About the FYLSE

More information about the FYLSE or Baby Bar.   Next FYLSE is October 22, 2013.

Some call it the “Baby Bar.” But the First Year Law Students Exam or “FYLSE” is anything but a “baby” exam. Nothing “baby” about it.  The FYLSE is a rigorous regulatory exam administered by the State Bar of California.

The FYLSE is offered twice annually in June and October.  This “baby” bar exam includes a longer single testing day than any one day of the California bar exam as there are seven hours of testing: 4 one-hour essays and three hours of 100 multiple choice questions. This is very different from law school.  In law school you go in to take a Torts final, and you know you will have a Torts essay exam.  Here, you go in and you may first be presented any one of these subjects, Torts, Contracts, and Criminal Law.  You don’t know which one you will see first, nor do you know which will be repeated.  (There is one essay in each of the subjects and one is repeated, so you have a total of 4 essays in 4 hours.)  When exams are not labeled by subject, you need a strategy to identify the subject, organize and issue spot the main topics in that subject generally and of course the specific issues in each question, and then answer each thoroughly, stating the law correctly and providing a thorough factual analysis, all within one hour per exam.  Time management as well as essay writing skills and mastery of the substantive law are critical.  Practice is key.  You must dig in and get started.

People sometimes resent taking the FYLSE but that is a waste of time.  Do not go there.  Just plan, get into a reliable review and study program, and get practicing.  It is a gift to be able to take the FYLSE as it lays an amazing foundation for success on the bar exam at the end of law school.  In fact, students from traditional law schools who do not need to take the FYLSE might want to take the FYLSE, even as 3Ls, as training for the bar exam.  Taking PASS the FYLSE also serves as a superb “orientation” for bar training.

The FYLSE is a comprehensive exam on three subjects: contracts, torts, and criminal law.  This is a tough test. It is also a long day of testing so you must build stamina and get used to writing for 4 hours and focusing for 4 hour blocks.  This means putting your cell phones away, consecrating uninterrupted time blocks.

(Learn more about the FYLSE on the State Bar of California website.)