Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

part time bar exam study

I'm thinking of taking the NY Bar in February, but I won't b junkwired06/06/17
can you study during your commute? dingbat06/06/17
Nope, I drive to and from work. junkwired06/06/17
audio lectures? Also, as 3lol says below, just start earl dingbat06/06/17
Might be able to find something online. I was planning on s junkwired06/06/17
Start studying earlier than everyone else. 3lol06/06/17
That seems to be the consensus. junkwired06/06/17
I worked full time (45 hours/week) while studying for the Au bucwild06/06/17
Thank you for this detailed response. Looks like starting t junkwired06/06/17
i agree with starting earlier. i took the NY bar a second ti legalbeagle06/06/17
Glad to hear it was easier taking it a second time; thirdtie junkwired06/06/17
Barbri a couple of years ago allowed you to download the lec thirdtierlaw06/06/17
I enjoyed Barbri, although I found the written material was junkwired06/06/17
I think this is the reason they buy the books back, and char loser1206/07/17
I teach several state bar exams for one of the major compani loser1206/06/17
Start studying now. My best advice would be at the very lea hairypalms06/06/17
Surprised at the recommendations to start studying this earl stickysituation06/06/17
No, not really. I would gradually ease into it take one sub hairypalms06/06/17
Interesting perspective. Since you seem to know your stuff, stickysituation06/06/17
I have a ton of old NY bar exam material I want to unload, i associatex06/07/17
I think you could get by with 3-year old materials, but I wo hairypalms06/07/17
Didn't they change the format of the bar last year? No more waka06/09/17

junkwired (Jun 6, 2017 - 9:15 am)

I'm thinking of taking the NY Bar in February, but I won't be able to take any significant time off. Because I'm a law clerk now (I'm licensed in CT; was an associate at a small firm prior to this) and have something of a commute, I get home around 6pm each day. I was hoping for some tips for studying part time. I'd especially appreciate any advice from individuals who managed to successfully take a bar exam after having prepared for it after work hours.
*edited last sentence*

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dingbat (Jun 6, 2017 - 9:26 am)

can you study during your commute?

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junkwired (Jun 6, 2017 - 9:43 am)

Nope, I drive to and from work.

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dingbat (Jun 6, 2017 - 9:54 am)

audio lectures?

Also, as 3lol says below, just start earlier. As in, it's time to start studying now

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junkwired (Jun 6, 2017 - 4:01 pm)

Might be able to find something online. I was planning on studying using written material alone, since all I'll have are Barbri NY materials from a friend who recently took the test. I can't afford to purchase another bar prep course.

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3lol (Jun 6, 2017 - 9:37 am)

Start studying earlier than everyone else.

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junkwired (Jun 6, 2017 - 3:59 pm)

That seems to be the consensus.

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bucwild (Jun 6, 2017 - 10:15 am)

I worked full time (45 hours/week) while studying for the August 2013 bar. I started studying right after graduation in May. You absolutely need a commercial prep class. It will streamline the information for you. If you're watching lectures, do it on 1.5x or 2.0x speed. I tried to study 3 hours per night after work, and 10-12 hours on weekends. It was tough, but studying all day on weekends is the only way to catch up.

Most importantly, you will need to quickly assess what your weaknesses are and devote more time to it. You will be less prepared than your peers who study full time. However, the commercial classes are great at predicting what will be on the exam. This will allow you to maximize how you use your time. For example, if you were a competent law school student, you shouldn't need much practice on how to write essays for the bar exam. I only wrote two practice essays prior to the bar. That gave significant time to devote to MBE studying. Put your time into improving your worst subjects. You will see significant gains. Also learn how to take multiple choice tests well. On the MBE, you should be able to eliminate at least two possible answer choices on every question. You'd be shocked how many smart people do not know how to efficiently take multiple choice exams. Exploit that.

This will seem daunting. It will seem impossible. It's not. The bar exam isn't rocket science. But it's an absurd amount of information. The good news is you don't have to know all of it to do well. In fact, you can pass while knowing very little other than the bare mininum. The key is to know enough about each subject that you competently understand most answers and craft an essay.

I took the Georgia exam. As I studied, I quickly realized there was not a ton of significant differences between Georgia law and MBE law. So, I didn't study any Georgia law. None at all. This paid off in two ways. First, I did great on the MBE b/c I wasn't splitting my time learning GA law and MBE law. Second, the essays weren't bad because while I didn't know substantive GA law, I knew how to write essays in general. I just stated what I believed the law to be (MBE law) and answered in accordance with that. This may not be a good idea for NYC bar, but my point is look for ways to maximize your score in a time-efficient manner.

Finally, the other posters are correct- if you start studying now, you will definitely have enough time to prepare for the February bar exam. Attorneys take second and third bar exams all the time and they don't take off time from work.

Yes I passed first time. Please leave a throwaway if you have more questions.

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junkwired (Jun 6, 2017 - 3:51 pm)

Thank you for this detailed response. Looks like starting to study now is key. I'm pretty impressed that you were able to start studying in May, work full time, study part time, and pass the August 13 bar exam. That's a much shorter timeframe than I'm working with.

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legalbeagle (Jun 6, 2017 - 12:13 pm)

i agree with starting earlier. i took the NY bar a second time while working. i took 3 weeks off before the exam (2 weeks to study one was the week of) it was easier for me because i had retained a lot of the information from the 1st time i took a bar review course, and so i focused on my weaknesses (MBE specifically). i don't know if i could have done that had it been my first try.

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junkwired (Jun 6, 2017 - 3:58 pm)

Glad to hear it was easier taking it a second time; thirdtierlaw also mentioned that much of what I studied before will come back to me. I'm hoping it will.

