By Devon Sharpe, IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law
Did you take a law school course for every topic tested on the bar exam? If you are like me, you did not. This can be a source of concern for bar applicants, and it is for me. That said, the IndyBar review lecturers provide you with excellent information in the lecture and in the corresponding outlines.
This week’s blog discusses how I have decided to overcome the lack of courses in these areas and two tips from the lecturers.
STRATEGY FOR TOTALITY NEW TOPICS
For instance, I have not taken a course on two of this week’s topics. In addition, I have not taken courses for all four of the topics that will be covered next week. Here are some of my ideas for preparing for these topics. Please share any thoughts or strategies you have used.
- Take a deep breath! – Yes, it is a concern that should not be taken lightly, but you survived law school and you will learn these topics. Law school teaches you to become a person that can think on your feet and learn topics quickly. So, take a deep breath and deploy those skills.
- Plan ahead – You know the topics that you have not seen before, so schedule extra time to prepare and review that topic. If it is a topic that really confuses you, then spend some time thinking about the big picture and the rationale behind the rules.
- Sleep – A well-rested mind will go a lot further than a coffee or energy drink soaked brain. (Yes, I am drinking a cup of coffee right now.) So, the night before the bar exam make sure you get some sleep and go in with a clear mind.
- For the essays and the MPT questions, it is crucial that you focus on the task(s) assigned. The bar examiners are looking for minimal competence and part of that is following directions. If the question asks you to write a memo to the senior partner discussing the hurdles in discovery, then do not start writing about the likelihood of success or issues on appeal.
- Know and use the Indiana terms of art. For example, Indiana has the Indiana Trial Rules, not the Indiana Rules of Civil Procedure. So, the best way to respond to a question regarding the service of process is to say, “Pursuant to the Indiana Trial Rules, …”
In next week’s blog, I will wrap up the course by discussing the topics covered and some final tips from the lecturers.