IndyBar Review Blog: Week 2

By Devon Sharpe, IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law

It is probably safe to assume that most bar applicants would like to have an idea of how many points are required to pass. Below illustrates that breakdown, a hypothetical and two tips from the presenters from week two of IndyBar Review.


The bar exam consists of 400 overall points. In order to pass, you need 264 points. Please, stay with me through the math. It looks like a lot of numbers, but it will come together in the end.

  1. MPT – 80 possible points.
    There are typically 2 questions, which makes each question worth 40 points. The grader will give you a score out of 6. So, if you get a 3 out of 6, then you only received 20 points.
  2. Indiana essays – 120 possible points.
    There are 6 unlabeled questions, which makes each essay response worth 20 points. Like the MPT, the grader will give you score out of 6. So, if you get a 3 out of 6, then you only received 10 points.
  3. MBE – 200 possible points.
    There are 200 multiple-choice questions. Each question is worth 1 point.


If you received a grade of 4 on each MPT and each essay, then you would receive 133 points.
In order to pass, you need to get 131 MBE questions correct.


  1. Do not take the MPT questions for granted. This section is worth a great deal of valuable points. With good time management, you can get a great score on this section and relieve some of the pressure of the MBE questions
  2. Simple goes a long way. The graders are looking not only at what you are writing, but how it looks. If the essay question prompts you to answer 3 questions, then give guideposts or headings leading the reader through your response.


Next Week

Do you use mnemonics to help remember big topics? Next week’s blog will cover some recommended mnemonics from Evidence topics.

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Bill Watch Report for January 19 Now Available

The practice-area specific Bill Watch reports for January 19 are now available. The reports highlight the pending bills of particular concern to different sections within the bar. See below for this week’s posts, and click here to access the full Bill Watch reports.

Business Law
Criminal Justice

Environmental Law
Estate Planning & Administration
Family Law
Health Care & Life Sciences
Labor & Employment Law
Real Estate & Land Use
Sports & Entertainment Law

Don’t forget: You can update your news subscriptions to conveniently receive information like the practice area-specific Bill Watch posts in your bi-weekly E-Bulletin! Click here to learn more, and click here to update your profile.

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On Tap at the IndyBar: January 18 – 24

Everybody loves a local bar, so check out what yours is serving up this week with upcoming IndyBar events and happenings below!

On the Docket

Please note: The Indianapolis Bar Association & Foundation is closed Monday, January 18 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

I’m a New Lawyer…Now What?
Tues., January 26 from 4 to 5:15 p.m.
Information and registration can be found here.

Kick off your first full year as a lawyer with the inside info that’ll have you flying sky-high in 2016! This program, designed specifically for new lawyers, will shed light on the things you need to know that WEREN’T taught in law school in a relaxed and enjoyable environment. You’ll come away with knowledge and resources that’ll help you talk the talk and walk the walk as a new lawyer AND you’ll put a face to a name with some of Indy’s top judges and lawyers.

Looking for CLE? Check out the IndyBar’s On Demand CLE!
Don’t feel like getting out in the cold but still need CLE? Let IndyBar On Demand CLE save the day! The Online CLE Catalog features hundreds of seminars that you can watch from the comfort – and convenience – of wherever you are! Check it out to stay on top of CLE even when winter weather hits.

Check out the full slate of IndyBar events here, and don’t forget to check out the IndyBar on Facebook for the latest event photos.

News You Can Use

  • Member Headlines: Thursday, January 14 - Many IndyBar members are starting 2016 as newly named partners. See who’s stepping up in their careers in the latest IndyBar Member Headlines.
  • Trimble: Time Flies When You’re Having Fun! – 2015 IndyBar President John C. Trimble’s latest article looks back at a great year and ahead to ongoing efforts with the bar. Check it out here.
  • 2016 Indianapolis Bar Association & Foundation Installation Luncheon Registration Open - On Wednesday, January 27, the 2016 boards of directors for the IndyBar and IBF will be installed at the Columbia Club. Be part of this great new year from the start by signing up here.
  • Giving Back Made Easy: Pro Bono for Any Schedule – The IndyBar offers a variety of pro bono programs to ensure you can find one that fits your interests, schedule and practice area. Learn more here.
  • IndyBar Featured Volunteer of the Month – This month’s featured volunteer spent time at a naturalization ceremony. Find out more about her experience and how you can get involved in this post.
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IndyBar Family Law Resource Guide Now Available

For family law attorneys in the Indianapolis area, there are a variety of resources available to help, and the IndyBar’s Family Law Resource Guide has them all in one convenient place. The guide, which is available to all IndyBar members, provides information for many organizations, agencies and businesses that may assist you in your family law practice. Resources are listed for the following categories:

  • Adult Education
  • Alcohol and Drug Referrals
  • Anger Management and Domestic Violence Classes
  • Counseling
  • Domestic Violence Shelters and Resources
  • Guardian Ad Litem for Children
  • Guardian Ad Litem for Adults
  • Health and Medical
  • Leadership and Educational Development
  • Legal Resources
  • Mental Health Services for Children
  • Parenting Coordination
  • Parenting Education
  • Psychological Counseling
  • Supervised Visitation


To see the Family Law Resource Guide, go here.

