2015 February California Bar Exam

arizzle
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby arizzle » Tue May 19, 2015 6:49 pm

I passed, and this was my first try.

Of course I can't be sure --because they don't provide a score breakdown if you passed -- but I believe 100% in my heart that the key to passing is how you format your written answers.


There is more than enough anecdotal evidence that we know each essay grader spends AT MOST two minutes per answer. Hell, it says right on the bar website that they get paid PER ESSAY. They are incentivized to read quickly.

You have to make it as easy as possible on the grader. That means headings and sub-headings. Use bold, underline, and italics.

The grader should be able to read only your headings and sub-headings and have a clear idea about all the issues you've spotted and what they mean.

Just my 2 cents.

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a male human
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby a male human » Tue May 19, 2015 6:51 pm

arizzle wrote:I passed, and this was my first try.

Of course I can't be sure --because they don't provide a score breakdown if you passed -- but I believe 100% in my heart that the key to passing is how you format your written answers.


There is more than enough anecdotal evidence that we know each essay grader spends AT MOST two minutes per answer. Hell, it says right on the bar website that they get paid PER ESSAY. They are incentivized to read quickly.

You have to make it as easy as possible on the grader. That means headings and sub-headings. Use bold, underline, and italics.

The grader should be able to read only your headings and sub-headings and have a clear idea about all the issues you've spotted and what they mean.

Just my 2 cents.

Adding my pennies to the pile.

s1m4
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby s1m4 » Tue May 19, 2015 7:01 pm

Also, memorize clear, concise, and extensive rule statements to show the graders that you know the law - don't give them any excuse to fail you. Then, skip, a space and begin your analysis. Show them you know the law!! show them!!

Also, extensive rule statements give you more to work with in terms of analysis.

BAD:

Anticipatory repudiation.
Anticipatory repudiation is when one party breaches. Upon breach, non-breaching party entitled to damages.

Here, blah blah

GOOD:

Anticipatory repudiation.
Anticipatory repudiation is when one party fails to perform their benefit of the bargain. Upon an anticipatory repudation, the non-repudiating party may i) do nothing, ii) urge performance, iii) wait until performance is due, iv) immediately sue for breach.

fyi, dont quote me on the exact law - I think I forgot 90% of everything I learned for bar prep.

Here, blah blah

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a male human
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby a male human » Tue May 19, 2015 7:10 pm

specifically, anticipatory repudiation involves a clear demonstration of the party's intent to breach (in my own words but i thought that was important while we're talking about it)

PennJD83
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby PennJD83 » Tue May 19, 2015 7:47 pm

I also want to point out that analysis is key! Of course your issue spotting and rule statements need to be on point, but as you can see, a lot of the people who passed missed and or spotted different issues. And I for one know my rule statements were kind of crappy. However, I made sure to give a good hearty analysis for every issue. Don't think that you can just get by on blurting out issues ( I did this the first time...didn't work out so well.)

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a male human
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby a male human » Tue May 19, 2015 8:03 pm

Yeah, I think the analysis should be there, but at least you can get partial credit for a bad rule statement or application thereof. You get 0 credit for a missed issue.

So pretty much all of IRAC is important, but I believe one needs a good grasp of the issues to plant the seeds and let those IRACs sprout in the first place.

PennJD83
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby PennJD83 » Tue May 19, 2015 8:13 pm

I agree with you for the most part. You definitely have to be able to pick up on issues before you can give a good rule statement or good analysis. But as I look back at some of the issues that were spotted amongst the people who passed, I see that a lot of us spotted different issues. For example, For Q1: I failed to talk about the perfect tender rule and modification while other passers did. For Q3: I didn't discuss Erie and I flubbed atty-priv and the jury trial and lastly for Q6: I never talked about Honorary Trust, Charitable Trust and some other issues I can remember, and yet I know other people who passed did pick up on those issues. Therefore, I do think it's good to have as many issues on paper as possible, but if your analysis is lacking, you will not pass. My tutor, who is a former bar grade, specifically told me that the graders do in fact read your essays and are likely to fail people that only give them outline with underlined issues and perfect rule statements. The exam is more about how you analyze the facts.

ca2ny624
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby ca2ny624 » Tue May 19, 2015 9:29 pm

SpAcEmAn SpLiFF wrote:
a male human wrote:
SpAcEmAn SpLiFF wrote:
a male human wrote:
SpAcEmAn SpLiFF wrote:Can someone explain this "double the points" thing about the PTs? I never even heard of this until just now. I did a whopping zero PTs before I took the CBX. :oops:

Each PT is worth twice as much an essay.

