AmeriBar’s 5 Rules You Need to Know for the MBE

MBE Rules You Need to Know

If you’re sitting for the upcoming bar exam, your mind is probably spinning with all of the rules of law that you need to know. One advantage of AmeriBar’s materials is that we utilize a starring system to help you pinpoint heavily tested points of law. Here are five rules that you absolutely need to know for the bar exam.

Rule 1 - Minimum Contacts

We’re sure you’ve heard the term minimum contacts in your civil procedure class. The minimum contacts rule is sure to be tested on virtually every MBE.

What you should know:  The most commonly tested basis for personal jurisdiction is whether a person’s contacts with a forum state are sufficient to reasonably require the person to defend a lawsuit that is filed in a forum state.

Even if no other basis for personal jurisdiction applies, a forum state possesses personal jurisdiction over a defendant if the defendant possesses sufficient minimum contacts with the state.

International Shoe Company v. Washington provides the general rule that a person who has never been present in a state may be subject to personal jurisdiction in the state if the person possesses:

  • “Sufficient minimum contacts” with that forum state,
  • Such that requiring the person to appear and defend in a court there would not
  • Offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.”


Rule 2 - Offer and Acceptance

The fundamental contract concept of mutual assent through an offer and acceptance will be tested on the multiple choice portion of your bar exam.

What you should know: A valid contract offer exists when a reasonable person would objectively believe that an offer for a contract is open for acceptance. An offer enables an offeror to form an agreement by inviting an acceptance of the offer. An offer is an offeror’s promise to do or to refrain from doing something specific in the future.

Rule 3 - Statements Attributable to a Party-Opponent

Evidence is a subject that many people find difficult. You will almost certainly face a question testing statements made by a party opponent on your exam.

What you should know: A party-opponent is an adverse party in a lawsuit. The Federal Rules of Evidence provides that specific types of admissions of a party-opponent are not hearsay.

A party-opponent’s statement may be admitted in the lawsuit (as an admission by the party-opponent) if the statement is offered by another party against the party-opponent, and the party-opponent’s position is inconsistent with the statement.

Rule 4 - Easements

Real property is by far the most voluminous of the subjects tested on the bar exam. There are many rules to learn, but you will almost definitely encounter a question about easements.

What you should know: An easement is a limited right to access the real property of another. An easement ordinarily exists when an owner of property grants a restricted right to use or access that property to a non-owner of property. Examples of easements include driveways, walkways, and utility routes. Certain criteria, such as duration or particular purpose, may restrict the scope of use or access of an easement.

A written easement’s creation is generally subject to the Statute of Frauds. The Statute, however, does not prevent the creation of an oral easement by means of a verbal conveyance or oral agreement to convey property interests.

Rule 5 - Larceny

Almost every MBE has at least one criminal law question testing larceny.

What you should know: Larceny is the taking and carrying away of the personal property of another with the intent to steal the property. It generally involves a trespass by one person against personal property in the possession of a victim by intentionally physically taking the property, either directly or indirectly when the accused uses an item or another person to take the property. The victim does not need to own the property, but the victim must be in possession of the property. Larceny is distinguished from robbery because it does not involve the use of force.

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The Bar Exam is a Week Away!

A week awayWe’re certain that you don’t need us to tell you that the bar exam is just a week away. It’s probably something that you’re very aware of almost every hour of the day. You’ve probably started having the “OH NO, I OVERSLEPT AND MISSED THE BAR EXAM” nightmares. Trust us, you’ve got this. You’re not going to oversleep, you’re not going to drop your laptop into a giant puddle, and you’re not going to accidentally smuggle your notes into the exam room and get banned from taking the test.

Last week we gave you some tips on what to do the two weeks before the test. So how does that differ from a week before the exam or even a day before the exam? For one thing, you’ve probably memorized any of the areas of law that were giving you trouble. You’ve probably cycled through at least two panicky moments. We’re here to tell you, if you’ve really been studying for the exam, then you will be perfectly fine.

  1. Have a study schedule for the final week.
  2. Continue your review of the MBE and essay subjects.
  3. Continue doing practice questions and reviewing essay questions and analyses.
  4. Study multiple areas of the law you struggle with, but don’t get bogged down on any one topic. In other words, don’t spend six days figuring out the  Rule Against Perpetuities. The truth is, hardly anybody understands it! Just move on and get the low lying fruit.
  5. Set aside time to recharge by taking breaks. Go watch a movie. Take a walk. Pet your dog.
  6. Set aside time to create a logistics plan for the test. Think about what you will need to bring and eat, where you will be staying, when you will leave for the exam, and how you will get to the testing site. Hopefully you have all of this figured out already, but make a game plan and stick to it. Switching it all up the day or two before the exam is not a great idea.
  7. Get sufficient sleep, but don’t hibernate. You are going to have to get up early on the test days, after all.
  8. Eat brain food. Try not to sustain yourself off of sodas and coffee. Go get a nice dinner somewhere. Please just step away from the coffee slowly.

