A bar taker asked me to explain supplemental jurisdiction with an example. At 1:27 in the morning.
I was able to send a response at 1:36 AM (9 minutes later)—without having a working knowledge of supplemental jurisdiction, and without flipping through outlines or Googling hypos.
How? I’ll show you below. (With examples using supplemental jurisdiction and rule against perpetuities.)
The problem: When someone asks me about some law, I have to research it and explain it.
Or if you’re confused about how a rule works, you have to make sense of it theoretically and look at examples and hypos. How are you going to memorize (and use) the rule without understanding it?
This takes time. And I didn’t have the energy this late at night. Plus, I’m not a tutor and it’s not my role to do this (but I have a soft spot for people struggling with this death ritual).
Here’s an idea you can try for yourself if you’re stuck and not understanding a bar exam rule:
Continue reading “Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Learn the Law for the Bar Exam”
Is it possible to enjoy bar prep?
It’s one of the dryest things a person can do on this planet. But we retain more and pay more attention when things are enjoyable.
I’ve talked about enjoying the process to maintain motivation when it comes to bar prep. How you do that is personal.
Ultimately, you can have fun with anything. It’s a mindset. If something isn’t fun, you can just enjoy not having fun!
You can have fun with bar prep too. Bar prep can be enjoyable if you go at your own pace and get better at it.
The default (typical, boring) approach of bar prep involves sitting still like a statue watching people in a suit drone on as you fantasize about throwing your computer or self out the window. If you’re especially masochistic, you’ll pause the video and make sure to fill in all the lecture notes.
This is surprisingly exhausting. As a bonus, you’ll also forget 99% of what you listened to. I’d rather watch water boil because at least I’d have something to show for it, like edible pasta. (Did you know the singular form of spaghetti is spaghetto?)
Something people forget to tell you is that you don’t actually have to follow the default.
“Just complete the course! Play it safe!”—The National Association of Barbri (probably)
No, instead of playing defense, it’s time to go on offense.
Follow this visual guide of 6 things that can help you make steady progress and enjoy bar prep—without the frustration and exhaustion that come with how bar takers typically approach studying for the bar exam.
Continue reading “Enjoying Bar Prep: 6 Ways to Make Studying for the Bar Exam More Fun and Effective”
Got yet another success story, by a reader who shared with me a very detailed and specific recap of her journey to pass the 2020 February California Bar Exam (26.8% pass rate) on her second try.
It was too good not to share.
- Big bar course made her “dumber,” wasted her time, DRAINED her energy and time. She was too wiped out to memorize or practice
- Did not even know how to START any essay
- Panic, doubts, insecurities, mind games, pressure
- Practical and effective approach
- Used the right tools for her
- Enjoyed herself because she could see herself getting better
Key takeaways and full story below…
Continue reading “How to Pass the California Bar Exam with a Focused Approach of Discipline and Consistency”
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.
Continue reading “Constitutional Law Updates for 2023: What Are They and What to Do About Them?”
“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 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?”
Continue reading “The Value of Redoing Practice Questions (You’ll See Them Again on the Bar Exam)”