Bar Exam News

Information is power. Fleming's provides you with news that compliments your academic study by focusing attention on what you need to know for success in law school. 

Bar Exam Tests Fundamental Lawyering Skills

The Bar exam tests a bar candidate's ability to demonstrate fundamental lawyering skills related to legal knowledge combined with the capacity to apply that knowledge in a test-driven environment. The goal of the exam is to ensure an examinee's minimum competency to perform routine tasks that assure professional responsibility for handling legal matters.

Click on title above for more information.

July 2018 Bar Exam MBE Scores Crash to 34-Year Low

A recent article published by Above The Law reports that the national mean MBE scaled score from the July, 2018 bar exam has reared its ugly head, showing shockingly poor performance from test takers. Results from states who have released their July, 2018 bar exam results so far show a 34 year low on the MBE scaled score. Performance on the written portion of the bar exam tracks MBE performance as well.

Fleming's Performance Exam Workshop - Online and Live

The Fleming's Performance Exam Workshop is a four-day course that teaches you a step-by-step method with timing and strategy techniques for the 90-minute Performance Test (MPT), using 13 sample exams with model outlines and answers for demonstration. It is available online or live.

Click on the title above for more information.

Law Dawg Attacks Exams – "Yo quiero Fleming’s!"

Law school takes more than just barking out legal rules. Impressive as that may seem, any old dog can learn that trick. If you want to unleash your potential and lead the pack, take it from Law Dawg - sink your teeth into law exams with Fleming’s at your side.

To read Law Dawg's story, click on the title above.

Law Student Successfully Sues State Bar Over Grading Policy

The Committee of Bar Examiners sets the grading for “normalizing” the written and multiple-choice scoring through a formula it established for the Bar Exam and the First Year Law Students’ Exam (known as the Baby Bar.) Previously, the Committee represented that the two sections of the Baby Bar carried an equal, 50/50 ratio. However, when an examinee failed the June, 2016 Baby Bar by one point and challenged the formula, the results showed the scoring did not equal a 50/50 ratio as represented. In fact, the written portion carried more weight than the multiple-choice portion.

Click on the title above for more information.

No Content Changes, No Cut Score Adjustment To The CA Bar Exam

The CA Supreme Court directed the Committee of Bar Examiners to conduct a study into both the content of topics tested on the bar examination, and the cut score necessary to pass. The study concluded that the subjects and cognitive complexity of the test matched with job-related expectations for the practice of law. Pursuant to that study and other related data, the CA Supreme Court denied any adjustment to the cut score.

Click on the title above for more information.

Committee Of Bar Examiners Stripped Of Authority To Decide Bar Passage Scores

Due to the outcry that the CA Committee of Bar Examiners’ bar exam scoring practices lack justification and result in unfair test results, the CA State Supreme Court announced that it will assume the responsibility to score the bar exam effective 2018. The State Supreme Court amended the CA Rules of Court to give it the sole authority to set the passing score on the CA bar exam, a function previously exercised by the Committee of Bar Examiners.

CA State Bar Considers Options To Address The Disputed Bar Exam Pass Line

On July 31, 2017, the State Bar of CA released a standard setting study of the pass line for the CA Bar Exam. The study was discussed at a joint meeting of the Committee of Bar Examiners and Board of Trustees’ Admissions and Education. This is in follow up to a previous study that showed a steady decline in CA bar exam pass rates that could not be justified when compared to the pass rates reported by the other 49 states. 

Exam Writing Skills = 50% Of Your Bar Exam Score

Writing skills, timing, and strategy will become even more crucial on the July, 2017 Bar Exam. On day 1, bar candidates will have 3 hours to write 3 essay exams in the morning session. However, the true challenge will present itself in the afternoon session when bar candidates will have 3.5 hours to write 2 essay exams followed by a 90-minute Performance exam. If bar candidates go over time on the essay exams, they will not have sufficient time to complete the Performance exam that will follow. 

Description And Grading Of The CA Bar Exam Beginning July, 2017

As of July, 2017, the CA Bar Exam will go from what is currently a 3-day test to a 2-day test. There will be 3 parts: 5 essay questions, 200 MBE questions, and one 90-minute Performance exam. On Tuesday morning, applicants will have 3 hours to answer 3 essay questions. During the afternoon session, applicants will have 3.5 hours to answer 2 essay questions and one Performance Exam. On Wednesday, applicants will have 3 hours in the morning to answer 100 MBE questions, and 3 hours in the afternoon to answer 100 more MBE questions.  

CA Lawmakers Lobby To Lower Bar Exam Standards

On March 2, 2017, the Assembly CA Legislature Committee on Judiciary sent a letter to the Honorable Tani Cabtil-Sakauyo, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of CA, with its concerns about the declining pass rates on the CA bar exam. It asked that she consider reducing the score required to pass. The Committee urged her to address the "crises" by temporarily lowering the minimum score required to pass the exam (called the cut score), while further exploring the relationship between the score and its impact on the quality of jurisprudence in the state.

