QUESTION THE QUESTION

By Everett Chambers,
BARBRI Vice President of Institutional Programs

HINT: START AT THE END. YOU’LL KNOW HOW TO START.

When it comes to the MBE, MPT and essays on the bar exam, you want to answer the question that is actually being asked. Many law students forget this and jump right in without identifying and fully understanding the call of the question. The key is to first “question the question.” Ask yourself: what exactly am I being asked to do? Then apply the law (with the call of the question already in mind) to arrive at the correct multiple-choice answer or construct a winning essay.

Sounds simple enough but this can be a little tricky to tackle, especially if you dive straight into a question’s facts and details. Beginning with the “call of the question” and grasping exactly what is being asked will ultimately save you time and energy. And you have a better chance at capturing those valuable, extra points on all areas of the bar exam.

The “call of the question” is your roadmap of where you are being asked to go. It will give you solid up-front direction for what to key on when analyzing the facts of the question. Using this roadmap will enhance your ability to quickly answer questions and will maximize your scores on essays and multiple choice questions.

Before deep-diving into the fact patterns and potentially wasting precious time on irrelevant details, make sure you know what you’re being asked to answer. Question the question and focus on the call. It’s a winning bar exam strategy.

ABOUT BARBRI BAR REVIEW

BARBRI pioneered bar review and proudly celebrates 50 years of helping more than 1.3 million students pass the bar exam. BARBRI’s constant innovation, leadership and depth of experience based on what will be 100 bar exams going back to 1967 influences all aspects of bar review – where it’s been, where it is today and the vast possibilities of where BARBRI will lead it next. Every year, the overwhelming majority of law students across the nation choose BARBRI Bar Review to prepare for the bar exam – and pass it the first time. Learn more about the nation’s #1 bar review at BARBRI.com.

LEAVE THE HEAVY LIFTING TO US

Blog by Stephanie Goetz,
BARBRI Learning and Innovation

TRUST THE PROCESS. IT WORKS.

Throughout the year, the BARBRI learning and innovation team that I’m a part of adapts and enhances the BARBRI bar review course. We track the trends of what’s been tested and the frequency. We pay close attention to the latest exam updates that range from scaled scoring changes to the ongoing adoption of the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) in more states and jurisdictions. We rely on our bar review history in combination with the latest advancements in learning science to develop your BARBRI Personal Study Plan – committing to a “study smarter, not harder” methodology that eliminates some stress during the intense bar prep timeframe.

The BARBRI Personal Study Plan incorporates learning science and innovative learning technology to best prepare students for their state bar exam. It also provides information each individual student needs to know in real time regarding personal strengths and weaknesses in understanding the law.

To make this happen, we diligently analyze every bar exam in the country. We also commission our most discerning BARBRI subject matter experts to carefully critique BARBRI Bar Review substantive content to make sure it’s comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date. And we remain keenly aware of trends and current issues, such as the recent decline in MBE scores, which led to the development of our latest bar prep components such as the exclusive 2-day deep-dive MBE Immersion workshop that kicks off the BARBRI Bar Review course.

Ultimately, you benefit from the confidence of knowing you can keep moving forward during bar preparation without worrying about creating a schedule or wondering if you are doing enough of various types of assignments. Do the work, one assignment and one day at a time. Follow your adaptive BARBRI Personal Study Plan. It knows what you need to focus on most to improve your weaker areas. You don’t have to waste one ounce of energy thinking about whether or not you’re studying the right subject areas, at the right time, and in the proper sequence.

You feel empowered to lean in, learn the law and how to apply it. While you lean in and trust the process, you can leave the heavy lifting to us.

ABOUT BARBRI BAR REVIEW

BARBRI pioneered bar review and proudly celebrates 50 years of helping more than 1.3 million students pass the bar exam. BARBRI’s constant innovation, leadership and depth of experience based on what will be 100 bar exams going back to 1967 influences all aspects of bar review – where it’s been, where it is today and the vast possibilities of where BARBRI will lead it next. Every year, the overwhelming majority of law students across the nation choose BARBRI Bar Review to prepare for the bar exam – and pass it the first time. Learn more about the nation’s #1 bar review at BARBRI.com.

#The1Llife: Interview Season is Upon Us

GUEST BLOG By Lauren Rose, 
1L at the University of Detroit Mercy

Interview season is upon us.

