangerous to health. Result? Last month, I finished teaching my first MPT Workshop on Zoom. I loved it. It was global. One student was in Los Angeles, another was in London. It was intimate. I could see the students’ faces right on the screen. It was efficient. Students sent me their MPT work products by email, and I was able to correct everyone’s papers and email them back. They will learn that BarWrite systems raise MPT scores.

Online MPT Workshop starts 10am August 8

Here is more good news. BarWrite will be offering another online 7-session MPT Workshop, starting at 10am EDT Saturday, August 8. The systems will be those in my book Perform Your Best on the Bar Exam Performance Test (MPT). Bar candidates can still, if they prefer, just buy the book on Amazon. If you enroll in the class, I will send you materials from the book. Tuition is $497.00. You can enroll online.

We have statistical proof that our MPT systems raise scores

BarWrite systems raise MPT scores. They have already been proved to be effective. This is not just the results of anecdotal reporting. There is statistical proof.

On the UBE or online, the MPT counts 20%

The MPT score is 20 percent of your score–either on the UBE or on the emergency exam in October. BarWrite systems raise MPT scores. To join the class, sign up here.

Join us on August 8

You can find more information and enroll here.

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Students' Challenges on the Multistate Performance Test (MPT)

PERFORM YOUR BEST ON THE BAR EXAM PERFORMANCE TEST (MPT): TRAIN TO FINISH THE MPT IN 90 MINUTES “LIKE A SPORT(TM). Best-selling study guide for all Bar Exam Performance Tests. This system helps bar candidates and practicing lawyers produce faster and more effective work products. One reviewer called it “the Swiss Army knife of the MPT.”

This woman is out of compliance

News about Learning the Law for the UBE

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Talk to yourself to learn more law

Talk to Yourself to Learn the Law

Vocabulary victims are bar candidates who can remember some of the words from a rule of law, but who cannot identify issues in fact patterns on the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) or the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE). They do not understand the law, let alone how the law applies to facts. They cannot master the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE).

The best method for learning how law applies to facts, believe it or not, is talking to yourself. Neuroscientists call this metacognition. Here are three good ways to talk to yourself for greater understanding of the law as you are preparing for the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE). (1) First, ask yourself questions, for example, Can I think of any situations where this rule of law might apply? Or: How is this rule different from related rules in the same or different areas of law? Or: What would have to happen for this rule not to apply? (2) Second, study the examples in your bar-prep materials, whether Themis, Pieper, BarBri or other, and ask yourself how they are the same or different from each other and from the other examples you have studied. (3) Third, read other sources and ask yourself how reading each source made a difference to your understanding–or not. You can consult the Conviser Mini-Review or an old one-volume review outline you used in law school or even a Wikipedia article.

Flash Cards are the Secret to Great Bar Exam Results

Once you have understood a rule, put it on a flash card. A flash card will give you short statement of law to study and memorize. Make sure that the rule is in memorizable form. Just one simple sentence, normally. If you state the rule in a complicated way, it will be hard to memorize.

Memorization and Repetition are Key to Success

Memorization helps you make the material entirely your own and call it up whenever you need it on the bar exam. Repetition is vital to memorization. The psychologists who have studied spaced repetition suggest that you should recite the rule just at that point where you are almost forgetting it. Assuming, however, that you cannot precisely target that point, I’d aim for frequent repetition. Perhaps every other day or every third or fourth day, until the bar exam.

What About All the Time This Takes?

Wanting to study quickly is the enemy of understanding the law and studying effectively. Yes, this method takes a lot of time. In the end, however, it saves time. Since you are only memorizing rules of law that you understand well, you need never go back and reread your notes. You certainly need not go back and listen to a video again. Your speed may be slow, but you make up for it in effectiveness.

Recommended Reading on Learning Systems

Read our BarWrite Blog post called Memorizing Law, Can it Make You Brilliant on the UBE? It provides more information than this post on why memorizing makes learning easier. I also recommend a post by David Handel called “How to Read Academic Content Once and Remember it Forever.”

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If you would like instruction in how to write the essays in the MEE, the course we offer on MPT and MEE skills and principles is for you.

