top 5 baby bar tipsTop 5 Baby Bar Tips: How to Conquer the Baby Bar!

We have successfully helped students study for (and pass!) the baby bar (a.k.a. the First Year Law Students Examination or FYLSE). Here are five baby bar tips to help you conquer the baby bar!

Top 5 Baby Bar Tips: How to Conquer the Baby Bar!

Baby Bar Tip #1: Memorize!

If you do not have the law memorized, it is going to be very difficult to apply the law to fact patterns. This is really a two-part tip: The first step is to make sure you understand the law and then the second step is committing it to memory.

Use your learning style to your advantage. If you are a visual learner, make charts and diagrams. Draw pictures. If you are an auditory learner, come up with rhymes or mnemonics. Listen to lectures or join a study group.

Baby Bar Tip #2: Review Past Essays.

Next, make sure to review past essays so you can practice applying the law. A big mistake students make is they simply state the law but have no idea to apply it. This is so common that the California state bar even cautions against doing this on their website. The best way to avoid this mistake is to practice several past essays before taking the actual baby bar. We recommend you hand them in to a tutor (including us!) for bar exam essay feedback. Or seek feedback from your course or an instructor.

If you are looking for free past baby bar exam essays, we have a post which links to several of them here. You should practice answering at least one essay question a day when you study.

Baby Bar Tip #3: Focus on the highly tested areas of law. 

Some areas of law are tested more than others. For example, Torts questions tend to focus on negligence, strict liability, intentional torts, and damages. (We will be posting more about highly tested issues in the future.) It is best to focus on the issues you see come up repeatedly in essay and multiple-choice questions. This is a way to study effectively and efficiently for the baby bar exam.

Baby Bar Tip #4: State the general rule before stating the exceptions. 

A common mistake we see students make is that they want to dive right into the major issue without laying the framework. Remember to state the general rule before stating the exceptions! For example, if negligence is an issue, you should always discuss duty, breach, cause, and harm even if only one of those elements is the “main” issue.

You should also get in the habit of memorizing the topics you should always discuss in a particular essay. For example:

  • In a contracts (or sales) question, start by discussing whether the UCC or common law applies
  • If negligence is an issue, discuss defenses of contributory and comparative negligence (even if the facts don’t necessitate an in-depth discussion of these defenses)
  • In criminal law, if homicide is an issue, discuss the different levels of homicide so that the grader knows you understand them and can evaluate the most appropriate charge.

Baby Bar Tip #5: Have a good strategy for answering multiple-choice questions. 

Don’t try to answer 100 questions a day. This is a mistake that a lot of baby bar takers and a lot of California bar exam takers make. Instead, try answering fewer questions (especially in the beginning) and answering them better. We have a great post here on how to answer an MBE question. This guide will also help you if you are answering baby bar multiple-choice questions!

Good luck on the baby bar! We hope you enjoyed these baby bar tips. If you are looking for baby bar resources or private tutoring, please contact us at your convenience!

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