PASSING THE CALIFORNIA BAR
California Bar results are due out, Friday, November, 21, 2014.
It’s 5:59 PM, Friday, November 21, 2014, and your hands are anxiously posed over your computer keyboard or phone getting ready to log in to The State Bar of California’s web site, to see if you passed the California bar exam, July, 2014. Heart pounding, bar results will be out in 1 minute. You type in your name and number and you see ” No names on the pass list match your name.” You re-type it, hoping you made a mistake.
Filled with emotions, mind spinning, you feel disappointment, tears of devastation, embarrassment, anger, and shame. How will I face everyone at work, tell my parents, my family, friends? I should have studied harder, done more practice tests. What should I do now?
People may try to be encouraging. They’ll tell you it’s so much easier to pass the 2x, (not true) or they’ll tell you that the former Dean of Stanford Law School, Kathleen Sullivan, California Gov. Jerry Brown, California Gov. Pete Wilson, former Los Angeles Mayor, Antonio R. Villaraigosa, all failed the California Bar Exam. Misery does not love company in this case. It’s not going to help you overcome your feelings. You need a plan. A solid plan for how to pass the California Bar Exam 2015.
I’ve been helping people pass the California bar exam for 25+ years. I’ve helped partners and associates from large law firms to a 10x taker from an unaccredited law school in California whose dream was to be lawyer since he was 6 years old. Whether you want to practice law or not, you need to pass the California Bar Exam, or it will haunt you for the rest of your life. It’s unfinished business and difficult to move on in your life until you’ve passed.
Almost everyone who calls or e-mails tells me the same thing. They just need to study harder and they will pass the California Bar Exam the next time. But in my years of experience, students didn’t fail the bar because they didn’t know enough law. They failed because they didn’t know how to apply the law they did know the way the California Bar graders wanted to see it.
The California Bar Exam is not a test of how much law you know, or how good a lawyer you will be. The truth is, that the key to passing the California Bar Exam is in how well you can apply the law you know to what the bar is asking. To do this consistently means you need to do a lot of bar-like exam practice, under timed conditions with quality feedback and comments so you can perform well under the stress of the actual bar exam.
The best way to learn how to ride a bike is to practice riding the bike. You cannot learn to ride by watching others ride, or by watching videos on how to ride. You must get on the bike and practice. It’s okay to make mistakes, it’s okay to fall. You won’t make those same mistakes again. And you definitely won’t make them on the bar exam given enough practice and help. That’s our philosophy. Putting you under bar exam-like conditions on a regular basis to de-sensitize you to the actual bar exam. Giving you practice riding the bike with our help, guidance, and encouragement.
The California Bar graders take 1-2 minutes to grade your essay and performance exams. You must give it to them exactly the way they need to see it. You must study the law, exactly the way you are actually going to write it during the California bar exam. You cannot study tomes of big bar review bulk information, and think that under the most stressful circumstance of your life, you are going to suddenly be able to condense it and write it the way the California bar graders want to see it.
To do well on the MBE, it takes more than doing thousands of practice questions. If you are taking practice questions, and not improving your technique, it’s not enough. You will just keep practicing an ineffective method. You need to have a test-taking technique that helps you eliminate incorrect answer choices. And a method, that helps you pick between the last two answer choices. You cannot take the MBE like an essay, and issue spot. It’s exhausting, requires unnecessary reading, and eats up your MBE time.
So what is the best way to learn these test taking skills and methods? Many of you took a California bar review course that will allow you to re-take the course for a lesser or “take over” fee. However, why repeat something that didn’t work for you the first time? It doesn’t make sense.
So here’s what I recommend:
1. Make Sure you Get the Help You Need and Deserve-A California Bar Exam tutor
It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to seek out a good one-on-one tutor.
The smartest top students do, why not you? Private one-on-one California Bar exam tutoring is an excellent option. Sometimes when I suggest tutoring to a student, there is a hesitation in their voice. Tutoring can have a weak or “not-as-good-as” connotation to it, but not when it comes to passing the California Bar Exam. Here, it’s a smart choice. The smartest! Many top students, out-of-state attorneys taking the CA bar exam, LL.M.’s and repeaters, wisely make the decision to get personal, one-on-one help.