Take a look at it here. For the MPT, we offer a superb 3-Day Crash Course.

three days to a higher MPT score

PERFORM YOUR BEST ON THE BAR EXAM PERFORMANCE TEST (MPT): TRAIN TO FINISH THE MPT IN 90 MINUTES “LIKE A SPORT(TM). Best-selling study guide for all Bar Exam Performance Tests. This system helps bar candidates and practicing lawyers produce faster and more effective work products. One reviewer called it “the Swiss Army knife of the MPT.” We use this book in our 3-Day MPT Crash Course. Information here.

BARWRITE® 6-DAY MBE IMMERSION COURSE helps you pole-vault the MBE. “My MBE went from a 126 to a 149!” ­- Gemma Waananen Kenney (Member, New York and New Jersey Bars).

BARWRITE® THREE-DAY MPT CRASH COURSE for higher MPT scores. “Dr. Gallagher’s MPT-Matrix is like the Harmattan dust storm.” Adeolu Sunday (LL.B. Nigeria)(LLM NYU, passed the February 2018 bar exam).

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five keys to raising your MEE scores

Five Keys to Raising Your MEE Scores by mastering the law

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There are five keys to raising your MEE scores by mastering the law.

Here are five keys to raising your MEE scores by mastering the law. (1) Be systematic and focus on the basics. (2) Study every subject in the same way. (3) Master the vocabulary of each subject. (4) Distinguish the main categories and sub-categories of law in that area. (5) Note which law governs and which main issues fall under the uniform laws or federal statutes or the law of the Constitution.

The Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) tests both on the seven subjects on the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) and also on an additional eight state-law subjects.

This post focuses on the state-law subjects. They are Agency, Conflict of Laws, Corporations, Family Law, Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies, Secured Transactions, Trusts, and Wills.

1. The first of the five keys to raising your MEE scores is to be systematic.

The areas of law on the MEE are widely divergent. But the more you can study them all as though they conformed to a single pattern, the more easily you can master the rules. Look over the table of contents of your review material on the subject. Note which parts are basic, and especially the definitions of terms. Note which parts contain the greatest amount of material.

All other things being equal, the basic parts and the most extensive parts are the rules where you will focus your energy. In Family Law, for example, the rules for marriage and divorce are far more copious than the rules for alternatives to adoption. You must master the rules for getting married and getting divorced, but it is enough to be familiar with the alternatives to adoption. In Wills, the rules for executing a will are more copious than the rules for Totten trusts. You must master the rules for executing a will, but it is enough to understand how Totten trusts work.

2. The second of the five keys to raising your MEE scores is to study every subject in the same way.

First, what are the key categories in the area of law? Second, what human problems does the area of law work to solve? Third, what is the governing law? Fourth, which courts have jurisdiction? Fifth, how are court decrees enforced?

3. The third of the five keys to raising your MEE scores is to master the basic vocabulary of each subject.

Key to mastering the law is to master the definitions of the key terms. What is the basic vocabulary? Do not ever just assume that you are getting the meaning of words from the context. Keep your Black’s Law Dictionary with you at all times, and use it. A lawyer is someone who uses words the way a lawyer uses words. Use flashcards to master the basics.

Some subjects present larger numbers of new terms to be mastered than others. Trusts law requires mastery of the meanings of numerous terms including settlor, trustee, beneficiary, testamentary trust, inter vivos trust, revocable trust, irrevocable trust, charitable trust, and estoppel. Wills law requires mastering the definitions of issue, per capita, per stirpes, representation, joint tenants, and numerous other terms.

4. The fourth of the five keys to raising your MEE scores is to distinguish the main categories and sub-categories of the law in the area.

In Wills law, intestacy is one big category and wills are a second big category. In Family Law, it’s marriage, divorce or annulment, child custody, and adoption. Think about the law as arranged under those headings. Study how the headings are similar to and differ from one another. Again, use flashcards to master the basic rules. Will a beneficiary take under the will or under intestacy? Will the marriage be annulled or will the parties get a divorce?

5. The fifth of the five keys to raising your MEE scores is to note which law governs. Note which main issues fall under state law–including the uniform laws–and which main issues, if any, come under federal statutes or Constitutional law.

In many subjects, the basic law concerns creation (of a will, of a partnership, of a marriage, etc.) and termination or revocation. The governing law within those topics may differ. With a will, the governing law for admission to probate may be different from the governing law for disposition of real property. In Family Law, there are many state law rules, some of which are also uniform law rules, concerning marriage and divorce. There are also federal statutes, including the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), just to choose one of several federal statutes. And some issues that at first glance appear to be appropriate to Family Law, for example, whether non-marital children can be excluded from a will, are Constitutional issues. Which law governs points to fundamental and key distinctions.