Please note: The listing is for informational purposes only. The Indianapolis Bar Association does not confirm the accuracy of the information provided. The Indianapolis Bar Association does not endorse, support, or approve of the individuals, organizations, and/or businesses in any way.

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miniBar Talk: This Week’s Top Post

Bar Talk Header

5 Ways to Grow Your Business

By Andrea L. Ciobanu, Ciobanu Law PC

Networking is a great way to grow your business, but successful networking is not simply collecting names, phone numbers and emails. Please read this article for successful tips on how to make a great first impression and how to develop your best elevator speech to leave lasting impressions and build relationships that ultimately help you to grow your business.

Happy networking!

This post was written by Andrea L. Ciobanu, Ciobanu Law PC. If you would like to submit content or write an article for the Indy Attorneys Network, please email Rachel Beachy at

To subscribe to more networking news like the article above, click here to update your news subscriptions. Your news subscriptions appear in your bi-weekly E-Bulletin and on your personalized IndyBar homepage.

Keep an eye out for our newest e-newsletter for members, Bar Talk, featuring the top IndyBar posts each month!

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Member Headlines: Thursday, January 14

Share your news with the IndyBar by contacting Rachel Beachy, Communications Coordinator, at

Sabra B. Northam, Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council, has been selected as a member of the Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series Class of 2015-2016.

Brett E. Nelson has been elected to serve as managing partner of Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP.

Michael J. Messaglia and Robert S. Schein have been reelected and elected, respectively, to to Krieg DeVault’s executive committee.

Steven Groth, partner at Bose McKinney & Evans LLP, has been elected president of the Indianapolis Transportation Club Board of Directors.

Kiamesha Colom has been named partner at Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff LLP.

The following attorneys were named partners at Bose McKinney & Evans LLP: Jonathan Hughes, Joel Nagle and Weston Overturf.

The following attorneys were named partners at Ice Miller LLP: Manolis Boulukos, Matt Ehinger, Christina Fugate, Lawren Mills, Derek Molter and Nick Reuhs.

Shelley M. Jackson and Theresa M. Willard have been named partners at Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP.

Sean Obermeyer has been named partner at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP.

Thomas P. Stafford has been promoted to Senior Associate at Krieg DeVault LLP.

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Trimble: Time Flies When You’re Having Fun!

IBA-trimble-john-2015Hello all, and Happy New Year! I am amazed to be writing my last President’s Column in my year as IndyBar president. Where has the year gone? I had a great time this year, and I sure hope that you did too.

I learned a lot this year. Among other things, I learned that the Indianapolis Bar Association is among the most respected metropolitan bar associations in America. I learned that we have a great staff, strong membership, committed volunteers, great programming and value for members, and some of the lowest dues for any bar association our size.

From start to finish, this year as president has been fun for me. I could not have had better support from the members, staff, board, officers and past presidents. On the subject of past presidents, I also learned that our past presidents have remained involved and committed to this organization long after they have served their time in office. The vigor and vitality of this association has kept them interested and involved. They saw the value of their membership while they were in office, and they realized that continuing to be involved added value to their membership.

I plan to stay actively involved, and I have two pursuits in mind. First, I want to work on the Membership Committee to help us continue to grow this organization. Second, I want to be part of any coalition of lawyers who want to work to help our city solve some of the pressing social problems such as inner-city violence, abandoned houses and lack of grocery stores. I hope that you will join me in both efforts.

As I depart from my year as president I want to urge you to be committed to our bar association. Many of the most successful lawyers and judges I know owe some of their success to persistent and lifetime bar involvement. Don’t just be a member who pays dues and does nothing else. Please, come to our events; send your young lawyers to the Bar Leader Series; attend Bench Bar; join us for our lunches, parties, and meetings of members; be active in a section; and, seek a leadership role. The benefits—both short term and long term—are simply too good to miss. If you look for it, you will find anything you want or need in this bar association.

Our next president, Judge Robyn Moberly, took the reins on Jan. 1, 2016, so she is now in charge. Her formal installation and the installation of our board and the board of the Indianapolis Bar Foundation is scheduled for Jan. 27 at the Columbia Club. This is a very nice “homecoming” event each year. It is a time to welcome the new leaders and to see old friends and make new ones. Please be sure to come. You will not be disappointed.

And, as I have asked all year long…


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Giving Back Made Easy: Pro Bono for Any Schedule

Pro bono service is a rewarding—and expected—component of the practice of law. With reporting requirements now in place, the need to find opportunities that fit varied schedules, practice areas and interests is greater than ever.


Volunteers are now being sought for three IndyBar pro bono programs that allow members to choose to dedicate just an hour or two or a longer-term commitment. Check out details below and contact Caren Chopp at for more information.

Ask a Lawyer

Small time commitment, big impact—answer legal questions from the public at the IndyBar’s Ask a Lawyer program, coming up on Tuesday, April 12. This face-to-face advice program will be held at 10 locations throughout the city from 2 to 6 p.m.

