I remember The Wait.
Yeah, that wait. Bar exam results.
Is results day weighing on your mind? Do you have a feeling one way or the other? Understandably, many bar candidates don’t. After the 3 day mental marathon that is the California Bar Exam, you may have lost all perspective. Many walk away thinking, “Huh. I hope that was enough.”
If you’ve since come to the conclusion that your exam score is probably going to be right on the line, hovering around that magic number of 1440, you may or may not have given this some thought. With 65% of your score based on humans reading your written work and assigning a numbered grade to it, what if one grader gave you a 60 but another would have seen a solid 65. Okay that’s 5 points. Now multiply that by 8 answers (6 essays, 2 PT’s) and that’s 40 points. And 1440-40 = close but no cigar. You see where I’m going with this?
Apparently the bar examiners have thought about this too. So they have a mandatory second reading built right into their protocol. For applicants who came in right on the line it’s a way to make sure the 40 point scenario above didn’t happen.
Here’s how it works: Read More →
Come bar results day, how will you take the news? Will you be victoriously screaming, “I passed, I passed!” or, will you be crippled by the devastating news that you failed. Well, it doesn’t have to be quite so dramatic, if you can visualize each scenario in advance and plan for whichever takes place. That’s how I came up with my Plan A and Plan B for bar results day.
I was inspired by the blog post from Bar Exam Mind: Fear of Bar Exam Failure where I learned about Tim Ferriss’ technique for defining your worst case scenario by listing all the things you could possibly do to keep it from happening and then define how you will recover if the worst case scenario actually comes true. In my case, having already written the bar exam, I certainly couldn’t do anything to change my results now, but I could use this method to face my own fears of what if…. Read More →
Lets face it, studying for the bar exam is incredibly monotonous and boring. You can’t be creative, there is no opportunity for self-expression, and there’s no need for research. Basically just the same mundane rules of law over and over again. So, how do you stay motivated and interested? Some will tell you that fear of failing is the motivating factor! Perhaps this works to some degree, but I found that to be the most productive and keep up the bar prep pace, I needed some inspiring techniques during this arduous process.
Here are the 6 best tips that helped me stay focused and productive. Read More →
The application period for the February 2015 California Bar Exam begins October 1, 2014. Be one of the first to apply and you’ll have a better chance at getting your desired test center location. Just go to the State Bar website registration page and follow the instructions there. Within a few days of October 1, they’ll also post the hotel accommodations for each location, as bar takers receive a special State Bar discount. Be sure to watch for this if you want to take advantage – the discounted rooms closest to the testing centers usually sell out fast!
Making your plans early and following through will be keys to your success on the bar exam… and for life in general! Whether you’re taking a bar review course, using alternative bar prep tools or a combination of both, be sure to include a subscription to BarIssues.com in your study toolbox to accompany your other resources. Act now and plan to pass the California Bar Exam!
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Who remembers using a typewriter? Well, I do! When I was growing up, having a typewriter in your home to use for school was a big deal and I was one of the lucky kids who had one. In typing class I was usually the first student to finish my speed-writing assignment – the teacher made us jump up out of our seat when we were done with the paragraph. It was the only race that I ever won (not being the athletic type), and to this day I would much rather type than hand-write anything at all.
So, when one of my fellow law students told me she was handwriting her essays on the California First Year Law School Exam (“Baby Bar”), I was totally shocked and somewhat perplexed that she would even consider this.
Read More →
Taking the Baby Bar this year? If you haven’t registered yet, the final deadline to to register for the October 2014 FYLSX is Monday, September 15. Law students are often so busy keeping up with studies or trying to decide if they’re ready to take a state-required #barexam that they don’t realize a sign-up deadline is fast approaching – until it’s too late.
So if you’re planning to sit for the October exam and haven’t registered yet.. . NOW IS THE TIME. Just go to the State Bar website registration page and follow the instructions there.
Although technically the California State Bar requires all candidates to take and pass the FYLSX (First Year Law Student Exam) a/k/a “the Baby Bar”, those who complete 1L and advance to 2L at a CA-accredited or ABA-approved law school qualify for an exemption. Students enrolled in unaccredited or correspondence law schools, or in a law office/judge’s chambers study program do not qualify for the exemption. These students must pass the Baby Bar within the next 3 administrations of the exam subsequent to completing 1L. Some students in “exempt” law schools must also sit for the Baby Bar if they do not meet minimum GPA requirements. The exam is administered each year in June and October.
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California Bar Exam results for July 2014 bar takers will come out on Fri. Nov. 21, 2014 at 6:00 pm PST. It really is agony that bar takers have to wait so long to find out if they passed, so, the big question is: should you do any studying during that long waiting time just in case? The answer to this question will depend upon how confident you are that you did well. It really is so hard to know, especially when you consider that the pass rate for California bar takers is generally below 50%. How do you know if what you did was good enough?
15 Weeks to Review 15 Subjects
There are 15 subjects tested on the California bar exam: Civil Procedure, Community Property, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Corporations, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Partnerships, Professional Responsibility, Real Property, Remedies, Torts, Trusts, and Wills. (See our BarIssues.com FAQ on how we categorize the bar tested subject of Business Associations.) With 15 weeks to go until results day, why not stay up to date on your rules of law? If you have any doubts at all on whether you passed, set up a 15 week plan right now so that you allocate one week to each subject. Your “studying” for each weekly subject can be as light as reviewing your outlines or as heavy as doing some practice MBE’s and writing a few essays. You are the best judge of what you think you need to do.
Results Day Will Be Here Before You Know It!
Then, when you do hit that button on your computer on results day to find out if you passed, if the news is not good, your preparation will have paid off knowing that you can do it the next time around. Or, if the news is good, then the extra review you did could never be a waste of time as you will be well prepared to enter into your field of law with “the law” fresh in your mind. Good luck on November 21st!
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It’s ironic. You spend years in law school, a fortune in tuition, and months in bar review to prepare for the most difficult bar exam in the country. You study harder than you’ve ever studied in your life. Then your bar review instructor informs you that the bar exam graders get paid about $3 to spend an average of 90 seconds to read and grade an essay – that precious product of all your hard work that could make or break your future career plans.
I’ll admit I was glad to know up front about the brevity in which my answers would be reviewed by some anonymous grader, flying through hundreds of blue books at the speed of light. It forced me to write more succinctly and answer the call of the question. Read More →
Reading and analyzing hundreds of bar exam essays might not be your idea of a good time, but we at BarIssues.com have found some hidden gems of humor buried within all those IRACs that made us LOL. We thought we’d share some of these ‘funny moments in bar exam history’ with you. Especially if you’re suffering from bar prep fatigue, these might make you smile. Courtesy of those who’ve gone before you and came out with State Bar recognized answers – despite the bloopers. However, please note we do not recommend trying to be witty on your bar exam answers! We believe these snippets of otherwise good answers were just the unintended result of writing under pressure. Read More →