Study Resources - Example Ten-point Answers to Virginia Essay Questions

The Virginia Board of Bar Examiners does not develop or publish "model answers" to the Virginia essay questions, and the Board does not approve or endorse any purported "model answers" published by law school professors or others. Instead, the Board compiles points and authorities and develops a grading guideline identifying the essential elements that the Board believes should be covered in a good answer to each particular essay question.

The Board does not require a "perfect" answer. The Board expects a good answer to recognize the issues involved, to set out the law applicable to those issues, to analyze the facts of the question, to identify the facts relevant to the issues, to apply the law to those relevant facts, and to reach a conclusion consistent with the analysis. Of course, all of that identification, analysis, and application must be effectively communicated to the grader. Thus, more than just legal knowledge, the Virginia essay questions test one's ability to use and apply the skills that are essential to every lawyer.

To provide some examples of good answers, the Board will from time to time reprint actual answers that have received a score of 10 points (i.e., the highest score possible on any one answer).

February 2016 Example Answers

The following is an essay question that appeared on the February 2016 Virginia bar examination, followed by two answers, each of which received a grade of 10 points.

February 2016 Example Ten-point Answers to Virginia Essay Questions

The following is another essay question that appeared on the February 2016 Virginia bar examination, followed by two answers, each of which received a grade of 10 points.

February 2016 Example Ten-point Answers to Virginia Essay Questions

The following is another essay question that appeared on the February 2016 Virginia bar examination, followed by two answers, each of which received a grade of 10 points.

February 2016 Example Ten-point Answers to Virginia Essay Questions

July 2015 Example Answers

The following is an essay question that appeared on the July 2015 Virginia bar examination, followed by two answers, each of which received a grade of 10 points.

July 2015 Example Ten-point Answers to Virginia Essay Questions

The following is another essay question that appeared on the July 2015 Virginia bar examination, followed by two answers, each of which received a grade of 10 points.

July 2015 Example Ten-point Answers to Virginia Essay Questions

The following is another essay question that appeared on the July 2015 Virginia bar examination, followed by two answers, each of which received a grade of 10 points.

July 2015 Example Ten-point Answers to Virginia Essay Questions

The following is another essay question that appeared on the July 2015 Virginia bar examination, followed by two answers, each of which received a grade of 10 points.

July 2015 Example Ten-point Answers to Virginia Essay Questions

February 2015 Example Answers

The following is an essay question that appeared on the February 2015 Virginia bar examination, followed by two answers, each of which received a grade of 10 points.

February 2015 Example Ten-point Answers to Virginia Essay Questions

July 2014 Example Answers

The following is an essay question that appeared on the July 2014 Virginia bar examination, followed by two answers, each of which received a grade of 10 points.

July 2014 Example Ten-point Answers to Virginia Essay Questions

February 2014 Example Answers

The following is an essay question that appeared on the February 2014 Virginia bar examination, followed by two answers, each of which received a grade of 10 points.

February 2014 First Example Ten-point Answers to Virginia Essay Questions
The following is another essay question that appeared on the February 2014 Virginia bar examination, followed by three answers, each of which received a grade of 10 points.

February 2014 Second Example Ten-point Answers to Virginia Essay Questions

July 2013 Example Answers

Another example is an essay question from the July 2013 examination followed by three answers, each of which received a grade of 10 points. These are examples of answers that, while not "perfect," are very good and deserving of the highest grade. These answers have not been edited in any way to correct misspellings or grammatical errors.

July 2013 Example Ten-point Answers to Virginia Essay Questions

February 2013 Example Answers

For example, the following is an essay question that appeared on the February 2013 Virginia bar examination, followed by two answers, each of which received a grade of 10 points. You will probably notice that neither is a "perfect" answer. You may even be able to argue that one is better than the other. However, each answer identified the essential issues, discussed the applicable law (e.g., elements of a valid gift), and applied the law to relevant facts. These answers have not been edited in any way to correct misspellings or grammatical errors.

February 2013 Example Ten-point Answers to Virginia Essay Questions