2020 September California Bar Exam

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Re: 2020 September California Bar Exam

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Jun 14, 2020 2:18 pm

Is anyone else really confused by the CA bar applicant portal? My status for the CA Bar Exam Application says "Pending Applicant." What does this mean?

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Re: 2020 September California Bar Exam

Post by retaker_SF » Sun Jun 14, 2020 5:30 pm

james11 wrote:
Sat Jun 13, 2020 1:53 pm
retaker_SF wrote:
Sat Jun 13, 2020 12:29 pm
FYI Washington State just instituted diploma privilege for all those that signed up for WA State Bar, and graduated from ABA school.

So much for CA being progressive. I hope they follow WA's lead. This is incredible news.

Bar prep companies are probably not so happy about it.
Diploma privilege would never happen in California because of the large amount of retakers and foreign lawyers it would leave behind, in addition to the large amount of "California accredited" schools that are not ABA but also would be left behind. The big states - California, New York, Florida, would never allow diploma privilege, but it could work for small jurisdictions like Washington or Utah.
Washington included retakers.

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Re: 2020 September California Bar Exam

Post by ESQ92 » Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:49 pm

Just wanted to comment on the whole "not enough time to cheat" argument, because I really do not understand it. (Within the last few years I've passed two bar exams on the first try, the first of which was CA, so it's still a fresh experience for me).

I always had a few minutes left over on the essays where I would go back and hunt for small issues to pick up extra points. I think having access to a "lean sheets" type outline, two or three pages per subject, that just lists subtopics, rules, and elements is INFINITELY useful on the bar essays. I just don't see what would prevent a test taker from taping them all to the wall behind their laptop and looking at them during the exam.

Imagine doing a property essay, getting a weird question that involves something like restrictive covenants, and boom, just being able to look up at your lean sheet and plop down the 6 elements and run with it. Or when you're done with the essay just scanning the different subtopics within the subject to see if any can apply anywhere. It's an insane advantage.

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Re: 2020 September California Bar Exam

Post by a male human » Mon Jun 15, 2020 4:35 pm

ESQ92 wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:49 pm
Imagine doing a property essay, getting a weird question that involves something like restrictive covenants, and boom, just being able to look up at your lean sheet and plop down the 6 elements and run with it.
ESQ92 wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:49 pm
restrictive covenants
ESQ92 wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:49 pm
run with it

Did you just

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Re: 2020 September California Bar Exam

Post by retaker_SF » Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:42 pm

a male human wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 4:35 pm
ESQ92 wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:49 pm
Imagine doing a property essay, getting a weird question that involves something like restrictive covenants, and boom, just being able to look up at your lean sheet and plop down the 6 elements and run with it.
ESQ92 wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:49 pm
restrictive covenants
ESQ92 wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:49 pm
run with it

Did you just
lol

and excellent point about thew plausibility of cheating. we need diploma privilege.

apparently feb 2020 essay grading was not done in typical procedure and shelter-in-place and emergency orders for California counties. State Bar of California has not acknowledged this, but it makes sense that the grading was effected. Maybe even tester performance. worried this will continue for the upcoming exam.

the scaling was pretty unfavorable in feb 2020. they didn't scale favorable in consideration of the pandemic. pretty crazy to me, it doesn't make sense. unfortunately people will cheat. and unfortunately, testing conditions will be most favorable to the wealthiest examinees bc they can have quiet spaces. someone made a great point on twitter: if someone lives in the tenderloin SF, and maybe has a roomate or two, spouse or kids, they probably will not have favorable testing conditions

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rcharter1978

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Re: 2020 September California Bar Exam

Post by rcharter1978 » Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:04 am

ESQ92 wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:49 pm
Just wanted to comment on the whole "not enough time to cheat" argument, because I really do not understand it. (Within the last few years I've passed two bar exams on the first try, the first of which was CA, so it's still a fresh experience for me).

I always had a few minutes left over on the essays where I would go back and hunt for small issues to pick up extra points. I think having access to a "lean sheets" type outline, two or three pages per subject, that just lists subtopics, rules, and elements is INFINITELY useful on the bar essays. I just don't see what would prevent a test taker from taping them all to the wall behind their laptop and looking at them during the exam.

