No two words inspire more fear in the hearts of hopeful attorneys than ‘bar exam.’ Since this is the exam aspiring lawyers need to ace in order to gain licensure in their respective states, it’s a pretty important test, to say the least.
Most people end up spending a huge amount of time and a good chunk of money preparing and registering for these exams. Between filing fees and expensive tutors and hours and hours of cramming, is there any way you can get ready for the big day without depleting your savings in the process?
This is where bar exam self-study exam books come in handy. These prep books are great for busy law grads on the go who want to ensure their bar exam success without breaking the bank or rearranging their schedules too much. From comprehensive guides on test-taking strategies to repositories of practice questions, there isn’t a testtaker around that can’t find something of use on our list, so read on to learn more about our top picks.
Perhaps the most difficult part of the bar exam, many have a notoriously difficult time with the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) portion. The MBE is 200 questions long and comprises at least 50% of the total score.
The 7th edition of Strategies & Tactics for the MBE includes 30 new civil procedure questions from the most recent real exam that have since been released by examiners. Author Steven Emanuel also provides detailed answers to each question and offers strategies for analyzing different question types and looking for subtle differences in wording to determine the answers.
Beyond this, you’ll also find over 550 questions and answers pertaining to the other subject areas of the MBE, like torts, contracts, constitutional law, evidence, property, and criminal law and procedure. You’ll also be able to test your knowledge on the 200-question mock MBE exam, which comes with detailed answers as well.
Some bar exam takers ace the multiple-choice sections, but are left feeling unprepared come the essay portions. The test’s bad reputation is typically applied to the multiple-choice portion, so many don’t properly prepare for the essay portion, and many test takers’ writing skills are much weaker than they think, but it’s often far too late by the time they find out.
Get ahead of the curve with this helpful prep book that’ll sharpen your legal writing skills just in time for the exam. Its “systematic and uncomplicated” approach to clear, concise legal writing zeroes in on four pillars: technical requirements, outlining and formatting, issue spotting, and analysis. Also included are detailed writing strategies you can implement to not only practice for the bar exam essay section, but to improve your legal writing in general.
Don’t write this book off just because it’s a self-help book; it’s got some incredibly useful tips for passing the bar exam more quickly and efficiently.
Take it from author Dustin Saiidi himself: as a former law student who failed the MPRE twice and graduated in the bottom half of his class, he knows a thing or two about what it takes to not pass the test. Fortunately, Saiidi ended up getting the score he was after and now practices law in Los Angeles, so he’s got experience on both sides of the fence, so to speak.
But this isn’t some new-age, feel-good book that stresses happy thoughts only. You’ll actually delve into the neuroscience behind stress and test anxiety so that you can fight against it from the molecular level up. Additionally, you’ll learn the “pain points” of each state’s bar exam and what you’ll need to prepare to tackle them successfully.
Still want to study even when you’re on the go? You’d be wise to invest in these MBE flashcards. With over 700 flashcards covering all the different subject areas found on the MBE, you can study with mock exam questions similar to those found on the actual exam. Better yet, all the flashcards are in accordance with the content outlines provided by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE).
Keep in mind, though, that these flashcards shouldn’t be your only study resource for the exam. This will more likely serve as a supplement to your other materials, like a prep course or a self-study book mentioned here.
With this guide you’ll get a thorough introduction to professional responsibility and learn about how it’s tested on the MPRE. Knowing this will help you as you compare and contrast different provisions of common law and the ABA’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct. If that’s not enough to win you over, then consider the practice questions that will help you understand the exceptions to some of these rules, each of which hash detailed answers and explanations provided.
Better yet, this book can be used for any course on professional responsibility, meaning you can still hold onto and make use of it once you pass the MPRE.
Before You Hit the Books
The bar exam is stressful, but preparing for it doesn’t have to be if you have the right resources in tow. Hopefully, some of these awesome self-study books we’ve mentioned here will bring you greater peace of mind and sharper test-taking skills as you gear up for the big day.