Take Courses that will Help You Professionally:
Now that your required courses are done, you should take advantage of the courses your school offers in the areas in which you think you will practice. If you intend to litigate in New York State Courts, New York Practice is a must. If you plan on being an environmental lawyer, now’s your chance to take Environmental Law. If you’re going into Trusts and Estates, take on an advanced tax course. Remember too that clinics, while requiring you to commit more time than the average class, will be incredibly beneficial, helping you to build your practical and personal legal skills in ways that other courses can’t.
Take an Introduction to the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE):
Many schools offer courses to graduating 3Ls that are designed to introduce students to both the substantive law covered on the UBE, as well as the skills required for success on each of its components. These courses are typically offered for three (and sometimes four) credits and provide you with an opportunity, not to mention a legitimate incentive in the form of grades, to start digging back into material that you learned as a first year and will need to know cold by the end of July. You’ll also have a leg-up on some students who will be writing their first practice essays and MPTs in June, an advantage you will be grateful for as bar exam pass rates trend downward nationwide.
Take Courses in Subjects Tested on the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE):
The MEE consists of six essays and accounts for 30% of your score on the UBE. Three of the six essays are likely to be based on the seven “Multistate” subjects tested on the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE). Odds are you took courses in those subjects during your first two years of school: Contracts, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, Federal Civil Procedure, Real Property, and Torts. The remaining three essays will be in any of the following subjects: Agency, Partnership, Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, Conflict of Laws, Family Law, Decedents’ Estates (Wills), Trusts, Future Interests, and UCC Article 9. If you have the opportunity to take a course in any of these subjects (particularly a courses in Corporations and LLCs, Family Law, Wills, Trusts, and Article 9), you’ll breeze through that material in your bar review course instead of having to roll up your sleeves and learn something new (a reality for most bar review students) when your time is most precious.
What if you have to choose between a law school course that will help you professionally, like New York Practice, and a course that will help you on the bar exam, like family law? Take the course that will help you professionally. It’s the last time you’ll have the opportunity to study material that could impact your entire career, so take advantage of it. You’ll be able to learn what you need for the UBE in bar review.
No matter what, you want to make sure you’re taking courses for a reason and not just picking courses so that you have an easier schedule. Next year will be a whole new frontier and you’ll want to do whatever you can to help open doors to new opportunities.
Good luck (and choose wisely)!