Imagine doing a property essay, getting a weird question that involves something like restrictive covenants, and boom, just being able to look up at your lean sheet and plop down the 6 elements and run with it. Or when you're done with the essay just scanning the different subtopics within the subject to see if any can apply anywhere. It's an insane advantage.
So now you're going to tape lean sheets to your wall, and in the space of a few extra minutes you're going to find the specific lean sheet you need, you're going to find the exact information and incorporate that into your exam? For a question you are reading and processing in real time?

For the CBX, your essays can be chosen from what....15 subjects? And often have crossover questions from multiple subjects.

How many hypothetical lean sheets are you taping up, how big is this hypothetical wall? How tiny in the font? How long will you have to stand there in front of 8 point font searching for these elements?

But hey, maybe they have seen this before since the company I looked at offers a number of tools to flag odd behaviors, webcam monitoring, environment scans and recording of your screen during the exam.

In this scenario are you just going to sit in front of this wall of multiple lean sheets and never get up to look at them? Because unless they are in giant font you won't be able to see much from where you're sitting. And if it's in tiny print, you won't be able to see much sitting down. And if you keep getting up and walking over to a wall you'll probably a) waste time and b) get flagged.

You're going to somehow use a few extra minutes, walk over to a wall papered with lean sheets, find the specific subject lean sheet, the specific topic, review it for "extra points" sit back at your computer and furiously type something that would be on a study guide or outline right after you sit down.

You're going to do all this in a "few minutes" and multiple times. So, multiple instances of a person getting up from the computer, sitting down a minute later and suddenly typing for their lives with elements and rules that sound suspiciously like information that would be on an outline isn't going to set off any alarms? You're right, this advantage DOES sound insane.

Even if you're talking about some set of documents that is staple or bound together that you're just going to try to reach for multiple times and peruse, which sounds even more time consuming and less tenable, particularly if you're being monitored on webcam.

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Re: 2020 September California Bar Exam

Post by rcharter1978 » Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:31 am

retaker_SF wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:42 pm
a male human wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 4:35 pm
ESQ92 wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:49 pm
Imagine doing a property essay, getting a weird question that involves something like restrictive covenants, and boom, just being able to look up at your lean sheet and plop down the 6 elements and run with it.
ESQ92 wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:49 pm
restrictive covenants
ESQ92 wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:49 pm
run with it

Did you just
lol

and excellent point about thew plausibility of cheating. we need diploma privilege.

apparently feb 2020 essay grading was not done in typical procedure and shelter-in-place and emergency orders for California counties. State Bar of California has not acknowledged this, but it makes sense that the grading was effected. Maybe even tester performance. worried this will continue for the upcoming exam.

the scaling was pretty unfavorable in feb 2020. they didn't scale favorable in consideration of the pandemic. pretty crazy to me, it doesn't make sense. unfortunately people will cheat. and unfortunately, testing conditions will be most favorable to the wealthiest examinees bc they can have quiet spaces. someone made a great point on twitter: if someone lives in the tenderloin SF, and maybe has a roomate or two, spouse or kids, they probably will not have favorable testing conditions
Are examinees prohibited from taking the exam in a location other than their residence?

Almost every exam setting is not going to be favorable to someone. It was a damn igloo at the Ontario convention center... I'm sure some people were hot, some people were sitting right next to the restroom.

The guy sitting next to me nervously jiggled him leg all three days and throughout the entire exam and it constantly bumped the table up and down.

A guy three seats down from me had his laptop die and it became a loud whisper cluster of proctor's trying to help him.

There have been power outages, birds flying into test centers, fire alarms, earthquakes and so on and so forth.

The bar may strive for an ideal testing environment, but it's not anything they care that much about.

Functionally, since the bar doesn't care, if you don't HAVE to take it at home, I'd spend a couple bucks and book a reasonable hotel room. Unless required to take it at home, I imagine a lot of examinees may do that to avoid distraction.

If you're just looking to vent, it's a fair enough point, but people have been expected to take the bar under some conditions that are less than ideal.

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Re: 2020 September California Bar Exam

Post by cavalier1138 » Tue Jun 16, 2020 9:25 am

rcharter1978 wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:31 am
If you're just looking to vent
After making several posts complaining about why they are being personally discriminated against by the bar, I think it's safe to say they're just looking to vent.

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Re: 2020 September California Bar Exam

Post by rcharter1978 » Tue Jun 16, 2020 9:49 am

cavalier1138 wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 9:25 am
rcharter1978 wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:31 am
If you're just looking to vent
After making several posts complaining about why they are being personally discriminated against by the bar, I think it's safe to say they're just looking to vent.
True.