If you study the eight state-law subjects on the MEE by using the five keys to raising your MEE scores, you will learn more. You will also enjoy it more.

If you would like instruction in how to write the essays in the MEE, the course we offer on MPT and MEE skills and principles is for you.

Take a look at it here. For the MPT, we offer a superb 3-Day Crash Course.

three days to a higher MPT score

PERFORM YOUR BEST ON THE BAR EXAM PERFORMANCE TEST (MPT): TRAIN TO FINISH THE MPT IN 90 MINUTES “LIKE A SPORT(TM). Best-selling study guide for all Bar Exam Performance Tests. This system helps bar candidates and practicing lawyers produce faster and more effective work products. One reviewer called it “the Swiss Army knife of the MPT.” We use this book in our 3-Day MPT Crash Course. Information here.

SCORING HIGH ON BAR EXAM ESSAYS. This book “may be the best money you can spend on bar exam preparation.” — The St. John’s Law School Forum.

BARWRITE® 6-DAY MBE IMMERSION COURSE helps you pole-vault the MBE. “My MBE went from a 126 to a 149!” ­- Gemma Waananen Kenney (Member, New York and New Jersey Bars).

BARWRITE® THREE-DAY MPT CRASH COURSE for higher MPT scores. “Dr. Gallagher’s MPT-Matrix is like the Harmattan dust storm.” Adeolu Sunday (LL.B. Nigeria)(LLM NYU, passed the February 2018 bar exam).

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Five keys to raising your MEE scores

MPT bar exam tips -- ethics issues

The MPT Will Give You More Love Than the Essays

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If bar candidates want to pass the bar exam, they should be focusing more on the MPT, less on the MEE.

True, the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) is worth 30 percent of a candidate’s score on the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE), while the Multistate Performance Test (MPT) is worth 20 percent. But you can make more progress preparing for the UBE in a shorter amount of time if you focus on improving your MPT score. The MPT pay-off per hour of study time is much greater.

Many bar candidates lose sleep over the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE).

Each hour of study for the MEE is a shot in the dark with a relatively small possible pay-off. The essays are scary. They are worth 30 per cent of the exam, and they can touch on any of a twelve different areas of law. And a great many hours of study are demanded. Even if a bar candidate can guess which subjects will be tested on the MEE, for example, Federal Civil Procedure, there is no surefire way to know which topics the examiners will test.

Here’s the list of subjects on the MEE:

MBE Subjects: (1) Contracts and Uniform Commercial Code (UCC Article 2) (2) Torts (3) Federal Civil Procedure (4) Constitutional Law (5) Real Property and Future Interests (6) Federal Rules of Evidence (7) Criminal Law and Procedure Other Subjects: (1) Agency and Partnership Corporations, LLPs, etc. (2) Conflict of Laws (3) Family Law (4) Trusts, Wills, and Estates (5) Secured Transactions (UCC Article 9).

Sometimes it may look as though the examiners are retesting on old tried-and-true topics, like personal and subject-matter jurisdiction in Federal Civil Procedure. But other times, they seem to have searched to find a remote topic that is *rarely or *never previously tested on. To choose one recent example, the Tenth Amendment.

The MPT is entirely different.

By contrast with the MEE essays, for the MPT, there is NO law to study. No law, because the NCBE gives bar candidates all the law they will need to complete each task. The MPT pay-off has to be much greater. That is not to say, of course, that candidates need not prepare thoroughly for the essays. Preparing seriously for the essays is worth the work. It is to point out that the MPT pay-off is greater.

Then how can a bar candidate prepare for the MPT?

The big commercial bar review courses are totally confused about how to prepare for the MPT. They do not know how to help bar candidates prepare. They give students a few hints, and then they pass out a huge pile of old released MPT tasks and say, “Here’s a great big wonderful resource for you, dozens and dozens of old MPT tasks! Go practice!” As the students say, Give me a break.

Many students give up on the MPT. Every MPT seems to be different. Some are briefs or memos, but the format can be anything from a closing argument in a criminal trial to a persuasive letter to a client. Nor do students know how to finish on time, what they call “time management.” Thus, when bar candidates get a low score on the MPT, many times, they do not know what they are doing wrong. Instead of benefiting from the MPT pay-off, they are spinning their wheels.

