July 2015 California Bar Exam

Clark Griswold
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby Clark Griswold » Sat Nov 21, 2015 1:37 am

BuenAbogado wrote:By the way, this was my third time. All odds were against me. I really attribute my success to A. Using Adaptibar like a mad man and B. Getting a tutor that made me write a shit load of essays.


Did we just become best friends? It was my third time too! Congrats man, the battle was tough but we are the victors.

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SDPalmTree
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby SDPalmTree » Sat Nov 21, 2015 1:51 am

Congrats to all that passed (me too). And commiserations to all that didn't.

Anyone else take note of the fact that the pass rate for this last exam was only 46.6%? This is the 4th exam in a row where CA had a bar pass rate of less than 50%. Do you think this is why the bar examiners are switching to a 2 day bar exam - anyone think this will make any sort of difference?

gaagoots
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby gaagoots » Sat Nov 21, 2015 2:09 am

Last time the July bar was under 46% was in Fall 1986 at 44%.

EZ as AsDf
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby EZ as AsDf » Sat Nov 21, 2015 2:26 am

SpAcEmAn SpLiFF wrote:I still haven't checked. :?


Truth?

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SDPalmTree
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby SDPalmTree » Sat Nov 21, 2015 2:29 am


cndounda1985
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby cndounda1985 » Sat Nov 21, 2015 2:48 am

Didn't pass again for the third time, I'm an out of state attorney Louisiana. Not sure what I'm going to do next, Im for sure going to take a break and possibly moving back. Good Luck to everyone who passed!

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SpAcEmAn SpLiFF
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby SpAcEmAn SpLiFF » Sat Nov 21, 2015 2:51 am

EZ as AsDf wrote:
SpAcEmAn SpLiFF wrote:I still haven't checked. :?


Truth?

Yea, I'm too scared to ruin my night, but thinking about it is kinda ruining my night anyway

BrokenMouse
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby BrokenMouse » Sat Nov 21, 2015 3:02 am

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Last edited by BrokenMouse on Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BrokenMouse
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby BrokenMouse » Sat Nov 21, 2015 3:03 am

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Last edited by BrokenMouse on Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

duskfall
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby duskfall » Sat Nov 21, 2015 3:10 am

To all those who passed, sit back and watch on YouTube "a lawyer walks into a bar". It's a documentary that follows 7 cal bar exam takers. I found it great right after getting good results at the toughest bar exam in the country.

To the repeaters, please consider taking a bar exam elsewhere to boost your confidence. Many times, this exam is about confidence. As some dude in Moneyball famously said: your dick has to be in the room before you walk in.

mpwildcat4life
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby mpwildcat4life » Sat Nov 21, 2015 4:48 am

Long time lurker in this forum but I thought I would post to help bring my experience to those that have failed. This was my 3rd time taking the bar after failing by less than 10 points the first time and under 30 points the second time. I am proud to say I have PASSED this time!

This is my experience:

I took Themis the first time because of their guarantee for a repeat course if I were to fail. After failing the first time, I used their repeat program to take the bar again (dumb decision).Both times I completed nearly 100% of the Themis program.On the bar I scored high on the MBE, well above 140, but my essays were always low. It was only after the 2nd time failing that I realized that there is a fundamental flaw in the way Themis grades the essays. One grader would say I did everything great and give me a 65 (barely passing according to CA Bar standards) while another would correct my rule statement without looking at my analysis. The scores they gave seemed to be scores they pulled out of thin air based on different standards than that of the real CA bar graders.

