The California First Year Law Student’s Examination
The First-Year Law Students’ Examination is administered in the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas in June and October each year. The examination includes both essay and multiple-choice questions and is administered in one day. Four hours is allocated for completing a four-essay question portion of the examination and three hours for one hundred multiple-choice questions.
The subjects covered in this examination are: Contracts, Criminal Law, and Torts.
Test Dates & Locations
Tuesday, October 23, 2012 (Timely filing deadline: August 1, 2012. Final Filing Deadline: September 17, 2012)
Pasadena Convention Center 300 East Green Street Pasadena
303 Cordova Street Pasadena
1770 South Amphlett Boulevard San Mateo
What Makes the Baby Bar so Difficult?
The pass rates for the California Baby Bar or First Year Law Students’ Exam are low. The typical pass rate for the state is often under 20%. Students fail because they have not yet acquired the requisite analytical skills necessary to achieve a passing score on the baby bar exam.
While many who fail the baby bar exam believe that they simply need to go back to reviewing the substantive law, usually an examinees’ failure is due to weaknesses in their legal writing and analytical skills.
It takes more than just memorizing black letter law
The baby bar exam not only tests your substantive law knowledge, it goes much further in that examinees must successfully demonstrate legal analytical skills such that the examinee can:
- properly identify the relevant legal issues in each essay exam;
- resolve the relevant legal issues by providing a detailed and thorough application of the relevant legal principles;
- reach logical conclusions that are supported by the law and facts; and
- establish a proficiency in the substantive legal areas tested (torts, criminal law, contracts and the U.C.C.) by achieving the required passing score on the multiple choice section of the baby bar exam.
Therefore, in order to be one of the 20% that are successful each year on the baby bar, you must develop the required writing and analytical skills and of course, learn, understand and memorize the substantive law.
Successful baby bar candidates go much further than simply memorizing rule statements and checklists. While memorization is extremely important, so too is practical application of the law. It is critical to your success on the baby bar exam that you practice each section of the test repetitively in order to develop the required level of proficiency.
Remember, you will not be called upon to write an outline on exam day. Instead, you will be required to read a fact pattern, identify all of the relevant legal issues, resolve each legal issue with a thorough application of the law and come to a logical conclusion that is supported by both the facts and the law. To master these skills takes a lot of practice and requires far more than just memorizing the black letter law. One of the most difficult challenges of the Baby Bar is to be able to identify the issues and to write a successful answer within the allotted time frame.