Life after the Bar Exam

TxBarTaker09
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Life after the Bar Exam

Postby TxBarTaker09 » Sun Jun 07, 2015 6:48 pm

In a couple of weeks I start my "first year" associate position (I say "first year" that way because I've been out of law school for more than a year) that I accepted after an offer was extended a couple of days ago, which is great to have. Feels almost surreal at this point.

I've taken four bar exams up to this point, because I failed three. I passed the Feb. 2015 bar exam, a lot of posters here know this by now. It is nice to be officially licensed finally.

Anyway, I thought I'd post just to say if anyone has any questions, how I found a job, how I finally passed, etc. I'd be happy to talk about it. It's been a long two years to get to this point.

Benjamin1987
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Re: Life after the Bar Exam

Postby Benjamin1987 » Sun Jun 07, 2015 6:57 pm

Congrats!

Question: why do you think you failed the first three tries, and what did you do differently when you passed? Thanks!

TxBarTaker09
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Re: Life after the Bar Exam

Postby TxBarTaker09 » Sun Jun 07, 2015 7:05 pm

The first exam I was working part time at a law firm that hired me out of law school. I told them I could handle the work load while studying for the bar exam, that turned out to be foolish.

The second exam I realized that I had a huge issue with the MBE. So after that I studied extremely hard with a focus on the MBE, and failed by 7 points.

The fourth exam was a complete shift in a lot of ways.

1. I didn't watch any lectures or write notes into handouts. I found this to take up way too much time.

2. I got a private tutor for the MBE, who helped me understand there is a certain mechanical approach to these MBE questions. You can predict a lot of things based on the question, so as opposed to studying huge subject areas, my scope became vary narrow based on the types of questions usually asked and then once I identified the question, I had a list of steps in my head to attack the question in order to find the correct answer. I barely studied for essays or other portions at this point, because I didn't have an issue with it.

On the third exam I also changed my diet and exercised one hour a day just to get out of the house, I believe this helped immensely as well.

hotsummer
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Re: Life after the Bar Exam

Postby hotsummer » Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:50 pm

Thank you for sharing your experience!

So, what kind of firm/practice are you with now? Is it something that you've had some connection and/or direct experience (such as through clerkship/internship) beforehand or a brand new one you got after passing the bar? If you had to look for a job and interview, etc. after several times of taking the exam, did any of the employers give you a hard time because of the previous unsuccessful attempts not just because of the fact that you were not being licensed at the time of the interview?

Kage3212
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Re: Life after the Bar Exam

Postby Kage3212 » Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:53 pm

What prep course did you take? If any, did you find your prep course underprepared you, and how much of the course did you complete?

TxBarTaker09
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Re: Life after the Bar Exam

Postby TxBarTaker09 » Mon Jun 08, 2015 1:01 pm

hotsummer wrote:Thank you for sharing your experience!

So, what kind of firm/practice are you with now? Is it something that you've had some connection and/or direct experience (such as through clerkship/internship) beforehand or a brand new one you got after passing the bar? If you had to look for a job and interview, etc. after several times of taking the exam, did any of the employers give you a hard time because of the previous unsuccessful attempts not just because of the fact that you were not being licensed at the time of the interview?


I am working in a personal injury firm, I had two offers at the time, I accepted this one because I had a previous relationship with them, the other I did not. They were both PI firms.

I had interviewed with three firms up to that point, doing 6 interviews total.

I wouldn't say anyone gave me a hard time, it was more "shocking" to some than others, although once I explained why it happened that way, it seemed to be a non-issue. I wasn't as forthcoming in one interview about it though. It is hard to find some other excuse to explain why it took you two years to get licensed.

TxBarTaker09
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Re: Life after the Bar Exam

Postby TxBarTaker09 » Mon Jun 08, 2015 1:03 pm

Kage3212 wrote:What prep course did you take? If any, did you find your prep course underprepared you, and how much of the course did you complete?


I took BarBri first time, didn't like it, took Kaplan last three times. I think Kaplan is more than adequate. However, on their Civil Procudere MBE practice question their questions were way harder than the MBE questions. I'm thankful for that as it gave me a lot of confidence during the exam.

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minnbills
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Re: Life after the Bar Exam

Postby minnbills » Mon Jun 08, 2015 1:03 pm

Can you tell us a little bit more about the practice/firm?

TxBarTaker09
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Re: Life after the Bar Exam

Postby TxBarTaker09 » Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:30 pm

minnbills wrote:Can you tell us a little bit more about the practice/firm?


The firm is a decent midsize, about 15 attorneys, probably around 30 support staff. Does mostly PI.

