Okay, try not to hyperventilate, but, yes, it's true, the bar exam is about to get harder. Erica Moeser, President of the National Conference of Bar Examiners, recently issued a letter to law school deans informing them of this change. Though this change had been announced previously, the timing of the appearance of Civil Procedure on the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) had not. We now know the glorious month of February 2015 will bring with it the loathed section of Civil Procedure. Unfortunately, Civ Pro is the bane of most law school students. It's a class most students truly despise. But, think back to your 1L year, was it really so bad? Are you nodding? Well, I feel you. I didn't much care for Civ Pro, myself. But, looking back on it now, it might have just been that I still wasn't used to the law school method combined with the fact that Civ Pro, unlike most of the other 1L classes, was just a slew of dense, repetitive rules that you had to flow chart or memorize for your final exams.
The MBE portion of the bar exam already covers Criminal Law & Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Evidence, Real Property and Torts. Now it's important to note that the addition of Civil Procedure will not make the test longer. The other sections will be adequately shortened to keep the test at about the same length. That's something, right? That means that the number of questions per topic will decrease!
Though this change does make the MBE portion of the bar exam harder, it's not too bad considering the fact that Civil Procedure is already a topic tested on most state-specific writing portions as well as the Multistate Essay Exam, which is administered in more than half of the states. Washington will also be added to the list MBE jurisdictions in July of this year, which means that every U.S. jurisdiction, with the exception of Louisiana, will now be using the MBE. So, at least, you won't be the only ones suffering this new grievance.
Test specifications for the MBE Civil Procedure questions will be announced around the end of June 2013. But, if you're planning on taking the bar before February 2015, then don't fret your pretty, law-stuffed head. Once February 2015 rolls around, you can sit back in your law office chair (hopefully) and laugh at your younger law school friends who will now have to add Civil Procedure to their MBE studying repertoire.
For those of you affected by the change, I'm sorry, and at least you have plenty of warning to wrap your head around it. And don't worry, BarMax will update all of our bar exam review courses to account for this change. For those of you not affected, be kind to the youngins and try not to gloat too much.