Imagine the written portion divided into 10 parts. Er, let's imagine 10 shots at the bar because lawyers love drinking.

Allocate 6 shots to the essays, one for each essay.
Allocate 4 shots to the PTs, two for each PT.

Where did I get these numbers? According to the grading rubric, the raw score on your PTs will be doubled. Your total raw written score will be out of a possible 1000. I don't have the actual source.

Stated another way, getting 5 extra points on a PT is equivalent to getting 10 extra points on an essay (or 5 extra on two essays).

Ugh, I wish I'd known this stuff before I went and failed the f-ing bar.

Hmm, I'm curious about why you didn't do any PTs before taking the bar. Did you consider doing them at all? Was it a conscious decision?

I worked full-time (~50 hrs/week) while studying and I barely had enough time to get the BLL down. If I'd had more time, I would've taken the trouble to practice MBE, essay and PT questions, but I just didn't. If I'd had even more time, I would've took the trouble to familiarize myself with the grading scheme. Instead, I ended up going through just the Barbri practice MBE and skimming over some model essay and PT answers. I knew it wasn't ideal, but I didn't really have much of a choice.



Honestly you should take Themis.

I am a practicing attorney in NY. Was working 50-60 hours a week but I started going through lectures the first week of November. Mostly only studied on weekends (8 hrs a day) then bumped it up to an hour or 2 on weeknights mid January. Took one week off work before the test and studied 12-14 hrs a day (9a-5p, dinner, then 730-10ish). Every day.

Read over the released model answers (every single one) multiple times which helps learn the law and how it should be organized/applied. You can pass while working you just really need to plan out your schedule and make huge personal sacrifices the last 6-8 wks.

Themis has a GREAT flex study schedule that adjusts to your own availability and readjust based on what u complete each day. It also has a progress bar. The goal is to complete 75% of the program to pass. I only completed 69% and most were essays I outlined then studied the model answer.
Themis was a fraction of the price of Barbri or Kaplan and they only focus on what you need to learn. Way less crap to memorize.

I'm not affiliated in any way but was super impressed with the program because I too had a very demanding work schedule. Passed on the first try and think themis played a big part in guiding me through it.

MBAtoJD
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby MBAtoJD » Tue May 19, 2015 9:46 pm

Personally, I don't think you have to spend a lot of time on EVERY analysis. There are certain issues that require quick analysis...quick in & out.

For example Q1 (contracts), my analysis of Merchant was a single sentence. For example Q2 (Property), my sub-issue for touch & concern was meaty because it could go either way. The facts will clue you in where an in-dept analysis is needed. The major issues require indept analysis, the minor issues, do not. It is your job to know the difference and issue spotting is how you get there.

When people pass, you will hear contradictions on what to do or what works and I know it can get annoying when there are too many cooks in your head especially at a vulnerable time. Just take it all in and come up with your own strategy. I used 2807's tips but customized it a bit.

Take the time to review from the source (CBX) selected released answers. The old Civ Pro sample released answers really helped me on Civ Pro. There was an old discovery question. Reading past Remedies released essays made me realize you really have to break things down. I talked about remedies for cutting trees and remedies for breach of K. I may have been wrong but the way I broke things down and organized probably helped. My grader probably glanced at my essays (without reading it) and was like..."HOT DAMN!"

I guess all I'm trying to say is when you do 50+ essays and see selected answers A and B, you will start seeing patterns and you will get it on your own & in your time. The light bulb will come on in your head.

jayinca
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby jayinca » Tue May 19, 2015 10:42 pm

Biotech wrote:Needed 4 points.

All scores stayed the same except PT A went up from 65 to a 70. Lowest score 50 on essay 4 - was I even writing in English I wonder??

MBE 1496.

I hate hate hate this test.


I'm so sorry, Biotech. This is tough. You were so close! :cry:

hotsummer
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby hotsummer » Tue May 19, 2015 11:29 pm

I know it's kinda silly question, but still had to ask…

Does "55" in the essay question generally mean totally missing issues/laws? It wouldn't be just a format error that might be fixed easily for an improvement…? Any thoughts?