There is a technique, a method, and skills, for passing the California Bar Exam that can more easily be learned in a personal, individual setting. Tutoring is more than going over practice essays, performance skills writing, and homework. Tutoring can identify and correct an underlying problem that could be plaguing you on all sections of the bar exam.
In our tutoring program, there are 3 of us there helping you. A licensed and experience California Bar Exam tutor, a Bar Coach, excellent at diagnosing and helping you fix bar roadblocks, struggles, pitfalls, and I mastermind your tutoring.
2. Take a Small Live Personal California Bar Review Course
Take a small, personal, live California bar review, that is tailored to your needs, where you can ask questions, interact, get the advice you seek. You attended law school live, where you interacted with classmates, professors, and friends. You don’t need to do this all alone; there is help, interaction, collaboration, and even study buddies (if you like).
We teach you the writing structure, study methods, approach, skills, organization, techniques, tips, and tricks for passing the essays, performance tests and MBE’s. It’s about structured, focused, tailored studying to fit your needs in coordination with what is most effective on the California bar exam.
In our Intensive Course, we give you structure, guidance, advice, techniques and a method, coupled with quality, clear feedback on practice exams. Our course helps diagnose where you are at, where you need to be, and how to get there. Visit www.barwinners.com.
3. Get the Bar Diagnosis You Need So You Can Fix What Caused you to Fail
If you don’t know what went wrong on your bar exam, how can you fix it? Trying to diagnose why you failed the bar exam yourself, is like trying to drill your own teeth, or do open heart surgery on yourself. Impossible.
We are geniuses at diagnosing what happened, what got in your way of passing and how to fix it. I’m here for you.
4. Study from a Structured Approach Book-Templates
Essays: Studying using a structured approach template is so much easier and better than trying to create one of your own. I’ve done a lot of the work for you. I’ve created the Approach Book, “Bar Bible”, where I’ve broken each bar subject down substantively into an easy to memorize and apply approach. We then show you how to practice using the approach on the essays under bar exam timed conditions.
I believe that you need to study the substantive materials in exactly the same way that you are going to actually write that issue on the bar exam. Trying to memorize and learn thousands of pages from big bar review materials is not the way to go. We give you a shortened, structured approach for each tested issue on the California Bar Exam. You don’t have to re-invent the wheel. It’s a standardized test and they grading from a standardized answer.
So many bar students tell me that they looked at tons of practice California Bar Exam questions, and reviewed the sample answers. They took thousands of MBE’s and still they did not pass. More is not better. Better is better. We help you improve the quality of what you are doing. It’s not about quantity of work; it’s about improving the quality.
Performance Tests: Have a Plan for tackling the California 3-hour Performance Tests
You must have a plan. A way to organize, structure and outline the materials that responds to the Task Memo precisely. The bar graders, take 1-2 minutes to grade your performance exam. It has to follow their answer outline. Their answer outline is based on the Task Memo. Your Performance Exam must utilize every case, and many of the statutes. You need a method to approach it, that you practice on a multitude of performance assignments. We give you a technique and method to master the performance exam.
5. You don’t need to be perfect. This isn’t college or even law school. You’re not trying for an A on the bar exam. The passing score on the California Bar Exam is more like a C-. Passing on the essays and performance tests usually ranges from a score of 62.5-65. On one recent California bar, the scaled overall passing score on an essay and performance test was 59! A good solid score is a 70. A 75 is considered very good. So relax and know you can do it. You don’t have to be outstanding, just “minimally competent.” And you don’t have to know everything. In fact, knowing “too much” can get in the way of passing the California Bar Exam.
And, if you didn’t pass, don’t stress. You are not alone. Have a shot of Tequila, meditate, do yoga (after all this is California) and then, let’s make a plan together.
I believe in you. I know you can pass the California Bar Exam, 2015. You do have what it takes.
Feel free to call me at (310) 451-0519 or e-mail me your scores at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can also help you understand what happened, why it happened, and where to go from here.
You are not alone. After all, when you with us, you’re part of the family. I’m here, call me.