New York vs. California

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Marlene Stanger

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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:27 pm

New York vs. California

Postby Marlene Stanger » Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:23 pm

By way of brief introduction, I’m a foreign trained attorney who recently took the Feb 2019 CA bar exam for the 1st time. I’ve been practicing law for 6 years. While work in my practice area has been drying up in my native jurisdiction, opportunities in NY and CA abound— which is why I‘m seeking to move.

In preparation for the CA exam I stopped working and studied full time for months. I know that I could not have tried any harder in my preparation. In spite of my efforts, the CA bar exam is astonishingly difficult (gross understatement), and while I’m hopping for the best, I’m strategizing in the event that I do not receive a passing score.

In the event that I do not pass, I’m contemplating taking the NY Bar exam instead of retaking CA. My MBE practice scores on Themis leading up to the exam were quite high, which, of course, would reap greater rewards in NY. Also, there are just too many variables and uncertainties with the marking scheme in CA. I’ve read that several people on this message board have taken the CA exam multiple times, but I have no interest in standing around for a bus that may never come.

Has anyone abandoned the CA exam to succeed in NY? Is this a recommended approach? I would appreciate your thoughts and insights on this approach — leaving aside all the fun stuff re: the final NY bar registration date vs. CA bar exam results release date; foreign applicant approval turn around times by the NY bar; and employment limitations on what bar I’ve been called to.

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Re: New York vs. California

Postby SilvermanBarPrep » Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:37 pm

Having never taken California i don't feel entirely qualified to give this advice but I do teach both state-specific exams and the UBE. The UBE is a more manageable test since there aren't any worries of state specific distinctions for the MBE subjects. Also, the essays are 30 minutes long which some prefer to the longer essays common to most state exams. The UBE is tough because there are quite a lot of subjects tested, but I think it's an easier exam to prepare for than the California test.

But if someone has taken both the UBE and California, their advice could be more meaningful!

Sean (Silverman Bar Exam Tutoring)


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Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:16 pm

Re: New York vs. California

Postby Blueplanet » Thu Mar 28, 2019 5:43 pm

Marlene Stanger - which jurisdiction are you from originally? From my experience NY is more widely recognised. It has a lower cut score and lower and from people I know considerably easier. I know many lawyers from my jurisdiction that have taken the NY bar and passed.

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