After failing the 2nd time I decided to hire John Crossfield who is a past CA Bar grader. He actually knows what graders are looking for in the essays, which is contrary to what Themis graders were telling me I needed to work on. He was instrumental in my success this round and I could not have been happier with his tutoring. In fact, I wanted to go with him after failing the 1st time, but told myself that "I can just fix the mistakes I made and I will be fine" (I got another bar review from Themis that was free so i might as well take advantage). This was the wrong decision, one that cost me another $1,000 for the bar and wasted time waiting for results without a job. I strongly suggest that anyone who failed seek out a tutor. I can personally attest to John Crossfield and the personal attention that he gives. He grades your essays as if he were grading your exam for the bar, not higher or lower. He explains what you are doing wrong and how you need to improve in detailed form. His corrections to your paper will demonstrate to you what a 75 paper looks like so you know what you need to do to get a 75. By applying his specific method, I saw my writing change from 55 and 60's to 65, 70 and 75's consistently. I can without a doubt say that having him as my tutor was essential to me succeeding and I would encourage every person who failed, based on their essays or PT's, to seek him out. At the very least reach out to him and contact him regarding your scores, as he will be able to evaluate whether he can help you based on your scores. His website is www.cabargrader.com.

Also, I used baressays.com which displays real graded essays from the bar. This was a major help along with the tutoring because the sample answers the bar gives on the website are not necessarily 75 graded answers. BarEssays gives you a variety of 75 answers so you can compare your essays to the actual graded essays. Further, I thought that Kaplan's MBE's were the most similar to the actual bar but I used Adaptibar as well and thought it was helpful. I would note that Adaptibar's Civ Pro MBE's are not at all comparable to the bar.

To those that have failed, keep your head up! take your time to grieve and then get back on the grind and start studying. Do everything that you can to put yourself in the best position for next time. At the end of the day you want to be able to honestly say that you have done everything humanely possible to pass. For some that means spending more time on MBE's or doing more essays with proper feedback, but don't keep funneling money into programs that don't grade like CA bar graders. And don't do a course strictly because they offer a free repeater course, as I did. Make sure that whomever is grading your essays has the proper training to ensure you are in the best possible position. Overall I truly believe that if I would have got a tutor from the start I would not have wasted thousands of dollars on bar exams and time that could have been spent doing actual legal work as an attorney. Right now you might feel like there is no way you will succeed but I can assure you through perseverance, dedication, and smart studying you will succeed. I wish you all the best of luck on the Feb. 2016 Exam.

RaiRai
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby RaiRai » Sat Nov 21, 2015 5:35 am

Passed!
Foreign attorney, CA repeater. I used Adaptibar this time. Helped my confidence. Used 2009 Barbri materials. Big difference i think was that I practiced PTs a lot and reviewed essay model answers.
I also want to thank my seatmate who told me before PT-B to finish strong. Thanks dude, whoever you are. Hope you made it too.
For those who did not pass, don't give up. Keep at it even though you may feel like you don't have what it takes. You do.

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a male human
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby a male human » Sat Nov 21, 2015 7:12 am

BrokenMouse wrote:
BuenAbogado wrote:By the way, this was my third time. All odds were against me. I really attribute my success to A. Using Adaptibar like a mad man and B. Getting a tutor that made me write a shit load of essays.


Buen I didnt pass but I am sending respect ur way. I seriously get encouraged seeing ur success and progress. Perhaps u can write a longer post of ur journey.

For me I was simply not ready to take this exam. I was exhausted from commuting to school (100+ miles) and taking care of my sick family member. Im over it

How many times have you attempted the bar?

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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby a male human » Sat Nov 21, 2015 7:17 am

mpwildcat4life wrote:Long time lurker in this forum but I thought I would post to help bring my experience to those that have failed. This was my 3rd time taking the bar after failing by less than 10 points the first time and under 30 points the second time. I am proud to say I have PASSED this time!

This is my experience:

I took Themis the first time because of their guarantee for a repeat course if I were to fail. After failing the first time, I used their repeat program to take the bar again (dumb decision).Both times I completed nearly 100% of the Themis program.On the bar I scored high on the MBE, well above 140, but my essays were always low. It was only after the 2nd time failing that I realized that there is a fundamental flaw in the way Themis grades the essays. One grader would say I did everything great and give me a 65 (barely passing according to CA Bar standards) while another would correct my rule statement without looking at my analysis. The scores they gave seemed to be scores they pulled out of thin air based on different standards than that of the real CA bar graders.

