July 2015 California Bar Exam

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robinhoodOO
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby robinhoodOO » Sat Nov 21, 2015 12:32 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.


I only took time off in July, after working May and June. June was crazy balancing the two, but having July off was instrumental to becoming "minimally competent." If it's possible to just take all of February off and keep your job, it would be definitely doable.

BrokenMouse
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby BrokenMouse » Sat Nov 21, 2015 1:19 pm

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Last edited by BrokenMouse on Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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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 1:24 pm

MBAtoJD wrote: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.


gaagoots wrote:
legalize-it wrote:
gaagoots wrote: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.

***

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.


Love these. Agree with finding a state of clarity and calmness. I was told that I studied more the second time but appeared to be less...stressed?

I think there was a sense of purpose and confidence in "the plan"... not a daily micromanaged schedule but a "macro-schedule" that outlines what YOU need to do -- not what Themis tells you, not what Barbri tells you, not what any one-size-fits-all schedule tells you -- what YOU need to tailor your study to. This needs deliberate thinking (can go more into depth anyone wants).

In a way, repeaters have all the advantage (fuck the statistics; you are an individual) because you pretty much know the material or are able to trigger the concepts by reviewing them. I bet you can review a whole subject in a day now. Use the rest of the time for PRACTICE and getting feedback. Don't practice how to memorize the law; practice what you're actually going to do on exam day.
Last edited by a male human on Sat Nov 21, 2015 1:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

FancyP
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby FancyP » Sat Nov 21, 2015 1:25 pm

I failed for the third time in a row. Used Barbri, Bar essays, and Adaptibar. In utter shock. No idea how close/far I was from passing until the score reports come out. I don't know what to do next--take it again in Feb or wait--when I do study for it, how to do something different without breaking bank. Dreading going into work on Monday with my tail between my legs. Passed the MA bar on the first try. Just devastated and disappointed that all of the sacrifices, time, tears, and stress these past three unsuccessful times were all for nothing. :(

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KatieSpades
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby KatieSpades » Sat Nov 21, 2015 1:27 pm

BrokenMouse wrote:Im one of the truly lucky bastards who graduated without debt (any debt) and still live with parents. So I can afford to not work as I have some small savings and no bills to pay. My current law clerk job at a small firm pays next to nothing but it is 40 miles (1.5 hour drive in traffic) does give me experience and something to write on my resume. Considering these factors, take my chances and drop it and go for another job after passing the bar or keep it? My only fear is I won't find another law clerk gig in between after the bar. Quitting means I won't be able to help out my family pay some bills I thought I was going to pay, but not working will literally give me 8+ hours more per day to study.


Is it possible for you to use your driving time to listen to audio versions of lectures or outlines?

Also, do you think that your job would let you reduce your hours or work part-time?

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat Nov 21, 2015 1:37 pm

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

Big time congrats. Don't know how you waited so long to check.

nyny
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby nyny » Sat Nov 21, 2015 1:46 pm

robinhoodOO wrote: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!


Congrats to you robinhoodOO, you have been a major asset to this forum and the people in it. Your chart gave me a sense of security before finding out that I passed. You paid it forward and congrats attorney. :D

algid1113
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby algid1113 » Sat Nov 21, 2015 1:56 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.


i worked full time prepping for the July 2015 bar and it can be done. I also commuted 100+ miles a day, hr each way, driving. You need to find what works for you and also, when you are the most alert. I am the most alert as soon as I get up until I eat lunch, so I utilized those times to study. Studying after work was a bust since when you are tired, nothing sticks. I wasn't absorbing anything at that point, but just pointlessly attempting so that I felt better that I "studied".

I woke up an hr before i had to get ready for work so that i could quickly get ready, and do some jumping jacks or just anything physical for few mins just to get myself alert. Then, I would sit down and read outlines for about an hr. I also made notecards for each subject. The notecards were usually not more than 5-6 small cards per subject, meaning I didn't write out full rules but mnenonics or short phrases. I basically copied the outlines from the book Essay Exam writing for the California Bar exam by Mary Basick. I would glance at these cards while stopped at lights on my commute and while I was driving I would continuously repeat it to myself to ensure it stuck. Im not advising anyone to read anything while they drive, but if you can find ways to utilize the time you sit idle, find safe ways to make it work for you. I would also talk out loud to myself while I drove, reciting the entire outline to myself.

