Tips for Florida Bar Exam Success

A person looking at a piece of legal paper.

If possible, treat studying like a job. Start at 8:30, take a lunch break, and finish at 5:00; take weekends off. There is such a thing as too much studying! Make a list of what you want to accomplish in a day and cross items off as you go. If you feel like you just can’t study anymore, try reading the answers to essays – they contain rule statements and application to facts, and can sometimes provide you with a niche rule that you haven’t come across or didn’t spend much time reviewing. Remember that you don’t have to be the best, you just don’t want to be the worst. – Justice Elvish

Be prepared to have an aversion to the Tampa Convention Center for the rest of your life. – Calli Kirkpatrick

Ice cream for dinner on hard study days is totally acceptable! – Danielle Orr

Don’t rely on a hotel’s free shuttle to the convention center.  Drive your own car, walk, take an Uber…. anything that you have control over. – Christopher Mueller

Save the stress and book the hotel directly across from the convention center. – Teris McGovern

If possible, walk in/drive to the convention center with a friend. It will ease your nerves to be with someone familiar. – Danielle Orr

During the breaks, don’t listen to what people are discussing that they put for X question during the first half of the exam, so as not to psyche oneself out and just relax and be ready to focus on the next part. – James “Ted” Bailey, Jr.

Keep to yourself between breaks to avoid the chatter that will surely make you second guess your answers!! – Sharon Watson

Take a sweater/jacket. – Sharon Watson

Every Florida-specific essay topic can be reduced to a one-page outline that covers most (if not all) of the required buzzwords and concepts that will get you enough points to pass. If you are having trouble trimming it down to a single page, create mnemonic devices or consolidate details so that it all fits. Then, memorize the outline by reciting it in prose on practice essay questions for each topic. If you regurgitate your one pager and apply the facts of the prompt, it will likely be more than enough.  – Job Fickett

If you’re stumped by a family law question, “the best interests of the child” will never steer you wrong. – Job Fickett

We had a question about real property but was the Fl Con Law question. Might not have put them in a good state of mind. Pity those who learned that during the break. Stay away from discussion about what can’t be changed or corrected! – John Taylor

We are NOT trying to get an “A” on the bar exam.

  • Constitutional law has so much nuance that they have to ask simple questions which have definitive answers = know your con. law and get 30 questions RIGHT . . .
  • Contracts is a reasonably finite subject that if you work hard enough, you can get most/all of those right too . . .
  • Real property was the hardest for me . . . so I almost ignored it – why? Because if I know everything else and get 90% of everything else and 10% of real property, I will pass. 
  • Multiple choice tests generally: read the question(s) before the hypothetical.  eliminate wrong answers, you’ll be left with two “right” answers and one more right than the other – choose it.  Do not waste inordinate time on questions to which you do not have any idea of the answer.
  • The bar examiners play mind-games – they front-load the test with the hardest 20 or 30 questions to break your spirit – keep calm and do NOT let the “I’m failing this test” creep into your mind.
  • Florida-specific essays – even if you do not know the law, identify the issue and get some credit – identify as many issues as possible; misstate the rule applicable to the issue if necessary; analyze and draw conclusion and on to the next issue.
  • Find a way to set the criminal defendant who wreaked havoc in the criminal law question free; find a way to make the maimed tort plaintiff unable to recover in both instances, the examiners are trying to get you emotional about the psychopath (lock him up FOREVER!) in the criminal law question, and/or the poor grandma or little Jaynie who lost her arms and legs in a ball of fire in the tort question.

Jeffrey Regenstreif

No results found.