Writing For The Bar ExamJune 01, 2012
Law School Alumni Co-Author Bar Preparation Guide
Andrew P. Connors, Esq., and Cherie A. Washburn, Esq., 2010 Liberty University School of Law alumni, recently co-authored a paperback publication entitled Writing for the Bar Exam (CreateSpace, 2011). The 98-page guide offers essay-writing assistance to law school graduates preparing to take the bar examination.
After earning his Juris Doctorate degree, Connors set
out to study for the Virginia bar exam. After enduring
months of study and passing the exam, he began to
consider how he might help others learn the mechanics
of writing a good essay. After talking with fellow class-
mates and his eventual co-author, he discovered that
they were generally satisfied with the comprehensive
reviews provided by their respective programs, but they
saw so me room for improvement. "From our perspec-
tive, we found essay writing to be severely lacking in
the review material,” according to Connors. “Both of
our programs required us to write practice essays,
but often left us with puzzling and incomplete
answers to compare with our work.”
Connors and Washburn’s book is not just another bar prep tool – it is an all-inclusive series of lessons and examples (straight from the authors’ own experiences) that gives the reader a clear, concise, and effective direction for writing essays. “Certainly, the traditional programs provide students with a good review of the substantive material and help them use
their time wisely, but these programs do not really detail the mechanics of good essay writing. That is where our book comes in,” said Connors.
For Connors and Washburn, merely knowing the law was not enough. They knew that to succeed on the bar, one must be able to communicate what they know. It was a determination to find answers to specific questions:
Did we understand the question(s) asked on the bar exam? Did we accurately and appropriately address the issue? Did we apply the facts to the law accurately? Was our grammar, syntax, and persuasive writing conveyed completely? Did we come to the right conclusion?
These and other questions became the foundation for their project.
Writing For The Bar Exam focuses on the overlooked skill of essay writing with a detailed methodology and a variety of illustrations. According to Connors and Washburn, “This book fills a much needed gap in the bar preparation experience.”
Connors and Washburn were successful in passing the bar exam and both are licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Connors is concluding his second year as a judicial law clerk to the Hon. William G. Petty at the Court of Appeals of Virginia and in August he will join The Creekmore Law Firm in Blacksburg, Virginia. Washburn is currently an Assistant Commonwealth Attorney for the County of Appomattox.