Good luck to everyone taking the bar exam next week from all of us at AmeriBar!

Where should you work after law school graduation?

What Should I Do

Graduation is up around the bend for most 3Ls. There’s a good chance that some of you knew what you wanted to do after graduation before you even entered your 2L year. As you go to classes and learn about new options, your preference may change.

You’re probably asking yourself, “What makes AmeriBar qualified to tell me about jobs?” We hail from a variety of legal backgrounds. In fact, we could go into excruciating detail about each one, but for brevity’s sake, it’s only as extensive as we’ve written below.

We understand that each of you will have different goals for your post-graduation journey. Some people want to pull down a six-figure salary and others want to be able to go home and spend time with their kids. “Best” is completely subjective, so we’ve broken it down into different goals. Naturally, there is going to be some overlap with the jobs, so you may see a few of them more than once.

If you want to make a lot of money.

According to the U.S. News & World Report[1], the median salary for attorneys was $127,990 in 2023. 

Your best bet for getting a higher paying job is to land a job as in-house counsel for a large corporation or as a trial lawyer in a big firm in a large city like San Jose, CA; San Francisco, CA; or NYC. You’re probably not going to pull a large salary in a rural city or working in public interest. Keep in mind that you’re going to have to work a lot to pull in a big salary. Many firms have billable hour requirements–you’re going to have to really work for that $100K job. If you break it down hourly, then it’s not all rainbows and butterflies.   

If you want to make a difference.

Sing with me now, “Heal the world. Make it a better place. For you and for me and the entire human race…” If you want to make this world a better place for you…and for me…okay, okay, you get it, then you might consider a career in the public interest realm such as a job as a Public Defender or District Attorney. Granted, your salary isn’t going to be $100K, and you may have a ton of thankless clients. Ultimately, though, you will be making somewhat of a difference out there in that big, bad world. Another option is to go into human rights law or environmental law. That’s not to say you can’t make a difference in the corporate world, but any job is going to be as fulfilling and meaningful as you make it.

If you want to be your own boss.

Hang your shingle! There’s a lot of apprehension about going out on your own, but never fear–someone does it every day. If you do your research, you’ll see a lot of advice against going out on your own because of the salary concerns and lacking client base and experience.  It can be done, however, despite the naysayers. You will have to be tenacious and not mind developing your own client base. You’re going to have to work your network like crazy, so that’s why it is important to start working on it from your 1L year if you have any inclination that you want to go out on your own.

If you want to get a lot of practice.

You’re going to get a ton of experience as a judge’s clerk or in the public interest realm. Many judges cover different areas of law, and you’ll learn how to handle each of these procedurally. If you go into public interest law, you will have no shortage of clients. You will likely cover a specific area of law and work your way up to higher crimes as you get experience, but you will get experience.

If you want to be able to go home for dinner.

You’re probably not going to want to go into corporate law or work as an attorney in a big firm that requires a large amount of billable hours. You might try becoming a legal professor. The salary is pretty decent, and you’ll generally work a normal 40-hour work week. You’ll have your office hours, plan your lessons, and teach bright young minds of those like yourself. You can also do some of the alternative career paths that have a stable work schedule and hours.

If you want to go to court.

This will be applicable to many attorney positions, but try to avoid areas of law that generally settle before going to court. Again, you’ll get a ton of courtroom experience if you work in public interest. Another good bet is to look into a law firm that handles a lot of court cases and see if they’re looking to hire an associate. You’ll probably get a lot of courtroom time as a criminal defense attorney in either the private or public sector. If you want to see court from the flip side, you’ll make a lot of courtroom visits as a judge’s clerk, but not from a practicing standpoint.

If you don’t want to practice.

If you look for alternative careers for lawyers, you’re going to find a TON of information. You can always be a professor. This is an especially great career for someone who wants set hours and enjoys legal research and writing. If you like a good challenge, you could always be a legal recruiter. There’s also the possibility of going into the corporate world, not as in-house counsel, but as the HR director, CEO, or COO.

If you have a question or issue that you would like for us to address, send us an email at Your question may be featured on our blog.


MBE Change to 25 Experimental Questions

MBE Change to 25 Experimental Questions

The National Conference of Bar Examiners announced that the format of the MBE will change starting on the February 2017 bar exam. Although the number of total questions (200) will not change, the number of experimental questions will increase from 10 to 25. This means that 175 questions will count towards your score.