Practicing the MPT need not, however, be entirely guesswork.

First, the NCBE provides Graders Point Sheets. They are not answer keys, but they do indicate which points the student should make. Second, students can refer to the sample answers in the books that come from the big commercial bar courses. Those books are not guides to managing the time or to self-grading, but they do give an indication, again, of the main points on each task.

BarWrite is different. The BarWrite systems let you handle every MPT task the same way.

Learning systems for handling every MPT the same way enables you to raise your score by working more efficiently and with less anxiety. These systems are the MPT-Matrix(TM) and the MPT Time System(TM). The MPT-Matrix is a system for representing everything you will use in your work product, without taking notes, and on one piece of paper. The MPT Time System enables candidates to finish inside 90 minutes. For bar candidates who want to learn that structure, BarWrite offers a book, Perform Your Best on the Bar Exam Performance Test (MPT), by Dr. Mary Campbell Gallagher. The book teaches the MPT-Matrix and the MPT Time System. It contains 12 sample MPT tasks with sample MPT-Matrixes, sample answers, and analyses of the MPT tasks, plus templates for MPT-styled briefs, memos, and letters.

For those who want a class and structure, BarWrite offers a live course in New York City based on the book.

Bar candidates who wish structured practice and feedback on the MPT can learn and practice the BarWrite systems in BarWrite’s 3-Day MPT Crash Course in New York City. People who take the course typically rave about it. Many bar candidates find that actually practicing a number of MPT tasks and getting immediate feedback is the best way to strengthen their skills and raise their scores on the MPT.

After all, the MPT is 20 percent of your score. In other words, at least in theory, you can learn how to raise your score by up to 20 percent. Nothing you can do on the essays will have anything like the same effect. You must of course prepare thoroughly for the essays, but preparing for the MPT will be more fruitful on a per-hour basis. If three days of intensive work on learning systems for all MPT tasks, practicing and getting feedback sounds good to you, sign up today. The 3-Day MPT Crash Course meets in New York City. Enroll here. Stay with friends, or we will be happy to send you a list of hostels and hotels. The big MPT pay-off will help you, too.

The book is available from Legal Books Distributing and also from Amazon.com. To sign up for the course, go to the 3-Day page on the BarWrite website. You can benefit from the big MPT pay-off.

Bad News on the First July 2018 MPT Task

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How Bar Candidates Went Wrong on the MPTs in July 2018

Many bar candidates fell tragically short on the first July 2018 MPT task, called State v. Hale

For many people, the MPT is a huge obstacle to passing the bar exam. The MPT counts for 20 percent of the total score, but many bar candidates either underestimate it or just don’t know how to prepare. Once again, on the first July 2018 MPT task, State v. Halesome candidates may indeed have struggled to manage the time and finish in 90 minutes. But the main problem, as so often, was that candidates simply failed to follow the instructions. Read on, for how that happened in July. 

The instructions are usually in the partner memo (aka task memo), plus any document it refers to. So the challenge is to read the entire partner memo carefully enough, and also any other document that gives instructions.

I recommend reading the instructions two or three times before doing the analysis of the File and the Library. Then another time before starting to write the work product. And a final time before handing in the paper. That’s what I teach in my book Perform Your Best on the Bar Exam Performance Test (MPT), and in our BarWrite classes, both the 10-Day Intensive and the new 3-Day MPT Crash Course that BarWrite will be offering twice for February 2019, in January and in February. 

In first July 2018 MPT task, State v. Hale, the assignment was to refute the arguments the defendant’s attorney makes in support of his motion for a new trial. The instructions in the partner memo referred to the defendant’s brief. That should have compelled extra-careful reading of the defendant’s brief. If you know how to use the MPT-Matrix(TM), you would have put the defendant’s arguments into your outline.

The defendant’s brief contained three arguments. First, that the government had suppressed the prosecution witness’s recantation, which was favorable to the defendant and material to the outcome, in violation of the rule in Brady v. Maryland, compelling a new trial. Second, that the government had suppressed evidence of what the victim had told the EMT driver, which was also favorable to the defendant and material, contradicting the victim’s trial testimony, and again compelling a new trial. Third, that the court had erred in allowing in hearsay evidence of what the prosecution witness had said to a detective just after the incident–despite the defendant’s having asserted spousal privilege.

