Question about Bar Exams

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LSATNightmares
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Question about Bar Exams

Postby LSATNightmares » Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:06 am

I have a question about the bar exam (any 3L's or law grads out there?) I'll be graduating from law school in 2014, and I had been hoping to go to the World Cup in Brazil in June/July. My FI and I have been planning this for a long time, since he's Brazilian. We both love soccer, and he and I met in Germany when the World Cup was going on so the World Cup carries a special meaning for us. I just learned about the bar exam classes, and I'm worried I won't be able to go to Brazil for the World Cup. Is it possible to leave for a week or two and study independently in a foreign country before the bar exam? I was definitely interested in taking the California exam. Thanks!

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SamuelLChang
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Re: Question about Bar Exams

Postby SamuelLChang » Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:15 am

3L here.

Based on everything I know from watching my friends go through the Bar prep misery this past summer, this is a bad idea. Many recent bar-takers even told me to ignore the advice that some barprep instructors give which recommends taking weekends off while studying.

Of course you can take your chances, but it's probably a very very bad time to do so.

Jessep
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Re: Question about Bar Exams

Postby Jessep » Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:08 am

Depending on the timing, it shouldn't be a problem. June is a cake-walk. Things ramp up in July.

BARBRI allows you to stream classes remotely, plus they give you books and access to online problem sets. Doing work remotely won't be difficult. It's a matter of doing the work though.

I took an easier bar than CA, so it may be different, but I did not think studying for the bar was that bad. I went out every weekend that summer (even the weekend before the bar..maybe not smart in hindsight), often skipped classes and got to the gym a lot. Overall it was a pretty solid summer except for July 5-July 29. During those final few weeks, I still managed to socialize (though limited with no late nights).

If you are going July 5-29, I'd think long and hard about it. Those final 3 weeks of cramming are very necessary and I'm not sure that studying harder in June would compensate for missed weeks in July.

jhett
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Re: Question about Bar Exams

Postby jhett » Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:09 am

The California bar exam is the toughest out of all states. What you could do is instead of enrolling in an actual bar review class, order the iPod classes so you can study while traveling. However, many a smart and diligent person has still failed the bar exam.

On the other hand, Brazil is a lot of fun and will be complete pandemonium during the World Cup. You're still 3 years out from having to deal with any of this. If you'll have a job lined up where passing the bar the first time is critical, maybe you shouldn't risk it. If passing the bar won't be critical for your job, then just skip the August examination, have fun in Brazil, and go for the February examination.

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nealric
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Re: Question about Bar Exams

Postby nealric » Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:49 am

It might be doable for the non-Cali bar. But I would be worried about taking a week off in July.

That said, I probably over-studied for the bar.

PatentLawFTW
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Re: Question about Bar Exams

Postby PatentLawFTW » Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:24 pm

Bump

I also am currently in the midst of trying to figure out how to attend the World Cup and still pass the bar at the end of July 2014. I am thinking I will likely leave for 10 days. I don't really want to study in Brazil b/c I think it will be highly difficult and a waste of a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Can I start studying before I graduate to mitigate the damage from the ~10days off?

Thanks!

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reasonable_man
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Re: Question about Bar Exams

Postby reasonable_man » Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:48 pm

New York Attorney here.

You can absolutely take the Cali Bar and go to the World Cup for a week or two while studying. Just be ok with the fact that you will almost certainly fail. Depending on where you are working (or not working), failing the bar may be the death of your career. That said, if you are seriously asking if it is advisable to take a 7 to 10 day trip while studying for one of the top two most difficult bar exams in the Country, I cannot imagine that you have it all together in the first place.

You are heading toward one of the worst legal markets in the history of the profession. People that are fully licensed cannot find jobs. Get serious about this now, stop worrying about vacations and make passing the bar the only thing on your mind from May 20th to July 28th...

underwhere759
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Re: Question about Bar Exams

Postby underwhere759 » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:22 pm

reasonable_man wrote:New York Attorney here.

You can absolutely take the Cali Bar and go to the World Cup for a week or two while studying. Just be ok with the fact that you will almost certainly fail. Depending on where you are working (or not working), failing the bar may be the death of your career. That said, if you are seriously asking if it is advisable to take a 7 to 10 day trip while studying for one of the top two most difficult bar exams in the Country, I cannot imagine that you have it all together in the first place.

