Recap Of The July 2018 California Bar Exam
Continuing the trend, the July 2018 California Bar Exam essays had quite a few racehorse essay questions! We were not surprised to see this, given the difficulty of the California bar exam generally. Here are our general thoughts about what appeared on the July 2018 California Bar Exam essays and performance test.
Recap Of The July 2018 California Bar Exam
July 2018 California Bar Exam Essays
This is the third time that the California Bar Exam consisted of five essays. Previously, examinees wrote six essays. Examinees reported that there were not as many crossover essays (more than one subject tested in an essay) on this exam as compared to the February 2018 exam. Although examinees answered one less essay question than they did in the past, the Examiners have not changed the scope of the subjects tested on the exam.
The following subjects appeared on the July 2018 California Bar Exam:
One of the California specific subjects that showed up on the July 2018 essays was Community Property. Like other Community Property essays, students needed to explain the difference between community property and separate; understand how separate property can transform into community property; and evaluate the division of certain assets at the end of the marriage, including personal injury settlement and employee benefits. These were standard topics for a California Community Property essay.
Constitutional Law is one of the Examiners’ favorite subjects. Examinees maintained that this administration’s essay required students to be well versed in the Dormant Commerce Clause, the Privileges and Immunities Clause of Article IV and the Equal Protection Clause. This essay seems to mirror many of the issues posed in the Constitutional law question from February 2005. This essay is a good reminder for students to take the time to thoroughly review past essays to see how issues can appear on the exam.
Because Contracts and Remedies were both tested in a crossover essay on the February 2018 exam, many students dismissed the possibility of these two subjects being tested on the July 2018 exam. However, the examiners often repeat one or more subjects from the previous exam! Exam takers reported that once again Contracts appeared in conjunction with Remedies. It seemed focused on Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code, anticipatory repudiation and a demand for adequate assurances that the other party would perform as stipulated in the given contract.
Many students noted that they struggled with the California Evidence question because it had a number of issues to explain in a short amount of time. Some issues that students were expected to discuss included California Proposition 8 (“Truth in Evidence”), character evidence (namely, specific acts of domestic violence), as well as logical and legal relevancy. It is helpful to have a checklist memorized so that you can systematically issue spot and analyze issues, especially on racehorse essays such as this one.
The July 2018 California Bar Exam essays included a full essay on the Examiners favorite subject, Professional Responsibility. Unlike some recent exams which tested some more lesser tested issues, bar exam takers stated that this essay was much more mainstream. Note that if you struggled with this essay you are not alone. Mainstream does not necessarily mean it was an easier Professional Responsibility essay! In answering this question, among other things, examinees discussed the duty of loyalty (conflicts of interest), the duty of competence, and the validity of fee arrangements.
July 2018 California Performance Test
This was the third time that exam takers had to write a single 90-minute California Performance Test (CPT). A number of exam takers reported that the California Performance Test was difficult. As a result, many ran out of time.
If you feel unsure about what you wrote for any of the essays or the CPT you are not alone! Many students found the Evidence and Community Property essays to be particularly challenging. If you are struggling with how you think you performed on the exam, take a moment to check out our post entitled “How will I feel after the bar exam?”. It is very likely that other examinees are feeling the same way as you.
We hope you found our recap of the July 2018 California Bar Exam helpful. We will provide an in-depth review of the July 2018 California bar exam once the Examiners officially release the questions.
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