What is the percentage of Michigan bar exam appeals that pass on appeal?
Note: This post was updated in February, 2016.We get asked this frequently – and the answer is: We don’t know! We have heard a lot of statistics – “20 percent of Michigan bar exam appeals pass.” We have also heard this statistic: “1/3 of those who write their own appeals are successful” The problem is, we have no idea where these statistics come from (besides a lot of people repeating them!). . . Continue reading Michigan Bar Exam Appeal Statistics→
Michigan Bar Exam Appeal Attorneys: How to Choose One.
Looking for a good attorney to write your Michigan bar exam appeal? Out of all of the Michigan bar exam appeals attorneys that are out there, how do choose one? In this post, we delineate the questions you should ask the Michigan bar exam appeals attorneys that you talk to. Asking the below questions will help you make an informed decision about who should take on the task of writing your Michigan bar exam appeal. The stakes are high so it is worth it to spend time making sure you choose wisely! Continue reading Michigan Bar Exam Appeal Attorneys: How to Choose One→
Should I Apply for Jobs While Waiting for Bar Exam Results?
It is tough to get a job when you are in the “in between” space of taking the bar exam and waiting for bar exam results. The economy is already not at its best, and having a JD (with a question mark as to whether that will turn to “Esq.” in the next couple of months) is an additional hurdle.
Many employers will not hire you as a paralegal or a clerk because they are afraid that you will leave as soon as you pass the bar exam. (Note: we have known students who do not list their law degree on their resume in an attempt to get hired — we do not recommend this! Employers will ask what the prospective employee did for those years that are unaccounted for, and feel deceived when finding out that the person attended law school!)
Further, many law firms are too afraid to hire you as a prospective lawyer, just in case you do not pass the bar exam.
The baby bar is another name for the First-Year Law Students’ Examination (FYLSE). It is administered by the State Bar of California in both June and October each year. Not everyone has to take the baby bar exam! It is primarily administered to those who study law at unaccredited law schools (including online law schools). Others who have to take it are those that work through the Law Office Study Program (i.e., those that hope to become lawyers not through law school but through working with a lawyer or judge), and those without two years of college and attending a Committee of Bar Examiners or an ABA-accredited law school. Students are allowed to take the exam after their first year of study.
Effective as of July 2017, the California bar exam is composed of three parts: the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE), which consists of 200 multiple choice questions; one 90-minute performance test; and five, hour-long essays. On the first day, exam takers complete five one-hour essays and one 90-minute performance test. On the second day, examinees take the MBE. The California bar exam has 2000 possible points.
On July 16, 2020, the California Supreme Court announced that it was permanently reducing the passing score from 1440 to 1390. On August 10, 2020, the California Supreme Court issued an order stating that the 1390 passing score would not be applied retroactively to past exam takers. Thus, effective as of October 2020, you need 1390 points to pass the California Bar Exam.
UPDATE: California passed an order on January 28, 2021 that allows examinees who narrowly passed the California Bar Exam between February 2020 and July 2015 to be admitted to the state bar after completing 300 hours of supervised law work (no second bar exam is required).
2. Second, remember that feelings about the bar exam are not at all correlated with a passing score!I distinctly remember one bar exam where I had a student tell me he “was absolutely positive” that he failed and another student tell me that she “was absolutely positive” she passed. In the end, they both got the same just-over-passing score! Things like this happen every single bar exam. It is a true indicator that, for the most part, feelings are not indicative of your final score! Continue reading Should I Study while Waiting for Bar Exam Results?→
Law School Classes that Will Prepare You For the Bar Exam: What to Take and What Not to Take!
If you are signing up for your 2L or 3L classes, you may be wondering what law school classes will prepare you for the bar exam. It is wise to take classes that will prepare you for the bar exam as it maximizes your chances of passing the bar exam the first time you take it.