You are heading toward one of the worst legal markets in the history of the profession. People that are fully licensed cannot find jobs. Get serious about this now, stop worrying about vacations and make passing the bar the only thing on your mind from May 20th to July 28th...


TITCR

I would also add that while you may feel like going on a vacation during bar prep now, you will totally change your mind when you are wrapped up in it. For example, I had concert tickets shortly before the bar exam for a music festival- despite the fact I had looked forward to it all summer, I ended up selling them because I was so much more worried about the bar exam when it was actually looming imminently.

Watch the world cup on tv, and focus on passing the bar. Don't put yourself in a position to fail and spend time later having to make up for it. There will be plenty of time to have fun once business is taken care of.

spondee
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Re: Question about Bar Exams

Postby spondee » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:32 pm

Now that I've taken the bar, I would do this without hesitation. Just work harder before you go. And take some flash cards or a phone app or something with you and study 1-2 hours a day while you're there.

lawstudentabc123
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Re: Question about Bar Exams

Postby lawstudentabc123 » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:35 pm

Assuming someone starts studying around May 20th and studies up until the exam, that's about ~70 days of bar exam study, isn't it? Would studying for 60 days instead of 70 really mean that someone is on the path to certain bar failure?

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reasonable_man
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Re: Question about Bar Exams

Postby reasonable_man » Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:02 pm

lawstudentabc123 wrote:Assuming someone starts studying around May 20th and studies up until the exam, that's about ~70 days of bar exam study, isn't it? Would studying for 60 days instead of 70 really mean that someone is on the path to certain bar failure?


I'm guessing you're still in school?

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thesealocust
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Re: Question about Bar Exams

Postby thesealocust » Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:05 pm

reasonable_man wrote:New York Attorney here.

You can absolutely take the Cali Bar and go to the World Cup for a week or two while studying. Just be ok with the fact that you will almost certainly fail. Depending on where you are working (or not working), failing the bar may be the death of your career. That said, if you are seriously asking if it is advisable to take a 7 to 10 day trip while studying for one of the top two most difficult bar exams in the Country, I cannot imagine that you have it all together in the first place.

You are heading toward one of the worst legal markets in the history of the profession. People that are fully licensed cannot find jobs. Get serious about this now, stop worrying about vacations and make passing the bar the only thing on your mind from May 20th to July 28th...


RM, you are one of my absolute favorites on this forum, but I disagree here. I also passed the NY bar, and while I realize CA is more extensive and has a lower pass rate, they're not THAT different.

I took a week in the wilderness in June and didn't get serious about bar prep until after the 4th of July. I'm not saying you can phone it in, or that you're fine putting stuff off until 3 weeks before the bar, but people get way too paranoid about these things.

It is much too extreme to say that taking a week or two off will doom somebody to "almost certain" failure.

09042014
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Re: Question about Bar Exams

Postby 09042014 » Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:06 pm

thesealocust wrote:
reasonable_man wrote:New York Attorney here.

You can absolutely take the Cali Bar and go to the World Cup for a week or two while studying. Just be ok with the fact that you will almost certainly fail. Depending on where you are working (or not working), failing the bar may be the death of your career. That said, if you are seriously asking if it is advisable to take a 7 to 10 day trip while studying for one of the top two most difficult bar exams in the Country, I cannot imagine that you have it all together in the first place.

You are heading toward one of the worst legal markets in the history of the profession. People that are fully licensed cannot find jobs. Get serious about this now, stop worrying about vacations and make passing the bar the only thing on your mind from May 20th to July 28th...


RM, you are one of my absolute favorites on this forum, but I disagree here. I also passed the NY bar, and while I realize CA is more extensive and has a lower pass rate, they're not THAT different.

I took a week in the wilderness in June and didn't get serious about bar prep until after the 4th of July. I'm not saying you can phone it in, or that you're fine putting stuff off until 3 weeks before the bar, but people get way too paranoid about these things.

It is much too extreme to say that taking a week or two off will doom somebody to "almost certain" failure.



You are a smart bro. I'm sure this makes a huge difference.

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thesealocust
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Re: Question about Bar Exams

Postby thesealocust » Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:16 pm

The bar 'zam is way LSATier than law schooly, and I got a 166 on the LSAT - second try. By TLS standards, I am sub-literate.

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reasonable_man
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Re: Question about Bar Exams

Postby reasonable_man » Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:06 am

thesealocust wrote:
reasonable_man wrote:New York Attorney here.