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Re: 2020 September California Bar Exam

Post by retaker_SF » Sat Jun 20, 2020 2:06 am

rcharter1978 wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 9:49 am
cavalier1138 wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 9:25 am
rcharter1978 wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:31 am
If you're just looking to vent
After making several posts complaining about why they are being personally discriminated against by the bar, I think it's safe to say they're just looking to vent.
True.
https://www.law.com/2020/06/19/californ ... -bar-exam/

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rcharter1978

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Re: 2020 September California Bar Exam

Post by rcharter1978 » Sun Jun 21, 2020 4:00 am

retaker_SF wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 2:06 am
rcharter1978 wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 9:49 am
cavalier1138 wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 9:25 am
rcharter1978 wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:31 am
If you're just looking to vent
After making several posts complaining about why they are being personally discriminated against by the bar, I think it's safe to say they're just looking to vent.
True.
https://www.law.com/2020/06/19/californ ... -bar-exam/
How long has this been the case and zero people cared? If the test itself is flawed than the test needs to be changed.

Arguably, cutting the pass score would still be a disproportionate advantage to white applicants if the test itself is not changed.

I don't know, four lawmakers does not seem like a lot, but hey, maybe it gets traction. Crazier things have happened, I just wouldn't hold my breath.

At some point, if the test itself is biased against minority applicants then there will always be an argument that minority applicants are disadvantaged....unless the test is fundamentally changed or done away with. I don't see anyone really pushing to do either of those things so....I don't know.

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Re: 2020 September California Bar Exam

Post by Tankeryanker » Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:03 pm

The BBar was yesterday. I wonder how long it will take the Bar people to release info from it regarding it being the first online test for California?

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Re: 2020 September California Bar Exam

Post by retaker_SF » Thu Jun 25, 2020 5:31 pm

Tankeryanker wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:03 pm
The BBar was yesterday. I wonder how long it will take the Bar people to release info from it regarding it being the first online test for California?
July 10 according to their plan

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Re: 2020 September California Bar Exam

Post by Heyall » Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:48 am

Does anyone have any reasonable predictions for what the essay topics will be?
Last edited by cavalier1138 on Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Outed for anon abuse.

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Re: 2020 September California Bar Exam

Post by Rooks » Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:21 pm

Yay for more uncertainty. Deans from most CA schools to meet with CA Bar and Supreme Court on July 2nd to discuss bar exam

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Re: 2020 September California Bar Exam

Post by JDMBALLMMS » Tue Jun 30, 2020 10:44 pm

I received this today 06/30/20:

To All Students Currently Registered for the Upcoming California Bar Examination:

The State Bar of California and the California Supreme Court are inviting all law students registered for the fall California Bar Examination to an optional meeting (via Zoom) to provide input regarding the administration of the bar exam in the fall. The information we learn from you will be provided to members of the Court for their consideration in making a final decision. No decision will be made at the meeting itself.

Public comment will be limited to one minute per applicant, and additional written public comment of any length may be emailed between now and July 6 to CalBarExamPublicComment@calbar.ca.gov. Because of the very limited amount of time available for this meeting and the number of invitees, this meeting is limited to those who registered for the fall bar exam. For the same reason, we encourage you to consider making your comments in writing.

The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, July 7 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. No preregistration is necessary.

Zoom Webinar Link: https://calbar.zoom.us/j/99961135865
Webinar ID: 999-6113-5865

Call-In Number:
669-900-9128

Please be assured that this meeting is completely optional. All registrants for the fall bar exam will receive information about the final decision at the same time, whether or not in attendance at this meeting.

Sincerely,

The State Bar of California

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Re: 2020 September California Bar Exam

Post by Rooks » Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:20 am

Sounds like Diploma Privilege may be gaining some traction again. I encourage everyone here to submit concerns and join the Zoom call. This is likely our last and best attempt, especially with Chemerinsky in board.

