The following topics are listed in order of most-to-least important on the Michigan bar exam. If you struggle with something (especially on the top of the list!) we recommend you either find a way to learn it better on your own or sign up for a one-on-one tutoring session to make sure you know it prior to the bar exam! There is definitely no need to “treat all subjects equally” when studying for the Michigan bar exam. This post will tell you why you should emphasize some subjects a lot more than others!
The Most Important Subjects to Understand
for the Michigan Bar Exam:
These are the most important because they each have a potential to get you from a minimum of 27 points to a maximum of 48 points on the bar exam!
- Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure (there will be 27 MBE questions on these topics and two ten-point essay questions, for a total of 47 points!)
- Contracts and Sales (there will be 28 MBE questions on Contracts and Sales and a ten-point essay question on each unless Secured Transactions is tested instead of Sales, for a total of 38-48 points!)
- Real Property (27 MBE questions + a 10-point essay question for a total of 37 points)
- Evidence (27 MBE questions + a 10-point essay question for a total of 37 points)
- Torts (27 MBE questions + usually a 10-point essay question – unless No-Fault Insurance is tested in its place – for a total of 37 points)
- Civil Procedure (27 MBE questions + a 10-point essay question for a total of 37 points)
- Constitutional Law (27 MBE questions + a 10-point essay question – unless Conflicts of Law is tested, which it hasn’t been since 2008 – for a total of 37 points)
In one session, we can go over a substantial portion of these topics. (It usually takes two sessions to go through the entire outline.) Some students sign up for seven sessions to go through each topic once!
Subjects that are still very important to Understand
for the Michigan Bar Exam:
These subjects tend to almost always appear on the essay portion of the exam (aside from what is listed above) so these are:
- Workers’ Compensation (10 points)
- Personal Property (10 points)
- Professional Responsibility (10 points)
- Domestic Relations (10 points)
- Corporations (unless Agency or Partnership is tested – which they haven’t been since 2007 – Corporations is usually tested and worth 10 points)
- Wills or Trusts (One, but not both will likely be tested and worth 10 points)
Some students set up one two-hour session to hammer down two or even three of these subjects! That could be 20-30 points gained by one two hour session!
Subjects that do not Appear on the
Michigan Bar Exam every time:
The following subjects are definitely worth it to review (especially after the cryptic statement made by the BLE recently); however they are simply not as important as the above subjects since they do not appear on every – or even many – bar exams:
- Secured Transactions (sometimes replaces Sales)
- Agency (has not been tested since 2006)
- Partnership (has not been tested since 2007)
- Commercial Paper/Negotiable Instruments (tested once on the bar exam)
- No-Fault (tested semi-frequently in the place of Torts. It was tested in July 2014, but before that February 2011 and tends to repeat the same issues)
- Conflicts of Law (tested in July 2008, July 2004, 2002…and the same issues have been tested repeatedly!)
If you struggle with the above topics (particularly from Categories I and II) it is well worth it to set up a one-on-one private session with myself or one of my associates at JD Advising. Each session is $400. Sessions are held at our office located at 999 Haynes, Suite 260, Birmingham, Michigan. We recommend you set up one session at your convenience (and then schedule another one if you want one later!). The more sessions you schedule, the more likely you are to pass but even just one session can be a huge help to students.
Note that we also hold sessions for those struggling particularly with multiple-choice or essay format.
We will give you the outlines for the above materials at the session (and our outlines are awesome!) and we will go over the important parts of them so you know exactly what you should know for the Michigan bar exam. To read testimonials of past students who used our services for the Michigan bar exam, click here.
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