After failing the 2nd time I decided to hire John Crossfield who is a past CA Bar grader. He actually knows what graders are looking for in the essays, which is contrary to what Themis graders were telling me I needed to work on. He was instrumental in my success this round and I could not have been happier with his tutoring. In fact, I wanted to go with him after failing the 1st time, but told myself that "I can just fix the mistakes I made and I will be fine" (I got another bar review from Themis that was free so i might as well take advantage). This was the wrong decision, one that cost me another $1,000 for the bar and wasted time waiting for results without a job. I strongly suggest that anyone who failed seek out a tutor. I can personally attest to John Crossfield and the personal attention that he gives. He grades your essays as if he were grading your exam for the bar, not higher or lower. He explains what you are doing wrong and how you need to improve in detailed form. His corrections to your paper will demonstrate to you what a 75 paper looks like so you know what you need to do to get a 75. By applying his specific method, I saw my writing change from 55 and 60's to 65, 70 and 75's consistently. I can without a doubt say that having him as my tutor was essential to me succeeding and I would encourage every person who failed, based on their essays or PT's, to seek him out. At the very least reach out to him and contact him regarding your scores, as he will be able to evaluate whether he can help you based on your scores. His website is http://www.cabargrader.com.

Also, I used baressays.com which displays real graded essays from the bar. This was a major help along with the tutoring because the sample answers the bar gives on the website are not necessarily 75 graded answers. BarEssays gives you a variety of 75 answers so you can compare your essays to the actual graded essays. Further, I thought that Kaplan's MBE's were the most similar to the actual bar but I used Adaptibar as well and thought it was helpful. I would note that Adaptibar's Civ Pro MBE's are not at all comparable to the bar.

To those that have failed, keep your head up! take your time to grieve and then get back on the grind and start studying. Do everything that you can to put yourself in the best position for next time. At the end of the day you want to be able to honestly say that you have done everything humanely possible to pass. For some that means spending more time on MBE's or doing more essays with proper feedback, but don't keep funneling money into programs that don't grade like CA bar graders. And don't do a course strictly because they offer a free repeater course, as I did. Make sure that whomever is grading your essays has the proper training to ensure you are in the best possible position. Overall I truly believe that if I would have got a tutor from the start I would not have wasted thousands of dollars on bar exams and time that could have been spent doing actual legal work as an attorney. Right now you might feel like there is no way you will succeed but I can assure you through perseverance, dedication, and smart studying you will succeed. I wish you all the best of luck on the Feb. 2016 Exam.

Yes, agreed, thanks for telling us your story. Bar grading is OK as a supplemental second opinion of sorts, but I think the most effective is comparing your answers to actual graded essays with actual scores, such as via BarEssays. I'll add a recommendation to compare your essays (or issues and rules you've identified -- I talk about this in a bit more detail in the Feb topic) to LOW-SCORING essays as well. For example, for each essay, look at the 55, 65 and 70 (or 50, 65, 75 -- approximately low, "passing" and high) to better gauge your answer. I can get you $20 off for anyone interested (PM).

legalize-it
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby legalize-it » Sat Nov 21, 2015 7:21 am

gaagoots wrote:I passed the f*cking BAH!!!!!!!!!! I am totally doing a Rod Tidwell dance from Jerry Maguire!

This who were unsuccessful, I made it over the 100 point bulge rule, I scored over 127 points with my unlucky 1313 points from Feb. It can be done!!


Hi there, could you please provide some insight as to the "100 point bulge", the scoring, and all relevant items for your study practice/theories? Basically whatever it is that helped or guided you in passing the exams. Also, if you can provide additional information regarding how you were studying in comparison to what you were not doing before(because it was a waste of time, etc.)
Greatly appreciated. and Congratulations!

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SpAcEmAn SpLiFF
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby SpAcEmAn SpLiFF » Sat Nov 21, 2015 7:36 am

"The name above appears on the pass list for the July 2015 California Bar Examination."

