International student sits New York Bar Exam: A personal insight

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By Hemant Chauhan, BARBRI Legal Advisor

Having sat for the New York Bar Exam in July 2018, I can certainly tell you that was the most difficult legal examination I have sat to date.

International Student Sits New York Bar

Having arrived at JFK Airport from London Heathrow a week before the exam, I felt it important to be in a relaxed mind-frame before sitting the bar examination, having prepared 10-months of U.S. law beforehand. I spent some quality time in Brooklyn, New York, and explored the city for all it was to exhibit. New York City is truly the city that never sleeps!

There is certainly a buzz and a positive vibe that transcends throughout, and it is reflected in the people. Seeing the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, Central Park and other attractions all made me realize why I was preparing for the New York Bar Exam. It certainly put things into perspective, drawing law to fact patterns, and to the practice of life.

Passing the U.S. Bar Exam is about your competency to practice law, and knowledge of the law with all its nuances and complexities; being able to deal with people from all walks of life. Those are the key ingredients of a successful attorney.

That being said, the New York Bar Exam was difficult. There were hundreds of students packed in my particular exam center in Albany, New York. A mixture of international and domestic JD candidates. Security was tight, ensuring fairness and equality.

The first day comprised of the Multistate Performance Test (MPT) and Multistate Essay Exam (MEE). A number of examinees found that it took them longer than the allotted 90 minutes to complete the persuasive brief. And many examinees found the uncommon task to be especially tricky. Taking the MPT is about preparing for the unknown.

On the whole, the issues tested on the essays were slightly more challenging those on the February 2018 exam. The Examiners certainly favored the MBE subjects on the essays this time around, continuing the trend from February 2018.

The second day was the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE). The crucial day of 200 multiple-choice questions. It was difficult to sleep; I had a restless night. I knew I had revised constant amounts, but knew it was impossible to remember everything. I had to trust my preparation.

It was an exhausting day. The proctors constantly walking down the center, the clock ticking away, all heads down into complex fact patterns, spending no more than 1.8 minutes per question. I had prepared well with BARBRI Extended U.S. Bar Prep, having spent numerous amounts practicing MBE questions for an entire 10 months. I was disciplined and kept within the time limits.

It is difficult to ascertain how I scored.  At this stage, it is too early to tell, or predict. I am just glad to be on the other side of the exam. For now, I am enjoying my work within the New York offices and enjoying the city. I am preparing for other admission examinations in the meantime, and glad I had thoroughly prepared with BARBRI. Practice makes perfect!

Learn more about BARBRI Bar Review here.

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