PennJD83
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby PennJD83 » Tue May 19, 2015 11:54 pm

Not necessarily. I got a 55 on the trust/cp essay from July as well as a 50 on the crim essay. I spotted all if not most of the issues from the model answers, and my rule statements were pretty decent, but my analysis was short and conclusory. I think that's what did me in

comet_halley
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby comet_halley » Wed May 20, 2015 1:59 am

PennJD83 wrote:I also want to point out that analysis is key! Of course your issue spotting and rule statements need to be on point, but as you can see, a lot of the people who passed missed and or spotted different issues. And I for one know my rule statements were kind of crappy. However, I made sure to give a good hearty analysis for every issue. Don't think that you can just get by on blurting out issues ( I did this the first time...didn't work out so well.)


I don't think graders would have time to determine whether your analysis is good or bad. They would finish an essay in 2 minutes. Just looking for key words and giving out points. It is not law school exams, the professors might have time to grade your exams carefully.

PennJD83
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby PennJD83 » Wed May 20, 2015 2:19 am

I completely disagree. My scores from the first exam show that I needed to switch up my analytical approach. But who knows! There are probably SEVERAL different ways to pass this exam. So I'm not saying you're wrong, all I'm saying is that your approach didn't work for me. I'm not saying you have to write a thesis or give excess analysis on issues that don't require it. But for the meaty issues you can just "get in and get out". Anyway, what do we know? No one really knows why they passed. I'm just giving some insight on how I changed my approach the second time around

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Evaly
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby Evaly » Wed May 20, 2015 2:24 am

Passed on my first try so I have no advice to give because I could've passed by a wide margin or I could've passed by just a point. Best of luck to those taking the test in the future. Thanks for those who offered support / advice on the forum.

9xSound
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby 9xSound » Wed May 20, 2015 3:22 am

PennJD83 wrote:I agree with you for the most part. You definitely have to be able to pick up on issues before you can give a good rule statement or good analysis. But as I look back at some of the issues that were spotted amongst the people who passed, I see that a lot of us spotted different issues. For example, For Q1: I failed to talk about the perfect tender rule and modification while other passers did. For Q3: I didn't discuss Erie and I flubbed atty-priv and the jury trial and lastly for Q6: I never talked about Honorary Trust, Charitable Trust and some other issues I can remember, and yet I know other people who passed did pick up on those issues. Therefore, I do think it's good to have as many issues on paper as possible, but if your analysis is lacking, you will not pass. My tutor, who is a former bar grade, specifically told me that the graders do in fact read your essays and are likely to fail people that only give them outline with underlined issues and perfect rule statements. The exam is more about how you analyze the facts.


Spot on, Penn. I passed the February exam on my second try. Last July, I knew the law better than I did in February, but I was so busy trying to show the graders how many issues I had spotted that I had no time to analyze the facts more than superficially. So I failed. In February, I made the exact same mistakes on the essays that you listed - kind of uncanny, actually. But I passed anyway. I don't believe the graders are counting how many different issues you crammed into your essay in 60 minutes. I tried that: it didn't work. You need to spot the most obvious issues at least, but the bar is testing what you do with the facts. Where a lot of essays and PTs come up short is that the candidate just repeats the obvious facts that are stated. That's not thinking like a lawyer.

This is how I changed up my analyses. Suppose it's a PR problem. Two guys come into the law firm wanting to form a partnership. One of them is a successful waste management project supervisor who has used the attorney's services in the past. The other is a young truck driver. Immediately, you know that you're dealing with a conflict of interest issue. Everybody is going to latch on to the fact that the attorney has done work for the supervisor previously. But if you stop there, you're dead. You have to consider the implications of words like successful, project supervisor, young, truck driver. The attorney is sitting behind his desk and in front of him, the "successful" guy is dressed in slacks and nice shoes. He's wearing a sports coat and has an expensive watch on his wrist. This is the kind of image that "successful" imparts. Meanwhile, his partner drives a dump truck for a living. He's a young, blue collar dude dressed in jeans and a work shirt. High school, but no college. That's what I think of when I hear "young truck driver." Who has the money here? Where is the power? Can the attorney advise the supervisor and the driver simultaneously? What if the supervisor wants to maintain total control over their business affairs? The lawyer has a duty to communicate everything they discuss with the driver. What if the supervisor wants an escape clause or a higher percentage? How does the attorney advise the driver in a way that will protect him from an unfair burden of financial liability?

This is how one needs to think about the facts when taking the bar. The attorney has a present conflict of interest and a potential conflict, which no reasonable attorney would touch notwithstanding informed written consent. But the analysis contemplates facts for the grader that run deeper than merely stating the obvious fact that the attorney worked for the supervisor in the past, which, again, everybody will see.