During my lunch breaks at work, I did practice essays. Timing was never an issue for me, but I did time myself a few times to ensure I got the feel for what an hr was like while writing out a full essay. I strongly encourage to time urself at least a few times to ensure you can write a full essay within the hr and also give urself 5mins or so wiggle room to review at the end. Once timing was not an issue, I would just outline each essay by spotting the issue and writing out the rule. IRAC and headers are very important. Everyone says grading can be all over the place w so much subjectivity. If you can make it easier for graders to quickly glance and know that you spotted the issues and structure ur gibberish, i think it has to be a tremendous plus. Organization is key.

Same for my commute home. If I wasn't dead tired on the drive home, I would try to recite rules/look at note cards. Nights were a bust on most occasions. However, I did utilize my initial nights to make the notecards. I could zonk out and write out notes, but it would be later useful. I spent weekends studying by doing MBE questions from the Emanuel MBE book, more essays, and reading over notes. This was the only real time I had to study so I tried to study as much as I could during Sat/Sun. For the PT, i just looked at past exams and answers. I really didn't focus much on it, actually only looked at 3 previous exams as it was so dull that I couldn't get myself to study for it. As mentioned, I think organization and headers are key, esp in PT. I really have no idea what the hell I wrote for my PTs. What I made certain that I did on my answers were headers and IRAC. The call of the question is key in PT as it pretty much tells you what it wants you to address and how they want it outlined. If you use that as your headers, you pretty much mapped out your entire answer. All you need to do afterwards is to use each piece provided and tie it in somewhere in your writing.

As mentioned, I used two books to study: Essay Exam Writing by mary basick and emanuel mbe, and of course all the previous exams on the bar site. I do have to tell you that this is my second bar as I took the FL bar in 2013 using barbri. I passed the first time as well. I knew that I def didn't want to spend money on bar prep again nor had the time as they give you too much crap to do/read which makes you feel nervous that you don't know everything and that kind of anxiety only leads to panic. You will not know everything. The point is to know just enough of the basics, which Essay Exam Writing does an excellent job of outlining. Every exam will have that one damn awful essay everyone thinks they failed and one impossible PT it seems. But overall, the other 5 essays and PT B were manageable. Commit the basics to ur head down cold. For me, if smtg is in my handwriting, it sticks better in my head. So for subjects/topics I had trouble remembering, I kept writing it until it stuck. By now you should know what study habits work for you, so focus on that and keep at it! Really, this exam is a mind fuck in many ways. I don't doubt the intelligence of anyone that failed, nor is it a measure of your capabilities. Tweak your study habits, make it manageable, and most importantly, keep calm.

Also, if you are working full time, you never know what will come up at work. I suggest starting as earliest as you can so you can give yourself some padding days in case smtg at work pops up. Hope my rambling helped at least a tad bit! If you have any questions, feel free to message me. Good luck!

injun
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby injun » Sat Nov 21, 2015 2:13 pm

So thankful that I finally passed this exam. As a long-time lurker (and sometimes poster) of this forum, I am hopeful that my experience can provide hope to someone who came up short this time. Sorry for the lengthy post, but I know I felt as a repeater and how much it hurt me and those who wanted me to succeed. Take the time to mourn and then get back to work. You may not realize this now, but all that work you put in earlier will pay off as you prepare since you did most of the heavy lifting (i.e. learn black letter law).

As I mentioned earlier, this was my 4th attempt (i've taken both Feb and July administrations in '14 and '15). I made small improvements each time:
2/14 -> 1284
7/14-> 1315
2/15-> 1340
7/15-> pass

Here are just a few things I did differently this time around:

I. Essays
Just to preface all of this, I was a pretty average student at a lower tiered school, so apologies if the following is basic knowledge to many of you. IMO, bar examiners really do pay special attention to your analysis and want to see the inferences you made based on the facts provided in the question. For each administration, I would get a sense of optimism because I recognized and discussed many of the issues mentioned in the post-mortems that go on here. However, when I got my scores back, I would continually receive 55s and 60s.

