Michigan Bar Exam Appeals & Tutoring      

James Makowski
Makowski Legal Group, PLC

     We have been successfully processing Michigan Bar Exam appeals since the late 1990's, and have worked on well over a 150 Michigan Bar Exam appeals.  We have the experience but don't over charge like other appeal writers.  You have put in many years and a lot of money to become an attorney.  We want to see you reach the goal you deserve.  To that end, our Appeals are priced as follows:  One point - $2,000; Two points - $2,400; etc. (just add $400 for every point beyond the initial $2,000).

    Michigan Bar Exam Appeals
     For those who do not get a 135 combined average score or higher on the Michigan Bar Exam, the Michigan State Board of Law Examiners will send you a letter stating that you did not pass and what was your combined score.  These individuals can "appeal" their score.   From those answers, individual briefs can be written on any question that scored less than a perfect 10. 
    This is where our many years of expertise, talent and experience come into play.  We did not learn the bar exam appeal process by failing the bar.  We learned the nuances of bar exam appeals from Judge and Professor Joseph Slaven who is the current author of the Book of Nines and Tens and former bar exam partner to Professor Patrick Keenan, who had been doing Bar Exam Appeals for nearly thirty years.   Working with him gave us the experience that honed our bar exam appeal style along with the 30 years of knowledge passed on to us.   
     Time is of the essence in doing Michigan bar exam appeals.  There is a strict deadline that must be adhered to fully.  The first step one must take is to request your bluebooks from the exam.  As soon as you get them, make copies of the written answers.  Then type each answer out (as it was originally written, spelling and grammatical errors included).  There are many advantages to typing your own answers out.  First, it allows you the chance to refresh your recollection, which will prove invaluable when we ask you specifics about a particular question.  Two, it save you time and costs, as these typed versions must accompany your briefs on appeal anyway.  Finally, it is the best way of reviewing your answers for substance without any potential handwritting bias or difficulty.   Don't be fooled by any practioner who claims to do appeals who doesn't even pre-read your answers.  This initial analysis is the key to making a proper and intelligent decision regarding your Michigan Bar Exam appeal.
    While there are others who claim to do these appeals, the real difference is that we have the time, years of experience, know-how and proven success rate.  Experience is the key to Michigan Bar Exam appeal success.  Be careful of anyone who simply tells you that your score is in the "appealable range."  In our free initial consultation, we will read your exam answers meticulously and then send you a breakdown of how many points you potentially could seek on an appeal.  This is the kind of information you need about your essay answers so that you can make an informed decision based upon a better understanding of your realistic appeal chances.  This means breaking your answers down for you in realistic terms with regard to appeal success.  Since we began writing bar exam appeals, we have tracked every appeal and the briefs that were submitted in order to quantify and more deeply understand the nuances that made them successful in receiving additional points upon re-scoring. 
    From this deepth of knowledge, we can tell which of your answers are and are not appeal worthy.  This tracking and analysis also allows us to know our success rate.  To date, we have worked on a total of 153 Bar Exam appeals in the state of Michigan, with 91.5% (140/153) being successful and the candidates being sworn in as new attorneys.    We have gotten candidates anywhere from 1 to 13 points on appeal.  In fact, our success in the field of Bar Exam Appeals has been so solid that others have even copied this very website, even the domain name and every variation of it, as a basis for their own. 
    Armed with the knowledge you truly need in this situation, if you choose to proceed, your appeal package will be drafted, created and submitted to the Board of Law Examiners.  We know exactly what a successful appeal looks like and how to create it.  It includes extensive research of the Exam Questions and Model Answers.  Our research for any appeal begins the day after that test was administered and is continually compiled and updated throughout the appellate process.  With each new draft and re-draft, extensive editing is conducted by our appeal staff which includes outside legal minds who review it for substantive legal issues and arumentation, as well as, by a non-legal writer who reviews it based on grammar, persuasiveness, and style.  All of this effort, culiminates in an appeal package that most persuasively and articulately says, "This candidate deserves to become a member of the Michigan Bar!"  The response to such an appeal has typically (91.5% of the time) been, "Yes, we agree." 
        Any persons wishing to discuss the possibility of perfecting an appeal of their exam, whether on your own or through our office, please contact us for a free initial consultation.  Keep in mind that past results are no guarantee and appeals, like every legal matter, include a risk of not being successful. Yet, the benefits of having your Michigan bar exam appeal done by a professional include:  not having to spend over 60+ hours researching, analyzing, drafting and editing your own appeal (although it is quite a good learning experience); getting to practice law now instead of in 6 months and the potential income increase to go with it; and, most importantly, not having to go through the rigors of all that studying again and taking the test once more.  Most candidates have worked hard through college, then law school, then preparing for the Bar Exam ...... finality, in the form of a passing score, starts you on the path of your legal career.
Bar Exam Tutoring and Preparation
    As for Bar Exam tutoring, we do more than just show you the basic and necessary strategies of essay writing for the bar.  What sets us apart from other "tutors" is that we truly understand, teach and know the substantive material (and practice in the majority of these legal areas).  We can bring you to a higher level of confidence and competency.  Writing gimmicks alone will not get you a passing score.  We will show you how to gain both the substantive knowledge coupled with the writing skills that will help you pass the bar.  Our tutoring sessions are not some generic package.  In fact, we have developed strategies like, the "issue string," which have even been recognized and cited to by others in this field.  The key is to find the methodology that makes you the most competent and confident going into that exam.  That is exactly why we tailor sessions to fit your way of learning and understanding.  This personalized tutoring strategy has lead to a near perfect pass rate for our tutoring clients.  These same strategies have also proven 100% successful in our MPRE tutoring.
     For those people who are studying on their own and who are interested in ordering past Michigan Bar Exams (Essay portions), please contact us.  We can provide them by Testing Date (Feb/July, Year) or by subject matter (i.e. torts, sales, etc).  These will give you a perfect idea of what actual questions look like, how topics are tested, along with actual model answers to the problems which will give you the ability to practice essay questions and get direct feedback.
Our rates for appeals, helping you write your own appeal and tutoring are fair, reasonable and worth the chance of not having to take the exam again!

