First Year Law Student Exam

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:

  1. properly identify the relevant legal issues in each essay exam;
  2. resolve the relevant legal issues by providing a detailed and thorough application of the relevant legal principles;
  3. reach logical conclusions that are supported by the law and facts; and
  4. 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.

How can Bar None Review help you succeed?

Bar None Review (BNR) teaches you how to identify legal issues, how to distinguish between testable (relevant) issues and non-testable issues, how to write in both the style and format that the examiners are looking for and how to master the legal principles at hand. BNR’s combination of classroom instruction and practical application (through in class writing and multiple choice assignments) prepare examinees for the rigors of the baby bar exam. BNR’s Baby Bar Exam Templates provide you with the exam language and order of issues that is most likely to appear on the essay exams. These templates are more than just a source for substantive law. The Templates provide canned up answers for the most highly tested issues. The templates are a wonderful tool and make practicing fun. By learning the law in the likely tested order, students study and practice more effectively and increase their ability to issue spot exams and to write above passing answers.

BNR’s Baby Bar Review Program:

Bar None Review’s Baby Bar Program covers all aspects of the Baby Bar and includes: Contracts substantive review, Contracts essay writing workshop, Torts Substantive review, Torts writing workshop, Criminal Law substantive review, Criminal Law essay writing workshop, multiple choice workshop (covering Contracts, Criminal Law and Torts) and a simulated baby bar exam graded by BNR staff. Students learn in an interactive environment, are given personal attention and attend live class instruction. Students are allowed to submit exams for critique and grading, and receive detailed exam writing feedback with specific instructions on how to improve. We tell you what is wrong with your exam answer and how to fix it.

BNR’s Baby Bar Course Materials

Students receive BNR’s Baby Bar Exam Essay Workbook (includes past baby bar questions and detailed model answers and testing modules), the Baby Bar Exam Maximizer (includes Bar None Review’s Baby Bar Exam Writing Templates ) and BNR’s Baby Bar Substantive law outlines for Contracts, Criminal Law and Torts and Practice multiple-choice questions for Contracts, Criminal Law and Torts.

Test Information for the California Baby Bar Exam / The First Year Law Students' Examination*

The First-Year Law Students’ Examination (also known as the “Baby Bar Exam”) is administered in Los Angeles and San Francisco in June and October each year. An Application to Take First-Year Law Students’ Examination must be filed in accordance with the specified deadlines. For the most up to date filing information and deadlines, applicants should consult the California State Bar website at .

Examination Schedule
The First-Year Law Students’ Examination is a one-day examination. The morning session is four hours in duration, and the afternoon session three hours. Four (4) essay questions will be administered during the morning session and 100 multiple-choice questions during the afternoon session. There is a lunch break between the two testing sessions.

Scope of the First-Year Law Students’ Examination
The subjects covered in this examination are: Contracts, Criminal Law, and Torts. An answer based upon legal theories and principles of general applicability is sufficient; detailed knowledge of California Law is not required. The following provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code should be used where pertinent:

  1. All of Article 1;
  2. All of Article 2.

*Source: California State Bar

FYLSE/Baby Bar Courses Offerings

FYLSE/Baby Bar Prep courses and tutoring are available in person and online. For more information call 213-529-0990 or email us.