Because the defendant’s brief contained those three arguments, the bar candidate’s “Legal Argument” had to argue against all three points. If a bar candidate in the heat of the exam failed to notice one of those arguments, it was curtains for his or her score. Alas.

On the first July 2018 MPT task, however, some candidates responded to only one or two of the defendant’s arguments.

Perhaps they did not read the defendant’s brief from start to finish. Or perhaps they got started outlining their first argument and never went back to read the defendant’s brief again before handing in their work. From my experience studying how the MPT is graded, unfortunately, I’d say sketchy treatment of one or another topic might be tolerated, but to skip a third of the assignment? That does not work. You cannot, alas, expect to get a high grade on the MPT if you do not even attempt to say something, even if short, about each main point. 

Bar candidates must read the MPT instructions carefully and do exactly what the instructions tell them to do.

You do not have to write very much, but you do have to understand the problem, and you do have to do what the instructions tell you to do. Just do exactly what the instructions tell you to do, and show that you have done it, and you will raise your MPT grade. My own draft MPT-Matrix for the first July 2018 MPT task, State v. Hale, is below. Click below to read it.

Click to read  my draft MPT-Matrix for State v. Hale.

How Bar Candidates Went Wrong on the MPTs in July 2018
How Bar Candidates Can go Right on the MPT! Perform Your Best on the Bar Exam Performance Test (MPT)

Here are some other aids to passing the Uniform Bar Exam, for you to consider:

PERFORM YOUR BEST ON THE BAR EXAM PERFORMANCE TEST (MPT): TRAIN TO FINISH THE MPT IN 90 MINUTES “LIKE A SPORT(TM). Best-selling study guide for all Bar Exam Performance Tests. This system helps bar candidates and practicing lawyers produce faster and more effective work products. One reviewer called it “the Swiss Army knife of the MPT.” We use this book in our 3-Day MPT Crash Course. Information here. And in the 10-Day Intensive UBE Bar Review. Information here.m

BARWRITE® 6-DAY MBE IMMERSION COURSE helps you pole-vault the MBE. “My MBE went from a 126 to a 149!” ­- Gemma Waananen Kenney (Member, New York and New Jersey Bars).

BARWRITE® THREE-DAY MPT CRASH COURSE for your best MPT score. “Dr. Gallagher’s MPT-Matrix is like the Harmattan dust storm.” Adeolu Sunday (LL.B. Nigeria)(LLM NYU, passed the February 2018 bar exam).

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How Turtles Beat Hares on the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE)

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Turtles get higher MBE scores than rabbits

 

HOW TURTLES BEAT HARES ON THE MULTISTATE BAR EXAM (MBE)

You remember the fable of the tortoise and the hare. We all know that the turtle wins the race. That doesn’t stop human nature. Many bar candidates want to think of themselves as legal rabbits. Alas, it does not work.

A rabbit aims to run through MBE practice questions by the dozens or hundreds every day, whether the rabbit knows the law or not. The trouble is that doing 50 questions a day will not teach you the law. True, it will help you spot issues once you know the law, but it will not teach you the law if you don’t already know it. The answers go by too fast. Rabbits, however, rarely know much law when they start.

“I followed Dr. Gallaghers method, and I increased my MBE score by 25 points.”

– Edwin M. Hernandez Garcia, Quinnipiac Law School, Member, New York Bar

The tortoise wins both in the fable and on the MBE.

In BarWrite’s 6-Day MBE Immersion Course, BarWrite teaches, helps students practice, and drills on, a painful but effective method for raising your MBE score–like a turtle. It works. Slowly.
The foundation if the BarWrite system is using practice questions sorted by topic. That way, you  master the most heavily-tested topics on the MBE. I do not believe scoring high on the MBE is just learning traps and tricks. On the contrary, I think knowing the law is the key. Know more law, do better on the MBE. What a concept!
If you know the law, the issues are key, not the answer choices

Instead of letting the answer choices tell you what the issue is, with this system, you start by skimming the fact pattern and writing down the issue. A lot of the secret here is not letting yourself be danced around by the answer choices. That is agonizing! Instead, you figure out the issue and pick the answer choice that is closest to your own answer, and you check whether or not it is right. If not, you find the rule of law in your reference books, and you write it on a flashcard for memorization.