After reviewing my answers, it was pretty clear that I was not doing a good job of making my inferences more explicit. In general, I'm sure most applicants will recognize how certain facts can trigger a specific issue. These same applicants then will write the same rules. However, IMO, I think what separates us from each other is how well we express our inferences to the examiner.

In my previous attempts, I would provide analysis using this general formula: "[ELEMENT 1] is satisfied because.." For some reason, I struggled to clearly express the inferences I made from the facts. Using this formula, I would always regurgitate express facts rather than providing examiner with anything more. I used two different tutors, and while both were helpful, LawJunky provided me with a very basic formula that I RIGIDLY applied every time. I truly felt that it made all the difference for me. As you analyze each element under the "A" of your IRAC, format your answer as follows:
[FACT FROM QUESTION] = [ELEMENT FROM RULE] because [why the FACT satisfies this ELEMENT].

Here is just a quick example from one of my practice essays:
CONSPIRACY
Conspiracy requires (1) an agreement between 2 or more people (2) to achieve an unlawful objective (3) intent to achieve the objective. Under Majority rules, (4) there must be an overt act in furtherance of the objective.

(1) an agreement between 2 or more people?
Here, D informed Eric of his plan to take V's computers while she was away. E said he wanted nothing to do with it but offered his pickup if D need to carry computers away. D then borrowed E's pickup while V was supposed to be on vacation. As such there was an agreement between E and D because both E and V agreed that D would use E's pickup truck which he ended up using to take the computers.

(2) achieve an unlawful objective?
Here, the theft of V's computers is an unlawful objective because the computers do not belong to either D or E as they have no right to possess them.

(3) intent to enter an agreement?
Here, D's borrowing of the pickup shows intent because E told D that he could use his pickup to take the computers away. Moreover, D actually used E's pickup to take the computers further demonstrating intent because E did not change his mind or prevent D from using the truck.

(4) intent to achieve the objective?
Here, D informed Eric of plan to take V's computers while she was away. E said he wanted nothing to do with it but offered his pickup if D need to carry computers away. D then borrowed e's pickup while V was supposed to be on vacation. These facts demonstrate intent to achieve the objective because both E and D knew that they did not have a legal right to posses the computers.

Therefore, D will be liable for conspiracy because, for reasons discussed above, all of the elements have been met.

In some instances, the facts give rise to the possibility of other potential issues (e.g., conspiracy and solicitation). IMO, I think it would be a good idea to raise them and dismiss them if not applicable. When one or more elements are NOT satisfied by the facts,my analysis would look something like this :

Solicitation
Solicitation requires (1) requesting another to commit a crime (2) intent for the person to commit the crime.

Here, D informed Eric of plan to take V's computers while she was away. E said he wanted nothing to do with it but offered his pickup if D need to carry computers away. As such, there is no solicitation because, although he did mention his plan to E, D did not explicitly ask E to take V's computers since D planned on doing it himself. Also, D did not explicitly ask E to participate in the crime itself as it appears that E voluntarily offered his truck.

Here, D telling E about his plan to steal the computers does not show intent because he did not intend on E stealing the computers for him or even have E participate in the crime.

Therefore, there was no solicitation because for reasons discussed above, the elements above were not met.

Also, for the essay portions of the exam, I made sure to take my time on the questions I felt I could get the most points from. For instance, I felt good about the Civ Pro and Property questions, so I spent a lot of time on those questions. I think this lead me to have less than an hour for the Crim Pro question (which, I admit, was one of my weaker subjects). I did the same with the CP question...I spent a great deal of time making sure my analysis was how I wanted it to be because I felt that I truly understood the question. IMO, it's better to do quality analysis rather than stick to a specific time allotment for each question and lose out on points.

II. Performance Tests
If you look at my posts, I obsessed over these. Lots of great advice on how to format, but I had real problems understanding how to write a truly responsive answer. Each PT is essentially a puzzle that we are asked to solve. For each prompt, I would create an outline that identified which cases (or sections of a case) or statues were applicable to that specific prompt. I would make this determination by ruling out which cases/statutes were completely in applicable to the prompt. I then would write out the rules and explain the rationale of the court’s decision in those cases. I then would delve into the facts of our case and then make distinctions or analogies based on what our client’s position was.

