July 2013 Bar Exam Update

by Jackson Mumey


We’ve begun completed the July 2013 Bar Exams around the country. Bookmark this page to see updates as we hear from our students on their return to “civilian” life. We’ll also included some of their comments at the bottom of this page…

Florida Exam – Results have been released
*Read our Florida Results Blog 

“I can formally thank you for providing the materials and guidance to pass the Florida Bar. The results were on the website today (as you know) and I was delighted to see this old war horse had “PASS PASS PASS” next to his assigned number.” Brian F. Passed July 2013 Florida Bar Exam
Florida Essays
Contracts/Secured Transactions
Con Law/ Legislative Action as concerns other bills passes under special sessions
Trusts
Ethics was a crossover topic on 2 of the essays
Florida Multiple Choice
FL Civ and Crim Pro
Business Entities
FL Evidence
It doesn’t appear from early accounts that juvenile delinquency or dependency topics were tested

It appears that our Florida exam predictions were pretty accurate. We predicted a Real Property essay instead of Trusts and other than that, the test went as we expected. The MCQs were exactly as predicted.
MBE was pretty average in difficulty, which is to say that very few people feel really good about it, but most of our students were quietly confident about their performance on this part of the test.

Texas Exam – Results have been released
All of our Students PASSED!

“Thought I’d let you know that I passed–thank you for all your help!” Margaret C. Passed TX July 2013

Reports from our Texas students on the first half day say it was nothing unusual. MPT and Texas Procedure & Evidence. Apparently no surprises (which is a good thing)
MBE was pretty average in difficulty, which is to say that very few people feel really good about it, but most of our students were quietly confident about their performance on this part of the test. Essays were difficult as usual, but didn’t seem to present any special difficulties for our students.

NY Exam – Results have been released
All but 3 of our Students PASSED!

“Thank you for your support throughout the July NY Bar exams.  I am pleased to tell you that I passed!! Working with you – I learnt more about the technique of learning than I ever did before – thank you thank you!” Wendy L. Passed NY July 2013

MBE was pretty average in difficulty, which is to say that very few people feel really good about it, but most of our students were quietly confident about their performance on this part of the test.
Essay Subjects Tested were:
-Domestic Relations – (adoption, equitable distribution & mortgages)
-Criminal Law (burglary…)
-Corporations / Professional Responsibility / Sales (client conflict of interest, rejection of a shipment)
-Torts (negligence & strict products liability / NY CPLR)
-Wills (pretermitted heir, cy pres doctrine, insurance proceeds, distribution of residuary)

Those subjects were what we predicted :-)

The MPT was the “B” Question regarding drafting of a contract

CA Exam – Results have been released

“Hi Jackson, Yesterday was a good day – I passed. Thank for all your support!” Natascha S. Passed CA July 2013

Early word from the test is that the Tuesday essays included Community Property, Ethics and Con Law (a surprise to me; I thought the Examiners would avoid this topic. Every other jurisdiction that I know about at this point did, in fact, omit the subject). The Tuesday PT was apparently quite length and difficult; very similar to one given about 4 years ago.More details to come…
MBE was pretty average in difficulty, which is to say that very few people feel really good about it, but most of our students were quietly confident about their performance on this part of the test.
Day 3 of the test included essays in Contracts/Remedies, Wills and a Torts/Property question. The PT was an objective memo to a legal audience re: admissibility of expert testimony.
For my predictions, I was correct about Ethics, Contracts/Remedies, Community Property, but I predicted Trusts rather than Wills and Evidence (which was part of the PT) rather than Torts and Civ Pro rather than Con Law. Definitely below my recent exam averages :-(

Georgia Exam – Results have been released
All but 4 of our Students PASSED!

“Jackson, You ARE the BOMB!.” Y. Harrison, Passed July 2013 GA Bar Exam

“”Thank you for everything. I’m so glad I chose you. My MBE scaled was 156 and 305 overall.” C. Rauton, Passed July 2013 GA Bar Exam

Two MPTs in the morning. Essays in the afternoon.
Essays:
Breach of Contract/Remedies
Real Property (easement)
Wills/Trusts/Estates
GA Civ Pro

Another strong showing for our predictions. We predicted a Torts/Remedies question rather than the Contracts/Remedies and otherwise, apparently had the test correctly. Incredibly, the Civ Pro question asked about Rule 12 and 56 again. What’s up with that?

