Civil procedure: it’s the newest addition to the MBE, but it sure packs a punch. Between deadlines, the strange language of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and the Erie doctrine, it’s no wonder that many bar examinees consider Civ Pro to be the hardest MBE subject (yeah, that’s right—maybe even harder than Real Property).
So how can a bar examinee knock out this formidable foe? First, it helps to know what you’re up against. UWorld has put together information on all the MBE subjects—including chapter breakdowns and the testing frequency of each chapter—in one super-convenient blog post – MBE Subjects – What Topics Are on the Multistate Bar Exam? As you can see, nearly two-thirds of the MBE Civ Pro questions are on the heavy-hitting chapters of Jurisdiction and Venue, Pretrial Procedures, and Motions:
|Topic||Percent Tested||# of Questions|
|Jurisdiction and Venue||22.2%||5-6|
|Law Applied by Federal Courts||8.3%||2-3|
|Verdicts and Judgments||8.3%||2-3|
|Appealability and Review||8.3%||2-3|
If you can master those three chapters, you’ll be two-thirds of the way there. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore the others—you’ll only be able to go the full twelve rounds with MBE Civ Pro if you have a good understanding of everything covered on the exam.
Second, it helps to read the call of the question first. We know, we know—this advice seems a bit cliché. But whether a question is actually a Civ Pro question can be sneaky; Civ Pro doesn’t exist in a vacuum—it often references legal theories from the other MBE subjects. Some MBE Civ Pro questions will try and get you with a sucker punch—the first few sentences of the question stem appear to be about a contracts or torts issue. But then you get to the call of the question, and POW! The question is actually about the proper venue for trial.
Now you’re dazed, thinking about whether there was valid consideration, and you’ve been asked to figure out where this lawsuit can be filed. Don’t let your guard down—read the call of the question first!
Third, prepare for your title bout with MBE Civ Pro by creating some charts with common deadlines. While many of the punches in Civ Pro’s repertoire are theoretical (we’re looking at you, Erie doctrine), timing and procedural deadlines are also important. There are many resources online with ready-made charts of common deadlines, but making your own chart will help your brain remember those pesky discovery deadlines while you’re taking punches during the exam.
Finally, take some time during your studies to let your mind rest. No one becomes the champion by overtraining! Now we’re not telling you to slack off—the bar exam is challenging, and studying thoroughly for the exam is necessary. But the occasional mental break will help you remember all the ins and outs of Civ Pro. So, remember to put down the books periodically and take a jog up the steps of your local art museum.
If you follow these steps and study smart, you’ll be bobbing and weaving around MBE Civ Pro in no time. And as a little treat for making it to the end of this post, we’ll leave you with a UWorld MBE Civ Pro practice question. In addition to over 1,375 licensed NCBE questions, UWorld’s development team ensures that every UWorld-written question strictly adheres to the same guidelines the NCBE follows when writing questions for the actual MBE. Take this one, for example:”
Here, we’ve got a Civ Pro question from the Jurisdiction and Venue chapter (expect to see around 5-6 questions like this on exam day).
What really makes the UWorld MBE QBank stand apart from other bar prep products are our detailed explanations. We believe that it isn’t enough just to see Civ Pro questions that accurately depict what you’ll see on the MBE. We also give you concise yet thorough explanations of the correct answer choice and each incorrect answer choice, so you’ll be ready to enter the ring on exam day:
We hope you’re feeling loose and ready to go toe-to-toe with the newest heavyweight in town, MBE Civil Procedure. If you like what you see, sign up for a free trial of UWorld’s MBE Prep. Remember—if you want to enter the ring with the best, you’ve got to train with the best. And we’d be thrilled to be in your corner.