Bar exam essays are the 12 cruel mistresses on the Texas Exam. As an avid writer, and someone who does well under pressure, I still think it’s easy to muck up the whole experience. Don’t do yourself the injustice of feeling confident on essays, and find yourself in the predicament of having failed to properly prepare yourself for Day 3 of the Exam.
This year we got a curveball from the Board of Law Examiners. They will not pair our essays this July. This is super crummy, in my opinion. Now, you have to remember all the content for both portions of the AM/PM exam. Rather than confidently rest in the knowledge that if you opened your exam to a Wills Essay, the next one was inevitably Wills, too. C’est la vie, right?
This craptastic news simply means you need to practice those Bar essays and treat them like you’re a freaking LAWYER (because, you ARE) and just answer the damn question!
Remember, if you don’t know or recognize every issue in an essay question, answer as MANY OF THEM as you can. Practicing the essay questions and reading through sample answers, or model answers from that session’s examinees, will do wonders for your retention results.
If you haven’t done so already, download the past ten years worth of exams. Be able to pull them at random and set aside 30 minutes to tackle them. I’m sure your Bar Prep program has several for you to practice already, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to practice more of them. A classmate of mine told me that on the February Bar there were at least 3 completely recycled questions. Verbatim. Seriously, folks. Go back and at the very least – read through them and, at the very least, outline your answers. Personally, I’ve added a weekly MPT and four essays per weekend in addition to my own BarBri study plan.
For your enjoyment, I’ve included the first Wills essay I practiced writing, below, which I wrote in 30 minutes. I went ahead and typed it on Word, then read through the sample answer, and included commentary where I needed improvement and what I forgot to include. It’s complete shit. But, ya know…learn from my mistakes. Do better and heed this advice.
This method works wonders for me. The practice helps, and the kicking myself for forgetting stuff is a point of pride, so I remember what I forgot to include for the next essay. Remember, we’re striving for progress, not perfection. Check out my approach, here:
Now get yourself back to studying, friend. You’ve got a Bar exam to conquer! Keep up that hard work and impress those graders!