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Prepping for CA Bar after passing July 2018 UBE?

Posted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 10:25 am
by funyunknight
Hi all,

I took the July 2018 UBE and passed with a comfortable margin (162 MBE/ 158 MEE/320 total). Now, I am having to relocate to California for some unexpected family reasons. I just got a job offer where I would start in September, but a requirement is that I take the July 2020 California Bar. Because I haven’t been practicing for more than four years, I need to do the whole two-day exam.

To that end, I am trying to figure out how much time I need to spend studying and what study resources I should use. In 2018, I was able to block out seven weeks of study time, and I used Themis.This time around, I’m working full-time through August. I’m also hesitant to drop a lot more money on a prep course, because I’m on the PI track and because it it seems like it might be a little overboard.

Has anyone been in a similar boat? How much time did you spend refreshing, and what schedule did you follow? Did you buy any CA-specific materials for the writing portion? Since it’s been two years, I know I’m probably a little rusty, so I will definitely have to put some actual effort into this thing.

Thanks so much!

Re: Prepping for CA Bar after passing July 2018 UBE?

Posted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 5:58 pm
by SilvermanBarPrep
I think for sure a heavy focus should be on those California specific subjects that weren't tested on the UBE. I've always like Barbri's Conviser Mini Review and you might consider picking one up for California. It'll have all that law nicely organized.

Whatever you did last time worked out well; California requires a high MBE score (144 scaled) so if you didn't hit that score on your last bar you should consider that you'll need some additional work there as well. But mainly be sure to focus on those areas that weren't tested on the UBE since that can be the downfall for many people taking California.

Sean (Silverman Bar Exam Tutoring)

Re: Prepping for CA Bar after passing July 2018 UBE?

Posted: Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:24 am
by barjamie8
funyunknight wrote:Hi all,

I took the July 2018 UBE and passed with a comfortable margin (162 MBE/ 158 MEE/320 total). Now, I am having to relocate to California for some unexpected family reasons. I just got a job offer where I would start in September, but a requirement is that I take the July 2020 California Bar. Because I haven’t been practicing for more than four years, I need to do the whole two-day exam.

To that end, I am trying to figure out how much time I need to spend studying and what study resources I should use. In 2018, I was able to block out seven weeks of study time, and I used Themis.This time around, I’m working full-time through August. I’m also hesitant to drop a lot more money on a prep course, because I’m on the PI track and because it it seems like it might be a little overboard.

Has anyone been in a similar boat? How much time did you spend refreshing, and what schedule did you follow? Did you buy any CA-specific materials for the writing portion? Since it’s been two years, I know I’m probably a little rusty, so I will definitely have to put some actual effort into this thing.

Thanks so much!


California is an entirely different beast and it's been a year since your last exam. I would approach this exam full steam ahead as if you are studying for the first time, minus the full review course. There's an earlier thread here from a former multiple time repeater that is excellent for explaining the best resources for each section. I would follow this closely especially the advice on the essay part.

viewtopic.php?f=41&t=298888

Re: Prepping for CA Bar after passing July 2018 UBE?

Posted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 12:57 am
by nthp
I had a question about this too. I am licensed in Maryland and am planning on taking the July 2020 California Bar. I am licensed under 4 years. I am planning on shelling out money for a review course, since that helped me a lot the first time around. I also will be working through the Bar versus the first time around. Has anyone taken the Barbri review course for attorneys and if so, was it worth it? Additionally, Barbri says that they discount for attorneys, but the price appears to be higher than what I actually paid when I first took it. Has anyone noticed that?

Re: Prepping for CA Bar after passing July 2018 UBE?

Posted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:50 pm
by funyunknight
nthp wrote:I had a question about this too. I am licensed in Maryland and am planning on taking the July 2020 California Bar. I am licensed under 4 years. I am planning on shelling out money for a review course, since that helped me a lot the first time around. I also will be working through the Bar versus the first time around. Has anyone taken the Barbri review course for attorneys and if so, was it worth it? Additionally, Barbri says that they discount for attorneys, but the price appears to be higher than what I actually paid when I first took it. Has anyone noticed that?


