2019 MPRE Changes Are Coming

The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) has announced changes to the 2019 Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE). Most notably, an increase in the registration fees and steps to phase in a new computer-based testing format (to be fully transitioned by the March 2020 exam).

If you are a 2L or 3L law student in line for the MPRE this year, it’s important to be mindful of the registration deadlines because you can save some money and also how the computer-based exam format could impact how you experience taking the exam.

NEW REGISTRATION FEES

The 2019 MPRE regular registration fee is now $125 and the late registration fee, $220. By marking your calendar to meet the regular registration deadline, you’ll save $95. And remember that the late registration deadline is only one week later. Here are the registration deadlines and fees for all three administrations of the 2019 MPRE:

COMPUTER-BASED TESTING, RANDOM PARTICIPANTS

For the March 2019 MPRE, students will continue to use the traditional scantron form. For the August 2019 and November 2019 MPRE, up to 5,000 examinees will be randomly selected to take the computer-based exam at a Pearson VUE Center.

You’ll know if you’re one during the online MPRE registration process. All other examinees will take the paper-based exam at an LSAC test center. For more information, visit the NBCE FAQs webpage.

FREE BARBRI MPRE REVIEW, INFOGRAPHIC & BAR EXAM DIGEST

The MPRE is meant to task you with thinking like a lawyer when ethical situations aren’t so clear cut. It’s also a different testing format compared to law school. You’ll need to complete 60 multiple-choice questions in two hours. Get ahead and sign up for the free online BARBRI MPRE Review.

It includes our new MPRE Maximizer, your last-minute quick-study cram packet of legal ethics rules, exceptions and broad topic areas. And you can go back as often as you like to the BARBRI MPRE Review online lectures and practice questions. Reinforce the rules of professional responsibility, the code of judicial conduct and the law of lawyering.

Taking a legal ethics or professional responsibility class in law school won’t guarantee a passing score. That’s why most 2L and 3L students take the free BARBRI MPRE Review. It covers everything about ethics, is highly organized and always current on legal ethics information.

Check out our MPRE passing scores infographic that compares all states/jurisdictions. Download our free, comprehensive BARBRI Bar Exam Digest for all the state-by-state MPRE scoring information you need, all in one convenient place.

Christmas Wishlist

wishlist

Guest Blog by Courtney Boykin, 3L at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law

The semester is “over.”

No more exams… No more studying… No more intense studying… at least for a while. I’m super excited to finally have a break. This semester has been challenging in more ways than one, but I’m super excited to spend a few weeks at home, uninterrupted, with my family.

For law students, Christmas can be a very interesting holiday. You always get those really weird legal questions, but that just comes with the territory. At any rate, I thought it’d be fun to create a wishlist of the best Christmas gifts a law student could receive (and actually use).

Here are a few Wishlist ideas:

  • Pencils, pens, and highlighters
  • Gift Cards (BARBRI (yes, please!), restaurants, grocery stores, gas, boutiques, iTunes…all of it!)
  • Blankets
  • Mugs
  • A Picture book (Hey, it gives your brain rest.)
  • Money (because…money)
  • Headphones

Some of these may be unconventional and not very “Christmas-y,” but they’re usable nonetheless. Ha!

Merry Christmas and I’ll talk to you next semester!

Exam Period: Just Keep Studying

Guest Blog by Courtney Boykin, 3L at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law

If you’re reading this, you may be studying for your finals.

First off, CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve finished this semester. Whether you’d classify it as a “strong” finish or not, you’ve finished and that’s something to celebrate.

Now, the REALLY fun part begins. If you’re like me, you’re prone to get really stressed out during exam periods. It’s like no matter how many encouraging words and cheers you get from the outside, you always tend to find yourself freaking out about the exams on the inside. Trust me, I get it. Here are 2 pieces of advice:

  1. Study hard and understand that you’ve got this. No, seriously, you’ve got this. Do you know how many people have taken the very classes you’ve taken and passed with flying colors? It’s possible. You can do it, too.
  2. Just do the work. You have the notecards. You have the outlines. You have your notes. You have the textbook. Just keep studying! Just keep studying! *cue Dory from Finding Nemo:)*

Studying can be very tedious, but understand that it won’t last long and before you know it…it will all be a faint memory, especially for the 3Ls.