Now the really painful part begins.
You go back to the fact pattern and do the ANALYSIS. This is the offer, this is the acceptance . . . .  You must do this hard and even painful work yourself: the books will not do it for you. Then comes more hard work. You memorize the rules of law. This takes a lot of time.
“As you said, memorizing the basic concepts not only helped me on the essays but also on the MBE.”
— Tugce Ugurlu, Stanford Law School, Member, New York Bar
The pain continues.
You go back to the first fact pattern in your set and you do it all over again. Otherwise, how can you expect to make your knowledge stick? “Repetition makes the student.” Good when Thomas Aquinas said it in the thirteenth century, and good today. The turtle does not run, the turtle plods. It is painful. But it works!
There is more, but you get the idea.

BarWrite teaches you the whole system in the 6-Day MBE Immersion Course. The truth is that so much pain is hard to endure on your own. You get impatient, and you start listening when your friends brag about the thousands of MBE practice questions they are doing. So you may go off the track. A class is a lot more structured and satisfying. It can even be fun. A class is the place to learn a lot of law. It will help you be sure you are doing it right. You will be supported in what we call your Growth Mindset. And you will be rewarded for your hard work.

If you think the 6-Day MBE Immersion Course might help you raise your MBE score, take a look. The information is here.

three days to a higher MPT scorePERFORM YOUR BEST ON THE BAR EXAM PERFORMANCE TEST (MPT): TRAIN TO FINISH THE MPT IN 90 MINUTES “LIKE A SPORT(TM). Best-selling study guide for all Bar Exam Performance Tests. This system helps bar candidates and practicing lawyers produce faster and more effective work products. One reviewer called it “the Swiss Army knife of the MPT.” We use this book in our 3-Day MPT Crash Course. Information here.

SCORING HIGH ON BAR EXAM ESSAYS. This book “may be the best money you can spend on bar exam preparation.” — The St. John’s Law School Forum.

BARWRITE® 6-DAY MBE IMMERSION COURSE helps you pole-vault the MBE. “My MBE went from a 126 to a 149!” ­- Gemma Waananen Kenney (Member, New York and New Jersey Bars).

BARWRITE® THREE-DAY MPT CRASH COURSE for higher MPT scores. “Dr. Gallagher’s MPT-Matrix is like the Harmattan dust storm.” Adeolu Sunday (LL.B. Nigeria)(LLM NYU, passed the February 2018 bar exam).

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Nine Traps for LLMs on the MPT

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5 Loser and 5 Winner Study Methods
Nine traps for LLMs on the MPT

NINE TRAPS FOR LLMs (and JDs) ON THE MPT (MULTISTATE PERFORMANCE TEST)

I have noticed nine traps for LLMs on the MPT (Multistate Performance Test). These traps are one reason why LLMs’ first-time bar exam pass rate is much lower than that for JDs. In fact, JDs, too, may fall into these traps. The good news is that for every MPT trap there is a way out, an escape, a solution. Take our 3-Day MPT Crash Course to learn more.

PARTNER MEMO TRAPS

Trap Number 1: Not following all the instructions in the Partner Memo. Solution: Read the instructions in the Partner Memo at least four times, at least once at the beginning, again before writing the work product, and yet again before submitting the paper. Don’t just follow the instructions, make it clear on the page that you are following the instructions. Use labels. Use numbers and lettering to make clear what you are doing.

Trap Number 2: Not doing everything told to do in the instructions in the Partner Memo. Example: “Each argument should be preceded by a . . . carefully crafted subject heading that tells the court . . . . “ Solution: Read every instruction four times. Don’t just follow the instructions, make it clear on the page that you are following the instructions.

Trap Number 3: Doing what told not to do. Example of instruction: “Do not write a Statement of Facts or a Statement of Jurisdictional Basis.” Solution: Read every instruction four times. Take special care to notice the word “not.”

A PARTICULARLY PERNICIOUS PARTNER MEMO TRAP

Trap Number 4: Skipping partner memo instructions that tell how to deal with the opposing party or contrary authority. Solution: Read the Partner Memo four times. Know and follow the standard templates. In an objective memo, to the extent possible, look at both sides of every main question and argue both sides when applying the rules to the facts. In a brief, follow the instructions in the Partner Memo for whether or how to handle opposing arguments.

THE FATAL TIME TRAP

Trap Number 5: Spending too much time on any one section of the task, and running out of time. Solution: Use the BarWrite MPT Time System™, as adjusted for LLMs. The adjustment means that LLMs spend more time than JDs reading (45 minutes, instead of 35), but less time writing (35 minutes, instead of 45).