III. MBE
I felt that this was a major weakness of mine, which is why I focused much of my study on improving my writing. My be scores were 135, 136, and 137 respectively, so I would not be surprised if I did not improve much in this area. I used Adaptibar for the 2/15 exam and on this exam. For this past July, rather that review the blackletter law, I just jumped right in and started answer the Adaptibar questions cold to see what I remembered. I was actually surprised by how much I retained (I was answering questions with about a 70% accuracy). I found myself also being surprised at the answer choices I made previously (Adaptibar keeps a record of the previous answers you selected for a specific question). Based on this, I believe we repeaters have an advantage over first time takers since we likely have a solid knowledge base of the rule of law for each subject.

I hope to discourage repeaters from analyzing the statistics of this exam like I did. I sat there reading percentages and talking my self into believe that this exam requires a perfect performance. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, I did not have much to write for questions 5 and 6 of this exam. Also, I was not completely sure of my PT responses, but I made sure to follow the plan I laid out and execute. It seems like A LOT of us missed or goofed hard on questions, yet somehow passed.

If I can be of any more help or if this post is confusing, shoot me a message. I’ve always wanted to give back to this forum because of the comradery here. I’m not sure I would have ever passed if it weren’t for you guys. Take care and best of luck studying!

Notorious RBG
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby Notorious RBG » Sat Nov 21, 2015 2:35 pm

If you did not pass this time I humbly suggest that you get right back on the horse for February. I have heard that people who choose to sit out a cycle before retaking don't actually end up studying any earlier for the next exam anyway.

I know that as a non-passer you are bombarded with so many tips and tricks they end up contradicting each other, so my advice is really general. You have to figure out what works for you and do that. Focus on how information actually gets into your head, and be proactive about addressing your emotional state. There is no bonus for studying more hours than other people or doing more practice questions, and frankly there is a point of diminishing return where you can stress yourself sick with studying.

For me what worked was: reading every single model answer I could get my hands on, doing practice MBEs under timed condition only and always reviewing questions I got wrong, making flashcards for memorizing rules I didn't know, and developing a working strategy for tackling the PTs. I was working full time while studying so taking a bunch of 3 hour practice PTs was not realistic for me, however they are worth too many points to go in cold turkey. I had a step-by-step approach and sticking to that during the bar helped me feel in control of the process.

Resources I used that worked:

Whitney Roberts cheat sheets (I don't think it's realistic to memorize all of them verbatim, but I did memorize a good number of them and they really helped me pick apart confusing areas of law)

hard copies of practice MBEs with thorough explanations (I think your best bet is to get a few books of questions from different sources so you see a range of MBE types- PMBR are way different than Barbri, for example)

PT boot camp video (I honestly don't think it matters much which one, the key is having an approach that gives you confidence and ensures you don't miss important steps the examiners are looking for)

And my final tip is, if there is a particular substantive area you find that you avoid because you don't like it (for me it was Wills & Trusts, and Property initially) or a part of the bar you really dislike (MBEs) take that as a cue that you have got to dive right into the pain. You don't have to know everything about every subject, but going into the bar praying a particular subject is not addressed is not the mindset you want to have.

If you graduated law school you can pass the CA bar. Period. It's a glacier that you have to chip away with using an ice pick, there are no short cuts and no ways around it. There is no magical perfect tutor, no magical perfect book or web site that will do it for you. Those things may help, but ultimately it is your brain and your will power alone in that room with the test. If you did not pass this time tell yourself that passing has been postponed, but it will happen for you if you do not give up.