I'm barely scratching the surface. The point is that the graders want to see analysis. The bar is not just an issue-spotting exercise. I wish I had understood that last July. Good analysis in all of the subjects includes some creative thought that goes beyond just the express facts that everybody will see and discuss. I'm not saying you can make up facts. No way. But you can make reasonable inferences, and I think they want you to. After all, that's what the LSAT tested. If you miss a few issues here and there, it won't matter. You'll pass. The truth is, you can fail by seeing too many issues.

PennJD83
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby PennJD83 » Wed May 20, 2015 3:34 am

You're response deserves a slow clap 9xSounds. I wish we would have been aware of this in July...I guess things happen for a reason.

Notorious RBG
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby Notorious RBG » Wed May 20, 2015 12:18 pm

This is only my second post on this forum but I just felt like putting my scores out there (two numbers for each because mine were read twice). Maybe this will help some people understand the subjectivity in grading. I'm bummed but right back on the horse studying again for July. This test is a f*cking mind f*ck if ever there was one.

Essay 1 (contracts): 60,55 (missed the perfect tender rule and was kicking myself, otherwise thought I did ok)
Essay 2 (property): 75,85 (HAHA hahaha f*ck you readers)
Essay 3 (civ pro): 60,55 (did not have much to say and blanked on jury trials)
Essay 4 (remedies): 65,65 (knew all the rule statements but felt I was kind of missing something on analysis)
Essay 5 (BA): 65,60 (thought I killed it, boo)
Essay 6 (W&T): 60,60 (stupid f*cking elephant, I hate wills and knew I was missing something but couldn't quite place it)
PTA: 60,60
PTB: 55,55

Scaled MBE 1420 (I wish they told us our raw scores! - anyone know what this means??) This was my second try, my last MBE was scaled 1464. So basically if they hadn't added civil procedure this time I managed these essay scores + my last MBE I would have passed. I know it's terrible to think like that, trying to get over myself.

Final score: 1420

So I just want to say, this second read must help very few people yes? I mean think about it- you get re-read if your first score is over 1390. But to bring your average up to 1440 that means the second read for someone in the high 1300's would have to be in the HIGH 1400's, which is basically not possible right? It seems to me they should use the higher of the two reads if they're going to bother reading again, otherwise what is the point? I mean, use the higher of the two for each essay, or use the higher of the two overall reads, but if you're going to average them and you're already very close, how many people can that possibly help? I just don't understand how a second read really helps them do anything other than cover their butts. Which let's be honest, do they even care about that?

Obviously I'm bitter. *Sigh* But I'm right back on the horse, studying for July.

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L’Étranger
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby L’Étranger » Wed May 20, 2015 1:06 pm

Notorious RBG wrote:This is only my second post on this forum but I just felt like putting my scores out there (two numbers for each because mine were read twice). Maybe this will help some people understand the subjectivity in grading. I'm bummed but right back on the horse studying again for July. This test is a f*cking mind f*ck if ever there was one.

Essay 1 (contracts): 60,55 (missed the perfect tender rule and was kicking myself, otherwise thought I did ok)
Essay 2 (property): 75,85 (HAHA hahaha f*ck you readers)
Essay 3 (civ pro): 60,55 (did not have much to say and blanked on jury trials)
Essay 4 (remedies): 65,65 (knew all the rule statements but felt I was kind of missing something on analysis)
Essay 5 (BA): 65,60 (thought I killed it, boo)
Essay 6 (W&T): 60,60 (stupid f*cking elephant, I hate wills and knew I was missing something but couldn't quite place it)
PTA: 60,60
PTB: 55,55

Scaled MBE 1420 (I wish they told us our raw scores! - anyone know what this means??) This was my second try, my last MBE was scaled 1464. So basically if they hadn't added civil procedure this time I managed these essay scores + my last MBE I would have passed. I know it's terrible to think like that, trying to get over myself.

Final score: 1420

So I just want to say, this second read must help very few people yes? I mean think about it- you get re-read if your first score is over 1390. But to bring your average up to 1440 that means the second read for someone in the high 1300's would have to be in the HIGH 1400's, which is basically not possible right? It seems to me they should use the higher of the two reads if they're going to bother reading again, otherwise what is the point? I mean, use the higher of the two for each essay, or use the higher of the two overall reads, but if you're going to average them and you're already very close, how many people can that possibly help? I just don't understand how a second read really helps them do anything other than cover their butts. Which let's be honest, do they even care about that?

