MEE Practice: Short Answer Method

Practice More MEE Questions By Using The Short Answer Method!

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There is only so much time you have to study for the Bar Exam.  As we have said time and time again, Time Management and Efficient Studying are keys to passing this most dreaded test.  The Short Answer Method allows you to maximize your time and efficiently prepare for the Multistate Essay Examination.

The Short Answer Method is designed to allow you to quickly assess if you know the applicable law and are correctly applying that law to the facts of the essay question.

First, you need to have sample essays to prepare from.  The good news is your bar prep course should offer more than you will ever need.  However, if you are not enrolled in a bar prep course and would like some free essay questions or just want more practice, please see are free resources article here:  Free Study Resources, Including Essays

Second, you are not going to write the answer to any practice question, you are only going to issue spot and write a short answer.  Here is an example:

Sample Question

Paul signs a contract with DMC Corporation to buy a copier that costs $ 10,000  to be delivered in one month and an additional $ 2,000 for the copier to be installed.  Paul pays $ 12,000 to DMC at the signing of the contract.  Two weeks after signing the contract, DMC tells Paul they made a mistake and the copier should have cost $ 15,000 and $ 4,000 for installation.  DMC also tells Paul if he does not pay the additional $ 7,000, DMC will go out of business and Paul will not only never get the copier, but would lose the $12,000 already paid.  Paul agrees to pay the additional $ 7,000, but will only pay the additional $ 7,000 once the copier is installed.  DMC delivers the copier two weeks later and installs it.  Paul never pays the additional $ 7,000.  DMC sues Paul for the additional $ 7,000.

  1.  Does DMC get the additional $ 5,000 from Paul for the copier?  Explain.
  2.  Does DMC get the additional $ 2,000 from Paul for installing the copier?  Explain.

Short Answer Method

Once you have read the question, you need to come up with your answer rubric.  Here is our example:

  1.  Is there a contract?  Offer + Acceptance + Consideration = Contract.  DMC offers copier and installation, Paul accepts, consideration $ 12,000, copier and installation. Original Contract appears valid and is a bilateral contract.
  2. Applicable law:  UCC or Common.  Contract is mixed as copier is good but installation is service.  Split the contract, both laws apply to respective portions.
  3. Contract Modification:  Rescission, Modification, Accord & Satisfaction?  Unilateral rescission by DMC, not allowed no illegality, mistake, or impossibility.  Modification, technically yes, but may not be valid.  Accord & Satisfaction, no.  Was there valid consideration to change of contact?  UCC allows for no new consideration needed to be offered by DMC, but then modification must be in “good-faith”.  Common law requires new consideration.  Probably Paul has to pay additional $ 5,000 for copier but not the added $ 2,000 for installation.
  4. Defenses: Paul argues economic duress as a defense to contract modification due to potential loss of deposit.  Paul could have bought a copier elsewhere and sued for damages, therefore modification is valid if meets all other requirements “good-faith”.  DMC argues unjust enrichment and impossibility.
  5. Answer:  DMC does get the additional $ 5,000 as long as the court finds DMC modified the contract in “good faith”.  DMC does not get the additional $ 2,000 as there was no additional consideration given by DMC to Paul.

We hope you see what the Short Answer Method accomplishes.  Using this method, you are spotting issues, determining applicable law, applying the law to the facts, and determining a result.  Once you read the model answer, you can tell based upon the Short Answer Method rubric whether you would have answered the question correctly and gotten the most points without having to write a full answer.  Instead of spending time writing 2 pages, you are writing less than half a page that allows you to accurately check your answer, determine any mistakes, and adequately assess whether you answered the question properly.

If you were to complete this practice question as if it was a real Bar Exam MEE question, it would take you 30 minutes and over 2 pages.  By using the Short Answer Method, answering this question should only take half that time allowing you to practice more.   We hope the Short Answer Method helps you prepare for and pass the Bar Exam.  We know bar preparation time is precious and believe this method will allow you use that time wisely and efficiently.

As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask in the forum and we will do our best to help.  Good Luck!