You can absolutely take the Cali Bar and go to the World Cup for a week or two while studying. Just be ok with the fact that you will almost certainly fail. Depending on where you are working (or not working), failing the bar may be the death of your career. That said, if you are seriously asking if it is advisable to take a 7 to 10 day trip while studying for one of the top two most difficult bar exams in the Country, I cannot imagine that you have it all together in the first place.

You are heading toward one of the worst legal markets in the history of the profession. People that are fully licensed cannot find jobs. Get serious about this now, stop worrying about vacations and make passing the bar the only thing on your mind from May 20th to July 28th...


RM, you are one of my absolute favorites on this forum, but I disagree here. I also passed the NY bar, and while I realize CA is more extensive and has a lower pass rate, they're not THAT different.

I took a week in the wilderness in June and didn't get serious about bar prep until after the 4th of July. I'm not saying you can phone it in, or that you're fine putting stuff off until 3 weeks before the bar, but people get way too paranoid about these things.

It is much too extreme to say that taking a week or two off will doom somebody to "almost certain" failure.


I hear ya brah and I respect your thoughts on the matter for sure. I too got serious post-July 4th boozin... But these people are talking about taking time off in July. July 4th to test day is the time you really need to lock it in. Think back to that hard core month where you went hard until the end.. I bet that month was a huge part of your passing...

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thesealocust
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Re: Question about Bar Exams

Postby thesealocust » Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:27 am

Yeah, it's a matter of timing. The world cup is like June 12 - July 12 or something; the earlier in that range, the less of an issue I think it'd be.

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Mick Haller
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Re: Question about Bar Exams

Postby Mick Haller » Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:46 am

Desert Fox wrote:You are a smart bro. I'm sure this makes a huge difference.


Yeah I mean I like sea locust, but he is playing a little too loose with his bar exam advice. "Get the $100 bar outlines" "Passing the bar shouldn't make you proud" "Don't start seriously prepping until a month before the exam"

People need advice from typical bar examinees, not the ones who can study for two weeks and pass the thing.

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thesealocust
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Re: Question about Bar Exams

Postby thesealocust » Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:50 am

Mick Haller wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:You are a smart bro. I'm sure this makes a huge difference.


Yeah I mean I like sea locust, but he is playing a little too loose with his bar exam advice. "Get the $100 bar outlines" "Passing the bar shouldn't make you proud" "Don't start seriously prepping until a month before the exam"

People need advice from typical bar examinees, not the ones who can study for two weeks and pass the thing.


(a) the $100 bar outlines course is legitimately great. People flock to BarBRI or danger-zone it to Themis without examining the alternatives.

(b) the bar exam is a pointless test with no relationship to the practice of law. I remain committed to the fact that passing it should not make you proud.

(c) I recommend studying, and did study, much more than a month before the bar. But most people who take the bar say the last few weeks are what counts, and the purpose of even bringing it up wasn't to advocate it, but to point out a week off early in the process wouldn't be fatal.

As a general point, the bar exam is way, way over-hyped. Everyone gets extremely paranoid and treats it like some life-or-death impossible obstacle. It's a licensing exam, and if you fail it you take it again. The sun goes goes down about as often as it comes up, the beat goes on.

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Mick Haller
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Re: Question about Bar Exams

Postby Mick Haller » Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:56 am

I actually took the opposite approach. I studied like mad for the first 6-7 weeks, and was so burnt out that I didn't give a shit for the last 2 weeks. Still passed somehow. I was well rested for the exam at least.

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thesealocust
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Re: Question about Bar Exams

Postby thesealocust » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:40 am

Mick Haller wrote: Still passed somehow.


People always say this like it was a miracle... every year misfortune and missteps cause SOME people to fail the bar, but if you look at the numbers most bar passage rates are dragged down dramatically by (1) foreign attorneys and (2) retakers and (3) people from shitty law schools.

I can't remember it off the top of my head, but I think NY's bar passage rate is like 60-70%... but if you look at first time takers from U.S. law schools it shoots up well over 80%, and if you look at first time takers from not-TTT/TTTT law schools it's higher still.

My law school's NY bar passage rate hovers around 98-100%, but everyone still whipped themselves into a comical frenzy over fear of failure. The bar exam is a great thing to pass, and a frustrating thing to fail. It's also quite difficult in terms of "getting the answers right" - but not that difficult to get a passing score. Hard exam, low threshold for passing.

run26.2
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Re: Question about Bar Exams

Postby run26.2 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:22 am

thesealocust wrote:
Mick Haller wrote: Still passed somehow.