It's crazy how much I owe this forum my entire legal career, from getting into law school to passing the bar. I'm a retaker. If I could help in any way for yall, let me know. Thanks guys

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a male human
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby a male human » Sat Nov 21, 2015 7:38 am

SpAcEmAn SpLiFF wrote:"The name above appears on the pass list for the July 2015 California Bar Examination."

It's crazy how much I owe this forum my entire legal career, from getting into law school to passing the bar. I'm a retaker. If I could help in any way for yall, let me know. Thanks guys

Grats man! Maybe you'll actually talk to me now :)

MBAtoJD
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby MBAtoJD » Sat Nov 21, 2015 10:14 am

Congrats to passers!

For those to were unsuccessful this time around, I wanted to give a tip that helped me when I passed Feb 2015. If you possibly can, tell no one (friends or family) that you are taking the Bar. I passed after my 3rd try because my nerves were not all over the place. I was always nervous. I knew the law, I knew how to write but my nerves always screwed me over then I start forgetting rules, second guessing myself and I get stupid. I always thought about how embarrassing it would be to fail and tell everyone (AGAIN). So when people asked me, I told them I was taking a break. It helped me relax because if I failed, no one will know as they would think I just didn't take it. People can stress you out with all the "good lucks," " You will pass," " When are the results out," " I'm thinking about you," "Is this your first attempt" etc. The thought of everyone knowing was just too much for me. It was overwhelming.

This exam has a lot to do with emotions. During Bar prep, I was so calm. I used the public library (FYI - I didn't realize this was the homeless' hang out spot) and just studied on my own. No tutors, no study group, no stress. At the exam room, my head was always down, I never used the restroom for fear I may run into someone and I just stayed in my hotel room. I was ready to do whatever it took because I knew that my failure was not about not knowing the law or how to write. I had to think deep and ask why I was failing. I remembered how my fingers starts to shake when I was typing the exam, how my heart was pounding, how it always felt like an out-of-body experience in the exam room. Like I wasn't there and I was floating around watching myself taking the exam. Whenever I saw my graded exam, I was like "what idiot wrote this?!??" The third time, I was present...I was relaxed...I was cool as a cucumber. I was so cool that when I left the exam, I was sure I failed because I was so chill.

I know a lot of you won't have this luxury as they work and the boss will know or you live with a spouse. But for those who can find a way to keep it to yourself, I think it could help. You already know what you need to do: PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. I did 50 MBEs a day with Adaptibar, journaled rules for the ones I miss, 2 timed essays per day. I didn't even practice a PT (disclaimer: I did a lot the first two times). I just read PTs, outlined and looked at the selected answer. I used the first month (Dec. 2014) to read the outlines (long Barbri outlines - loved the examples); 3 subjects a week. I needed to start slow...didn't want to jump into practice too early and wanted a refresher on rules. Then Jan 1st., 2015 until the day of exam, I practiced my ass off. Oh, since civ pro MBEs were new, I ordered Adaptibar civ pro lecture and listened over and over again especially sitting in the car waiting for the library to open or driving to get lunch. I worked hard but it didn't feel like Bar prep at all - not what I was use to. I was still watching movies, I want to my friend's wedding, spent a day at Universal Studios, Hollywood bus tour, etc with no guilt! I was not stressing probably because I wasn't around other people studying for the Bar, feeling like I'm in a competition, and feeling the stress of seeing other takers around me...trying to see what they are doing and maybe I should be doing what they are doing. Or someone stopping by to ask me a question I can't answer and feeling fcuked because I didn't know the rule or the answer.

Anyone can "teach" you how to pass but you hardly hear people teach you how to deal with your emotions, your mind, the voices in your head, your nerves, your mental well-being before, during and after. This exam is between you and The Bar. So, in my mind, it was "fcuk everyone else." It was a little awkward telling friends & family after I passed. They were like, when did you study? How? Where? Some were mad but they got over it (especially the friends who took the same Bar and failed).

