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Make sure you have a clear understanding of the fact pattern and the players involved.After you read the call of the question again, take a few minutes to outline your answer.
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In this post we present four tips on how to write a bar exam essay that will keep you on track to succeed!
Bar exam essays are far more concise and efficient than essays you may have written in law school.
Watch your timing carefully, and when your time is up, quickly wrap up and move on. You have no job or grade riding on your specific score.
You do not need to dazzle the examiners with your new theories or analysis, as you might a law professor. I tell my students to imagine that the examiners are lawyers who are experts in every topic but the one in question: they should use legal terms and phrases as if speaking to attorneys, but should also be careful not to skip any steps in analysis.By showing the examiners where you plan to go, you make it easier for them to follow your analysis, maximizing your points! Hints: Counterarguments are part of your analysis (and get an “A”).A bonus: organizing your writing doesn’t just benefit your reader, it also helps you organize your thoughts and stay on track! Policy and historical explanations usually don’t belong!It sometimes makes sense to use a “mini-TRAC” format, further breaking down your analysis in to more specific rules and analysis.This can be useful when you have to discuss several elements that each have their own rules of law, such as in a specific performance analysis.For example, if you think that a statement is admissible under the dying declaration to the hearsay rule, you must first explain what hearsay is, then explain that it is generally inadmissible, and then explain that there are certain exceptions. Keep these essay-writing tips in mind, and you should be well on your way to bar exam success!Sophie Dye Gayle is an Editor and Academic Director for Themis Bar Review.Take the time to carefully read the call of the question first.This allows you to read the rest of the question more effectively, looking for key facts that are going to shape your answer.Words like “here” and “in this case” signal that you are beginning your analysis, applying the law to the facts at hand. Each time you review one of your answers to a practice essay, go through and label each sentence with a T, R, A, or C.Words like “however” or “on the other hand” indicate that you plan to introduce a counterargument, and can keep your answer from seeming to contradict itself. If you can’t label a part of your answer, chances are it doesn’t belong!