Volunteers take on just one two-hour shift and are provided with a resource guide to help in assisting the public with questions on divorce, guardianship, child custody, child support, landlord/tenant issues, bankruptcy, personal injury, criminal law, employment law and more.

The IndyBar Hospice Program

Be the light in life’s darkest moments through the IndyBar Hospice Program.

Through the program, volunteer attorneys assist hospice and palliative care patients with end-of-life concerns through consultations and limited representation at Eskenazi Health, IU Hospital, St. Francis and St. Vincent Indianapolis.

Volunteers in the program comfort hospice patients in so many ways with just a little bit of time. Answering questions, executing powers of attorney or simple wills or transferring a car title can relieve the mental anguish from which a patient suffers.

Volunteers should be familiar with the basics of end-of-life matters and documents, including wills and powers of attorney, but don’t have to have a practice specializing in elder law, estate planning or probate.

The IndyBar Homeless Shelter Project

Through the IndyBar Homeless Shelter Project, IndyBar volunteers visit one of five local homeless shelters each month, giving legal advice and occasionally offering limited representation.

Volunteers typically serve four two-hour shifts per year, from 7 to 9 p.m., and visit the shelters in pairs. Training is not provided, but volunteers are given the most recent edition of the “Commonly Asked Questions About Indiana Law” resource guide and will be paired with a veteran volunteer.

One longtime volunteer describes his participation like this:

“Offering limited representation can be equally rewarding for the client and the attorney. For example, one client not only was homeless and trying to raise his son after his wife died, but all of his possessions other than the clothes on his back were being wrongfully held by a storage company. It is hard to describe the joy in the client’s eyes when he received his property back from the storage facility at no cost.

It is more than just answering legal questions—it is providing hope and encouragement to individuals who many times have no reason to hope. Just volunteer and you will experience joy in helping people every time equal to the joy experienced handling your first case out of law school.”

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IndyBar Featured Volunteer of the Month

Twice a month, the IndyBar sends representatives to naturalization ceremonies to give welcoming words to new citizens. This month’s featured volunteer of the month is Tara Rabiola of Cairns & Rabiola LLP, who volunteered at a naturalization ceremony in December. Learn more about her experience below.

By Tara Rabiola, Cairns & Rabiola LLP

On Monday, December 14, I was afforded the amazing opportunity to attend and speak at a naturalization ceremony. To be surrounded by individuals representing over 30 countries was amazing. To be in the presence of individuals who sacrificed so much and worked so hard to become citizens of our country, something I take for granted every day, was humbling. And, to be allowed to share the stage with some impressive governmental and political figures while addressing this group of individuals was such an honor.

I couldn’t have asked for an easier experience. Caren Chopp did a wonderful job of providing me with the details and materials I needed for my speech, and the coordinator at the ceremony directed me to where I needed to be. It required no prep time and only a couple hours out of my day. However, it was an experience like no other. If you are anything like me you are always busy – with work, with family – and it is so easy to pass up opportunities that can really make an impact on you because it does not directly relate to your long list of obligations. But, do not pass up this opportunity! Take a few hours out of your day to spend time with some amazing people and be reminded of how lucky you are. The ceremony may be for the new citizens, but I believe I got just as much out of it as those individuals did.

If you are interested in volunteering for a naturalization ceremony, please email Caren Chopp at

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IndyBar Review Blog: Week 1

By Devon Sharpe, IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Are you gearing up for the bar exam and deciding on a bar review course?

This blog will provide insight and pose questions to readers about the bar exam and some information about the IndyBar Review course. Please post questions or comments. I want to cover the topics and questions that bar applicants are facing.

Who am I?

I completed classes at IU McKinney School of Law this fall and I am taking IndyBar Review in preparation for the February bar exam.

Week 1

The topics and speakers focused mostly on the big picture of the exam. So, this first blog will identify information about the bar exam and two tips.


  • The bar exam is a two-day exam as follows:
    1. Day 1: MPT in the AM. Indiana topic essays in the PM.
    2. Day 2: MBE both in the AM and the PM.
  • MPT – 20% of the exam. This is the practical portion of the exam. It is three hours long with two scenarios and the applicant will draft a document, like a client letter or a memo to a supervising attorney.
  • Indiana essays – 30% of the exam. This consists of six questions that could cover: administrative law, business organizations, commercial law, Indiana constitutional law, family law, civil procedure, personal property, tax, and wills, trusts & estates.
  • MBE – 50% of the exam. This consists of 200 questions that will cover: torts, contracts, criminal law, real property, federal constitutional law, federal civil procedure, and evidence.



  1. Purpose of the bar exam is to test for minimal competence.
  2. The MPT is a good place to earn points. All of the information that you need to respond to these questions is provided to you. IndyBar Review gives applicants the opportunity to do two MPT practice questions and receive feedback.


Next Week
In next week’s blog, I will touch on the breakdown of the points for each section of the bar exam and more tips from the speakers.

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