A RELAXED MIND IS A CLEAR MIND. Sometimes, to succeed, you have to keep your plans private. Work in silence and PRAY.

Best of luck to you!
Last edited by MBAtoJD on Sat Nov 21, 2015 10:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

gaagoots
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby gaagoots » Sat Nov 21, 2015 10:50 am

legalize-it wrote:
gaagoots wrote:I passed the f*cking BAH!!!!!!!!!! I am totally doing a Rod Tidwell dance from Jerry Maguire!

This who were unsuccessful, I made it over the 100 point bulge rule, I scored over 127 points with my unlucky 1313 points from Feb. It can be done!!


Hi there, could you please provide some insight as to the "100 point bulge", the scoring, and all relevant items for your study practice/theories? Basically whatever it is that helped or guided you in passing the exams. Also, if you can provide additional information regarding how you were studying in comparison to what you were not doing before(because it was a waste of time, etc.)
Greatly appreciated. and Congratulations!


Ok I know for me I did a complete 360 on my approach. I needed some of the BarBri lectures, Contracts, Evidence, Civ Pro. I watched them all the first time but for me it was mindless fill in my book when Professor Sheffy said, "write this down". In Feb I supplemented with a former bar grader tutor, he's a nice guy but he shook my confidence like a 7.7 magnitude earthquake with his scoring. One of the attorneys I work for said three weeks before the bar to let him go because I was focused too much on 'beating the bar grader' than knowing and understanding the law.

My scores were as follows;

65
70
60
55
55
50
55

55
55

MBE 132.7

Mistakes I made....

1. Kept ex BF in my life as a 'friend' that was stupid I should have cut him off clean like I did for July.
2. I made the next big no no mistake of exam predictions, thinking ...ooh they just tested remedies, trusts, BO, I won't kill myself over them I will just review. They tested those and when I saw remedies that morning, I went to panic mode and couldn't think straight at all.

What I changed:

3. MBEs, crazy ginger lawyer in the firm decided to adopt me after I failed, back in the day her tutor was Richard Sakai, before he was snapped up by BarBri. She wanted to see how I did MBEs. I picked the right answer, Crazy ginger shrieks noooooooooo, you failed because of that. Thanks lady, anyway I switched my approach by listening to her.

I found all the wrong ones first. Usually 2, then the two right ones left, one had the correct law. I actually learned the law by doing these. I used Adaptibar and scored 76.1% and did over 3,121 MBEs. I started the first day after I failed the bar. I didn't have time to grieve because I work full time. I journaled my MBE answers, I just bought one of those composition journals and lots of colored pens and sectioned each with a tab for the MBE. I used Babri detailed outline, it had more "stuff' than CMR for getting it, then letting the lightbulb go off.

I reviewed these again and again. I did 20 MBEs every morning at this time, I'm an earlier riser. Did another 20 in the office, like mid day. Sometimes I did more at night, but that was more for reviewing my material after I got home from work. Adapti on my iPad meant I had no excuse not to do MBEs.

4. I bought Whitney Roberts bar code cheat sheets(BCCS) that became my book of love. Somehow because I researched this to death, so many people passed using this book. Essays have to be done "the graders way or the highway" This is where I did some major change. I bought 50 blue books from Amazon, and practiced all my essays by handwriting. 1 blue book was enough for 2 essays. Handwriting for me helped me memorize, if forced me to become succinct and it forced me to write the outline.

Cheat sheets served as a blueprint for commonly tested areas. I also used my iPad and took pictures of the templates I struggled memorizing, this way when I was somewhere with no wifi for MBEs I could memorize these. Now word of warning, 3 out of 6 of our CalBar essays won't fit the template. However, like for question # 6, takings was something I remembered from law school but feared if they would surprise me with it. I used the BCCS method and had that baby broken down bit by bit. 2807 from this forum gave sage advice, "show them your work" I did. I also used baressays.com to self-grade. I actually had my dream essays, they were all the areas I prepared for. Corp was strictly 1 hour, I needed time for #4 (the area I practice in) and #6 because I learned to like this area of testing.