So, stay strong. Hold on.

Everything will be fine.

Happy Studying!!

Reflections: What I’m Thankful For

Guest Blog by Courtney Boykin, 3L at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law

Around this time of year, I tend to get very reflective.

The Thanksgiving season always helps me put certain areas of my life into perspective. It’s cheesy, but I always like to take a moment and really identify what I’m thankful for.

This year, as a 3L, I am thankful for the opportunity to attend law school. In the midst of all the reading, the work, and the studying, I tend to forget that there was a moment in time where law school was just an idea, a possibility. I can remember applying to schools and trying to decide which one was the best fit for me. It was such a grueling and tedious process, yet here I am…about to graduate.

Photo: Lance Murphey

Having the opportunity to attend law school and, furthermore, become a lawyer is such a significant experience. More specifically, being an African American woman, I know that many of my ancestors never even thought that this was possible. To be here in this position is TRULY incredible.

Yes, law school is tough, but when I think about the historical issues African Americans faced (and still face), it’s such an honor to be graced with the opportunity to do something that not many people get to do. I actually have an opportunity to “have a seat at the table.” Amazing!

This year, I’m just REALLY thankful for this opportunity. Graduation is right around the corner and I’m sure we’re all ready to finish. Nonetheless…just for a moment…I encourage you to reflect on this great opportunity we have and really appreciate this journey.

Crazy Law School Nightmares

Law School Nightmares

Guest Blog by Courtney Boykin,
3L at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law

The countdown is on!

Guys, we’re like 4 weeks out from exams. How crazy is that?!?!

If you’re like me, exam periods are not only filled with stressful studying but stressful law school nightmares, as well. Mine has already begun.

Last week, I had this crazy dream that one of my professors gave us a pop-up exam (not a quiz…a full exam). Let the immediate freak out commence! I couldn’t even remember the course subject. I couldn’t remember if it was my Decedent’s Estates class or my Contracts class (which I hadn’t taken since my first year). It was terrible! The professor started passing out exams and, by the time she arrived at me, she had none left. Instead of finding an exam for me, she started the timer and told me she’d be back. At this point, I was literally shaking.

She eventually gave me an exam and a few moments later the timer went off. I’d answered one question and, again, I started to panic. Just as I was about to literally cry… my alarm went off.

I woke up sweating.

Law School Nightmares

If this is any indication of what my exam period will be like, I’m in for a crazy ride. Stay strong out here, my friends. Christmas break is right around the bend! If you’re suffering from any crazy law school nightmares, share them with me and other law school students on Twitter or Instagram: @The3Llife

Should you work while studying for the bar exam?

GUEST BLOG by Brian C. Pike, Esq.
Passed the July 2015 New York Bar Exam
Automation Architect at Riverview Law

Do I work during the Bar Exam?  Should I work while I study? What a dreaded question.  If you have ever asked a practicing attorney this question they fall into two heavily defended camps: (1) in moderation; or (2) none at all. My take? I think it is entirely a personal decision.

During the summer of 2015, I had the tremendous opportunity to work with an amazing group of people at BARBRI while studying for the bar exam as a social media intern.  I had connected with BARBRI’s social media manager, Melody Maleitzke, while she judged a social media competition at my law school.  It truly was a wonderful experience to learn from an industry veteran and I’m honored to pass-along a few of the tips I learned along the way.  I’ll give a series of lessons with examples of how it worked for me before asking you to ask yourself: should you work while studying for the bar exam?

  • Be honest with yourself. I think this is the hardest lesson learned and is the reason why I listed it first.  As BARBRI will tell you, studying for the bar exam is a mental beat down. I describe it as boot camp for your brain. However, don’t let that discourage you. You should listen when your instructors say it is an honor to take the bar exam —you’ve worked really hard to get where you are.  And along the way you’ve made habits that work for you. Don’t give into peer pressure to abandon those habits. This goes double for when it comes to subjects. You want to be bad in an area that you don’t know because BARBRI will give you wonderful tools to help you improve in that area.