The Michigan Bar Exam Process

     The Bar Exam is a tough and grueling task.  In Michigan, the Bar Exam is a two day, test taking extravaganza.  It requires test takers to sit for the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) which consists of 200 multiple choice questions developed by the National Conference of Bar Examiners.   Six hours is given to complete the exam.

  The MBE topics that are tested are as follows:

  • Contracts/UCC Article 2                   
  •  Torts                    
  • Criminal Law                                                 
  • Criminal Procedure                                                                                   
  •  Real Property/Future Interests                 
  • Constitutional Law          
  • Evidence               
  • Civil Procedure     
      The other day of the Michigan exam requires candidates to read and answer 15 essay questions with 5 hours given to complete the exam.  The topics tested on the essay portion of the Michigan Bar Exam are as follows:
  • conflicts of laws
  • constitutional law 
  • contracts, including UCC Article 2 sales 
  • corporations, partnerships, and agency (business associations)
  • creditors’ rights, including mortgages, garnishments, and attachments (property security, state debtor-creditor law) 
  • criminal law and procedure
  • domestic relations (family law)
  • equity (remedies)
  • evidence 
  • practice and procedure, trial and appellate (Michigan and federal)
  • professional conduct (Michigan)
  • property, real and personal 
  • torts, including no-fault
  • Uniform Commercial Code Articles 1 (general provisions), 2 (sales), 3 (negotiable instruments), 9 (secured transactions) 
  • wills and trusts
  • worker’s compensation

           As of the February 2009 Michigan Bar Exam, the new rule for passing is that there is no way to "multistate out" to pass.  Both the MBE and Essay portions WILL be graded and count towards an examinees composite score. The essay portion is graded with each individual essay getting anywhere from zero to ten points.  This final tally of all 15 essays is then multipled by the standard deviation for the exam, which will vary from exam to exam but will be no lower than 1.333, then added to one's MBE score and the resulting sum divided by 2.  If that final number is 135 or higher, then the candidate passes.  Recently (July 2014), the Examiners have been "scaling" the essay score.  Additionally, candidates must also meet all the requirements of character and fitness and have passed the MPRE exam. 

    Good Luck on your exams!


    Tip the scales of justice in your favor!
    For more information on Michigan Bar Exam Appeals, Tutoring, or Past Essay Exams or simply Exam Test Taking Skills, please contact us.