Memorizing Law for the Bar Exam: Pieper Bar Review's Mnemonics

September 25 2019 Courses By Pieper Bar Review
Pieper Bar Review's Mnemonics

No studying technique is wrong if it helps you pass the bar exam. After all, that’s your ultimate goal, right?

Students need to pull snippets from their hundreds of hours of studying in a flash, and that’s not easy.

As part of its bar review course, Pieper introduces mnemonic devices to students that help memorize complex laws and concepts. These may appear nonsensical at first glance, but they work.

What are mnemonics?

Mnemonics are memory tools, patterns, rhymes, groupings, or acronyms that help people understand an important or complex concept.

Though mnemonics often seem arbitrary, their nonsensical wording is what can make them so memorable.

Common mnemonics:

  • HOMES for the names of the Great Lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior
  • ROY G BIV for the colors of the rainbow: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet
  • PEMDAS, or Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally, for the order of operations (Algebra): Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction

Why does Pieper rely on mnemonics?

Pieper builds mnemonics into its bar course for a simple reason: Mnemonics work. With the sheer amount of material you’re asked to know—as experts—prior to sitting down for the bar, every trick helps, especially this one.

Mnemonics work for three key reasons:

1. They liven up material by giving it a memorable association. For example, you’ll never forget that a FIGS MAN commits homicide. (See below!)

2. Mnemonics help you recall essential elements. For example, what are the elements of a contract? TACO.

T - definite Terms (express or implied)

A - Acceptance of the terms

C - Consideration

O - an Offer that invites an acceptance

Your brain builds the connection between contract and TACO, making the information quickly retrievable.

3. Mnemonics are more vivid. When you encounter the words that make up the mnemonic in the real world, it becomes extra review. Taco Tuesday might as well become Contract Tuesday.

What are some Pieper Bar Review Mnemonic Devices?

Here are just a few criminal law mnemonics that you’ll remember for the bar and your law career beyond:

CRIM K* is a criminal’s state of mind (mens rea)

Criminally negligent





FIGS MAN* commits homicide

Felony murder

Intentional murder

G - Defendant’s conduct created a Grave risk of death. Defendant was aware of the risk and consciously disregarded it displaying a depraved indifference to the victim’s life.

MAN - Manslaughter, voluntary or involuntary

BRAKERS* can commit felony murder but not in a LAB





Escape from police custody after arrest


S - criminal Sexual act




BACH’S PIES* allow warrantless searches

Border searches

Automobile searches


Hot pursuit

School searches

Plain view searches

I - searches Incident to arrest

Emergency searches, Exigent circumstances

Street encounters

A FAR* seizure is constitutional

F - stop and Frisk requiring reasonable suspicion

A - stop and Arrest requiring probable cause

R - stop and Request requiring an articulable basis


A CUB* can’t be sentenced to death for felony murder

C - didn’t Commit, command or request the homicide

U - was Unarmed with a deadly instrument or substance readily capable of causing death or serious injury

B - had no reason to Believe a co-conspirator was armed or intended to engage in conduct likely to result in death

*Pieper Bar Review Mnemonic Devices are copyright of © Pieper Bar Review 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. 

How Pieper Can Help

Pieper’s Full Bar Review course includes more lecture hours than any other bar review (150+ hours) because the Piepers—John and his sons, Damian and Troy—understand that first and foremost, a comprehension of substantive law is essential to bar exam success. Therefore, the course is designed to actually teach the law, rather than simply review it. Registration for the Full Bar Review course also grants you access to more than 1,500 practice Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) questions, in addition to the popular Question of the Day, which is delivered to your inbox each morning.

The Pieper Difference

With the Pieper family's more than 40 years of expertise, the most lecture hours of any bar review course, and more than 1,500 pages of outlines, Pieper’s Full Bar Review Course delivers all the substantive law you’ll need to pass the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE), along with the strategies for mastering multiple-choice questions and maximizing your scores on the MBE, Multistate Essay Examination (MEE) and Multistate Performance Test (MPT). Register Today to begin your journey toward bar exam success!

About the author

Pieper Bar Review

For over forty years, Pieper Bar Review has taught students the legal concepts and skills necessary for success on the bar exam, and reinforced students’ knowledge through thought provoking examples and bar exam questions. The proof that the Pieper teaching method works is found in the success of our former students – now present-day attorneys. Learn more

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