Notorious RBG
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby Notorious RBG » Sat Nov 21, 2015 2:37 pm

Also, totally support the suggestion of not telling the world you are taking it. It really helps to walk into the exam without the weight of all of your loved ones on your shoulders.

fadedsunrise
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby fadedsunrise » Sat Nov 21, 2015 3:01 pm

BrokenMouse wrote:Im one of the truly lucky bastards who graduated without debt (any debt) and still live with parents. So I can afford to not work as I have some small savings and no bills to pay. My current law clerk job at a small firm pays next to nothing but it is 40 miles (1.5 hour drive in traffic) does give me experience and something to write on my resume. Considering these factors, take my chances and drop it and go for another job after passing the bar or keep it? My only fear is I won't find another law clerk gig in between after the bar. Quitting means I won't be able to help out my family pay some bills I thought I was going to pay, but not working will literally give me 8+ hours more per day to study.


This is me, except with loans and more than next to nothing law clerk pay. My boss has pretty much explicitly said "the bar is a crapshoot, if you fail you'll pass 2/2016." But since I studied full time for July 2015 I don't even know if its the actual quantity of time I put in that is the matter with my studying. And sad thing is that we all need to wait weeks until that score report :evil:

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kjartan
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby kjartan » Sat Nov 21, 2015 3:13 pm

Does anyone else think it's in incredibly poor taste to post that you passed on FB?

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MarcZero
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby MarcZero » Sat Nov 21, 2015 3:22 pm

Themis emailed me to say that we can't get access to the next bar course until they get a copy of our score reports. For those of you have not passed before, are the score reports the letters they send out on Friday or are those the full reports we get back in 4 weeks?

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kjartan
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby kjartan » Sat Nov 21, 2015 3:36 pm

For future test-takers can we confirm whether the fail paragraph is in red or black font?

fadedsunrise
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby fadedsunrise » Sat Nov 21, 2015 3:38 pm

kjartan wrote:For future test-takers can we confirm whether the fail paragraph is in red or black font?


Mine said in red something like (no desire to open the website again)
Error: this name does not match with a name on the past list. This could be because:
1. Not passing
2. Numbers are entered wrong
3. [forgot this reason]
4. Didn't take this exam

[Enter another applicant]

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kjartan
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby kjartan » Sat Nov 21, 2015 3:42 pm

fadedsunrise wrote:
kjartan wrote:For future test-takers can we confirm whether the fail paragraph is in red or black font?


Mine said in red something like (no desire to open the website again)
Error: this name does not match with a name on the past list. This could be because:
1. Not passing
2. Numbers are entered wrong
3. [forgot this reason]
4. Didn't take this exam

[Enter another applicant]

Thank you for that. This should be put in the OP for future CA bar exams.

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robinhoodOO
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby robinhoodOO » Sat Nov 21, 2015 3:43 pm

kjartan wrote:Does anyone else think it's in incredibly poor taste to post that you passed on FB?


If you're bragging or being douche-y, yes, but if you're just letting people know with an update, I don't see a problem with it.

Zaizei
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby Zaizei » Sat Nov 21, 2015 3:46 pm

kjartan wrote:For future test-takers can we confirm whether the fail paragraph is in red or black font?


All of this in red:

The information that you have entered does not match with a name on the pass list. This may have occurred because:

1) the applicant was not successful on the examination;
2) the numbers you entered are incorrect;
3) a registration number was entered instead of a file number; or,
4) the person did not take the examination.

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kjartan
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby kjartan » Sat Nov 21, 2015 4:00 pm

robinhoodOO wrote:
kjartan wrote:Does anyone else think it's in incredibly poor taste to post that you passed on FB?


If you're bragging or being douche-y, yes, but if you're just letting people know with an update, I don't see a problem with it.

I just think it's shitty because chances are good that you know someone who didn't pass.

EZ as AsDf
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby EZ as AsDf » Sat Nov 21, 2015 4:12 pm

FancyP wrote:I failed for the third time in a row. Used Barbri, Bar essays, and Adaptibar. In utter shock. No idea how close/far I was from passing until the score reports come out. I don't know what to do next--take it again in Feb or wait--when I do study for it, how to do something different without breaking bank. Dreading going into work on Monday with my tail between my legs. Passed the MA bar on the first try. Just devastated and disappointed that all of the sacrifices, time, tears, and stress these past three unsuccessful times were all for nothing. :(


Sorry to hear. I've failed and returned to work before and there was a mix of support and well... other responses. Find the good people.