UBE/MEE – Results have been released in all jurisdictions

Essays on the UBE:
Fed Civ Pro
Torts
Contracts
Wills (Decedent’s estates/succession)
Evidence
Business Entities (Corporations and Partnerships)

MPT A: Torts Question
MPT B: Memo to Partner re: Recording Contract redraft

NJ Exam – Results have been released

No surprises here. Essays in 6 MBE subjects plus civil procedure. Questions were lengthy and challenging as they have been for several exams now. The test is certainly becoming more difficult based on student feedback.

 

Student Comments:

Here’s some of what we heard from our students after the exams…

“The [California bar] exam was generally good and I’m really confident that I’ll be successful when the result comes out. I’ve never been this confident.

Thanks and I look forward to giving you the good news in November.” O.O.

“First, over my 30 some odd years in practice I always appreciated it when a client took the time to say thank you after the closing arguments but before the verdict. It is easy to be gracious when a positive outcome is known, and perhaps even easier to be not so gracious when a negative outcome becomes known.

So, I would like the thank you before the verdict is known! Your materials and insights were all terrific and when this gray haired lawyer on Tuesday saw the Florida essay on the statute in passed by the legislature in the special session, I could only smile briefly and then get to work with concepts such as logrolling, one subject per law, the title requirements, etc. at my fingertips. The foregoing is by means of illustration only. There were many more examples.
Second, and perhaps even more helpful to first time takers or those younger than me, was your consistent, positive reinforcement to assuage anxiety as much as possible. I had not focused on or been reminded how stressful the experience is until I walked into the convention center Tuesday morning which was abuzz with jurisprudential chatter, anxious looks, and nervous energy sufficient to power the city for a week. Where possible, for my part I tried as best I could to calm those who looked like they needed it (hopefully without being intrusive).
Your guidance and support was part of the plan – whatever the outcome may be when the results come out for me. And believe it or not, your communications succeeded in connecting me with some concepts in my past far more important than the UCC versus common law rule on oral modifications and the pre-existing duty doctrine. I think you can put two and two together and figure out what I am alluding too. Perhaps for me the most lasting legacy of this most recent (and hopefully last) foray into the bar exam experience is my renewed realization that there are laws and concepts much more important to my daily life than statutes and common law.
So, the rest is in God’s hands (not the examiner’s!) and I sincerely thank you for your dedication to those who were lucky enough to find you and your course.” B.F.
“I wanted to thank you for all of your help with my bar studies. I am not sure if I passed, but I expect to have passed. I was much more calm during the MBE then ever before and did not feel like the questions were “impossible” like I have in the past. I also did A LOT of talking to St. Anthony during the exam (I would say about every 10-15 minutes especially during the MBE). I hope to give you wonderful news in October when I receive my results, but regardless, you have made such an impact on my life and I want to thank you.” S.R.
“I’m done…and, I feel strangely at peace! I know there were a few questions in the PM section where I had no idea what the answer was and just guessed, but overall I feel ok. I definitely did not have a horrible feeling like I did in February [on the MBE].
No matter the outcome, I appreciate your help and emails through this process. Thanks again!” L.V.
“Thank you again for all your help, I could never have gone into the [NY and NJ] exam with such confidence without Celebration! :) ” K.E.

“I want to thank you for your efforts once again in preparing me and providing me with direction for the [Texas] Bar Exam. I feel confident about my performance and the work I was able to get done this exam. Once again, I appreciate all of your substantive and personal guidance. Have a great evening and I look forward to hopefully celebrate in November.” V.G.”Thank you again for your course, time, and teachings. I’m definitely still tired after the [UBE] exam — and will be sure to get some rest — yet I find a day later that I am still happy and grateful for the accomplishment / experience of having taken another bar exam.” K.S.

“I would like to report that I think I did well on each and every exam. Writing the California Bar Exam has turned out to be a life-altering experience for me and has given me an incredible respect for the American legal system and the level of sophistication with which it is administered. I was also most impressed with my fellow applicants and last but not least, the gentle and helpful proctors. The experience in Pasadena has overall been nothing short of amazing. Thanks a million.” H.L.

 

 

My Florida Bar Exam Story

My Florida Bar Exam Story

Guest Post by Karen Steverson, Esq.

Monday, September 23, 2013 I received the BEST news . . . I FINALLY passed the Florida Bar, was approved to be sworn in, and was actually sworn in on Wednesday, September 25, 2013.  I graduated law school in December 2003, began working as a Certified Legal Intern at the State Attorney’s office in Polk County.  I was handling a caseload of over 200 files, winning trials, and preparing for the Bar.  I missed it by .5 and scored a 135.5, passing the Florida portion but not making enough overall to bump me to the 136.

