When are California Distinctions tested on the California Bar Exam?

retaking the new york bar exam, failed the new york bar exam, failed nybeWhen are California Distinctions tested on the California Bar Exam?

When are California distinctions tested on the California bar exam? In other words, when do you have to know “general law” and when do you have to be able to apply specific California distinctions? These are questions that many California bar exam takers are curious about. In this post, we tell you when California distinctions are tested on the California bar exam. 

When are California Distinctions tested on the California Bar Exam?

Here, we give you a brief overview of when California distinctions are heavily tested and when they are not.  You can see that oftentimes, California distinctions are not tested. This surprises many first time California bar exam takers. However, sometimes they are heavily tested.

California distinctions tend NOT to be tested:

  • Agency and Partnership
  •  Civil Procedure *California distinctions have really been heavily tested on one essay exam but 95% of the time, you are expected to apply general law. There is talk that California distinctions will be tested more so it is still good to be aware of the distinctions. After all, you do not want to completely bomb an entire essay just because you did not bother to learn California distinctions. So even though they are not tested, we still recommend you become familiar with the California distinctions. Unfortunately, they are tricky and nuanced.
  • Contracts
  • Constitutional Law
  • Corporations
  • Criminal Law
  • Real Property
  • Remedies
  • Torts

California distinctions are tested:

  • Community Property
  • Evidence *This is the one MBE topic where California distinctions are heavily tested! Make sure you know all about Prop 8, hearsay exceptions, and California nuances
  • Professional Responsibility *You are virtually always asked to apply both the ABA rules and California law (and when the question is silent, you should do this anyway!)
  • Trusts *You are often asked to apply California law
  • Wills

Good luck studying for the California bar exam!

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