Constitutional Law Updates for 2023: What Are They and What to Do About Them?

There were two recent major changes in constitutional law—based on Kennedy (2022) “abandoning” the Lemon test and based on Dobbs (2022) revising abortion’s status as a fundamental right.

First, note that the NCBE drafts and pre-tests questions years in advance. See these NCBE statements about the MBE and the MEE. These statements are in turn linked in this NCBE statement about the 2022 SCOTUS decisions and the bar exam.

Probably a similar story for essays in various jurisdictions, though each state may do it differently.

This means that you might see questions in these areas and get credit for currently correct answers, or they might replace the questions with backups or something. Who knows.

I think it’s unlikely you’ll encounter questions in these areas. But you can control how to respond if you do see these issues.

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The Value of Redoing Practice Questions (You’ll See Them Again on the Bar Exam)

“How do I do MBE questions faster?”

“The way to approach these questions is not staying with me.”

“If I study a subject really well and circle back around to it after studying the others, I’ve forgotten half of the first subject.”

Have you ever felt that?

There is a SIMPLE and UNDERRATED way to fix this: REDOING practice questions.

"I followed your advice today and redid an essay I had taken; it was really good practice because I committed to understanding the rules even better than just 'oh look I can recognize this issue.'"

I say that DOING is the best form of thinking. If you’re doing that, great. Now the next step is to REDO.

“But wait,” you say, “I have seen and remembered those questions and answers before. Should I be worried because I am not practicing new questions?”

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Classic Repeater Story of Passing the CA Bar Exam on Her Second Try

Stephanie was a classic repeater of the California Bar Exam, who followed a big box course on her first try and then switched to better (more efficient and effective) learning strategies on her second, successful try.

It’s a familiar story you see all the time. Too many stories of repeaters regretting using Barbri and other cookie-cutter programs.

Here’s how she did it and the tools she used to do it:

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Don’t obsess over the “best” bar exam supplement. Be the BEST STUDENT instead.

This rant was inspired by a moment I had in therapy, a new thing that I started in December. Yeah, I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. Anyway, I’ll tie this back to the therapy story later.

Bar exam takers have passed using Barbri.

People have passed using Themis.

People have passed using Kaplan Bar Review…

And this is despite all the shit I say about Kaplan because they’re like Olive Garden trying to be everything which ends up being bland and giving you diarrhea. Just look at how many fucking tests they prep for LOL

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Distractions and Passive Learning vs. Active Learning

Dude, I get it… This shit exhausting.

You don’t want to take this exam or SEE another question EVER again. You want nothing more than to pass this stupid bar so that you can move on with your life.

You can see the One Outcome on the horizon. So close yet so far.

So close yet so far to end of bar prep

But you can’t escape this endless cycle. You’re not allowed to. Not yet.

Wake up, then crash your face into the pillow. Hope and despair, rinse and repeat. It feels like you’ve been preparing for this bar exam your whole life.

It doesn’t even feel real anymore. But this exam is the realest thing in your life right now. So I hope you’re not spending all day thinking about unimportant fiction, catching up on all the distractions, panic, and the doom and gloom.

All the constant news in bar world, about how many questions other people are doing, whether others are feeling just as behind or panicked as you, whether they’ll abolish the bar exam, remote testing issues, how the grading works, diploma privilege, new coronavirus variants, exam software concerns…

Feels great to have some drama in your life. Something OTHER than Civ Pro to vent about!

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