Rather than seek out help, I took the MBE alone, let’s just say “several” times.  To no avail, I took some testing sessions off (the regular February/July routine).  I was then working out of the field and teaching law classes at local universities, so it wasn’t imperative for me to pursue the bar.  Also, I was frustrated and extremely disappointed in myself for failing.  I’ve passed everything in my life, usually with honors, and this was a tough pill to swallow.

Through the constant encouragement of my family and some close friends, I decided to keep trying.  My family suggested I seek out help through a bar review course.  I was unable to go to classes because of my work schedule, so I started my comprehensive online search of a bar review course that could work with my schedule.  That is when, I believe, God directed me into the capable hands of Jackson Mumey and Celebration Bar Review.

I’ll never forget our first phone conversation.  He made me feel so much better about my new status of a “failure” at something important in my life.  He assured me his program is tried and true.  As long as I would follow his schedule and methods, he felt confident I could pass the bar.  By this point in time, I had to begin the process all over, because the 25 months had passed since I passed the Florida portion.  My scores were stale. I could only see a huge obstacle, but Jackson helped me see it one day at a time and one step at a time.  The best part was that his program was much more cost effective than the others and still allowed freedom to study at my own pace.

Unfortunately, I allowed life to get in the way and did not make the program a priority.  Jackson was not too happy with my choices, and he didn’t mind telling me so. And I failed again.  After a period of time, I got over myself and decided to buckle down and give it all another shot.  In great humility I contacted Jackson, and he was elated to hear I was now actually ready this time.  I spent most of my time preparing for the MBE.  I had NEVER passed it and really wanted to nail it!  I passed the MBE for the first time ever with a 142.  The feeling was bittersweet, however, because once again I failed the Florida portion and didn’t have enough points to pass overall.  We believe there was a “glitch” in scoring some of the essays, but as Jackson explained, it’s just best to move on, and so I trusted him and did so.

During that time I also passed the MPRE and resubmitted my entire application since the initial one had expired.  Nothing comes easy.  As I was pursuing my studies through Celebration for the Florida portion in what I anticipated to be my last effort, I was diagnosed with uterine cancer.  Of course, the bar took a backseat, but even through that ordeal, Jackson encouraged me and gave excellent wisdom and personal insight to help carry me through this new obstacle.  Three months after the diagnosis, I had a complete hysterectomy, and all cancer was removed.  In fact, it was not even to the point of being staged, so I was experiencing a miracle. I did not need chemotherapy, radiation, or any medication.  God had proven Himself faithful yet again.

Jackson supported me and checked on me throughout the process, and I was still planning to take the February 2013 bar.  He explained that I could postpone, but he stood with whatever decision I made.  I went for it . . . and failed.  I was exhausted and ready to finally throw in the towel.  Then I had my video-conference with him, and he told me, “Don’t give up Karen. I know you’ve been through so much, but you’ve come so far. Don’t give up now.”  He has such a way of persuasion!

So, I took on the task of preparing for the Florida portion by writing, reading, writing, reading, and more writing.  I went for it, and inside knew this was the go-for-broke moment!  And . . . it worked! I passed, and today, I’m officially a lawyer and a member in good standing with the Florida Bar.  What if I had quit?  Perish that thought.  I’m so grateful for all I’ve learned through this entire process, and I believe everything happens for a reason and in God’s perfect timing.

Sure I brought on much of my delay through my failure to focus and prioritize this goal, but I didn’t give up on myself.  One of the biggest reasons I kept going is because of Jackson and his team.  He knows his stuff, and Celebration Bar Review absolutely WORKS!  I give the ultimate thanks to God, because He put the right people in my path to help me, not only pass the bar, but to grow as a person through this experience.

Thank you Jackson and Celebration Bar Review! You now comprise a HUGE chapter in the book of my life.

The Florida Bar Graders May Be in Withdrawal

The Florida Bar Graders May Be in Withdrawal

by Jackson Mumey

Back in Sept 2012, I wrote a fairly provocative post titled “Are the Florida Bar Graders on Crack?” It remains one of our most viewed blog posts of all time.

 

Fail the Florida Bar Exam? Check out our free video  for practical advice on what to do next!

With the results from the Feb 2014 Florida Bar Exam being released today, I thought it might be useful to revisit my thoughts from last year and update them as we get more information about the latest results from Tallahassee. The Official State Pass Rate for July 2013 was 77.2%. Not very high, perhaps because of the new subjects being tested for the first time, or maybe something else is going on…

What I wrote a year ago is that because of budget problems, it appeared that the Florida Bar Examiners had serious problems with their grading protocols and methodology leading to statistical aberrations and bizarre scores (like single digit essay scores and zero scores when essays were in fact written). Last February’s exam seemed to show a slight improvement in that regard but still showed significant signs of careless reading based on an applicant’s corresponding MBE score. In other words, applicants with low (non-passing) scores seemed to get uniformly low essay scores. This suggested that graders might in fact be subtly influenced to read and grade at a lower score those essays where the MBE was not enough to pass.