Across the country, 1Ls are suiting up and preparing themselves to interview and score a summer job. Many 1L students may have already found a position. Some may be finishing up the interview processing and narrowing down options. Others are still interviewing and applying to jobs. Applying for internships, or externships, a paid position, or whatever, is a process. I will be finishing up my interviews next week — woohoo! Here are a few things that I would recommend to other 1Ls about the process.

  1. Go to your law school’s career office. First of all, why wouldn’t you take advantage of this resource?! You pay for it, you might as well use it! Second of all, these people are experienced in reading resumes and cover letters. They will also help prepare you for interviews. Also, they may have some other great resources that you can use. Last week, I had a phone interview. I went to the career office and asked if they had any recommendations for a quiet place to conduct the interview. To my surprise, the office has rooms that they allow students to use for interviews! I was so happy to find out that my school had a quiet room for me to use. It was incredibly convenient and I was able to conduct the interview in a quiet room with a desk.
  2. Look professional. Law school is expensive. Casebooks are expensive. Literally everything for these next three years will be expensive. While I find shopping fun, I don’t always find shopping for professional clothes fun. If you’re worried about spending the money on a professional outfit, check out department store sales and look online for coupons. Also, some retailers offer great deals and may even offer student discounts on full price items with your Student ID! I really think that a nice suit or nice outfit sets you apart in the interviewing process. It shows that you actually care about the interview and about yourself. If you’re not sure what to wear to an interview, ask some upperclassmen or an advisor at the career office.
  3. Research the place you are interviewing at. This is a great talking point for you during interviews! Do a quick Google search on the firm, organization, or department that you are interviewing at. The interviewers are usually pretty impressed if you can tell them something about the company or something about what the company recently did. Believe me, having knowledge about the company will set you apart!
  4. Be up to date on current events. Sometimes, I feel like I’m living in a law school bubble. However, it is important to figure out what is going on in the world before you go to an interview. You should know what is going on in the city of the place you are interviewing at. You should also probably know something about current events. This will be an easy conversation starter while you’re waiting for the interview to start, or after the interview if there is a lull period.

I know that many 1Ls may have already found a summer position. If you are still interviewing, good luck! Have confidence in yourself that you will rock your interview. You can do it! How are your interviews going? Did you already find a summer position? Tweet me @The1LLife!

YOU’LL PLAY LIKE YOU PRACTICE

Blog by Everett Chambers,
Vice President of Institutional Programs

INCORRECT ANSWERS ARE INVALUABLE OPPORTUNITIES.

In sports, those athletes who can recognize where and how they are falling short in execution, and then focus relentlessly to build upon the necessary skills, most often rise to an elite level of performance. Like the old saying says, “practice makes perfect.” Yet what happens when you practice the same way without adapting your approach to learn from your mistakes? Well, in the case of the bar exam, you could fall short of passing.

It’s human nature to study for an exam with the goal of correctly answering as many practice questions as possible. A high percentage correct affirms your grasp of the material. This way of preparing for a major test is ingrained in our psyche ever since elementary school. Step back from that mindset for a moment and reverse it – look to embrace the practice questions you got wrong instead. These moments are not judgments on you. Rather, they are opportunities to dig deep into learning what you don’t know.

After three years of law school, unless you have a photographic memory, you aren’t likely to quickly recall many specific 1L rules and elements. And you probably didn’t take every subject that will show up on the bar exam. No matter, you still need to learn all the subjects tested on the bar exam. Working practice questions and learning from the explanatory answers, regardless of whether you got the questions right or wrong, will help build a solid foundation of knowledge.

If you are not confident in one area of the bar exam, don’t hesitate to dive into practice questions from that area. Sometimes you can learn as much or more from the explanatory answers as you would from a lecture. Therefore, start bar review as early as possible, answer practice questions, and be persistent in taking the time to focus on any problem areas. Study this way, repeat this approach and you’ll increase your scores on the bar exam.

Here’s the bottom line: If you practice right, on game day, you will play like you practiced!

ABOUT BARBRI BAR REVIEW

BARBRI pioneered bar review and proudly celebrates 50 years of helping more than 1.3 million students pass the bar exam. BARBRI’s constant innovation, leadership and depth of experience based on what will be 100 bar exams going back to 1967 influences all aspects of bar review – where it’s been, where it is today and the vast possibilities of where BARBRI will lead it next. Every year, the overwhelming majority of law students across the nation choose BARBRI Bar Review to prepare for the bar exam – and pass it the first time. Learn more about the nation’s #1 bar review at BARBRI.com.