7. Tips for Multistate Essay Examination (“MEE”)

What is MEE?

  • MEE is a 3-hour, 6-question essay exam
  • MEE carries 30% weight of the whole Bar Exam
  • Examinable topics:-
    • All the 7 MBE topics (see Post #6 for details)
    • Secured Transactions
    • Business Associations (Agency, Partnership & Corporation)
    • Conflict of laws
    • Family law
    • Trusts and Estates

What type of questions appear in MEE?

  • Each MEE question first provides you with a factual scenario similar to that appears in MBE
  • In old days, MEE tends to be open-ended questions, but this is no longer the case now
  • Nowadays, MEE breaks down into distinctive, specific sub-questions
  • See following example questions for illustration (note that in actual MEE, the scenario will be much more lengthier):

Smith has put a big and colorful “Beware of Dog with sharp teeth – it always bites cruelly!!!” sign clearly posted around a fenced-in yard where he keeps the dog. One summer day, John (Smith’s neighbor) entered Smith’s fenced-in yard to retrieve a snow shovel that Smith had borrowed earlier in winter. John was attacked by Smith’s dog and was severely injured.”

John intends to sue Smith. Advise John.

Sub-question (a): In a strict liability action, is John likely to prevail?

Sub-question (b): In a negligence action, is John likely to prevail?


Tip 1: “I – R – A – C” Structure

  • Issue: mere restatement of the sub-question itself
  • Rule: state the rule completely – IN ANY EVENT:
    • No need to cite case law or legislation
    • Instead of exact wording of the rule, you may rephrase the rule by your own language as long as it reflects the substance of the rule
  • Analysis: apply the rule stated to the factual scenario and make argument
  • Conclusion: answer the sub-question directly

Tip 2: Elaborate the complete rule statement

  • Now, please expand “Sample answer to sub-question (a) / (b)” in the above for illustration
  • Yellow parts are the most crucial portions to answer the question
  • Green parts are relevant but less crucial portions of the rule statement
  • Marks will be counted to both the yellow and green parts in the marking scheme
  • The more you write, the more likely you will get some marks

Tip 3: Make assumption on the “missing facts”

  • Orange part makes your answer a high-flyer because you:
    • Identify what is missing but potentially relevant in the facts
    • Make a logical assumption based on limited facts
    • Proceed to legal reasoning based on your assumption
  • NCBE examiners intentionally create grey areas in the question, in order to test your ability to argue for both sides
  • Remember: there may not be a necessarily right or wrong answer – what matters the most is if you are able to argue logically

Final tips:

  • “Everything Bar Exam Value Pack” from NCBEX study aids (https://www.ncbex.org/study-aids/) provides all MEE past paper questions and marking scheme, so definitely please consider purchase it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • If you insist on free resources, New York Board of Examiners does upload essay questions with sample candidate answers (https://www.nybarexam.org/examquestions/examquestions.htm)
    • But I must emphasize again – NCBEX study aids really worth it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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