Now there are primarily two parts to
almost every state’s bar exam. The first of those parts is
the written portion of the exam. And the other part, probably the scarier part,
is the Multistate Bar Exam. Let’s talk first about
the Multistate Bar Exam, or “MBE.” Now the MBE is used almost everywhere. And even though the norm across the country
is to weight the MBE portion at 50% of your score, each state has discretion to determine
how much the MBE is to be weighted in calculating your final score. The MBE’s going to be on
Wednesday of your bar exam. Now you’re going to see 100 questions during
the first 3-hour segment of the day. Take a lunch break. And then you’ll see the next
100 questions during the second 3-hour segment in the afternoon. The 200 total MBE questions are going to
cover seven subjects. Here they are: Criminal Law & Procedure, Contracts,
Constitutional Law, Real Property, Evidence, Torts and the most recent addition (oh, happy day),
Civil Procedure. The other day, or days, of testing in most
states is the essay or, kind of more inclusively, the written portion of the bar exam. The essay exam is part of every state’s bar exam. Now it’s important for you to remember that
there are a couple of very big differences between essays you did in law school and the
essays you’re going to do on the bar exam. First, in law school you are presented with
a single subject at a time. Your Torts final, your Evidence final, etc. On the bar exam,
you’re going to encounter a series of questions, each of them on a different subject. So you
might have a Torts question, followed by a Wills question, followed by a Contracts question.
In some states, you may actually encounter more than one subject within the same question. Also, and this is important, in law school
your professors very often didn’t care about your conclusion. On the bar exam,
the bar examiners do. Lastly, in most states there is an additional
component of the written part of the bar exam, and that’s called a Performance Test. Some
states have their own in-state performance tests but most use the
Multistate Performance Test, or “MPT.” Now the MPT is an open-book exam. And you’re
given all of the materials you need to produce some lawyer-like work product: a brief or
perhaps a memo. The important thing for you to know about any Performance Test is that
it’s designed to be realistic. It’s designed to test your ability to use your fundamental
lawyering skills in as realistic an environment as possible. Now keep in mind, you can find all of this
information in the BARBRI Bar Exam Digest. But most importantly, you have to remember
that the bar exam is a pass/fail exam. You don’t have to be great. You don’t even
have to be good. You just have to be good enough to pass the bar exam. This is doable.