Obviously I'm bitter. *Sigh* But I'm right back on the horse, studying for July.


You slayed that property essay. I didn't even know the graders gave out 85s. Nice.

s1m4
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby s1m4 » Wed May 20, 2015 1:15 pm

Notorious RBG wrote:This is only my second post on this forum but I just felt like putting my scores out there (two numbers for each because mine were read twice). Maybe this will help some people understand the subjectivity in grading. I'm bummed but right back on the horse studying again for July. This test is a f*cking mind f*ck if ever there was one.

Essay 1 (contracts): 60,55 (missed the perfect tender rule and was kicking myself, otherwise thought I did ok)
Essay 2 (property): 75,85 (HAHA hahaha f*ck you readers)
Essay 3 (civ pro): 60,55 (did not have much to say and blanked on jury trials)
Essay 4 (remedies): 65,65 (knew all the rule statements but felt I was kind of missing something on analysis)
Essay 5 (BA): 65,60 (thought I killed it, boo)
Essay 6 (W&T): 60,60 (stupid f*cking elephant, I hate wills and knew I was missing something but couldn't quite place it)
PTA: 60,60
PTB: 55,55

Scaled MBE 1420 (I wish they told us our raw scores! - anyone know what this means??) This was my second try, my last MBE was scaled 1464. So basically if they hadn't added civil procedure this time I managed these essay scores + my last MBE I would have passed. I know it's terrible to think like that, trying to get over myself.

Final score: 1420

So I just want to say, this second read must help very few people yes? I mean think about it- you get re-read if your first score is over 1390. But to bring your average up to 1440 that means the second read for someone in the high 1300's would have to be in the HIGH 1400's, which is basically not possible right? It seems to me they should use the higher of the two reads if they're going to bother reading again, otherwise what is the point? I mean, use the higher of the two for each essay, or use the higher of the two overall reads, but if you're going to average them and you're already very close, how many people can that possibly help? I just don't understand how a second read really helps them do anything other than cover their butts. Which let's be honest, do they even care about that?

Obviously I'm bitter. *Sigh* But I'm right back on the horse, studying for July.



lol @ "stupid f*cking elephant" hahah I feel you! You were so close! Obviously you can write the essays well! You need to get that MBE up to 1500 at the least - Get adaptibar or the kaplan mbe qbank - You have time to do 2500+ MBE questions (or less, but carefully combing over over the question / answer). I recommend an online bank as this will help you get through more questions faster - you can lay around on the couch and get spend two hours every day just doing questions, drinking coffee, and relaxing!

Also, I highly recommend Strategies and Tactics by Emmanuel - At the very least do the full practice test in there - their explanations of the MBE questions are superb to anything else out there!

Also, I second a human's advice on doing a PT every week. Set aside Sunday mornings for yourself!

fyi - to get an idea of the MBE scaling, check out the table @ : https://admissions.calbar.ca.gov/Portal ... l_info.pdf - You can see a 1420 is getting about 63 / 100 for each mbe session. This is low! Get your MBE up to at least 70 / 100 and you will pass and never have to worry about these f*cking elephants ever again!

Notorious RBG
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby Notorious RBG » Wed May 20, 2015 2:30 pm

Wow yeah, I'm pretty sure my last raw MBE was somewhere in the 140's so I think the addition of civ pro really f*cked me. ARgh.

The crappy thing is that when you're working, you have to prioritize what you study because you can't go apesh*t with it ALL as much as you want to. And I think it's a mistake to think that if you did well on essays you've got that down pat (or any area of the test really). You could do well one administration and then do poorly on the next one if you don't study just as hard. I have to re-learn a lot that I've forgotten while simultaneously upping the civ pro MBE's and the PT's.

Thanks for the props y'all. It's easy to kick yourself over mistakes and near misses but I'm sure there were some areas where I got lucky also. Except property, property is my biotch.

