Property: What You Need to Know for the Bar Exam

Property can feel like one of the more difficult subjects on the bar exam. There are a lot of testable issues. But the reality is not that bad — on the MBE, there are really just a couple of meaty issues that are tested most frequently.

Moreover, the estate system doesn't come up that much (phew).

The two heavily-tested areas.

So where do you need to focus? Landlord-tenant and real estate issues, specifically land sale contracts and mortgages.

These two areas are the meat of Property questions on the MBE, largely because they present the most testable issues and nuances. But you can use that to your advantage by doubling down on your studying in these areas.

This doesn't mean you can ignore the rest of Property issues.

Does this mean you should ignore other Property issues like the estate system? Of course not. You'll definitely see other issues tested, most notably easements and a little adverse possession. You may see a couple of estate system questions. But not as many as you'll see concerning the priority of recorded interests in land. 

Property blends with other issues.

The other thing to know about Property on the MBE is that it can come up either mixed with or disguised as other subjects. For example, Trusts, Wills, & Estates is not an MBE subject, but you'll see it on the MBE in the context of a Property question. This is helpful to know because MBE questions aren't identified by subject — they're all mixed together — so if you see something that appears like a Wills/Trusts/Estates issue, it's likely Property.

Property also can appear disguised or mixed in as a Contracts question and sometimes Torts, although most of the time with Torts it's the other way around — the question appears as Property but it ends up being a Torts issue (e.g., defense of property).

Your takeaway.

The takeaway is twofold: focus on land sale contracts and conveyances and landlord tenant issues. These are the heart of what is tested in Property on the MBE. And don't be surprised if you see other subjects that are mixed in with Property.

YOU CAN PASS THE BAR EXAM. CRITICAL PASS CAN GET YOU THERE.

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