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Pleasye
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby Pleasye » Sat Nov 21, 2015 4:24 pm

kjartan wrote:
robinhoodOO wrote:
kjartan wrote:Does anyone else think it's in incredibly poor taste to post that you passed on FB?


If you're bragging or being douche-y, yes, but if you're just letting people know with an update, I don't see a problem with it.

I just think it's shitty because chances are good that you know someone who didn't pass.

I had the same thought and wasn't going to post. But when I passed and realized how many people I wanted to tell I just gave up and posted something.

I think what was in really poor taste was this guy posting the ATL article about the horrific pass rate and being like "For those of us who passed we're so special because we took the last 3 day exam and passed the hardest one in 30 years!"

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LawJunky
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby LawJunky » Sat Nov 21, 2015 4:45 pm

injun wrote:
I used two different tutors, and while both were helpful, LawJunky provided me with a very basic formula that I RIGIDLY applied every time. I truly felt that it made all the difference for me. As you analyze each element under the "A" of your IRAC, format your answer as follows:
[FACT FROM QUESTION] = [ELEMENT FROM RULE] because [why the FACT satisfies this ELEMENT].



Hi Injun

Welcome to this very elite club. You worked so hard, I knew you would pass.

LJ

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SpAcEmAn SpLiFF
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby SpAcEmAn SpLiFF » Sat Nov 21, 2015 4:57 pm

Figured I'd contribute my debriefing, since other people's stories helped me when I failed the first time. I happen to be blessed with really awesome test taking skills. I've never experienced test anxiety in my entire life, never freaked out during an exam, etc. My granddad even passed away a week before the exam and I was able to shut it out of my mind during the test. So in that regard, I don't really have any advice. However, I do have some points that have been repeated here ad nauseam that still bear repeating:

1. First and totally most important: IRAC like it's a bodily function. This is kinda embarrassing for me personally, but I never learned to IRAC. I was an engineer in undergrad, so I've never had formal training in reading/writing; I've always just kinda went with my gut and wrote whatever "sounds good" on paper. Luckily for me, this got me through law school because my instincts are ok and I tend to IRAC about 70% of the time without even thinking about it. 70% ain't good enough for the bar exam; you need to IRAC 100% of the time so that the graders can spot exactly what they're looking for and tick the boxes on their checklist. Personally, I made a heading for the Issue, the first sentence of the following paragraph was the Rule, the next couple sentences were the Application, and I ended it with the Conclusion. I had an adequate understanding of the law my first go around, but I failed because I didn't IRAC mechanically, and this led to my essays looking like a mess.

2. Always remember that the pass/fail statistics are statistics, and not a probability. You are not rolling dice here; you're totally in control of your own destiny. Don't let that bs get you down. Personally, I looked at the stats and got overconfident my first time, which probably contributed to my failure. I went to a Tier 1 school and I'd previously passed the NY/NJ bar in 2012. Thus, my goal on my first try was to study just enough to pass. That was a huge mistake and, in retrospect, I probably didn't even pass the NY/NJ bar by as much as I thought I did back in the day. The moral of the story is: work as hard as you can for those three months, stats be damned.

3. I worked full-time under the pressure of the billable hour during both of my attempts at the CBX. If you're in the same boat, just know that it's gonna suck real effing hard. I took BarBri and they encourage you to relax sometimes, kick back and destress, etc. Personally, I don't think that applies at all if you're working full-time. The first time around, I studied reasonably hard given the fact that I consistently had to work about 50 hrs per week. The second time, I studied like an animal. I even streamed the Barbri lectures while I was driving to and from work. Erwin Chemerinsky almost made me crash my car because his voice literally puts me in a borderline coma. I made myself completely miserable, but in the end, it was worth it and I wish I'd done it the first time.

If you guys have any questions for me personally, feel free to hit me up. Thanks again to all the homies here that offered guidance/advice; it really helped me pull it off the second time.

needaday
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 12:15 pm

Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby needaday » Sat Nov 21, 2015 5:22 pm

FYI - raw written score of 617 got you to 1440 scaled. That is a 916 on one timers calculator.
Last edited by needaday on Sat Nov 21, 2015 5:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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