The New MBE-Centric California Baby Bar

The New MBE-Centric California Baby Bar

Today’s decision by the California bar to modify the baby bar test format with minimal notice has sparked significant discourse. (As background, The First-Year Law Students’ Examination (FYLSX), or “Baby Bar” primarily given to law students completing their first year of law at an unaccredited school (including law office study).

Historically, academia has endeavored to acknowledge and mitigate implicit bias, fostering an environment that values diversity. This effort has led to a transformation in thought processes, particularly in pedagogical approaches. However, the introduction of a standardized MBE-only test format by the California bar raises concern over its impact on diversity, particularly affecting individuals of color and other marginalized groups.

I have been a professor of law for longer than twenty-five years. I am required to engage in regular bias training, and I can’t remember the last professional development series that did not include implicit bias and bias training. Personally, I have learned so much from this training and I am grateful to understand it. (Says the white privileged.) On this level, I am hard-pressed to explain the rationale of a system that touts its dedication to inclusiveness on the one hand and scowls at the disparate impact on the other hand. What a shame, as I thought we were moving past this sort of stuff.

How do I Prepare for the MBE-Centric Baby Bar?

Fleming's Fundamentals of Law is Still the Right Choice!

Learning the rules and elements as well as how facts are applied to each element are critical factors in your success. These skills are critical to those taking the Baby Bar and for 1st year law students at accredited law schools, which is why schools use our Baby Bar course to train 1L students!

We plan to run our Baby Bar Workshop the same as we have done in the past. Our system is tried and true - just ask our previous students. Students will be assigned MBE homework just as they will be assigned essay homework. Trust me, if you can write a solid essay the way we teach you to write, you can apply that thought process to the MBE. This stuff goes hand in hand.

Let’s get to work hammering out the substantive law!

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