RaiRai
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Re: Life after the Bar Exam

Postby RaiRai » Thu Jun 11, 2015 1:33 am

TxBarTaker09 wrote:
2. I got a private tutor for the MBE, who helped me understand there is a certain mechanical approach to these MBE questions. You can predict a lot of things based on the question, so as opposed to studying huge subject areas, my scope became vary narrow based on the types of questions usually asked and then once I identified the question, I had a list of steps in my head to attack the question in order to find the correct answer.


Can you elaborate as well? TIA.

TxBarTaker09
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Re: Life after the Bar Exam

Postby TxBarTaker09 » Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:40 am

RaiRai wrote:
TxBarTaker09 wrote:
2. I got a private tutor for the MBE, who helped me understand there is a certain mechanical approach to these MBE questions. You can predict a lot of things based on the question, so as opposed to studying huge subject areas, my scope became vary narrow based on the types of questions usually asked and then once I identified the question, I had a list of steps in my head to attack the question in order to find the correct answer.


Can you elaborate as well? TIA.


I can give you an example, for hearsay questions I had a five step process that revolved around the most common correct answers from MBE questions to least common. So I never answered "hearsay without any exception" unless I got all the way to step five, because it was the least common correct choice.

nvbar2015
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Re: Life after the Bar Exam

Postby nvbar2015 » Sat Jun 13, 2015 12:45 am

Congrats man (or woman)!

I just started my associate attorney position this past Monday. I failed the NV bar on my first attempt.

TXlawyer17
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Re: Life after the Bar Exam

Postby TXlawyer17 » Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:25 pm

TxBarTaker09 wrote:In a couple of weeks I start my "first year" associate position (I say "first year" that way because I've been out of law school for more than a year) that I accepted after an offer was extended a couple of days ago, which is great to have. Feels almost surreal at this point.

I've taken four bar exams up to this point, because I failed three. I passed the Feb. 2015 bar exam, a lot of posters here know this by now. It is nice to be officially licensed finally.

Anyway, I thought I'd post just to say if anyone has any questions, how I found a job, how I finally passed, etc. I'd be happy to talk about it. It's been a long two years to get to this point.


Congratulations on your associate position! Can you offer any words of wisdom or general advice to those out of law school/newly licensed who are looking for a permanent position? How did you keep your spirit up during times of struggle? How long did it take you to land your job from your law school graduation?

TxBarTaker09
Posts: 225
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Re: Life after the Bar Exam

Postby TxBarTaker09 » Sun Jun 21, 2015 8:22 am

TXlawyer17 wrote:
TxBarTaker09 wrote:In a couple of weeks I start my "first year" associate position (I say "first year" that way because I've been out of law school for more than a year) that I accepted after an offer was extended a couple of days ago, which is great to have. Feels almost surreal at this point.

I've taken four bar exams up to this point, because I failed three. I passed the Feb. 2015 bar exam, a lot of posters here know this by now. It is nice to be officially licensed finally.

Anyway, I thought I'd post just to say if anyone has any questions, how I found a job, how I finally passed, etc. I'd be happy to talk about it. It's been a long two years to get to this point.


Congratulations on your associate position! Can you offer any words of wisdom or general advice to those out of law school/newly licensed who are looking for a permanent position? How did you keep your spirit up during times of struggle? How long did it take you to land your job from your law school graduation?


This is going to sound like a cliche but it's true, there is no substitute for networking and enthusiasm. (Well, except maybe law review and a top 10% class rank, which is not me) I'll admit I had some very low points during those 4 exams, but my wife really helped keep my spirits up and kept me going. The other offer I didn't take, I got that interview through networking. The firm manager didn't post jobs publicly, so he only took recommendations.

I got my first job out of law school because I emailed the firm the November before I graduated and told them I really wanted to work for them (which was true) and the HR person called me back, we spoke on the phone about why I wanted to work there and she told me to get in touch when I graduated. I did, interviewed the next week after gradation, started two weeks later. So it took me a week or nearly a year depending how you look at it.

This job I have now isn't as great as that first job, but that's ok, it's a starting point after a tough two years. But I live by the rule ABN (always be networking) the mere attorneys you know, the faster you can find a position.

TXlawyer17
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Re: Life after the Bar Exam

Postby TXlawyer17 » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:27 am

TxBarTaker09 wrote:
This is going to sound like a cliche but it's true, there is no substitute for networking and enthusiasm. (Well, except maybe law review and a top 10% class rank, which is not me) I'll admit I had some very low points during those 4 exams, but my wife really helped keep my spirits up and kept me going.