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Re: 2020 September California Bar Exam

Post by JDJM6215 » Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:35 am

Rooks wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:20 am
Sounds like Diploma Privilege may be gaining some traction again. I encourage everyone here to submit concerns and join the Zoom call. This is likely our last and best attempt, especially with Chemerinsky in board.
I do not doubt that they will consider it. The economy is trashed, but I am not for the DP, it sucks for foreign applicants and those who went to non-accredited schools. The whole thing, pandemic or not, is so blatantly unfair but then life does through us all curveballs. I passed the F20 test, 7th time taker. I am now practicing and also providing free zoom classes to bar applicants each week to help them in this time of stress. I am hoping the NCBE test online will be the way they go. Look at the DC bar - they are only doing 3 essays, PT and 100 MBE's in October. I am sending a letter requesting they work with the NCBE and do the same and at the same time I am asking them to only do a first read and lower the passing score to 1390. This will mean the graders will have to slow down at least a minute or two on each question they read, would that be nice, it also would mean they are likely to grade harder but with the online remote proctoring, highly doubt cheaters will get away with cheating - especially with AI monitoring their movements and eyes. If they look up for any length of time it will be noted and considered highly suspect. I research this issue at the end of April and sent letters, emails and participated in the whole process with the bar on choosing the remote testing. It is a good way to ensure minimal standards. Expect a professional responsibility essay for sure and the PT, it will be simple - find the ffffing rule and prove the elements in each paragraph with the library and the facts (the task memo will tell you whether it is persuasive or objective). If I passed the F20 test you can all pass this test in October, if they go with it, which is what the SC recommended. DP is not an option in my opinion and I wonder if people will even be hired if DP is the solution - if it is, you lose, CA Bar wins, because they don't spend any money on test admin.

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Re: 2020 September California Bar Exam

Post by Rooks » Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:57 pm

jennimarcy wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:35 am

I do not doubt that they will consider it. The economy is trashed, but I am not for the DP, it sucks for foreign applicants and those who went to non-accredited schools. [. . .] If I passed the F20 test you can all pass this test in October, if they go with it, which is what the SC recommended. DP is not an option in my opinion and I wonder if people will even be hired if DP is the solution - if it is, you lose, CA Bar wins, because they don't spend any money on test admin.
You're of course entitled to your opinion. I do not doubt my, or any of my peers from most CA accredited schools, ability to pass the bar exam. It is not to get a "free pass," but rather to give us some financial stability and an option to immediately start practicing - as opposed to waiting until the end of the year, or possibly later, to become licensed.

People will still be hired if granted DP. Of course, someone who graduated from University of San Francisco or Thomas Jefferson are still going to have difficulty finding a job regardless of passing the bar or receiving DP. Similarly, Stanford/Berk/USC/UCLA students will be considered for positions in the same manner regardless of DP or bar passage. The pandemic has already wiped out some jobs that were secured by 2Ls in 2019, and many others that were secured by students in 2020. DP will not make most attorneys look down upon the graduating 2020 class. There may be a few extreme traditionalists who will, but the vast majority understand the situation.

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Re: 2020 September California Bar Exam

Post by RVP11 » Wed Jul 01, 2020 2:56 pm

Would diploma privilege cover attorney applicants?

Been practicing 8 years, T10 law school, passed my state's bar exam with a way-above-passing score. Would be unfair if fresh grads got handed CA licenses but attorney applicants who would be very likely to pass the exam didn't.

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Re: 2020 September California Bar Exam

Post by Rooks » Wed Jul 01, 2020 3:30 pm

RVP11 wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 2:56 pm
Would diploma privilege cover attorney applicants?

Been practicing 8 years, T10 law school, passed my state's bar exam with a way-above-passing score. Would be unfair if fresh grads got handed CA licenses but attorney applicants who would be very likely to pass the exam didn't.
Not sure about this, but I doubt it. "Unfair" in terms of earning potential? Until we get licensed, it's rare for any of us to make even about $20/hour. Presumably, barring extreme circumstances, you could stay working within your state and make more there (after COL adjustments) than what any of us unlicensed 2020 graduates could.

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Re: 2020 September California Bar Exam

Post by rcharter1978 » Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:03 pm

Well, this is much farther than I thought the idea of DP would go, so maybe you all are onto something.

I don't think it's a good idea for a variety of reasons, but it's not my decision to make and it sounds like more states are opting to grant DP.

I wonder if there is an option for provisional DP, whereby applicants could be granted license to practice but would agree to take the bar within two years.

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Re: 2020 September California Bar Exam

Post by JoeAccidentally » Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:31 pm

I think RVP11 is partially saying that it's seems less risky for CA to grant licensure through diploma privilege to someone already barred in another jurisdiction than a newly minted law grad, and thus, unfair to apply it only to law grads in that sense. It appears that Utah's April 21st order did provide diploma privilege for certain law grads and attorney's admitted to the bar in another State. Someone on this forum also mentioned something similar for WA. So, there's hope out there.
Rooks wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 3:30 pm
RVP11 wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 2:56 pm
Would diploma privilege cover attorney applicants?

