February 2020 Michigan Bar Exam Recap
Congratulations on being done with the essay portion of the exam! If you are like most students, you may have struggled with some of the questions and timing. Just remember you do not have to write a perfect essay exam to pass! Here, we provide our recap of the February 2020 Michigan bar exam.
February 2020 Michigan Bar Exam Recap
Our general thoughts on the February 2020 Michigan Bar Exam are as follows:
1. The exam was long!
Virtually every question was a page (besides Civil Procedure) and seven questions stretched over a page. This is a lot to digest for 20 minutes per question. It is not surprising that some examinees struggled with timing. If you ran out of time, you are not alone. Even examinees who dedicated time to practicing exams ahead of the exam struggled with timing.
2. The subjects that the Board chose to test tended to be less challenging than July’s exam.
For example, Commercial Paper/Negotiable Instruments and Creditor’s Rights were not tested. Instead, the Board tested Equity, Agency, and Workers’ Compensation. And these subjects were tested in straightforward ways. Students who studied these subjects or reviewed past essays should have been pretty prepared to answer these essay questions.
3. Students struggled with some of the questions, particularly Constitutional Law.
Students tended to struggle with some of the trickier questions. For example:
- The Constitutional Law question (with Chin) confused students
- The Family Law question threw some people off, particularly the last issue
- Examinees were confused by the Contracts question (which is pretty typical)
- Some of the issues in the (complicated) Wills question confused examinees
Some students complained of running out of time for the first half of the exam and not knowing exactly what to say for some of the questions in the second half of the exam.
4. Some of the subjects tested newer issues.
Some of the subjects tested issues that have not been tested in the past. For example, Family Law tested a legal/physical custody issue. Torts tested false imprisonment. And, Workers’ Compensation tested an injury that occurred on a business trip (an issue that has not come up for some time). Not everyone knew exactly what to say in response to these issues. Others were more predictable, testing issues that have been tested on recent exams (for example, Personal Property, Agency, Civil Procedure, etc.)
5. Overall, this was a fair exam.
Some of the questions were tricky and students certainly struggled and ran out of time. On the whole, the Board of Law Examiners rewarded students who reviewed past exams and studied past issues tested. We were also happy to see that several of the topics covered in our seminar were tested.
If you struggled with this exam—whether you struggled with timing, or didn’t write what your classmates wrote, or didn’t review some of these subjects because you were hoping they wouldn’t come up! You are not alone! We have heard from many examinees who have had all of these challenges. Remember, that you do not have to score perfectly to pass the Michigan Bar Exam. In fact, on recent exams, if you get the equivalent of (about) a 6.5 out of 10 you will pass!
Also remember that if you struggled with a question, others probably did too. You will be graded in that light. Even if you got an answer “wrong” you will not get a 0 for the question as long as you wrote something.
Now that essay day is over, regardless of how you feel, it is time to put it behind you and get ready for the MBE!
Best of luck tomorrow!
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