It's good to know that determination pays off in the face of adversity. Congrats again.

old_soul
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Re: Life after the Bar Exam

Postby old_soul » Sun Jun 28, 2015 2:26 pm

TxBarTaker09 wrote:
RaiRai wrote:
TxBarTaker09 wrote:
2. I got a private tutor for the MBE, who helped me understand there is a certain mechanical approach to these MBE questions. You can predict a lot of things based on the question, so as opposed to studying huge subject areas, my scope became vary narrow based on the types of questions usually asked and then once I identified the question, I had a list of steps in my head to attack the question in order to find the correct answer.


Can you elaborate as well? TIA.


I can give you an example, for hearsay questions I had a five step process that revolved around the most common correct answers from MBE questions to least common. So I never answered "hearsay without any exception" unless I got all the way to step five, because it was the least common correct choice.


First off, congrats!!

Can you list those five steps by any chance? I hate the qs that have that option -- hearsay without exception.

moreheesh
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Re: Life after the Bar Exam

Postby moreheesh » Tue Jun 30, 2015 2:39 am

When you say you had a huge issue with the MBE, what kind of raw scores are we talking about?

TxBarTaker09
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Re: Life after the Bar Exam

Postby TxBarTaker09 » Wed Jul 01, 2015 12:13 pm

old_soul wrote:
TxBarTaker09 wrote:
RaiRai wrote:
TxBarTaker09 wrote:
2. I got a private tutor for the MBE, who helped me understand there is a certain mechanical approach to these MBE questions. You can predict a lot of things based on the question, so as opposed to studying huge subject areas, my scope became vary narrow based on the types of questions usually asked and then once I identified the question, I had a list of steps in my head to attack the question in order to find the correct answer.


Can you elaborate as well? TIA.


I can give you an example, for hearsay questions I had a five step process that revolved around the most common correct answers from MBE questions to least common. So I never answered "hearsay without any exception" unless I got all the way to step five, because it was the least common correct choice.


First off, congrats!!

Can you list those five steps by any chance? I hate the qs that have that option -- hearsay without exception.


Normally I would be happy to do this, however right after the bar I burned all of my notes and other bar exam stuff, haha, so I no longer remember the exact steps, I'm sorry about that

TxBarTaker09
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Re: Life after the Bar Exam

Postby TxBarTaker09 » Wed Jul 01, 2015 12:13 pm

moreheesh wrote:When you say you had a huge issue with the MBE, what kind of raw scores are we talking about?


I didn't get raw scores, my scaled scores from my previous three MBE's were 120, 115, 122. So, pretty low.

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OklahomasOK
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Re: Life after the Bar Exam

Postby OklahomasOK » Wed Jul 01, 2015 12:20 pm

TxBarTaker09 wrote:
moreheesh wrote:When you say you had a huge issue with the MBE, what kind of raw scores are we talking about?


I didn't get raw scores, my scaled scores from my previous three MBE's were 120, 115, 122. So, pretty low.


Congrats again, glad to see you're doing well. You were a source of positivity during July 2014 for lots of us on TLS.

TxBarTaker09
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Re: Life after the Bar Exam

Postby TxBarTaker09 » Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:53 am

OklahomasOK wrote:
TxBarTaker09 wrote:
moreheesh wrote:When you say you had a huge issue with the MBE, what kind of raw scores are we talking about?


I didn't get raw scores, my scaled scores from my previous three MBE's were 120, 115, 122. So, pretty low.


Congrats again, glad to see you're doing well. You were a source of positivity during July 2014 for lots of us on TLS.


Thanks! I appreciate it.

perlet123
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Re: Life after the Bar Exam

Postby perlet123 » Mon Jul 06, 2015 5:40 am

Congrats! I'm glad to hear that you passed the bar exams and didn't lose hope after failing three times. You are an inspiration to everyone. Keep motivated.

godfavorny
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Re: Life after the Bar Exam

Postby godfavorny » Mon Jul 06, 2015 8:06 am

Who was your tutor? Can you also detail the 5 steps for hearsay questions.

TxBarTaker09
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Re: Life after the Bar Exam

Postby TxBarTaker09 » Tue Jul 07, 2015 8:50 am

godfavorny wrote:Who was your tutor? Can you also detail the 5 steps for hearsay questions.


My tutor was Dona Zimmerman (I booked her through Kaplan) she founded PMBR and still does some tutoring for Kaplan. She was awesome, highly recommend her if anyone is considering a tutor.

Unfortunately I literally burned all my notes and bar exam things after the bar, and I have forgotten the exact order of the 5 steps, I don't want to give you any information that may mislead you, sorry about that. I kind of brain dumped after the bar was over.




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