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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Making a Realistic Study Calendar

Realistic Study Calendar

Creating a realistic study calendar is a huge part of your study process. In the past couple of weeks, we have told you when and how you should begin studying. Something that we have mentioned is making a realistic calendar, but it’s something that should be addressed more fully.

As we mentioned a couple of weeks ago, students can typically benefit from 6-8 weeks of full time study. “Full time study” here means approaching studying as you would a full time job. You wake up in the morning and begin studying, you take a lunch break, and you continue studying until the evening. You wake up the next day and do the same thing. So, it truly is like a full time job. Luckily this amount of studying isn’t permanent as it generally lasts only a few weeks.

So, what do we mean by a realistic study calendar? A realistic study calendar will build in your intended study time. If you are working full time, then there is no way that you will also be able to study for 6-8 hours a day for 5-6 days a week. It just isn’t feasible. That means you will need to extend your calendar for longer than 6-8 weeks. For this scenario, 10-12 weeks would probably be best. That’s the current time frame until the next bar exam. So, if you’re working, it would serve you best to start studying now.

If you’re not working, being realistic is still important. If you don’t have intentions of studying every day from 8 AM-8 PM, don’t schedule yourself that way. Plus, you may burn out if you study all day every day with no break. Be realistic about your approach so that you have enough time to study the material, but you don’t overextend yourself and burn out early.

Whether you are working or not, building in some off time is critical. Make sure you give yourself one to two days off a week. Don’t study from sun up to sun down, or you won’t retain anything. Make sure that you are getting adequate rest so that your brain can soak up all of that knowledge.

After you’ve enrolled in one of our courses and you still have questions about your study calendar, please let us know. We will be happy to help you sort your schedule out. Give us a call at 800-529-2651.

When Should You Start Studying for the July Bar Exam?

When should you start studying for the July bar exam

The bar exam is a little over three months away. If you are signed up for the July exam, you’re probably wondering when you should start studying.

So how do you determine when you should start studying? The short answer is that there is no predetermined amount of time. As each student is a unique individual, so is the length of study time. Most students can benefit from 6-8 weeks of full-time study for the exam. This is good news for you because we are quickly approaching that time frame.

So how do you know if you should study longer than that generally prescribed period?  You should consider these things.

Are you working during this time?

If the answer is yes, then you should probably start sooner. You will get burned out and extremely exhausted if you try to work full-time and study full-time concurrently. It is more doable if you are only working part-time. Students who work full-time can benefit from an extended study schedule. Full-time workers can benefit from our AmeriBar study calendars that exceed the typical 60-day calendar. The exam is still far enough away for you determine when you want to begin. If your target is studying 8-12 weeks, then you still have time before you should begin.

If the answer is no, then 6-8 weeks is probably ample time.

Do you have an extended summer vacation planned?

If the answer is yes, then you may want to start earlier than 6-8 weeks out so that you don’t have to spend a significant amount of time studying over your holiday. Plus, the likelihood of you committing a great amount of time to studying on your vacation is low. If you don’t account for this in your study schedule, you’re probably putting yourself at a disadvantage. Again, building this time off into one of our AmeriBar sample study schedules will vastly improve your chances of staying on schedule and passing the bar exam.

If the answer is no, then 6-8 weeks is probably ample time.

Did you just graduate?

If the answer is no, then you may want to study earlier.

If the answer is yes but you’re working full-time, see the first question in this list.

If the answer is yes and you can study full-time, then you probably don’t need to spend more than 8 weeks studying. Of course, if you had any issues in law school or you feel that you need to study longer, then do so. If you haven’t already chosen your bar course provider, try out our AmeriBar no obligation free trial. We think you will enjoy our program.

Do you have significant obligations outside of studying?

If the answer is yes, then you may want to study earlier.

If the answer is no, then 6-8 weeks is probably ample time.

How comfortable are you with your knowledge of the law?

If you are very comfortable with the law, then 6-8 weeks is plenty of time for you to study.

If you struggle with one or more areas of the law, then you may want to start studying earlier. You may also consider tutoring in addition to increasing your study time. If you’re interested in AmeriBar tutoring, be sure to let us know.

Again, you know your strengths and weaknesses better than anyone else. You should start studying when you feel comfortable, but keep in mind that we do not recommend studying any fewer than six weeks for the bar exam. If you have any questions for us, feel free to give us a call at 800-529-2651.

What is the Socratic Method?

The Socratic Method

The mere mention of the Socratic Method to a lawyer may evoke an exaggerated cringe. Law school professors use the Socratic Method in law school classes. We’re not going to give you a lesson on Socrates, but we will tell you about his method of engaging students. Socrates would continually question his students until he found a contradiction in a response, thus finding an error in the responder’s initial presumption.

The Socratic Method is used by many law school professors, not to humiliate students, but as a method to engage a large group of students in a discussion and to stimulate thinking. The intent is not to fill students with anxiety before entering class each day, but to get the students to evaluate and craft logical responses based on their class studies. You’ve probably seen movies and television shows where the professor questions the student continually until every bit of confidence has evaporated. It’s not always like that, but if you’re not prepared to handle a (potential) barrage of questions, you’ll feel pretty badly when you walk out that door. Be prepared to answer multiple questions over your lesson for the day if you’re called on. Trust me, slumping down and not making eye contact won’t save you from being called on.

If there is one bit of advice we can give you before attending a class where the professor utilizes the Socratic Method, it’s that you must do all of your reading before class each day. Not only will you be better prepared, but you also won’t feel nearly as anxious when you hear your name called across the lecture hall.