Day 1 of the July 2014 Bar exam is over – VA and DC essays

Congratulations on surviving the first day. Down here in Virginia we had an interesting exam, with our predicted subjects making up nearly all of the exam and with civil procedure(s) having a negligible showing: Lots of local government, some personal property, crim law, partnerships, wills, domestic relations, agency and commercial paper. DC was fairly straightforward as well, with predictions nearly on the mark this time (6 out of 7 ain’t bad): crim, contracts, evidence, civ pro, fam law/conflicts and corporations. And on a very positive note, the administration/proctoring of the DC exam today went smooth as butter, so kudos to the committee for getting their act together (or maybe it’s just the testing location that determines how things go?). Oh, MPTs were a fairly tough memo and a letter. Good luck on the MBE tomorrow for everyone taking it!

No more Commercial Paper starting in 2015 in DC

By now most everyone is in full swing with their studying for the July 2014 bar exam as we are solidly into June. But I thought I would make a mention of the Feb bar exam as one of the most anticipated (dreaded perhaps?) changes to the bar exam is the addition of Civil Procedure to the February 2015 bar exam. Well, the NCBE has given some additional news which will probably be better received; effective the same exam, Feb 2015, they will no longer test UCC3 (Commercial Paper aka Negotiable Instruments) on the essay (MEE) portion of the exam. Here is the direct quote from the NCBE themselves:

“Effective with the February 2015 bar exam, Negotiable Instruments (Uniform Commercial Code Article 3 and the excerpts of Article 4, Bank Collections) will no longer be tested on the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE).”

So, for those of you taking the bar in February 2015 who were upset about Civ Pro coming to the MBE, maybe news will come as some small relief. In the meantime, I am going to commence my daily twitter Tips of the Day (#TOTD) so be sure and follow me if you have not already.

Bar Exam Stress Management workshop in DC

I came across something I thought I would share with everyone taking the bar exam this July. It is a Bar Exam Stress Management Workshop run by Brooke Baker of Brooke Baker Therapy ( I met with her last week to discuss her workshop and get some more details as I thought it might be beneficial to some of my students taking the exam this summer and was quite impressed with her and what she has planned for this workshop so I wanted to share the details with all of my readers. Here are some of the highlights of her workshop:

- How to create and implement a self-care regimen that will fit with your study/work schedule
- Relaxation techniques that will help recalibrate the nervous system so you have the greatest access to your cognitive faculties while you study and for exam day
- Tools for reframing the distorted and anxious ruminating thoughts that often lead to overwhelming anxiety post-exam

Each of these 3 areas are important when it comes to bar exam success. I have heard countless stories of people studying like crazy for the bar exam only to “blank” or “freeze up” when exam day came. Brooke explained some of the possible reasons this can happen and discussed her techniques for helping to address it which I found to be very informative.

The workshops will be on Friday, June 6th at noon and Saturday, June 14th at noon and are scheduled to run approximately an hour and a half or so. Even though time is always short when studying for the bar exam I think it would be a wise investment to spend the 2 hours or so and attend her class, especially for anyone who has test taking anxiety (which is pretty much everyone taking the bar exam unless you have nerves of steel). As always, good luck with the studying and for anyone who attends feel free to post some comments here leaving feedback as to what you thought of the session.

UPDATE: Here is a link to her website with registration information

Tutoring slots are full for the July 2014 bar exam

I am not accepting any more students for the July 2014 bar exam. I know that results have just come out but I only take on a small number of students each bar exam. For everyone that has already emailed me, I am going through your emails and will get back to you with options, including a waitlist. As always, feel free to email me if you feel you have exceptional circumstances for this summer but keep in mind that my roster is officially full. And yes, I am already accepting students for the February 2015 bar exam so if you are planning on taking that exam you may contact me about tutoring.

I’ve also gotten plenty of questions about seeking out other tutors. My advice is to trust your instincts. If you feel the tutor would be a good fit for you, then go with it. Other than that, I would stick to the basic questions such as how long have they been tutoring, what is their program like, how do they charge for their services, etc. Good luck and as always feel free to post with any questions.

Virginia Bar Exam results for February 2014 posted

The Virginia Board of Bar Examiners has posted the pass list for the February 2014 Virginia Bar Exam. You can see the full pass list here.

Looks like the overall pass rate was 59% with 70% of first time test takers passing.

Congratulations to everyone who passed! Your hard work and planning have paid off and you are now licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As usual, the swearing in ceremony will be at the Greater Richmond Convention Center on 403 North Third Street in downtown Richmond, 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 3, 2014. If you did not pass, take a day or so to get over the shock and realize you are not alone. Then think about how you studied and what you would have done differently. This should be the starting point for your new study plan for studying for the exam this July.