Passing the Bar board game: a not-so-trivial pursuit

I am very happy to announce the Barry Law Library’s latest acquisition, donated by Steve Kessel, Barry University School of Law’s dedicated Director of Academic Success.

Thanks to him, we can now offer our students Passing the Bar: A Game of Legal Reasoning, a board game that includes multiple-choice trivia questions from former bar exams, provided by the National Conference of Bar Examiners.  Up to six people can play at a time, but the game’s creators (P&R Educational Games) recommend two to four are ideal.

The game board looks familiar at first glance, because it is set up similarly to Monopoly or Trivial Pursuit.  Players must advance around the board to be the first to get to the Admission Ceremony in the middle, “passing the Bar” and winning the game.  Players have two minutes to answer a question, and yes, a timer is included to keep things moving along. The backs of the cards include detailed explanations of the correct answer, so players can learn exactly why they got a question right or wrong.

The game comes with 350 cards with questions covering the six major MBE subject areas: Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Evidence, Real Property, Torts, as well as Professional Responsibility, for you MPRE takers.  There are also “Justice” cards that cover lighter topics like celebrity run-ins with the law, legal movie quotes, and outrageous verdicts.

We also have a separate expansion pack for students to check out, with 450 additional multiple-choice questions covering Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Evidence, Real Property, and Torts, all taken from former bar exams and released by the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

Needless to say, this could be a fun way to blow off steam, compete for bragging rights, and study for classes, as well as for the Bar Exam (although we recommend this game for current students, as recent alumni should stick to the Bar Prep schedule).  Students who check out the game from our Circulation Desk wouldn’t even have to play — they could just drill through the practice questions, either individually or with a small study group.  However, playing the game is probably the most entertaining way to study.

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Passing the Bar is part of our Reserve collection, which means it will always be held behind the Circulation Desk, where our study aids and supplements are kept.  It may be checked out for up to four hours at a time, and may not be taken out of the Library.  We ask that all students keep the cards and game pieces together, as the game will be ruined for everyone if its necessary components are damaged or lost.  (And yes, when you return it, we will check to make sure everything is there!)

Steve Kessel and I were brainstorming about possibly creating a Passing the Bar tournament, depending on how popular the game becomes, with fabulous prizes for the winners.  But for now, check it out with your study group (or make some new friends), and have fun learning!

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Special thanks to our models, Barry Law students Rebeca Morales, Curran Ford, and Bianca “Mia” Mota!

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