Our advice is as follows: first, try to take any law school class that will prepare you for the MBE, that is, the Multistate Bar Exam, or multiple-choice portion of the bar exam. Many of these are related to your 1L classes. (Consequently, studying for the MBE will also likely help you on the essay portion of the bar exam, since many times the subjects are double-tested on the MBE and the essay portion.)
Already wondering when the July 2015 Michigan Bar Exam Results will be released? Us too! The Michigan Board of Law Examiners likes to tell people that Michigan Bar Exam results are released mid-November. But they are usually released closer to the end of October. The earliest results release date for the Michigan July bar exam in the last seven years was October 12 (in 2011). The latest was last July, when Michigan bar exam results were released online on November 6th.
We predict that the release date will be sometime in late October due to the high number of applicants (as well as that strange grading formula that they started following last July, which seemed to delay the release of results). Below is the research that we did. To be thorough, we listed the days that results were mailed (mostly because people have this erroneous notion that they are only released on Thursdays!), as well as the date they were mailed and the number of applicants taking the exam.
The July 2015 Michigan bar exam had pretty standard subjects but unusual issues.
Specifically, the July 2015 Michigan bar exam tested all of the MBE subjects, Worker’s Compensation, Domestic Relations, Personal Property, Corporations, Professional Responsibility, and Trusts (which we predicted would be tested in place of Wills). There were no questions about Secured Transactions, Conflicts, Agency, Partnership, No Fault, Equity. . . or anything else very unusual.
Some of the questions weren’t too bad (Torts – Assault and Battery, Crim Pro – Search and seizure). For students following our predictions, we accurately predicted a little over 1/3 of the issues (which is about standard – when we are lucky, we get closer to half, but this was kind of a strange exam!). Continue reading July 2015 Michigan Bar Exam Essay Recap→
The bar exam is just around the corner! Here are some last-minute bar exam tips to help you. We’ve divided them up into last-minute essay tips, last-minute tips for the multiple choice section, and general tips.
Last Minute Bar Exam Tips for Essays:
Here are some last-minute tips for getting the most points on the essay portion of the bar exam:
Spell it out for the grader. For example, on a Criminal Procedure question, don’t just say: “it was an impermissible search of the defendant’s car.” Instead, start by talking about the Fourth Amendment. Then talk about how it applies to searches by a government agent. Then talk about the search at hand as well as any exceptions. Doing this will help you with the next point . . .
Write long essay answers. You cannot get points for something that is not there. Write complete answers that state the rules, apply them to the facts, and conclude. If you write a half-page answer do not expect full points.
Use paragraph breaks and headings. Make it easy for the grader to see that you know what you are talking about. Do not write one huge long paragraph. No grader will want to filter through. Instead, make it easy for the grader to give you points.
Underline and bold key words. Graders want it to be easy to find the rule statements, analysis, and conclusion. Bold or underline anything you know is correct. (If you are not sure you are correct, though, don’t bold anything!) This will draw attention to what you know.
When you are done writing your essays, review the fact pattern again. It is a good idea to always look back to the fact pattern and ask yourself: “Are there any arguments the parties made that I did not address?” and “Are there any important facts in the fact pattern that I did not address?” If a party makes an argument that you did not address, address it! If there is, say, an entire paragraph that you said nothing about, go back and say something about it! This can get you a lot of points!
Here are last-minute multiple choice tips for picking the right answer:
This is the final week of studying for the bar exam! Your priorities this week should be reviewing (and memorizing the law you do not yet know), taking some timed exams, and also physically and mentally preparing for the bar exam in another week.
Let’s say you were taking the July 2014 Michigan bar exam. And let’s say you were answering the Wills question. The first issue was about whether you could recognize a valid holographic will. The second issue was about the effect of stock increases on a bequest. The third issue was about whether a general directive to pay debts would have the effect of paying off the testator’s mortgage debt. Continue reading Michigan Bar Exam Tip: Conclusions Matter!→