July 16, 2005
Looking for used bar exam questions? Here are a few ... including sample answers! Some of these may be useful for displaying to current students who are still trying to figure out what a good answer reads like.
Arkansas: The Arkansas Board has provided "top" answers. The disclaimer suggests that you ought to tinker with the answers before presenting them to students as models: "… many papers may have significant deficiencies in style, draftsmanship and organization. Indeed, some may fail to recognize issues and may have reached erroneous legal conclusions. ... These papers are not perfect papers but are examples of the better papers. They should be used merely as one of many guidelines in preparing for the examination."
Maryland: The Maryland Board presents similar advice. The "Representative Good Answers" included after each question are neither average passing answers nor are they necessarily answers which received a perfect score; they are responses which, in the Board’s view, illustrate successful answers. Maryland includes the State Board's "analysis." This consists of a discussion of the principal legal and factual issues raised by a question. The Board explains that its analysis is neither a model answer, nor does it include an exhaustive listing of all possible legal issues suggested by the facts of the question.
Minnesota: Interestingly, Minnesota's site does not include a similar disclaimer. The Board has posted questions and "representative good answers."
About disclaimers: I intend to adopt all the disclaimers I can find when presenting students with a list of issues or a sample answer. For a sample of an all-inclusive disclaimer, with tongue firmly pressing against the inside of the cheek, visit . (djt)
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