I'm glad I came close. Onward and upward!

edit: And I was going to add- I did already buy the emmanuel strategies and tactics, plus two civ pro MBE books. And a book about Ruth Bader Ginsburg because she's an inspiring boss and I need occasional study breaks. :D

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TheLegalOne
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby TheLegalOne » Wed May 20, 2015 3:38 pm

As if waiting until 6 pm on 5/15/15 wasn't bad enough to find out I failed, I still do not have my scores. Is there anyone else in SoCal in the same boat?

cndounda1985
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby cndounda1985 » Wed May 20, 2015 4:27 pm

Need to bring up my MBE score drastically. What do you all recommend Adaptibar or Kaplan MBE Qbank? I already have Emmanuel's, Kaplan's MBE red book and going to get my hands on BarBri 2015 MBE books. I have some 2012 books but think I need to upgrade. Thanks

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a male human
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby a male human » Wed May 20, 2015 5:01 pm

TheLegalOne wrote:As if waiting until 6 pm on 5/15/15 wasn't bad enough to find out I failed, I still do not have my scores. Is there anyone else in SoCal in the same boat?

It took me a week to get mine last year. You could try calling them to double check, but they're utter dicks on the phone. Thanks for making my phone phobia worse you bastards.

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bb8900
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby bb8900 » Wed May 20, 2015 5:38 pm

9xSound wrote:
PennJD83 wrote:I agree with you for the most part. You definitely have to be able to pick up on issues before you can give a good rule statement or good analysis. But as I look back at some of the issues that were spotted amongst the people who passed, I see that a lot of us spotted different issues. For example, For Q1: I failed to talk about the perfect tender rule and modification while other passers did. For Q3: I didn't discuss Erie and I flubbed atty-priv and the jury trial and lastly for Q6: I never talked about Honorary Trust, Charitable Trust and some other issues I can remember, and yet I know other people who passed did pick up on those issues. Therefore, I do think it's good to have as many issues on paper as possible, but if your analysis is lacking, you will not pass. My tutor, who is a former bar grade, specifically told me that the graders do in fact read your essays and are likely to fail people that only give them outline with underlined issues and perfect rule statements. The exam is more about how you analyze the facts.


Spot on, Penn. I passed the February exam on my second try. Last July, I knew the law better than I did in February, but I was so busy trying to show the graders how many issues I had spotted that I had no time to analyze the facts more than superficially. So I failed. In February, I made the exact same mistakes on the essays that you listed - kind of uncanny, actually. But I passed anyway. I don't believe the graders are counting how many different issues you crammed into your essay in 60 minutes. I tried that: it didn't work. You need to spot the most obvious issues at least, but the bar is testing what you do with the facts. Where a lot of essays and PTs come up short is that the candidate just repeats the obvious facts that are stated. That's not thinking like a lawyer.

This is how I changed up my analyses. Suppose it's a PR problem. Two guys come into the law firm wanting to form a partnership. One of them is a successful waste management project supervisor who has used the attorney's services in the past. The other is a young truck driver. Immediately, you know that you're dealing with a conflict of interest issue. Everybody is going to latch on to the fact that the attorney has done work for the supervisor previously. But if you stop there, you're dead. You have to consider the implications of words like successful, project supervisor, young, truck driver. The attorney is sitting behind his desk and in front of him, the "successful" guy is dressed in slacks and nice shoes. He's wearing a sports coat and has an expensive watch on his wrist. This is the kind of image that "successful" imparts. Meanwhile, his partner drives a dump truck for a living. He's a young, blue collar dude dressed in jeans and a work shirt. High school, but no college. That's what I think of when I hear "young truck driver." Who has the money here? Where is the power? Can the attorney advise the supervisor and the driver simultaneously? What if the supervisor wants to maintain total control over their business affairs? The lawyer has a duty to communicate everything they discuss with the driver. What if the supervisor wants an escape clause or a higher percentage? How does the attorney advise the driver in a way that will protect him from an unfair burden of financial liability?

This is how one needs to think about the facts when taking the bar. The attorney has a present conflict of interest and a potential conflict, which no reasonable attorney would touch notwithstanding informed written consent. But the analysis contemplates facts for the grader that run deeper than merely stating the obvious fact that the attorney worked for the supervisor in the past, which, again, everybody will see.

I'm barely scratching the surface. The point is that the graders want to see analysis. The bar is not just an issue-spotting exercise. I wish I had understood that last July. Good analysis in all of the subjects includes some creative thought that goes beyond just the express facts that everybody will see and discuss. I'm not saying you can make up facts. No way. But you can make reasonable inferences, and I think they want you to. After all, that's what the LSAT tested. If you miss a few issues here and there, it won't matter. You'll pass. The truth is, you can fail by seeing too many issues.


This is a great post! Totally agree with what the bar is looking for in "analysis." Wish I knew that last July as well.




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