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.

Extended Bar Prep or 8-Week Bar Review? As a Foreign Attorney, Which Course Should I Take?

Guest Blog by Natalia Urrea
BARBRI International Director

As a foreign-trained attorney or international law graduate considering sitting for a bar exam in the United States —whether or not you have or are completing an LL.M. program in the U.S. ―it will serve you well to strategize your exam preparation.

Successfully passing a U.S. bar exam will signify your understanding of U.S. law, which will be impressive in and of itself. As a U.S. licensed attorney, you will set yourself up well to work in an international firm with international clients and/or will set yourself apart in a competitive job market.

Charting an international course for your career is incredibly smart, and you’re almost there. You just need to find the best bar preparation experience for you.

Factors to Consider

Here are some factors to consider when choosing between the BARBRI Extended U.S. Bar Preparation and the BARBRI Bar Review 8-Week course:

  • How much time do you have to devote to your studies each week? How much flexibility do you need during your course?
  • Have you ever studied the subjects tested on a U.S. bar exam?
  • Do you feel that taking an intensive, timed multiple-choice and essay exam all in English might be especially challenging for you?
  • How much 1:1 support would you like or require during your course?
  • Do you need advice on foreign applications or eligibility?
  • Are you studying for California, Texas, or a U.S. state that utilizes the Uniform Bar Exam (including New York)?

After considering these questions, if you find yourself thinking you might require more time, flexibility and support, then the BARBRI Extended U.S. Bar Preparation might be right for you. Time, flexibility and ongoing support are exactly what the BARBRI Extended U.S. Bar Preparation offers.

Read more in the blog “BARBRI Extended Bar Prep and 8-Week BARBRI Bar Review Courses: What’s the Difference?” or visit www.barbri.com/llm/.

BARBRI Extended Bar Prep and 8-Week BARBRI Bar Review: What’s the Difference?

Guest Blog by Natalia Urrea
BARBRI International Director

As a foreign-trained attorney or international law graduate considering sitting a state bar exam in the United States —whether or not you have or are completing an LL.M. program in the U.S. ―you know you have study options with BARBRI, the world’s largest legal qualification exam prep company. But what is the best option for you?

Let’s find the right one to fit your individual study style and schedule.

What is Included?

First, let’s look at the similarities between the BARBRI Extended U.S. Bar Preparation (over 6- or 10-months) and the BARBRI Bar Review course (over 8-weeks). They both have some powerful, common features and experiences, including:

  • Course work assigned through the online BARBRI Personal Study Plan (PSP) that is focused on what is most likely to be tested on the actual examination.
  • Lectures in substantive law taught by top U.S. law professors that are examination-driven so you get what you need to know in each subject.
  • Full Multistate (MBE) simulation that allows you to do a complete timed exam and submit it to BARBRI for grading. The simulation shows you where you are on the bar exam curve with enough time to modify your study before the actual exam.
  • BARBRI’s MBE Success Learning Path that includes thousands of multiple-choice practice questions.
  • Directed Essay Grading starting with Essay Architect, our exclusive online instruction platform that takes you through a series of steps to learn to critically read bar exam questions, enhance the speed of your essay writing and construct strong, winning answers. Essay Architect provides immediate feedback to build your essay writing skills quickly.
  • Then, we assign a carefully selected series of past bar exam essays and performance tests for grading and feedback from trained bar exam writing experts.

What’s Different?

The major differences between the two BARBRI options involve the amount of time you need to study, the flexibility you need in your preparation, and the 1:1 support you require. For a list of factors to consider, check out the blog “Extended Bar Prep or 8-Week Bar Review? As a Foreign Attorney, Which Course Should I Take?

The Extended Bar Prep is a part-time, home study program designed to accommodate busy professionals and LL.M. graduates with other commitments who are studying for the California or Texas Bar Exam or for a U.S. state that utilizes the Uniform Bar Exam (including New York).

BARBRI Extended U.S. Bar Prep for non-U.S. nationals focuses on exam techniques that international students find difficult to master and on the topics that are most frequently examined. Here’s a closer look:

  • Full bar preparation administered all online over 6 or 10 months; study 20-30 hours per week over a 6-month duration or no more than 15 hours per week over a 10-month duration for maximum weekly flexibility.
  • Focus first on foundational elements of U.S. law tested on the exam to catch up on information that most U.S. law students learn during their J.D. program.
  • Receive a personal 1:1 mentor who is a qualified U.S. attorney to help guide you. Your personal mentor assists with eligibility, your application, course navigation, study strategies, and schedule modifications if needed. They have access to your progress report to help them know where you excel and where you most need additional study.
  • More flexible, weekly PSP. Your PSP is used by your mentor to see your activities and milestones, tailor studies and what lectures you should watch based on your progress, and provide encouraging messages to keep you on track.