My view is that the quality of the graders has dropped precipitously in the past few years and today does not include law school professors, judges, law firm partners or large firm associates, but instead relies on freelance members of the bar looking for additional part-time income. That’s hardly the elite quality of a bar grader that most applicants assume will be reading their work. You may want to watch my video about visualizing your graders.

We’ll see what the score sheets tell us for the July test. But for now, the good news is that we continue to see a VERY HIGH pass rate for our students; far above the State average. What’s even better is that a number of these passing applicants were retakers (some several times) who had been burned in the previous exam scoring. Does this mean the Florida Bar Exam graders are no longer on crack? Maybe they switched to “molly” and are happier now? Who knows. The Florida Bar Examiners office remains one of the least transparent in the country and probably the most aggressively antagonistic towards its applicants.

We’ll watch the results this week and let you know how it looks from here. In the meantime, let us know your thoughts about the exam and your results.

Successful Test Application Resources (“STAR”)

Successful Test Application Resources (“STAR”)


As soon as bar results are released, we get a lot of inquiries about our STAR program: Successful Test Application Resources. We’ve prepared a free video to explain the program, but since STAR is  always changing and adapting to new ideas that are available, we thought it might also be useful to include a brief written summary of what’s currently in the program and why we think it’s so effective and important for bar takers, particularly retakers, to consider.

What’s in the Program?

Our STAR package is designed to provide the resources you need to meet your personal test taking challenges. While each program contains the same elements, their application differs by individual. That’s why we include the services of one the nations’ leaders, Elena DuCharme, in breaking through your exam barriers.

1. Holosync Meditation Program from Centerpointe Research Institute. This is an audio program of 30-60 mins per day that is designed to be “effortless” meditation. It uses binaural beats technology to help create formation of new brain synapses and neural pathways. You don’t need to “do” anything but listen to the recording on a daily basis.

Exercising with Holosync from Centerpointe. This is a 30 minute audio recording using Holosync technology to help motivate and encourage you while exercising. It will make it easier for you to get out of your chair and be active before you begin your studies.
2. PhotoReading from Learning Strategies, Inc. This is a completely different way to read and retain written information. It’s not speed reading but is much faster than traditional reading (actually it works at about a page a second). The objective of PR is to bring information into your pre-conscious mind and then extract that information as you need it. Our regular bar review course was designed in the same way as PhotoReading to help students extract relevant information, so the 2 work together quite well. In addition, the new preconscious information that you acquire will be more accessible to you because of the new, additional neural pathways that Holosync provides.
3. The Vision Board Kit by John Assaraf. Creating a vision board is a great way to visualize your goals and objectives, and this simple book and instruction kit will help anyone get started with their own board. For visual learners and those who respond well to visual stimuli, the Vision Board Kit is a simple and effective way to bring clarity and focus to the goal setting process.
4. Personal Consulting and Guidance from National Expert, Elena DuCharme, JD, CPCC. For several years now, Elena has worked closely with some of our students on an individual basis to analyze and resolve test taking problems. We’re pleased to have added her services now as a part of the STAR package. Each STAR student will receive 4 personal consultations of 30 minutes each with Elena plus individualized feedback, email series, tutorials and much, much more. By itself, Elena’s services are normally more expensive than our entire STAR program! For more information about Elena and her program, visit her website: www.barexambreakthrough.com
Elena is an attorney, performance coach and NLP Master Practitioner who has worked with hundreds of law school students, graduates and lawyers who struggle with anxiety, self-doubt, overwhelm and procrastination in the face of competitive, high-stakes situations like the bar exam. Elena uses neuroscience-based techniques and processes to relieve anxiety, eliminate internal blocks to success, and create a high-performance mindset for optimal performance on the bar exam.

Will I have mentoring with STAR?

Yes, regardless of your bar review mentoring status, all STAR students receive personal, one on one assistance with Elena on the STAR materials and how to use and integrate them with our bar review courses.

What’s Next?

When you’re ready to begin, place your order here or call our offices at (864) 365-6083. We’ll then order your kits and have them delivered to your door and you’ll hear from Elena with your next steps. It’s that simple…and it can change your life, and your bar results!