February 2021 Uniform Bar Exam Recap
In our blog post, we give you a recap of the February 2021 Uniform Bar Exam, including what was tested on the February 201 Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) and the February 2020 Multistate Performance Test (MPT). Note that we had to delay in posting this until NCBE answers were released in June, given that the NCBE now restricts any of its licensees from discussing the exam until official answers are released. We hope you did not mind the delay in posting this. Please read the full recap below!
February 2021 Uniform Bar Exam Recap
February 2021 Multistate Essay Exam (MEE)
For the most part, the issues tested on the essays were more in line with the most frequently tested topics, which most likely resulted in a less generous curve. This time the Examiners chose to test the MEE and MBE subjects evenly. Three of the essays focused on MBE subjects and the remaining three essays focused on MEE-only subjects.
We were thankful to predict nearly 66% of the subjects that were tested: Contracts, Real Property, Secured Transactions, Wills (Decedents’ Estates). We did not predict Civil Procedure (as it is not tested as consistently anymore), but we did note that we were debating between Civil Procedure and Contracts as our Wildcard subject). We also did not predict Agency/Partnership would appear on the exam this time. We thought that Corporations & LLCs, Criminal Law and Procedure, and Torts would be tested but they did not appear on the exam, thus, making it more likely that those subjects will be tested in July 2021.
The following subjects were tested on the MEE:
As part of our recap of the February 2021 Uniform Bar Exam, we list the topics that were tested on each essay. However, this is not meant to be an exhaustive list. You may have discussed different/additional issues and still have received a significant amount of credit or even full credit.
This fact pattern was more than one page in length and asked examinees to answer three questions, each with two sub-parts. The key issues raised by this fact pattern are how to form a partnership, liability of partners when a third party has a claim against the partnership, the difference between an employee and an independent contractor, vicarious liability for the negligence of an employee, and vicarious liability for an independent contractor’s negligence.
The Civil Procedure question was a little over one page long and asked examinees to address several issues: whether a plaintiff may permissively join with another plaintiff in a lawsuit, claim preclusion, and issue preclusion. Examinees likely found this to be a difficult question because of its focus on issue and claim preclusion, rather than the more common issues of personal jurisdiction and personal jurisdiction.
The Contracts fact pattern was approximately three-quarters of a page long and concentrated on UCC Article 2, the Statute of Frauds (for contracts pertaining to the sale of goods for $500 or more), the confirmatory memo exception to the Statute of Frauds, and whether an unsigned writing on the seller’s letterhead satisfies the signature requirement for the Statute of Frauds. In many ways, this question was similar to the July 2013 Contracts question which also predominantly focused on the Statute of Frauds.
The actual Real Property fact pattern was a little over a page long and focused on two narrow issues: an easement implied by pre-existing use and whether notice acts apply to implied easements.
The Secured Transactions fact pattern was almost one page long, and on the whole, it tested the standard issues of attachment, perfection, and priority. Specifically, the Examiners tested the following issues: whether the security agreement sufficiently identified the collateral, filing a financing statement to perfect one’s interest, a perfected secured party has priority over an unsecured party, a judgment lien creditor has priority over an unperfected party, and that a security interest perfected before the creation of a lien has priority over the lien.
Wills (Decedents’ Estates)
The Wills fact pattern was approximately three-quarters of a page long and nuanced. Examinees were asked to determine how testator’s estate should be distributed. The issues posed by this question include validity of a holographic codicil, partial revocation, the doctrine of dependent revocation, and partial intestacy.
February 2021 Multistate Performance Test (MPT)
We predicted that examinees would be asked to draft an objective memo (the most commonly tested task), and this was the first task that appeared on the exam. Specifically, this MPT tested issues relating to contract formation and damages for breach of contract. The library consisted of three cases decided by the Franklin Court of Appeal. This MPT is quite representative of past MPTs, both in terms of the length of the file and library, and the materials included in the library.
As for the second MPT, we predicted that an opinion or demand letter would be tested, but instead the Examiners asked test-takers to write a persuasive brief (another frequently tested task). Specifically, this MPT asked examinees to write arguing that the prosecution could not satisfy the requirements of impeachment by prior conviction according to Franklin Rule of Evidence 609. The library consisted of excerpts from the Franklin Criminal Code and the Franklin Rules of Evidence, as well as two cases. In this case, the library was slightly longer than the file.
While the MPTs can draw from any area of law, on the February 2021 MPT, the Examiners chose to focus on two MBE subjects—Contracts and Evidence.
We hope you found our recap of the February 2021 Uniform Bar Exam helpful! If you are looking for detailed feedback on your essays and MPTs, please feel free to reach out to us to schedule a bar exam consultation.
Note: Please keep in mind that because the essays and MPTs on this exam generally were more in line with the commonly tested issues and tasks, we expect the written portion of the July 2021 exam to be slightly more nuanced!