5 minutes             Outline the Partner Memo tasks. Read at least twice.
35/45 minutes   Read, index, and cross-reference the File and Library.

Pause: Reread the instructions in the Partner Memo

45/35 minutes    Draft the work product
5 minutes             Reread the instructions in the Partner Memo, proofread.

ORGANIZATION TRAPS

Trap Number 6: Not organizing the research. Solution: Use the BarWrite MPT-Matrix™ to organize factual and legal research. The MPT-Matrix saves time: all research is on one page. As Nigerian law graduate and member of the New York Bar Henry Obialo says, “When you learn the MPT-Matrix, the performance test won’t scare you any more.”

Trap Number 7: Not finishing the reading. Solution: Lengthen the research period and shorten the writing period. See above. Write short paragraphs. Push to finish.

Note. Hack for cutting time on reading the cases: Read the first and last paragraphs of cases to find the holdings. Use this hack with caution.

ANALYSIS TRAPS

The common law system is adversarial. It requires arguments, which means analysis and persuasion. Persuasion requires using both law and facts. LLMs may sometimes fall into traps where they focus only on the law or only on the facts.

Trap Number 8: Assuming that all tasks or documents are objective, never persuasive. Solution: Ask yourself separately, for every task, for every document, and for every instruction: Is this task/document/instruction objective or persuasive?

Trap Number 9: Not integrating the facts into the argument. Solution: Break the main rule of law into elements, and match a fact to each element. Where possible, consider arguing both sides.

CONCLUSION

LLMs can score high on the MPT. Doing so, however, may require practicing new skills. It always requires avoiding common traps. LLMs can do it. So can JDs. I have seen it done. Many times. Go do it!  Take our 3-Day MPT Crash Course to learn more.

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three days to a higher MPT scorePERFORM YOUR BEST ON THE BAR EXAM PERFORMANCE TEST (MPT): TRAIN TO FINISH THE MPT IN 90 MINUTES “LIKE A SPORT(TM). Best-selling study guide for all Bar Exam Performance Tests. This system helps bar candidates and practicing lawyers produce faster and more effective work products. One reviewer called it “the Swiss Army knife of the MPT.”

SCORING HIGH ON BAR EXAM ESSAYS. This book “may be the best money you can spend on bar exam preparation.” — The St. John’s Law School Forum.

BARWRITE® TEN-DAY COACHING GROUP helps you pole-vault the MBE. “My MBE went from a 126 to a 149!” ­- Gemma Waananen Kenney (Member, New York and New Jersey Bars).

BARWRITE® THREE-DAY MPT AND ONE-DAY ESSAY BOOT CAMPS boost bar scores. “The Dr. Gallagher’s MPT-Matrix is like the Harmattan dust storm.” Adeolu Sunday (LL.B. Nigeria)(LLM NYU, passed the February 2018 bar exam). “Dr. Gallagher takes the mass of information studied and teaches her students how to apply it effectively in essays.” Christina Valentine, Australian solicitor (Member, New York Bar).

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Now! Three Days to a Higher MPT Score

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three days to higher MPT scoreNow! The BarWrite MPT Crash Course! Three Days to a Higher MPT Score.
Bar candidates complain that it is hard to finish the MPT work product on time.

Bar candidates complain that it is hard to work through all the research materials. It is hard to  organize the research into a coherent work product. It is hard to tell what is important and what is unimportant. But the MPT is 20 percent of the score in a UBE state, so most bar Continue reading Now! Three Days to a Higher MPT Score

UBE: If Your Score Doesn’t Work for New York, Why Not Alabama?

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Some bar candidates whose scores make them unsuccessful on the bar exam in New York can still, thanks to the UBE,  be admitted elsewhere, perhaps Alabama.

A score of 266 is required in New York. But for Alabama, just to take one example, the passing score is just 260. A score of 260 also qualifies in New Mexico, Minnesota, Missouri, Continue reading UBE: If Your Score Doesn’t Work for New York, Why Not Alabama?

New York Bar Exam Results are Out

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The New York Bar Exam Results Are Out
The Board of Law Examiners (BOLE) has released the results of the July 2018 New York (UBE) bar exam.