Been practicing 8 years, T10 law school, passed my state's bar exam with a way-above-passing score. Would be unfair if fresh grads got handed CA licenses but attorney applicants who would be very likely to pass the exam didn't.
Not sure about this, but I doubt it. "Unfair" in terms of earning potential? Until we get licensed, it's rare for any of us to make even about $20/hour. Presumably, barring extreme circumstances, you could stay working within your state and make more there (after COL adjustments) than what any of us unlicensed 2020 graduates could.

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Re: 2020 September California Bar Exam

Post by cls1650 » Thu Jul 02, 2020 3:45 pm

An update from Dean Chemerinsky of Berkeley:
As previously announced, the California Bar examiners met with the deans of law schools this morning. Three Supreme Court justices attended as well: Justices Tino Cuellar, Josh Groban, and Goodwin Liu. The hearing was from 10:00-11:45 am.
The chair of the bar examiners said that they are pursuing a remote exam on October 6. He said: “As of today, we are working towards a target date of October 6.” But he also said that “as of today, they have not reached any final decision whether there will be a remote bar exam.”
The bar examiners discussed in detail the experience with the “first year law student exam” (“baby bar”) administered to those who went to non-ABA accredited law schools on June 23. The most interesting thing said was that they were considering making available old bar questions for students to practice with downloading and taking an on-line exam.
They also said it takes 15-16 weeks to grade the bar exam. If the exam is September 9-10, grading will be done by December 25. If the exam is October 5-6, grading will be done by January 15. (As explained below, the deans objected to this.)
The chair of the bar examiners said at the outset, “The deans certainly can use the time available to discuss alternatives to a bar exam. We are not tasked to do this and it is not within our purview.” This seemed a clear statement that their focus is solely to recommend to the California Supreme Court how to administer a bar exam, but not whether to recommend diploma privilege.
Nonetheless, the four deans of ABA-accredited law schools who spoke – Song Richardson (UC Irvine), David Faigman (Hastings), Jennifer Mnookin (UCLA), and I – all advocated emergency diploma privileges for graduates of ABA accredited law schools. This was urged forcefully as justified and desirable under the circumstances. Each dean who spoke advocated for this. (Several deans of non-ABA accredited law schools spoke also.)
The deans also urged that if there is a bar exam, it be one day on September 9 and all essay. It was indicated by the Bar and its psychometrician, Roger Bolus, that they do not think this is possible.
The deans said that if there is not diploma privilege, that there be provisional bar licenses.
We urged them to decide quickly – that the uncertainty as to when and how the bar exam will be conducted is causing enormous anxiety and harm for our students. They said that they will have a hearing with students on July 7 and then will decide quickly.
At the end, Justice Liu said that he had an open mind, but thought that any solution would need to be uniform among all law schools in the state. Justice Cuellar said that there will be a committee created to look at the issue of cut scores.
My conclusion – and to be clear no decision was announced and this is my interpretation – I think a remote bar exam in October is most likely. The deans, though, will continue to urge diploma privilege.

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Re: 2020 September California Bar Exam

Post by RVP11 » Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:48 pm

Rooks wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 3:30 pm
RVP11 wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 2:56 pm
Would diploma privilege cover attorney applicants?

Been practicing 8 years, T10 law school, passed my state's bar exam with a way-above-passing score. Would be unfair if fresh grads got handed CA licenses but attorney applicants who would be very likely to pass the exam didn't.
Not sure about this, but I doubt it. "Unfair" in terms of earning potential? Until we get licensed, it's rare for any of us to make even about $20/hour. Presumably, barring extreme circumstances, you could stay working within your state and make more there (after COL adjustments) than what any of us unlicensed 2020 graduates could.
What if you have a job waiting for you in California, or you are in California and need to get licensed in X months? It's just as hard to guess at the circumstances of attorney applicants as it is to do with new law school graduates.

My point about fairness is that giving every single graduate from Thomas Jefferson (for example) a California license but making someone from a school with a 90+% California bar passage rate, and who has already passed another state's exam, wait an additional 4 months to take an exam that they would most likely pass would seem a little backwards. So, there is a good argument that "diploma privilege", as it is being called, should be extended to everyone who applied to take the July exam, not just fresh graduates.

Hopefully, for all of our sakes, that is what they decide to do.

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