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BARBRI - Introduction (Transcription and Captioning by www.CaptionCrew.com)
Good morning, and welcome to the Florida BARBRI bar review course. For those of you who
have never met me, my name is Karen Hundley and I'm the vice president of the southern region of
BARBRI. I'm also a Florida attorney and have been helping students pass the Florida bar for almost 20
So my job today is to basically give you an overall introduction to basically three main topics.
We're going to go over the Florida bar, an intro to the bar exam. What's on it, what to expect, how it's
graded, all that fun stuff.
Next, we're going to get into an intro to essay writing for the Florida bar. How you should answer the essay questions that you're given by the bar examiners. The format or the structure, how to
organize the answers, and I'll talk about what the examiners are looking for.
And then we're going to end with an overall introduction to the BARBRI course. We're going to
go over what's in every single one of those books that you received in that big box earlier this month.
For the first two parts of my intro, the intro to the bar exam and essay writing, for those of you
who go to a school or went to a school that had a full-blown bar prep program inside the school,
Academic Success, this is going to kind of be an overview for you all.
So just bear with me. It doesn't hurt to review this information, and everybody needs an intro to
the BARBRI course and we're going to get to that at the end. So you got to stick around and hang with
me for a while.
If we're all ready, let's get started. Everyone should have in front of them a handout. You're
going to have to fill in the handout as we go. So the handout's titled Introduction and Florida Essay
Writing Workshop. So pull this out, get your pens out, and let's get started.
We start off with the intro to the Florida bar exam. What are the dates? When's the Florida bar
exam is given always the last Tuesday and Wednesday of February and the last Tuesday and Wednesday
For you all who are sitting for the February 2012 bar exam, those dates are February 28th, which
is a Tuesday, and February 29th, which is a Wednesday. It's a leap year. So you guys get the very last
two days of the month, the 28th and 29th.
If anybody decides that they want to postpone and not take the exam until July, the July 2012
bar exam dates will be Tuesday, July 24th and Wednesday, July 25th.
Florida bar exam's always given in the same location. Once in a while they'll change it; but for
the most part, it will be held in downtown Tampa at the Tampa Convention Center. Really nice facility.
It's on the water, not that you'll be able to enjoy that. But maybe after the bar exam's over, you can
spend some time down there.
Okay. Let's get into the actual format of what's on the exam and what days are what. The
Florida bar exam is composed of three separate parts. You have the Florida day of the exam, which is
Tuesday, first day. You have the multistate bar exam or, as people know it, the MBE, which is
And then the MPRE, Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam, you have to take and pass that
to be admitted to the Florida bar. And hopefully, most of you have already done that. Most people take
it in their second or third year of law school. So the Florida bar exam, the Florida day, the multistate
day, and then you have to get through the MPRE.
The first day, Tuesday, is the Florida bar exam, the Florida day of the exam, and that's also
known as Part A. On Part A, you will be tested in six segments. Six parts. Usual format is three parts in
the morning, consisting of three essay questions, and three hours to complete those three parts. So one
hour per each essay question.
Three essays, one hour to complete each essay question. So three hours, three essays, three
And then the afternoon section, you're given the next three segments, which consists of 100
multiple choice questions with three hours to complete those questions. Each segment consists of about
33 or 34 multiple choice questions. You won't know what the segments are. You're just given all 100
multiple choice questions and they tell you, complete them in three hours.
For those of you not good with math, we already said it's one hour per each essay question. In
the afternoon, that one hour per each 33, 34 multiple choice questions breaks down to about 1.8 minutes
per multiple choice question. Ample time to complete Florida multiple choice questions not very long.
We're at the top of page 2. The Florida essay questions, what do they look like? For the most
part, the Florida essay questions are straightforward. They kind of look like a normal law school essay
exam. You should find no red herrings in these questions. For the most part, they're about a page long,
sometimes they go a little over a page, but they're not extraordinarily long.
No red herrings, pretty straightforward. However, they are extremely Florida law specific. You
need to write that down. They are extremely Florida law specific. You just can't answer these questions
based on generic multistate law. You need to know how Florida differs from the multistate.
So if you get a contracts question, you're answering that question as if you're an attorney in
Florida. So if Florida has a different rule than the rest of the country, you need to write that in there.
Okay. The multiple choice questions in Florida. Not much like the essay questions. They are not
consistently straightforward. The Florida multiple choice questions are not consistently straightforward.
Their coverage can be spotty or repetitious. They may overwork a particular rule. They are
short, however. So you should have no timing problem. But they're very, very nit-picky. Very, very
Some of these hundred multiple choice questions will include a performance component. If you
read anything the Florida bar sent you, they'll say some of our questions will include a performance
What does that mean? Well, it's kind of basic. What it means is that they give you an actual
portion of a Florida statute, Florida case holding, a Florida rule of procedure, and then they ask you
questions that pertain to that rule.
However, those performance component questions are not closed universe questions. What
does that mean? Well, it means that you cannot answer the multiple choice questions just based on the
rule or the case holding that they gave you in the question. You'll need to bring some inside -- or outside
information in. So you'll need to know something about other parts of the rule to answer the question.
I basically tell students to approach these performance component questions as just longer
multiple choice questions. Don't assume that the rule they gave you actually is the rule that the question
turns on, because most of the time, it's not. They just throw them in to make some longer questions,
and they make them more difficult.
So we have a hundred questions. They're nit-picky, and then they throw in some of these
performance component questions, which just means that they're longer multiple choice questions.
Generally, students think the Florida multiple choice section of the exam is the most difficult,
because they are so nit-picky.
All right. So we talked about being nit-picky. Well, next question people want to know is, well,
what subjects do I need to know all these little nit-picky details in? So the big question students have is
what subjects are tested on the Florida day of the exam.
Well, the Florida Board of Bar Examiners tell us that the rules of procedure will be tested on
every exam. And what are the rules of procedure? Well, they're the rules of criminal and civil procedure,
Florida criminal and civil procedure, and the rules of judicial administration.
Which if you're trying to find the rules of judicial administration in your BARBRI material, they're
included in your Florida civil procedure outline. Okay? So you'll find the rules of judicial administration
mixed into your Florida civil procedure outline, and you'll need to know really well the Florida rules of
criminal pro and the Florida rules of civil procedure.
Okay. So we said that there were six segments on the bar exam. The examiners tell us that the
rules of procedure will be on every exam, and they will make up one of those six segments. Well, you're
left with five optional sections.
And so in those five extra sections on your exam, what are the subjects you're going to be tested
on there? Well, the examiners don't tell you exactly what subjects will be on your exam, but what they
do say is they give you a long list of subjects, and they say we will pull from this list of subjects and test
you on some of those in those five additional sections.
So what are those extra or optional subjects called? If you look down towards the bottom of
page 2 and the top of page 3, you'll find them. They tell you that you can be tested on constitutional
law, contracts and sales, criminal law and criminal procedure multistate. Multistate evid