Here is the press release that summarizes the statistics: http://www.nybarexam.org/Press/Press%20Release_July2018exam.pdf

New York State Board of Law Examiners Diane F. Bosse, Chair Bryan R. Williams Robert S. McMillen E. Leo Milonas Michael Colodner CORPORATE PLAZA-BUILDING 3 254 WASHINGTON AVENUE EXTENSION ALBANY, N.Y. 12203-5195 518-453-5990 FAX 518-452-5729 http://www.nybarexam.org John J. McAlary Executive Director . Contact Information: John McAlary (518) 453-5990

PRESS RELEASE For tentative release on October 23, 2018. The New York State Board of Law Examiners announced today that grading has been completed for the July 2018 New York State Bar Examination. Candidates received electronic notification of their examination results today.

The passing rate for graduates of American Bar Association accredited law schools who took the bar examination for the first time in July 2018 is 83%.

The number of graduates from ABA-accredited law schools who took the bar examination for the first time in July 2018 was 5,497. [That is] is 243 fewer than last year and the lowest number since the July 2004 examination.

The passing rate for foreign-educated first-time takers was 50%.

The Board examined a total of 9,679 candidates, including U. S. domestic-educated candidates and foreign-educated candidates, first time and repeat takers. [That was during] the two days of testing conducted on July 24-25, 2018. This is 253 fewer candidates than last year. [It is] the lowest number of candidates examined in a July administration since 2004 when the Board examined 9,555 candidates. Of the 9,679 examined in July, 6,095 passed for an overall passing rate of 63%. The number of foreign-educated candidates who sat for the bar examination in July was a record 3,232. [They accounted] for 33% of all candidates who sat for the July examination. The passing rate for all foreign-educated candidates is 41%. Passing rates for various groups of candidates are presented on the chart below.

New York Bar Examination Pass Rates July 2018 All ABA Graduates – First-Time Takers 83% New York ABA Schools – First-Time Takers 81% Out-of-State ABA Schools – First-Time Takers 85% Foreign-Educated – First-Time Takers 50% All First Time-Takers 74% All ABA Graduates (first-time takers & repeaters) 74% All Foreign-Educated (first-time takers & repeaters) 41% All Candidates (first-time takers & repeaters) 63%

While the passing rates for various groups of candidates declined compared to their performance in July 2017, the passing rates are generally in line with recent results.

For example, the passing rate for first-time takers who are graduates of ABA-approved law schools [was] 83%. [This] was the same rate achieved by that group in July 2016 and July 2014. The passing rate for that group on the July examination was 79% in 2015 and 86% in 2017.

A list of candidates passing the July 2018 bar examination will be available to the public. [It will be] on the Board’s website at www.nybarexam.org on Wednesday, October 24, 2018. [The board certifies successful candidates to the Appellate Division.] [They must appear before the Committee on Character and Fitness for examination as to their character and fitness before they can become members of the bar.–Ed.] Candidates are not certified for admission until the Board receives proof that the candidates have successfully completed the New York Law Course. [They must also] have taken and passed the New York Law Exam and the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination.] [These are required] by the Rules of the New York State Court of Appeals for the Admission of Attorneys and Counselors at Law. The Board congratulates the candidates who were successful on the July 2018 bar examination.

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Five best tips for early bar exam prepPERFORM YOUR BEST ON THE BAR EXAM PERFORMANCE TEST (MPT): TRAIN TO FINISH THE MPT IN 90 MINUTES “LIKE A SPORT(TM). Best-selling study guide for all Bar Exam Performance Tests. This system helps bar candidates and practicing lawyers produce faster and more effective work products. One reviewer called it “the Swiss Army knife of the MPT.”

SCORING HIGH ON BAR EXAM ESSAYS. This book “may be the best money you can spend on bar exam preparation.” — The St. John’s Law School Forum.

BARWRITE® TEN-DAY COACHING GROUP helps you pole-vault the MBE. “My MBE went from a 126 to a 149!” ­- Gemma Waananen Kenney (Member, New York and New Jersey Bars).

BARWRITE® THREE-DAY MPT AND ONE-DAY ESSAY BOOT CAMPS boost bar scores. “The Dr. Gallagher’s MPT-Matrix is like the Harmattan dust storm.” Adeolu Sunday (LL.B. Nigeria)(LLM NYU, passed the February 2018 bar exam). “Dr. Gallagher takes the mass of information studied and teaches her students how to apply it effectively in essays.” Christina Valentine, Australian solicitor (Member, New York Bar).

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