The Dumbest Thing BarBri Tells You To Do: Avoid It!

Run for Your Life
After lunch on Day 1 of the California bar exam, I settled into my seat to begin the MPT.  While I was waiting, I struck up a conversation with my table mate.  Alex went to the University of Chicago and seemed like a pretty sharp guy, but he didn't seem like someone that did a lot of thinking or planning for himself. He didn't bring cash to a cash only parking lot, luckily he had enough change rolling around the car.  He planned on buying a lunch, but the lines were too long (duh!), so he had a bag of chips from the vending machine and a few cigarettes to suppress his appetite.

The professor BarBri hired to teach the MPT in California is great.  He makes you feel like the bar exam graders are idiots and you can pass anything.  He takes you through passed model answers released by the bar examiners and shows you why everything in it is wrong, but was still released as a model answer.  He was loud, entertaining and, of the professors, he was among my favorites. 

Among the great tips he gives for the MPT, he gives one terrible piece of advice.  He encourages students to tear our pages from the MPT booklet.  He tells students to tear out the library index sheet from the exam book and brief each case under the given headings.  Also, he tells students to tear out the task sheets and have it sitting separately so you can refer to it.  This is simply bad advice!

I don't think the professor knows how the booklets are constructed.  Imagine taking 5 sheets of paper and folding it across the width and putting two staples down the crease to make a book - like you did in kindergarten. The cover is the also the back cover, the first page is also the last page, etc.  Now what happens when you tear out the first page? 

Alex didn't think this through when he got the booklet.  He tore out the two pages the professor tells you to and pages started falling out of his booklet. He had to take one very long and frustrating minute to put his booklet back together.  

Another girl, a few rows in front of me, tore apart her booklet as well.  She was doing fine until the air conditioning turned on and blew the pages she had spread out across the table into the aisle.  It was comedy gold watching her chase down all the pages of her booklet mid-exam.  

The 30 seconds you may lose writing out the names of each case, is well worth avoiding the frustration of putting your booklet back together.