The essay portion of the February 2015 Michigan bar exam certainly had some curveballs that no one anticipated – gun rights in a Constitutional Law question, jury selection issues in the Criminal Procedure question, among others. PHEW. If you did not feel prepared for these topics, join the vast majority of the other Michigan bar exam takers. With that said…
While the topics were not all standard, the subjects, at least, were.
Wills was tested instead of Trusts (which we predicted would be the case, but it was really a 50-50 chance). And there were no major surprises: To many students’ great relief, there was no Secured Transactions question, nor were there any questions on No Fault, Commercial Paper, Agency, Partnership, Conflicts, etc. Instead, it was the standard exam with 9 questions based on MBE topics and 6 typical essay subjects (Domestic Relations, Personal Property, Workers’ Compensation, Corporations, Professional Responsibility, Wills). This is to say – the subjects were not super-surprising, even though some of the topics certainly were.
Some students felt worse about the morning portion (which tended to be MBE-heavy). Others felt worse about the afternoon portion (which had more Michigan-specific topics). No one I have talked to thus far has felt great about either portion of the bar exam. So if you are not feeling great about the February 2015 Michigan bar exam, hopefully you can find consolation in the fact that you are in the same boat as many of the other bar exam takers.
In fact, a certain degree of uncertainty is healthy. A good amount of anxiety is normal.
Why is that? Students tend to remember what they did not know rather than what they did know. You might think all night about the damages issues in the Contracts question or that damn trigger-lock requirement (what was that about?)…and completely forget that you remembered the spousal support issue in Domestic Relations or that you nailed the answer to the Professional Responsibility question.
The truth is, many of the students who call me crying after the essay portion of the bar exam because they are sure that they failed are the ones that get essay scores in the 140’s and 150’s!
If you aren’t feeling very good about the essays, it is also good to keep the following in mind:
- First, you are in the same boat with everyone else and your essays will naturally be compared with those of others, not the perfect answer. For this reason, many of the essay answers that students really worry about are scored higher than students expect.
- Second, that mysterious curve that the Michigan Board of Law Examiners’ used last time ended up adding points to everyone’s score so hopefully the curve will have a positive effect on your score this time around as well.
- Lastly, even if you did not do as well as you had hoped, you can easily make up for it tomorrow. I see students make up for lower essay scores with higher MBE scores every exam. And I mean it. It happens Every. Single. Exam. You can do it too.
So if you are not feeling great about the essay portion of the February 2015 Michigan bar exam, join the club. Take consolation in the fact that you are in the same boat as most of the 600 or so people you took the exam with, stop thinking about the trigger lock requirements, and put the essays out of your head. Relax. Have a glass of wine or two. Watch something mindless on TV. Talk to positive people (preferably not other bar exam students). Feel good about the fact that you don’t have to worry about any computer issues tomorrow (if you typed) or your hand getting too tired (if you wrote). You do not have to know all 24 areas of law tomorrow – you only need to know the MBE topics. And even if you see a really random question on the bar exam tomorrow, it will be worth one point – not ten.
If you have any last minute questions or concerns relating to the February 2015 Michigan Bar Exam, feel free to post below or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Best of luck conquering the MBE tomorrow!!
NOTE: If you felt prepared for all of the topics and do not feel nervous about the essays, please do not less this post freak you out. It is not geared toward you. There is no reason to be nervous that you’re not nervous. That is not the point of this post. So if you feel alright about the February 2015 Michigan bar exam, then good, keep on feeling alright!
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