Do you know the time commitment for the Barbri review course in terms of hours per week over how many weeks? The website is pretty lacking in detail on that front.

At this point, my plan is to take a practice MBE cold at some point this month, just to get a baseline of how much effort I need to put in. Depending on how close (or far) I am to my 2018 score, I'll likely either do a mix of Adaptibar and self-study for the essays or *yikes* drop money on a review course again. I've got to say, the idea of dropping $5,000~ total on this whole CA bar admissions process for the PI salary I am about to earn all against the debt load I have is pretty stress-inducing . . .

Re: Prepping for CA Bar after passing July 2018 UBE?

Posted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:26 pm
by Anonymous User
funyunknight wrote:
nthp wrote:I had a question about this too. I am licensed in Maryland and am planning on taking the July 2020 California Bar. I am licensed under 4 years. I am planning on shelling out money for a review course, since that helped me a lot the first time around. I also will be working through the Bar versus the first time around. Has anyone taken the Barbri review course for attorneys and if so, was it worth it? Additionally, Barbri says that they discount for attorneys, but the price appears to be higher than what I actually paid when I first took it. Has anyone noticed that?


Do you know the time commitment for the Barbri review course in terms of hours per week over how many weeks? The website is pretty lacking in detail on that front.

At this point, my plan is to take a practice MBE cold at some point this month, just to get a baseline of how much effort I need to put in. Depending on how close (or far) I am to my 2018 score, I'll likely either do a mix of Adaptibar and self-study for the essays or *yikes* drop money on a review course again. I've got to say, the idea of dropping $5,000~ total on this whole CA bar admissions process for the PI salary I am about to earn all against the debt load I have is pretty stress-inducing . . .


Good for you for going into PI. I hear ya on dropping money on CA bar admissions process. It’s even expensive for upkeep should we pass the Bar.

I think the Barbri course is a slightly condensed version of what we took the first time around. I think everything probably depends on your study methods. For me, Barbri gave me a strict schedule and peace of mind. I don’t know if I need it this time around, but I’d still like the reassurance. An attorney at my office offered to give her study materials to me (she was a heavy outliner and did not take a bar prep course for California, and passed on her first attempt). Perhaps I can share them with you in the event I go that route.

Re: Prepping for CA Bar after passing July 2018 UBE?

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:37 am
by funyunknight
Anonymous User wrote:An attorney at my office offered to give her study materials to me (she was a heavy outliner and did not take a bar prep course for California, and passed on her first attempt). Perhaps I can share them with you in the event I go that route.


That would be so helpful! Thank you so much!

And yeah, the review course was worth the money in time in terms of the confidence and tranquility it provided. And depending on what my baseline is now, it might be worth it again. We'll see.

Re: Prepping for CA Bar after passing July 2018 UBE?

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 7:42 pm
by fearandtremblingg
Did pretty much exactly the same thing you did. Took the UBE a few years ago, passed, and took the full July 19 CA bar exam and passed.

I was working full time for the CA bar so I had very very little time to study (less than two months). I took barbri the first time and i took barbri again for CA. I would 100% take a class and since you were successful with Themis the first time, I would definitely take Themis again to the extent that you can afford it.

I semi-followed the barbi course, but just couldn't devote as much time as I should have. I don't know what they say the total number of hours you should study for in order to pass, but I'd guess that I studied for less than 200 in total. I studied about 2 hours each weekday and about 6ish hours on both saturday and sunday. I think having passed once already is a huge advantage and you are already over that mental hurdle. The CA bar material isn't any more difficult than the UBE (I actually found it easier since there are less subjects).

To save time, though, I didn't write out any essays or MPTs. I outlined a ton of essays, but didn't find actually writing all of them through to be particularly helpful. The issue spotting was the main thing since I knew on test day I could apply and analyze just fine and it was a matter of getting the law down.

I actually still have my CA barbri books and a set of critical pass cards that I used. I'd be more than happy to give them to you if you're willing to pay for shipping (or, if you're in the LA area, would be happy to meet you with them somewhere). Bar courses are a total racket and would love to spare you the cost if possible, especially since you are on the PI track. Only caveat is that I won't be in LA till April, so it'll have to wait till then. If you are interested, just let me know!