Saturday, July 14, 2012

Knowing the Hierarchical Tiers of Bar Exam Subjects and Using That To Your Advantage

A reader asked me to elaborate on the subject tiers to which I commonly refer. The tiers below aren't fast and hard - they're very fungible - but generally, they align with the frequency at which the VBBE tests on the various subjects. You should organize your studies accordingly.

FIRST TIER (probably one full essay each for two of the three subjects)
- Wills/Trusts
- VA Civ Pro
- Fed Jur.

FIRST TIER- / SECOND TIER-HYBRID (probably two full essays or partial essays on four of the six subjects)
- Domestic Relations
- Equity
- Sales
- Crim Law/Proc.
- Local Government Law
- Professional Responsibility

SECOND TIER (probably two full essays or partial essays on two of the seven subjects)
- Real Property
- Corporations
- Agency
- Partnership
- Commercial Paper
- Secured Transactions
- Creditors' Rights

THIRD TIER (One full essay unlikely. Maybe one partial essay, if at all)
- Conflict of Laws
- Torts
- Taxation
- Personal Property
- Suretyship

Also, as I said before, study similar subjects together. Commercial paper, secured transactions, and creditors' rights go together. If there's a transactional essay, it'll likely be from one of those three subjects. Corporations, agency, and partnership go together. If there's an entity essay, it'll likely be from one of those three subjects. Study Real Property and Sales while you study for MBE Property and Contracts/Sales, respectively. VA Civ Pro, Fed. Jur., and Equity go together. And so on. The majority of Virginia essays are mixed subjects, so it's best to understand how the various subjects interrelate with each other.


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  2. Gamecocks in VirginiaJuly 18, 2012 at 8:45 AM

    I just wanted to say thank you for all of your time and energy in blogging about the VA Bar. We did not go to school in VA, and your tips and notes have been invaluable to our ability to prepare for this.

    As Barbri students, your strategies have helped tremendously. We felt so overburdened with the "Paced Program" and all of the homework assignments. By following your advice, we have been able to prioritize our materials and stave off some of our fears about subject that seem impossible to grasp for this exam (Tax, etc.).

    I hope that you will give us at least one more post before the big day!

    Thanks again!

  3. Your very welcome. And thank you! Helpful online resources for the Virginia Bar Exam are slim. I wanted to help future bar examinees, Barbri students or not, avoid some common pitfalls as they prepared for the exam. I'm glad my blog helped you.

    Good luck next week! Let me know how it went.



    1. Gamecocks in VirginiaJuly 18, 2012 at 3:03 PM

      Thanks! One question: Would you recommend trying out the NCBE released questions? We were thinking of buying the newest set, and see how we do (confidence booster/burner, I suppose). Or are we better of sticking with our routine?

  4. I wouldn't spend the extra money on NCBE questions, plus you have to do them on the computer. Not very realistic.

    There's nothing wrong with re-doing previous MBE practice sections that you did already. In fact, the effort might be beneficial; e.g., reinforces key concepts, allows you to spot trick and traps, etc.

    If you haven't looked at S&T yet, DO THAT. The questions are excellent.

  5. Any resources on the frequency with which certain topics are tested within the various subjects themselves?
    This blog is awesome btw!