If you are sitting for the Bar Exam in February (or anytime after February 2015), you want to make sure that you are ready for the new Civil Procedure questions. The MBE will be including Civil Procedure, now making it the “Big Seven” MBE subjects instead of the traditional “Big Six.”
The addition of Civil Procedure also changes the distribution of questions between subjects. As reported by the NCBE, the questions will be allocated among the subjects as follows:
- Civil Procedure (27);
- Constitutional Law (27);
- Contracts (28);
- Criminal Law and Procedure (27);
- Evidence (27);
- Real Property (27); and
- Torts (27).
What exactly will they be testing?
The National Conference of Bar Examiners, who administers the MBE, has provided quite a bit of information on what will be tested. This is the released subject matter outline:
I. Jurisdiction and venue
A. Federal subject matter jurisdiction (federal question, diversity, supplemental, and removal)
B. Personal jurisdiction
C. Service of process and notice
D. Venue, forum non conveniens, and transfer
II. Law applied by federal courts
A. State law in federal court
B. Federal common law
III. Pretrial procedures
A. Preliminary injunctions and temporary restraining orders
B. Pleadings and amended and supplemental pleadings
C. Rule 11
D. Joinder of parties and claims (including class actions)
E. Discovery (including e-discovery), disclosure, and sanctions
F. Adjudication without a trial
G. Pretrial conference and order
IV. Jury trials
A. Right to jury trial
B. Selection and composition of juries
C. Requests for and objections to jury instructions
A. Pretrial motions, including motions addressed to face of pleadings, motions to dismiss, and summary judgment motions
B. Motions for judgments as a matter of law (directed verdicts and judgments notwithstanding the verdict)
C. Posttrial motions, including motions for relief from judgment and for new trial
VI. Verdicts and judgments
A. Defaults and involuntary dismissals
B. Jury verdicts—types and challenges
C. Judicial findings and conclusions
D. Effect; claim and issue preclusion
VII. Appealability and review
A. Availability of interlocutory review
B. Final judgment rule
C. Scope of review for judge and jury
Where can I find practice questions?
The NCBE has also released Civil Procedure Sample Test Questions. If you haven’t checked them out, I would do so now. In addition, all major bar review providers will be able to provide sample questions to help you study for the next exam.
One thing to note though, if you are using old MBE preparation materials or if you are planning to borrow materials from someone who has taken the exam previously, they won’t include Civil Procedure questions. So be sure that you figure out how get adequate Civil Procedure practice before the exam.
If I am a repeater do I still need to study Civ Pro?
Yes! Everyone sitting for the exam starting in February 2015 will need to be prepared for Civil Procedure.
Where can I get MBE help?
If you are worried about the MBE (or have struggled with it in the past), you may want to explore getting some additional help. Here are some MBE resources we recommend:
- AdaptiBar – AdaptiBar is an online program targeted to help students get better MBE scores. As a user of the program, you’ll have access to more than 1,500 MBE questions, and AdaptiBar tracks your performance.
- Critical Pass – Critical Pass flashcards help you break down everything you need to know for the MBE, so you can learn and memorize efficiently and effectively. One side of the flash card has a given legal issue and the back of the card has an outline of the law and space for notes or mnemonics.
- Jonathan Grossman: Florida Bar Exam and MBE Tutor – Jonathan is a bar exam tutor and MBE expert whose company, What’s the Issue, has a practical, down-to-earth, and personal approach to the bar exam that helps either first-time takers or repeaters prepare without being bored.
- Silverman Bar Exam Preparation – Sean Silverman is an attorney and instructor for a New York based bar review company. Silverman Bar Preparation provides affordable personalized tutoring for those preparing for the bar exam. All students receive a free hour to try out the tutoring.
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Did you find this post helpful? Check out some other great articles:
- Yikes! I Need to Improve My MBE Scores
- A Slightly Counterintuitive Way to Study for the MBE
- There is just Too Much MBE Law to Learn
- Top 5 Study Tips for Conquering the MBE
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