Structure, accountability, support and success are what the extended bar prep programs are about. Overall, you will get a deep-dive into heavily tested exam topics in U.S. law and areas of most difficulty for foreign student.

What If I Want to Do the 8-Week Bar Review Course?

We have seen many foreign candidates be successful with the 8-week BARBRI Bar Review Course. The shorter timeline makes it attractive to many who want to take the course directly after their LL.M. program and who want to take the exam as quickly as possible.

The best advice I can give you is to be prepared to start as early as you can with BARBRI Early Start and plan to treat your bar review course like a very intensive, full-time job. Go to a classroom location for lectures if you are able (included at no additional cost in BARBRI Bar Review).

How best to pursue U.S. licensure is really a personal choice. BARBRI understands the unique challenges international students can face in learning American concepts of law. That’s why we provide options, with courses taught by professors who have extensive experience in LL.M. training and qualification exam prep. We are here to help you Own The Bar.

Visit www.barbri.com/llm/ for more information.

BarPrepLife: The Results Are In — I passed!

passed

GUEST BLOG by Katie R. Day
Quinnipiac University School of Law, J.D. Candidate 2018

This is a blog post that I have been waiting over three years to write.

Since I started law school, I’ve been thinking about the day I would finally become a practicing attorney. As I struggled through 1L classes, tough internships, and an intense bar prep study program, I kept my eyes on this light at the end of the tunnel.

And now it’s here.

I can finally say I PASSED THE BAR EXAM!!!!

passed

A huge congratulations to all of my fellow new attorneys! I’m so proud of the hard work we put in and the great attorneys we’re going to become.

The bar exam was a hard process. I’ve never studied harder, stressed more, or had as much self-doubt as I did in the months leading up to this exam. But I can say with confidence that it was the best decision I made.

For the law students taking the bar in the coming year, and for my friends who will be taking the exam again, I promise you all the hard work, the late nights, and the occasional tears are worth it. Keep the faith. Keep pushing through. And next bar exam season, your name will be on the pass list!

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.

Woman’s Reaction to Passing Bar Exam Inspires Millions

bar exam

Congratulations to BARBRI student and student rep, Arielle Williams, for passing her bar exam! Watch the video that has inspired millions here.

Here’s what Arielle had to say about her bar exam preparation:


“There was a lot of talk around my law school, when I was a 1L, regarding BARBRI and all that the program had to offer. So, I became a representative and committed myself to BARBRI to help me pass the bar exam. I’m glad that I did. I went into the exam feeling confident about the law. I knew that BARBRI had prepared me for what was to come. My favorite tool while studying was the Conviser Mini Review. There was no doubt that if I did not understand a subject, the Mini-Review would make things clear. I would recommend BARBRI to all law students. Not only to help prepare for the bar, but as a supplement to assist with acing final exams.”

—Arielle Williams, Graduate of DePaul University College of Law


Congrats again, Arielle!

Why Do People Fail the Bar Exam? 3 Ways to Increase Chances of Passing the Bar

Mike Sims, BARBRI President

One of the questions I’m asked most frequently is, “Why do people fail the bar exam?” Let’s rephrase that question and focus on three fundamental truths that reduce bar exam stress and, more importantly, increase the likelihood of passing the bar exam.

Truth #1: You Want to Study Broad, Not Deep

In law school, students who know the most about a subject are the students who get the highest grades on final exams. Deep, thorough understanding of the subject is the goal of every top law student. Not so on the bar exam.

To pass the bar, you don’t have to be great in any one area. You need to know just enough, in enough areas, to land on the passing side of the bar exam curve. A good bar exam study strategy is to build a base of knowledge that is wide and shallow rather than narrow and deep. And remember, just because something CAN be tested on the exam doesn’t mean it’s likely to actually be tested on the exam.

Truth #2: Scoring High on the MBE is Not About Avoiding Tricks and Traps

We’ve helped students pass the MBE since it was first administered in 1972 and, once upon a time, the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) had a well-deserved reputation as a tricky test. There were questions that required leaps of logic through double conditional hoops. Today, the MBE is much fairer and more straightforward.

We suggest that you treat each MBE question like an essay question – albeit a short one with the answers already provided – and use a systematic approach to solve the problem. Here is BARBRI’s recommended systematic approach to MBE problem solving.

Truth #3:  You Need to Measure What Matters When Practicing MBE Questions

Everyone knows that the bar exam is pass/fail. Yet few truly consider the implications that has on their approach to preparing for the exam.

Most people are pre-conditioned to define success in terms of grades and percentage correct  – “I got a 9 out of 10 or a 90 percent on a test.” Achieving an “A” is irrelevant on the bar exam. Thinking that way can actually be a distraction and hindrance to an effective bar exam study strategy. Again, the key to passing is doing well enough, in enough areas – broad, general knowledge.