    For me: I’ve always been the type of person to overload myself and burn out.  Fortunately, I have a wonderful girlfriend who helped me realize when I needed to take a break.  But I didn’t always put it on those around me.  I built into my schedule a number of breaks for me to unwind and refresh my brain.  If you study for an hour, take a 10-minute break to watch a cat video or, even better, get up and enjoy some fresh air.

  • Make a schedule.  No matter what your study habits are, making a schedule is important. BARBRI will give you a great outline of what topics you will study and when, but get into the habit, especially if you are balancing work, of planning out your week.

    For me: I made a rough outline for the entire process of studying for the bar.  On Sunday, I would sit down and see what needed to be moved around and also to make myself aware of what deadlines for work I had that week.
  • Be honest with those around you.  This goes for both your employers (if you should choose to work), and your friends and family.  Share your schedule with your boss(es) and your loved ones so they have an idea of what you up against.  If your boss wants you to take on a new assignment, don’t feel shy in saying that it might not be a good idea because you have property coming up this week.

    For me: I shared my weekly plan with my bosses and also those I spent a significant amount of time with.  This allowed me to stick to my schedule and not to over-commit in any one area.  Plus, if something really interesting came up in work, I could use my breaks to tackle it as a mental refresher.
  • Don’t be your own worst enemy.  This is my last tip.  The bar exam is entirely a mental game, and the game begins when you study.  It is completely possible to have a full-time job and study for the bar exam, but you have to know when to turn it off for the night.  Studying for the bar exam is about being honest with yourself on what works for you, and what doesn’t; what areas you really know, and which ones you need to spend more time on.

    For me: I’m the type of person who thrives on lists.  I completed between 95-100% of the assigned work from BARBRI.  Now, many of those assignments are given as guidelines.  You might need to spend the full 3-4 hours reviewing your notes on a topic area you really aren’t understanding.  Or you might need even less in another area.  What I can recommend and what I did is to really crank it up in the last two weeks.  I toned my actual work down to 0 and turned my studying up to 100.  Find the balance that will leave you feeling satisfied at the end of the day when you call it a night.

So, weigh my tips and decide for yourself: is it right for me?  Will I let one area slip more than another?  Do I not feel comfortable sticking to such a tight schedule?  Am I afraid of disappointing those I work with?  Then maybe you should consider working less, or on a project-basis.  At the end of the day, I believe anyone can work and study for the bar.  The question for you is how much you think you can work and still feel happy with your study progress.

Staying Healthy in Law School

Healthy in Law School

Guest Blog by Courtney Boykin
3L at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law

Is it possible to stay healthy in law school? I recently overheard a conversation among students in a class about maintaining proper health in law school. We typically have these required meetings throughout the lunch hour and often times the school funds lunch since we are required to attend these sessions. I’m not sure what happens at your school, but at my school, for contractual purposes, the food tends to be pizza. Now, full disclaimer, I’m not a huge fan of pizza, but by the time you attend your 3rd or 4th Meeting with pizza, even a pizza connoisseur would get a little tired of it.

Healthy in Law School

Most students typically complain about the pizza lunches but recently I’ve heard from students whose health could literally falter due to the inhumane amounts of pizza. These health issues for students range from severe food allergies to diabetes.

It sort of posed the question: How do you stay healthy during law school?

Now, I’m by no means a health expert, but I figured I’d at least offer my aspirational list (the things I try to do).

Healthy in Law School

  1. Exercise (Easier said than done, I know. I tend to be better at this in the Spring, but I try year-round.)
  2. Consciously eat (Law School makes us super busy, but I try to avoid frivolous eating. You have to make your meals count. It’s not about eating 3 square meals a day, but at the very least I try to be aware of what I’m eating.)
  3. Take a break (I am a full-fledged supporter of self-care. If you need a day…TAKE IT.)
  4. Drink water (My first semester of law school I noticed I wasn’t drinking enough water. I would typically opt for a Diet Coke or a diet Mountain Dew, but I quickly realized that’s not the best approach. Enjoy your sodas, but make sure you give your body what it REALLY wants…water!)
  5. Community accountability (My family tends to be my accountability partners. When I have been eating poorly, not getting enough sleep, or things of that sort, they check me on it. Accountability is key!)

