If you’re one of the many who received disappointing bar exam results last month and you plan to retake it in February, your bar prep is probably getting into full swing by now.  Or perhaps, like me, you graduated late in the year and will take the February exam for the first time.  Same thing – you’re probably delving deeper into bar prep by the day.  You may be thinking, “How can I possibly do all this studying through the holiday season??”  Or maybe you’re an optimist – I know I am.  But I’m also a realist and probably a lot of other -ists that aren’t important right now.   What I’m trying to say is, here’s some free advice on studying through the holidays from someone who’s been there, done that, and survived the February exam. Read More →

I remember Thclock - freedigitalphotose 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 →

Jumping Man By imagerymajestic

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 in your study toolbox to accompany your other resources.  Act now and plan to pass the California Bar Exam!

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Image courtesy of imagerymajestic

Clock by stockimages at FDP

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.

Be sure to sign up for our monthly newsletter to get lots of helpful study tips for law school and bar exams.

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Katie blogSomething I would have never guessed going into law school was that my favorite “study buddy” would be my canine companion, Katie.  She recently departed this earth and I miss her dearly…but this isn’t about my loss. This is about something I realized toward the end of law school and definitely during my 4 long months of bar prep.  Something that deserves recognition.

I had human study buddies off and on, joined a few study groups throughout school which were helpful, but none were as supportive as my furry friend at home who was willing to hang out with me through hours of endless reading, writing, and reciting rules.  Sure, Katie couldn’t brief cases or argue legal issues with me.  But what she could do was keep me company, smile at me with those big brown eyes and appear interested in what I was learning no matter how long it took or what day it was.  I think if she could talk, she could have recited the Rule Against Perpetuities like a champ (although neither of us would be able to explain it or apply it to a fact pattern).

Studying for the bar exam is a lonely but necessary process.  My family and friends gave me the space I needed – and naturally I felt pretty isolated during those last few months.  They cheered me on for my hard work, but it seemed like no one “got it”.  Except for Katie.  She was there by my side through it all – not telling me that she was “..sure I would pass” or “Don’t worry – you can always retake it, no big deal..”  Nope – none of that from Katie.  Just her loyal company and silent encouragement, and that was all I needed.


Stack of essaysIt’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 →

ID-10091893Reading and analyzing hundreds of bar exam essays might not be your idea of a good time, but we at 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 →