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thirdtierlaw (Jun 6, 2017 - 12:17 pm)

Barbri a couple of years ago allowed you to download the lectures to a phone. I would listen to the lectures while commuting back and forth.

Having already passed the CT bar and practicing a bit will make this go around much easier for you. A lot of it will be review and the cobwebs will get shaken off quickly.

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junkwired (Jun 6, 2017 - 3:55 pm)

I enjoyed Barbri, although I found the written material was all I needed for the CT Bar. Wish they had a package for just a few hundred dollars that only included the books.

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loser12 (Jun 7, 2017 - 12:23 am)

I think this is the reason they buy the books back, and charge a deposit.

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loser12 (Jun 6, 2017 - 6:48 pm)

I teach several state bar exams for one of the major companies - notably NY, NJ, CT and PA in addition to practicing solo - trying to find a 100k+ lit position and in the interim I've been doing well with this combo. If you give me your e-mail, I'll email you. It will be a vanity because i don't want to get fired.

As a disclaimer, I won't breach copyright law or my contract terms (basically replicating their methods). However, I actually studied with lean sheets and a variety of shorter approaches - pushed off studying till the last week because of loserdom. What works for me won't work for most people, but a slightly longer version would.

If you give an email, I'll email you, disclose full ID info, etc. for you to research me and ensure I'm not a scam artist.

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hairypalms (Jun 6, 2017 - 8:20 pm)

Start studying now. My best advice would be at the very least see if you can take off two weeks prior to the exam to dedicate solely to studying. You will need it. In my past experiences, those last 2 weeks are pivotal to success. It is during this time that you become "one" with the exam. That's my experience anyway. Good luck.

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stickysituation (Jun 6, 2017 - 9:07 pm)

Surprised at the recommendations to start studying this early, NINE MONTHS before the exam. While anyone working full-time obviously should begin earlier than the normal two months, isnt this a bit much? Isn't there a point of diminishing return when extending bar study time?

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hairypalms (Jun 6, 2017 - 9:27 pm)

No, not really. I would gradually ease into it take one subject at a time and strive to develop a good outline. Half the battle is getting your outlines in order. Use the BarBri lecture notes to develop your outlines. For those subjects that you have difficulty with, you might want to study the long outline. Then prepare your short outline based on the BarBri lecture notes once you have a better handle on the subject. If you're studying while billing 2,000+ hours, it could very well take you 3 weeks to put one subject outline together. Thus, you can either take the long, methodical and sane approach by starting now, or the short, irrational and crazy approach by waiting until the last minute. I've taken enough bar exams (and passed 3 jurisdictions), I know what I'm talking about, particularly when it comes to studying while trying to keep your law firm job.

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stickysituation (Jun 6, 2017 - 10:27 pm)

Interesting perspective. Since you seem to know your stuff, I am in a similar situation: 3 years ago I took CT and failed by a few points. I had a lot going on, expected to fail, and didnt at all consider it a reflection on my intellect. The following Feb I passed with flying colors (top 3 or so MBE score).

I was working full-time this second time around but work was light enough that I could put in couple of hours most days at work in addition to the evening study time. I listened to the lectures on my phone without taking notes, only occasionally updating my quizlet flashcards from the summer (these flashcards started as outlines I made from the lectures and that I whittled down). Mostly, I focused heavily on the MBE, only loosely followed barbri's schedule and instead just did a ton of MBE questions on the computer and cell phone app. I tore through the 6 sets for each MBE subject quickly and then just went to the broader question bank. It was particularly useful to have stats, and be able to pull up specific areas of weakness and just drill them until my scores rose. I walked out of that exam knowing to an absolute certainty that I nailed it.

Now I have to take NY in Feb like you, while working full-time. Given all of the above, do you think that (1) I can do this using 3 y/o CT material (I believe that CT's then-MBE/MEE/MPT is the same as the UBE anyway?), and (2) just relying my old outline/flashcards? Or should I pony up for a course?

Note that the reason I am considering using the old CT material is that it's mostly pristine since I did most of my studying with the app. Also, I must stress the fact that the ability to identify and drill down on weaknesses was life saver for me last time. Unclear how that's going to work with non-electronic resources.

Sorry to dump this novel on you but we are in similar situations so I had to try.

Edit: sorry, I thought you were OP!

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associatex (Jun 7, 2017 - 1:58 am)

I have a ton of old NY bar exam material I want to unload, if you or anyone else on this thread is interested in getting it (for free), email me at associatex@live.com. I live and work on Long Island, NY so could arrange to meet in NYC or LI. I was moving boxes around in my basement and thought I had sold all of it. Here is what I have

-outlines for MBE and NY subjects (BarBri and Pieper)
- NCBE Sample MBE Questions from 1992 (only has pencil markings for first 5 questions), answer key included.
- NCBE Sample MBE July 1991 and July 1998 (clean copies) w answer keys
- PMBR CDs for all MBE subjects
-Gallaghers book "How to score high on bar exam essays"
- MBE BOOKS: "Master the MBE" by John Talamo; Finz Method to MBE
- PMBR Flashcards

I also have pics listed on LetGo. Since the materials are old (circa 2004), if no one wants any of the above- I am just dropping them off at my local library.

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hairypalms (Jun 7, 2017 - 8:18 am)

I think you could get by with 3-year old materials, but I would have reservations about anything older than that. For purposes of the bar exam, law does change that much from year to year. Could there be some changes? Yes. Will these changes impact your probability of passing? Unlikely.

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waka (Jun 9, 2017 - 8:12 am)

Didn't they change the format of the bar last year? No more state-specific law; rather, it's all common law and the state portion is now an online exam.

Anyway, someone correct me if I'm wrong

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