Lawyer, Marine Hero, Father - Frank Daugherty Passes The Bar With Fleming's

Earning a law degree and passing the bar exam the 1st time, all while an active-duty Marine working 29 straight days with a 24-hour shift every three days within that cycle, is extraordinary. "My first year was a challenge. Legal writing was a problem. I took Fleming's Writing Workshop. I found it extremely helpful. My bar prep course was a lifeline. I did Fleming's Short-Term Review and walked into the bar exam knowing I was ready." To read more about Attorney Daugherty's remarkable journey and his useful time-management strategies, click on the title.

MacPro With Touch Bar Excluded For Use At Bar Exam

The Committee of Bar Examiners released a notice that the MacPro With Touch Bar is prohibited for use at the Bar Exam because it has a function that defeats the SoftTest program security. As a result, bar candidates will not be allowed to use the MacPro With Touch Bar for the February, 2017 Bar Exam in the following states: CA, MA, TN, NY, OK, and WY. Bar candidates who recently purchased this version of the MAC will have to find another alternative laptop to use for the exam. Please click on the link above for the full text of the notice. 

Real Property MBE Law Changes For The February, 2017 Bar Examination

Effective with the February 2017 CA Bar Exam, there will be changes to the Real Property scope of coverage for the MBE. New topics will include conflicts of law; property owners’ associations and common interest ownership communities; drafting, review, and negotiation of closing documents; and persons authorized to execute real estate documents.

July, 2016 Bar Results Are The Lowest Since 1988

The Bar Examiners reported the July, 2016 bar results today. 43% passed. 7,737 applicants took the bar exam. 3,322 passed. These are the lowest July results since 1988. Even ABA first-time takers showed a decreased pass rate. Only 62% passed. Thus, when choosing a bar review, carefully consider the services provided, and how many exam application and writing opportunities are offered in the course. Learning the law is only the first step. Step two, developing exam skills, is what it takes to pass. Fleming’s bar review provides the most essay, Performance, and MBE skill training than its competitors. Fleming's attorneys orally critique every submitted exam on CD or Drop-box.

Early Reporting From Fleming's Bar Candidates Who Passed The July, 2016 Bar Exam

Fleming's bar candidates come from every level of law school study. The success rate for Fleming's bar candidates is notable, not only with those from ABA and State Accredited schools, but also those from out-of-state and unaccredited law schools. In previous years, the Bar Examiners published a list of passing bar candidates. It suspended this practice in 2016 due to privacy concerns. Those who passed the July, 2016 bar exam and contacted Fleming's to report their results include:

Ms. NA, Esq. (name withheld) - Brazilian Attorney - USC LLM Program

Marsel Elias, Esq. - Loyola New Orleans, Esq.

Edna Felix, Esq. - So Cal Institute of Law

Allison Krumhorn, Esq. - Chicago - Kent College of Law

Kasey Nielsen, Esq. - Irvine College of Law

Victoria Shaykhutdinova, Esq. - Loyola Law School

Julio Vasquez, Esq. - University of West Los Angeles

Brooke Waldrop - University of Utah 

NCBE Announces MBE Scoring Changes for the February, 2017 Bar Exam

On August 31, 2016, the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) posted a notification that as of the February, 2017 bar exam, the manner in which the MBE portion of the test is scored will be changed. The MBE test consists of 200 total questions (items). Of that 200 total, 175 of the questions (items) will be scored.  Of the 175 scored questions (items), there will be 25 questions (items) for each of the seven testable subjects. The remaining 25 items will be regarded as “pretest questions.” These 25 questions (items) will not be scored. 

Law School Deans Oppose ABA’S Tougher Bar Exam Rule

The ABA’s Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar is considering a proposal to change the rules regarding bar exam pass rates for bar candidates from ABA-accredited law schools. The proposal will require 75% of an ABA-accredited law school’s bar exam takers to pass the test within two years for the school to maintain its ABA accreditation. Proponents maintain the proposal would “prevent schools from accepting students with little chance of becoming lawyers.”

Two-Day CA Bar Examination Starting July, 2017

A proposal to shorten CA's bar exam from three days to two, starting July, 2017, won unanimous approval from the State Bar Board of Trustees in July. This is the first format change in more than 25 years and will bring CA in line with a majority of states that offer a two-day bar exam. It will also save the CA State Bar $1.1 million a year.

Committee Of Bar Examiners Meets To Correct Monumental Mistake On the June, 2016 Baby Bar Exam

On the June 28, 2016 First Year Law Students Exam, also known as the Baby Bar, the Bar Examiners made a monumental mistake by inadvertantly including a Criminal Procedure essay on an exam whose subject matter is restricted to Contracts, Torts, and Criminal Law. The Committee has employed the services of a psychometrician to evaluate the best method to calculate final scores.