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GreysAnatomy

What law school courses did you find helpful for the bar?

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12 minutes ago, GreysAnatomy said:

Wills and estates? Professional responsibility? Corporate finance? Real estate? Employment?

There are no law school courses that are helpful for the bar. Period. Do not waste your time trying to get a heads up on the bar by taking a course you've no interest in. Take classes that interest you. Many students realize retrospectively that they wasted their time taking a "bar-related" class. I have never, ever, heard anyone say "phew, sure glad I took Real Estate else I'd have goofed". As an example, I took zero courses related to the Solicitor exam. Yet, I passed the Solicitor. I can't tell you why or how because I don't know and nobody does, but the point is that I was fine. And I'm glad I didn't waste time taking something I cared little about.

Just to repeat for emphasis: there are zero law school courses that will assist you in writing the bar exam

Don't even bother worrying about the bar exam until you've graduated. But, if you just can't help yourself, you won't do yourself any damage by familiarizing yourself with the Rules of Professional Conduct. 

Edited by FineCanadianFXs
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The bar's not that hard. It's unpleasant, but it's not substantively difficult. E.g. You don't need to understand real estate law to pass the real estate section.

IMHO, the best way to prep for the bar is to plan your time wisely, read the material to understand it, and leave time to do as many practice exams as you can. 

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7 hours ago, GreysAnatomy said:

Wills and estates? Professional responsibility? Corporate finance? Real estate? Employment?

While I'm sure for the posters above and their friends there were zero law school courses that assisted with the bar, that definitely was not the case for me.  Having taken real estate, family law, wills and estates, and commercial law in law school, getting through that material was a lot easier. Real estate, family law, and wills and estates were entire sections on their own on the bar. Commercial law was a chapter in business law. Knowing this material from law school made it easier to understand on the bar and allowed me to devote more time to sections/chapters I did not know.

That being said, the degree to which taking a course in law school will assist with the bar depends on who is teaching the course in your respective school. If it is a good professor and you have some general interest in the subject matter, no harm in taking it.

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All of the black letter law courses were useful. My bar course had a big section on the PPSA so secured transactions was useful. Aside from criminal law nothing in the federal jurisdiction was tested in my experience except tax with respect to real estate. So no income tax, GST/HST, aboriginal, JRs, that sort of thing.

There's prep courses for the bar. Take those and you'll do fine, especially if you've taken all of the fundamental stuff (first year covers a lot of it anyway). The bar exam is pass/fail and completely study-able. I didn't take any family law in law school, but the prep course gave me the crash course in stuff like the child support guidelines and whatnot.

Then again I'm not an Ontario lawyer. If you want province-specific information ask around at the faculty.

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I think the key takeaway is that the bar exam (Ontario) is different for everyone. Some people say you MUST read the material at least X times, some say you MUST take X number of practice tests, some say you MUST use an outline, some say you MUST take a prep course or take the courses in law school... while others will disagree with some/all of those statements. 

Me: Read the materials once (but really in-depth, made sure I understood things, made little notes etc.), did 0 practice tests, didn't bother to make or use an outline (I used the detailed table of contents), didn't take a prep course, and didn't take some of the courses in law school. I passed both exams first try.

 

So it is different for everyone! Do what feels best for you. It might help, it might not. 

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I thought that corporate tax was helpful. But I tend to agree that there's not much you can do to prepare for the bar exams until you get the materials in the spring.

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