pencilsIn can never be too early to figure out what to take to the bar exam. Being prepared is a mental necessity and getting these details out of the way early can alleviate some of the stress. The California State Bar website will tell you exactly what you can and can’t bring into the exam center, so here is our summary and tips on what we feel is most important.

What to bring into the California bar exam room:

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Barry overwhelmedOur database contains 162 essays from the California Bar Exam going all the way back to July 2001 (with more essays added for each coming exam). That’s a lot of essays! Reviewing as many essays as possible can be the difference between a pass and a fail. Some fact patterns have been known to be repeated and the more you study from these essays and their corresponding answers, the more you get an understanding of what the bar examiners are looking for. Read More →

Male Law Student SurprisedThe first time we published our Bar Exam Essay Bloopers back in May of 2014, we had a lot of essays to go through to find those golden nuggets of comical student answers written under bar exam pressure. Since then we’ve been on the look-out for some more, but it seems that today’s law students have either become more serious or more careful. Whatever the case, we did find a few things that sparked a “wow!” Read More →

Brendan Inchoate-Crimes

Inchoate Crimes and Accomplice Liability, courtesy of Brendan Conley

I recently came across the most amazing bar exam flow charts I’ve ever seen. That’s the only way I can describe the free bar exam study materials on Brendan Conley’s bar exam website. When I first discovered his website, I downloaded each of his law outlines, diagrams and flow charts and was totally in awe of every one of them. Not only is the information interesting to look at, it’s also accurate and complete.

I love visuals, and had I discovered this material while I was studying for the bar exam, I would have printed my favorites on a color printer and put them up all around me for inspiration. These charts and outlines could also be used by law students studying for exams during school or just to help them better understand legal concepts.

Constitutional Law Threshold Issue State Actor Requirement

Constitutional Law Threshold Issue State Actor Requirement, courtesy of Brendan Conley

Brendan is an attorney who designed these amazing outlines for himself when he wrote the California Bar Exam in July 2006 which he passed. He offers all of his material completely free of charge. You can download or save any of the charts to be printed.

If you are finding your own law books and outlines too full of boring black text, don’t waste any time in downloading these colorful and informative guides. Bar exam studying will never be the same again!

Visit Brendan’s website and check out his review of our very own BarIssues database of essays and searchable issues on his blog.

elearning laptop

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An article in the Los Angeles Times reported that nearly 9 out of 10 law school students do not graduate from unaccredited law schools in California.

The article featured a former student of Northwestern California University School of Law (NWCU), my alma mater, discussing his experience with this online law school, “…almost from the start, the Marine Corps veteran struggled. He said he frequently asked for help, but got little. Less than two years later, he gave up.”

After reading more about this student, we find out that he had poor law school grades and dropped out after failing the Baby Bar twice: Read More →

girl on bed with laptop fdpHow on earth are you going to get through 3 full days of the bar exam without falling apart? If it’s your first time sitting for the bar, it’s impossible to predict how you are going to react to the mental task ahead. But, you can be well prepared by having a good routine in place that sets you up for success. I took the California bar exam twice, each time in Pasadena, thankfully passing the second one. My schedule was pretty much the same each time and I felt very assured and mentally prepared with each sitting. Here is my day-by-day routine of what I did from my first day of arrival to my final day of departure. Read More →

running with clockOne of the most common problems law students have when writing essays and performance tests on the bar exam is that they run out of time. Even though they know in advance that each California bar exam essay is 1 hour, and each performance test is 3 hours, students still don’t manage their time effectively on the bar exam. Why? And how can they fix this?

The answer is to practice your timing in advance with a timer app right on your computer screen. I will explain how I did this.  Read More →

coffee cupWhen you’re faced with three essay questions on the morning of the bar exam, how will you write them up?

Will you read all the questions first before you write or will you endure the surprise (or anguish!) of not knowing what to expect until you get to the next question. Will you rearrange the order of questions to suit your strengths or weaknesses? Hardest first? Easiest first?

Find out Nadine’s method that she used to help her pass the California Bar Exam by reading her post on the popular bar prep blog, Make This Your Last Time.

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law canva draftI would like to welcome our guest-blogger, Brian Hahn, the founder of Make This Your Last Time and a second-time passer of the California Bar Exam. He is here to share one of his techniques that flipped his entire approach to essays.

If you’re here reading this on the website, you must have some inkling of an interest in identifying issues on the CA essays.

Which is good because issues are the most important part of IRAC. Don’t get me wrong, rules and their application are still important, no, critical. You still need to make sure you’re solid in those areas. But without the seeds of issues, IRACs can’t even sprout in the first place.

Consider this another way: Although you can still get partial credit if you make up a reasonable rule or shove in facts until your application looks hefty enough (classic BS techniques), you will get zero credit for an issue that should have been raised but is never raised.

This was actually the biggest game-changing insight I had for my second time. We all have issues that we want to show off, but let’s see if there’s a way to nail down the right issues and fearlessly present them to the grader. Read More →