How do you know if you’re doing well enough in enough areas while you’re studying? The key is to measure and watch how many you are getting correct compared to everyone else preparing to take the same exam – or your percentile rank. In other words, you want to measure where you are on the score distribution or curve. Learn more about the bar exam curve here.

BARBRI is the Best Partner to Own The Bar

BARBRI invented bar review more than 50 years ago and we continue to re-invent and innovate the tools and approach most effective for passing success. Learn more about how BARBRI Bar Review works.

What’s the Best Approach to MBE Questions?

Roger Meslar,
BARBRI Sr. Director of MBE Testing and Assessments

During the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE), you’ll answer 200 multiple-choice questions over a total 6-hour timeframe – 100 questions in the 3-hour morning session and 100 in the 3-hour afternoon session. This means that you’ll have an average of 1.8 minutes to answer each MBE question. Getting through these questions quickly enough on the exam requires a repeatable methodology or approach.

At BARBRI, we have found that the best method is to treat each MBE question like an essay question – albeit a short one with the answers already provided – and use the following approach.

BARBRI’S Systematic Approach to MBE Problem Solving:

  • First, cover the answer choices and read the call of the question so you can determine the subject being tested and the issue you are tasked to answer – without being distracted by the answer choices.
  • If the call of the question isn’t specific enough, read the sentence above the call for more guidance and, if necessary, quickly scan the answer choices for subject-specific buzzwords.
  • Next, read the facts in light of the issue being tested. Use the facts –and the law associated with the facts–to mentally formulate your own answer to the question. (You’re still not looking at the answer choices.)
  • Lastly, carefully read the answer choices provided to find the one that best fits the answer you arrived at using the steps above.

This systematic approach ensures that you focus on the actual problem to solve and reduces the risk of being distracted by details that may ultimately be irrelevant to the call of the question.

Additionally, coming to your own conclusion first and then matching the best answer provided will increase your confidence in that answer, allowing you to move more quickly through each question.

Should I Skip Hard Questions and Come Back?

Some people think it might be better to skip the difficult questions and come back to them at the end. We advise you not to hold hard questions. At the end, you’re tired and your critical thinking skills are at their lowest.

Go ahead and tackle them head-on. Use the systematic approach, make your best guess and then mark the question in your test booklet. If you have some time left at the end, you can give it another look.

When you come across questions that require way too much time to figure out, use those to actually make up time. Take one minute to go through the question, make your best guess and move on. Typically, the correct answer will be an option that is familiar to you. More often than not, completely unfamiliar or obscure answers choices are incorrect. Read more about that here.

BARBRI is Here to Help You Own The Bar

BARBRI’s MBE success learning path, combined with knowing where you are on the bar exam curve before you sit for the actual MBE exam, are core to helping you study smarter, not harder, and are just a couple of the many reasons BARBRI continues to be the most successful bar review course. We look forward to being your partner. Learn more about how BARBRI Bar Review works.

HOW MANY MBE PRACTICE QUESTIONS DO I GET WITH BARBRI? ARE THEY REAL RELEASED QUESTIONS?

MBE PRACTICE QUESTIONS

By Mike Sims, BARBRI President

The short answer is that you’ll have access to over 2,000 MBE practice questions throughout your BARBRI Bar Review course. Working practice questions is very important. Now add a big asterisk because, as with many things, it’s not just the quantity that matters. The methodology and approach is critical to your MBE success.

The specific questions you answer, the order in which you answer them and the way you approach each question is so important that we have another entire blog dedicated to this topic if you’d like to geek out.

When it comes to real released MBE questions, BARBRI has released questions – but we don’t recommend that you focus on them.

Since only about 80 questions per subject have been released in the past 10 years, they don’t provide a good representation of the questions that are most likely to actually appear on a future exam.

Also, questions that have been released by the examiners will not appear in any future MBE. That’s why they were released.

If you ever see offers to work “thousands” of real, released MBE questions, we advise you not to waste your precious time or money.

Those questions are no longer used on the exam, are not representative of what is actually tested on a future exam and are likely very old. Focusing primarily on “real” released MBE questions is one way some bar preppers misuse limited study time.

BARBRI is the only course that has helped students pass the MBE since its inception in 1972, and we’ve learned that, even though a topic CAN be tested, it doesn’t mean that it is likely to actually be tested. Some topics are tested all of the time and others not as often.

BARBRI’s MBE success learning path, which is driven by an engine we call ISAAC, and built into assignments presented in your Personal Study Plan (PSP), accelerates your learning by incrementally building your knowledge and skills and maximizes your study time by focusing questions on areas of the law that you’ll most likely see on the exam. The MBE practice questions that you’ll work in BARBRI Bar Review have been developed by BARBRI subject matter experts and have been approved by experts in those subjects.

BARBRI’s MBE success learning path, combined with knowing where you are on the bar exam curve before you sit the actual MBE exam, are core to helping you study smarter, not harder and are just a couple of the reasons BARBRI continues to be the #1, most successful bar review course.

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.