Thursday, June 7, 2012

Thoughts on Barbri's First Few Virginia Subject Lectures

Virginia Civil Procedure (Freer) (Grade: A)

Va Civ Pro is the most frequently tested state subject. Expect at least one essay on the bar exam, maybe one and a half or two. Fortunately, Freer is one of Barbri's best lecturers. He's engaging, and his outline is organized and reasonably well-filtered of unnecessary law (for bar purposes). Your time will be well spent getting as comfortable as possible with this lecture outline.  That doesn't mean simply trying to memorize every page. Instead, pay close attention to where he says, "this is important," or "this was tested last year," etc. Star or highlight those sections - they're very important. The lecture's six sections are also hierarchical, starting with the most commonly tested material and working down.

The VBBE does not like to re-invent the wheel. Which is to say, they love to recycle essays. You will see it happen within Barbri's VA Civ Pro practice essays (which are straight-up copies of actual previous VBBE essays). Take note of where certain issues are tested three, four, five times. . .  If you do every Va Civ Pro essay in Barbri's essay book, you will see very clearly which topical areas you need to know cold.

Federal Jurisdiction (Freer) (Grade: A)

Another Freer gem. Same thoughts as above. The VBBE has not tested on Federal Jurisdiction in the last two exams. Given the subject's historical frequency, two absences is a drought. I think the July 2012 exam is ripe for a Federal Jurisdiction question.

Local Government (Sinclair) (Grade: A)

In the last two exams, the VBBE has devoted two full essays to Local Government. I believe, before that, it was a staple in the short answer section. What does that tell you? The VBBE loves Local Government, so you should too! Sinclair's lecture outline is trim (19 pages) and very well filtered of unnecessary law. Virtually everything you need to know about Local Government for the exam is in that lecture outline. And, again, do the practice essays and take note of which issues come up time and again.

Some people disliked Sinclair's dry tone of voice. Some even walked out of his lecture, assuming it would be unhelpful. Don't poo-poo this subject. It's a wolf in sheep's clothing. And Sinclair is your best friend here.

Equity (Sinclair) (Grade: A)

Same thoughts as above. Another big subject. Don't overlook it. Sinclair knows best.

Conflict of Laws (Easley) (Grade: B-)

The VBBE tested on this subject in February 2012. Overall, though, it's a minor subject (and, also, not that difficult). Your time would be better spent reading the five or so practice essays for Conflict's of Law, and making index cards from them. That's about the extend of what you'll need to know.

Personal Property (Easley) (Grade: B)

Most law students do not study personal property, and Easley's lecture and lecture outline are a great crash course lesson in the subject. It's a medium-tested subject and the material's not difficult, so don't try to memorize the lecture. Read the practice essays. They'll point you to which areas you need to know.

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