People always say this like it was a miracle... every year misfortune and missteps cause SOME people to fail the bar, but if you look at the numbers most bar passage rates are dragged down dramatically by (1) foreign attorneys and (2) retakers and (3) people from shitty law schools.

I can't remember it off the top of my head, but I think NY's bar passage rate is like 60-70%... but if you look at first time takers from U.S. law schools it shoots up well over 80%, and if you look at first time takers from not-TTT/TTTT law schools it's higher still.

My law school's NY bar passage rate hovers around 98-100%, but everyone still whipped themselves into a comical frenzy over fear of failure. The bar exam is a great thing to pass, and a frustrating thing to fail. It's also quite difficult in terms of "getting the answers right" - but not that difficult to get a passing score. Hard exam, low threshold for passing.

There must be a UVA type wrt to the bar or something. Bar passage rates for UVA grads on the CA bar, IIRC, is almost always in the mid-90s percentage-wise, and is usually among the top in the country (i.e. top 3, I think), whereas similarly ranked T14s usually are in the 80-90% range. In other words, they consistently outperform their US News ranking, for whatever that is worth.

I can dig out the data later.

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andythecandyman
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Re: Question about Bar Exams

Postby andythecandyman » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:51 am

Go to the World Cup if you're going for a week or less, and if you trust yourself enough to bust your ass before you go. I took the MA and NY bars and took 5 days off for a trip (literally no studying) 3 weeks before the exam - passed both and felt confident coming out of both. I did Themis and just made sure I got ahead of the program - which meant studying for 12 hours+ some days. When I came back I just did review and practice essays and felt fine going in. I wouldn't count on trying to get work done while in Brazil - internet might suck; unexpected stuff comes up; too much fun shit going on; etc. Bring some MBE outlines or something if you feel that you can't spend a day without studying. Also, don't plan on cramming or making up for lost time when you get back, because that's too stressful and stuff might come up. Bottom line - if you're decent at tests and study extra before you go, you should have no problem. Bar exams are extremely overhyped.

omg clay aiken !
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Re: Question about Bar Exams

Postby omg clay aiken ! » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:25 pm

i took a two week vacation to visit my gf in FL while i was studying for the CA bar. passed. "everyone passes"

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Question about Bar Exams

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:38 pm

run26.2 wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
Mick Haller wrote: Still passed somehow.


People always say this like it was a miracle... every year misfortune and missteps cause SOME people to fail the bar, but if you look at the numbers most bar passage rates are dragged down dramatically by (1) foreign attorneys and (2) retakers and (3) people from shitty law schools.

I can't remember it off the top of my head, but I think NY's bar passage rate is like 60-70%... but if you look at first time takers from U.S. law schools it shoots up well over 80%, and if you look at first time takers from not-TTT/TTTT law schools it's higher still.

My law school's NY bar passage rate hovers around 98-100%, but everyone still whipped themselves into a comical frenzy over fear of failure. The bar exam is a great thing to pass, and a frustrating thing to fail. It's also quite difficult in terms of "getting the answers right" - but not that difficult to get a passing score. Hard exam, low threshold for passing.

There must be a UVA type wrt to the bar or something. Bar passage rates for UVA grads on the CA bar, IIRC, is almost always in the mid-90s percentage-wise, and is usually among the top in the country (i.e. top 3, I think), whereas similarly ranked T14s usually are in the 80-90% range. In other words, they consistently outperform their US News ranking, for whatever that is worth.

I can dig out the data later.


That's because the bros going to Cali from UVA usually have pretty good grades/work ethic.

run26.2
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Re: Question about Bar Exams

Postby run26.2 » Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:06 am

school %
yale 0.9625
stanford 0.938976378
harvard 0.929061785
uva 0.924137931
nyu 0.900398406
ucb 0.89373297
columbia 0.889361702
mich 0.876712329
penn 0.876623377
chi 0.862745098
duke 0.843137255
gulc 0.833333333
nw 0.832369942
cornell 0.765957447

This is an average from the last 5 administrations. In one of the years, UVA had 37 takers and 37 passers. They are 4th, overall, and above a clumping of schools in the high 80s.




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