5. The PTs, welp! What can I say, I tried the "do as many as you can" I did 14 of them for Feb, and scored 55's. I just couldn't figure out why these were coming out like ass. Then crazy ginger moved me out of her area and I moved into commercial real estate, I was drafting motions (not effin family law drama decs, or P&As of the Fam Code I know cold) I was too comfortable all my years doing that, so the change up with drafting motions from an area I wasn't familiar with helped me a great deal. I did one graded PT for July. I felt good about PT A, and PT B I think I over gunned it, but who knows what I got on that.

I took two weeks off, one for hard core boot camp study, the other to fricken spend a joyous week in hot as hell Ontario. I religiously used the whiteboard method for memorizing my elements, critical pass was helpful for that. I wrote it again and again. I still have my 10(b)5 on my board, just in case they tested it I was ready.

So kept it simple, I was ten times more calmer during the written. I thought I did great on MBEs in Feb lol no, that was crap. In July, I really wondered why I wasted all my time studying them because they were hard. My D's weren't long strings but I did have chunks of them. We don't find our scores so I could have bombed haha.

Remember you need to find your groove, it's like fitness, not everyone likes to run. Find a method that works for you. I don't like schedules that are unrealistic for me to study and work. Several of us on this forum were repeaters, and I'm sure I would have been told if I wasn't so chicken to post my unlucky 1313 score, people would think I have no shot in hell of passing.

I forced myself to like the area of law I hated, and that was the biggest difference.

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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby BrokenMouse » Sat Nov 21, 2015 11:44 am

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Last edited by BrokenMouse on Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mike.alexander23
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby mike.alexander23 » Sat Nov 21, 2015 12:06 pm

To update, I passed using Themis FWIW

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robinhoodOO
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby robinhoodOO » Sat Nov 21, 2015 12:06 pm

Congrats to everyone that passed. This is truly an accomplishment. As a great attorney told me, now the real work begins.

To those that didn't make it, I'm gutted for you. Any of the passers could have just as easily been in your shoes with a pass rate of 46%. That said, there is a tremendous amount t of good advice in this forum. Use it. Many have failed and gone on to pass. Hell, last night alone I spoke to 2 attorneys who both failed their first time. It may be daunting, but you can and will get back on the horse.

If anyone wants to reach out about my study methods or anything whatsoever, I will gladly offer whatever I have. You guys have been amazing. Onward!

BrokenMouse
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby BrokenMouse » Sat Nov 21, 2015 12:14 pm

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Last edited by BrokenMouse on Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

gaagoots
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby gaagoots » Sat Nov 21, 2015 12:24 pm

BrokenMouse wrote:How did yall prepare for the exam while working full time? My GF and some family members are suggesting I should quit my law clerk at a firm job to prepare. Is there enough time after work to study? for me I am considering it as I commute close to 100 miles per day.



This 3 part video was 'it' for me. I totally related to Jessie, except I got lucky my second time. This was someone who just called it as she saw it. She talks about working and bar prep. It can be done really, it can be.

http://jessie-zaylia.blogspot.com/2011/ ... -exam.html

JosephusMyer
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby JosephusMyer » Sat Nov 21, 2015 12:25 pm

BrokenMouse wrote:How did yall prepare for the exam while working full time? My GF and some family members are suggesting I should quit my law clerk at a firm job to prepare. Is there enough time after work to study? for me I am considering it as I commute close to 100 miles per day.


That all depends on your financial situation, whether you can find a job closer to home or home closer to work, and how you get to work. Transit commuting long distances is conducive to study; driving usually isn't. 4 years ago when I took the LSAT, I had an hour's commute to my internship by bus and train. I used that time to practice. Similarly, this summer, I did about 200-300 MBEs during a long intercity bus trip. Driving, you can't do that. If you live in an area where transit is a possibility, use your commute to study.




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