Thursday, June 28, 2012

New Ways to Cram for the Bar Exam

With less than a month until the July bar exam, heads are probably swimming with legal concepts, case names, and prep-course mnemonics. If you’ve come down with a case of bar-exam brain-freeze, it might be time to try some alternative ways to learn:

CALI, the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction, provides interactive tutorials on more than 900 legal topics. Tutorials range in scope from general areas of law to very specific legal concepts. A Duke Law registration code is needed for accessing the tutorials on the web, and can be obtained from the library Reference Desk or online with a NetID and password.

If you like an interactive Q&A approach to studying, you might also prefer to download the mobile app versions of popular aids like the Law in a Flash flash-card series or the Q&A books from LexisNexis. Though the online version of each series is only slightly cheaper than the tangible versions, the ability to “shuffle” and annotate the flash cards and re-take the practice exams multiple times might be an advantage to the mobile format.

Prevent eyestrain and study on the go with the Audio Case Files component of CVN Law School. Audio Case Files provides MP3 recordings of edited opinions from law school casebooks. Register for the site with a Duke Law email address.

For more visual learners, there’s also The Illustrated Guide to Criminal Law, the brainchild of defense attorney Nathaniel Burney. Launched in December 2011, the blog publishes detailed and creative comics which explore such aspects of criminal law as mens rea, conspiracy, and defenses. Jones McClure Publishing will release a book-length version of the comic in the fall, as the inaugural entry in its Illustrated Guide to Law series. So while July 2012 exam-takers are limited to this preview of the criminal law title, there may be a whole set of comic-style study aids in time for next year’s MBE.

Finally, for help finding more traditional supplements to bar exam study (including study guides for the MBE and past bar exams from other states), take a look at our February post on Resources for the Bar Exam or Ask a Librarian.