How are you staying healthy in law school? Share your tips with me and other law school students on Twitter and Instagram: @The3Llife.

Exams are coming. KEEP PUSHING!

exams are coming

Guest Blog by Courtney Boykin ,
3L at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law

Guys! It’s the end of October. Exams are Coming!

WHERE DID THE TIME GO?

exams are coming

Exams are coming! They are right around the corner. This week’s blog is a quick reminder that if you’re struggling in an area or you’re having difficulties grasping a particular subject, GET HELP. Whether it’s meeting with your professor or finding other materials, now is the time to reach out for help.

If your semester is anything like mine, then you’ve covered a lot of material over the past few months. As such, this is also a good time to start compiling your study materials. If you like outlines, start editing your outlines. If you like overview-style notes, start getting those together. Did you already take midterms? Then, review them and make sure your notes/outlines account for the information you struggled with on your midterm.

Time is winding down, but we know that, for us, that just means it’s time to go into turbo-drive.

Keep pushing.

Winter break is around the corner!!

5 Reasons To Get Excited About BARBRI MBE Immersion

BLOG By Mike Sims, BARBRI President

MBE Immersion, included in your BARBRI Bar Review course, is one of the first things you will complete before you start your substantive lectures (with the exception of our friends studying for Louisiana). While we understand that you may not feel as excited as we do about studying for the bar exam, here are 5 reasons to get excited (or at least feel good) about BARBRI MBE Immersion:

1. Mean MBE scores are still some of the lowest they have been in 10 years.
As you’ve likely heard, students struggle with the MBE portion of the bar exam. BARBRI MBE Immersion helps.

2. MBE Immersion is built upon an evidence-based approach to improve law student performance on the MBE portion of the bar exam.
The deep-dive, online experience is designed to accelerate the pace you learn the law and, in turn, successfully answer MBE bar exam questions.

3. MBE Immersion starts with BARBRI’s Systematic Problem Solving approach to MBE questions.
You’ll learn secrets from MBE experts and have the chance to put those skills to work with a specially selected set of MBE questions.

4. It introduces you to the most frequently tested topics. 
MBE Immersion takes you subject-by subject through each of the MBE topics and is the best way to start acquiring, applying and assessing your MBE knowledge.

5. It provides you with a mental framework for the large amount of law you need to master for the MBE. 
Nothing replaces that work that you have to personally put into studying for the bar exam, but it, along with every part of BARBRI Bar Review, is designed to help you maximize every second of study time so you can study smarter, not harder.

Sign In to your BARBRI Bar Review account mid-December for winter takers or mid-May for summer takers and you’ll see the MBE Immersion assignment in your BARBRI Personal Study Plan. All of us at BARBRI look forward to helping you Own The Bar and to seeing your name on the pass list.

Law School Midterms: Preparation Tips

Law School Midterms

Guest Blog by Courtney Boykin
3L at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law

Law school midterms are upon and while they’re just miniature exams and rarely count as much as final exams, they’re still very important.

Beyond the fact that they count for a particular percentage of our grades, they also give us an opportunity to assess our comprehension and progress in the course.

Last week I had my law school midterms and I figured now would be a great time to share how I prepare.

Compile Your Notes

Law School Midterms

I handwrite most of my notes. So before any group or professor review session, I type my notes. I try to just type high-level rules and not necessarily hypos. This isn’t an elaborate outline… just my notes.

Group Sessions

When it comes to group study sessions, most people either love them or hate them.  I’m somewhere in between. For me, it sort of depends on the topic. If I feel as though I have a grasp of the subject, I’ll study in a group. If not, then I tend to study by myself. Here, as with anything else, you have to know what works for you. Figure it out and do that.

Review Sessions

Most of my professors have review sessions before major quizzes or tests. I know some students don’t attend these sessions, but, personally, these are THE best opportunities to get an overview before the test or quiz. Additionally, these sessions are particularly helpful if you come with questions. At the same time, I’ve attended sessions when I didn’t have any questions and just sat and listened to other students’ questions (although sometimes this can cause confusion). Again, find out what works for you and do THAT!