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Bar Essay Writing - Mass

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Bar Essay Writing - Mass ...

    Bar Essay Writing

    Course Syllabus, Summer 2010

    M/W/Th Noon 2 PM

    M/W/Th 4 PM 6 PM

Prof. Ursula Furi-Perry, Esq.

    Ph: (978) 681-0800 x177

    M: (978) 476-9704

    ursula@mslaw.edu

Description:

    This course focuses on honing and improving students’ analytical and writing skills, with a special emphasis on the analytical and writing skills used for successful completion of

    the essay portion of the bar examination. Students will explore issue spotting techniques

    and methods of analysis; learn helpful tips for writing essay exams; receive personalized

    feedback on essays; and review the substantive law necessary to write the essay exam.

Course Overview:

This is an intensive writing class, and you should expect to complete several writing

    assignments each week, including full-length bar essays. Students should have completed

    all six substantive courses tested by the Multistate Bar Exam before taking this course.

    You will complete nine graded in-class essays (bar exam questions from prior exams)

    during the semester, and you will receive personal feedback on your essays throughout

    the course. There will also be a final essay exam on which you’ll answer five essay

    questions in three hours, which is the same format you’ll find on the essay portion of the

    Massachusetts bar examination.

Grading:

Each assignment will be graded on a seven-point scale, in consistency with the grading

    employed by the Massachusetts Bar Examiners. Your grade will be based on the

    following assignments and allocation of points:

9 in-class essays, worth 7 points each (63 points total)

    3 take-home exercises, worth 7 points each (21 points total)

    One midterm assignment worth 21 points (outlining and issue spotting a 10-question

    mock bar essay exam)

    Final exam worth 35 points (3 hours, 5 essays worth 7 points each; 35 points total)

There are a total of 140 possible points in the course. In order to pass the course, a

    student must obtain at least 80 points. At the end of the course, you will receive either a

    “passing” or “not passing” grade. There will be one designated date for make-up work on

    which you MUST make up any work you missed during the course in order to pass.

Text:

    Bar Essay BootCamp, Michael L. Coyne, Joseph Devlin, Ursula Furi-Perry and Peter M. Malaguti

OVERVIEW OF WEEKLY TOPICS AND ASSIGNMENTS:

Reading for the first class: Introduction and Chapter 1

Mon 7/12:

Introduction and course overview

    Bar exam format

    Bar essay exam basics

    Reading and understanding a bar essay question

    Reading for the next class: Chapter 2

Wed 7/14:

Issue Spotting Tips and Exercises

    Torts questions

Torts Essay

    Reading for the next class: Chapter 3

Thurs 7/15:

Outlining

    Contracts questions

Contracts Essay

    Reading for the next class: Chapter 4 Assignment for the next class: Exercise 4.1 and 4.2

Mon 7/19:

Paragraph construction

Property questions

Property Essay

    Wed 7/21:

Mastering the TAAC method

    TAAC practice

    Domestic Relations questions

Domestic Relations Essay

    Thurs 7/22:

Outlining and Issue Spotting Assignment

Feedback

Reading for the next class: Chapters 5 and 6

    Assignment for the next class: Exercise 5.1 and 5.2

    Mon 7/26:

Essay organization

    Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure questions

Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure Essay

Reading for the next class: Chapter 7

    Wed 7/28:

Rule statements

    Practicing your S.O.U.N.D. Bytes

    Constitutional Law questions

Constitutional Law Essay

    Thurs 7/29:

Intro to multiple choice

Multiple choice question practice

    Using multiple choice questions for essay practice

    Reading for the next class: Chapters 8 and 9 Assignment for the next class: Exercise 9.1 and 9.2

Mon 8/2:

Honing your analytical skills

    Evidence questions

Evidence Essay

    Reading for the next class: Chapter 10

Wed 8/4:

Clarity and concision

    Civil Procedure questions

Civil Procedure Essay

    Reading for the next class: Chapters 11 and 12

Thurs 8/5:

Timing practice

    Editing exercise

    Wills & Trusts questions

Wills & Trusts Essay

Sat 8/15:

    FINAL 3-HOUR ESSAY EXAM from 8 AM 11 AM

    Final exam feedback and analysis from NOON 2 PM

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