California Bar Exam Tips: July 2012 Bar Exam Predictions are on the way!

Hello all,

I will be posting my “predictions” for the July 2012 bar exam later today.

In addition, I will post tips each day between now and the bar exam. Topics will include: how to study in the final days and hours, likely essay scenarios, as well as quick approaches for some of the possible essay topics.

So be sure to check back here on a regular basis.

Also, I am taking questions, so please feel free to email me if you have a question you would like to ask and I will do my best to answer it for you. You can email me at: pass@barnonereview.com (My enrolled students are my first priority. However, I will do my best to answer any questions that I can between now and the bar exam).

In the mean time, take a look at some of the study plans on this blog. It is very important to have a plan of attack for the remaining days leading up to the exam. While I have provided sample study plans, your plan can vary. It is more important that you have a plan for each day than your following every aspect of the suggested plans on this site. The key is to mix it up – rotate in multiple subjects into your review each day and be sure to spend a significant amount of time reviewing past essays – this is critical. Do not test yourself on these essays – simply read the fact pattern two or three times and then study the answer(s).

This is one of the best ways to prepare in the final days leading up to the bar exam. Most examinees make the mistake of spending all of their time cramming and memorizing the law and end up neglecting the essays. It is so important to see how the issues come up (how the issues are tested) on the California bar exam. No outline will accomplish this for you. And sadly, most examinees spend most of their time in outlines – divorced from the actual exam. My advice to you today and for next 7 days is to review as many past essays as possible. This is how you will improve your issue spotting and handling of the essays on the actual day. Also, it will greatly increase the likelihood that on the bar you will see essays that you have already seen all or part of before. How great would that be? You can make that happen by simply reviewing many essays every day.

Not only will review – right before the actual exam – of past essays improve your chances of spotting the correct issues, this essay review really is a substantive review. By reviewing four Civil Procedure essays in a row, you will have a much better understanding of how to approach the subject if it shows up on the exam. By the way, I am predicting Civil Procedure. This is a fairly obvious pick. Of course, it may or may not be there. But, if it is, it would probably be nice to know that the last time the California bar examiners tested In Personam Jurisdiction (the full minimum contacts analysis) was in 2006. And, this essay is no longer on the California bar exam website . . . interesting. This does not mean that Civil Procedure is a definite for the exam. But, it does mean that personal jurisdiction (specifically in personam jurisdiction) is due. Many things are “due” or “up”. All of this being said – no one can predict this exam. Nor should you direct your studies away from a topic because it isn’t on someone’s list of predicted topics. That would be very, very foolish.

So, read lots and lots of essay exams and answers. This will increase your issue spotting skills, serve as a substantive review that is in the actual context of the exam, and increase the chances of your actually seeing the exact or nearly exact essay or essays on the actual bar exam.

I will post again later today with my thoughts on what I believe is most likely to be tested. Keep in mind that anything can be tested. Do not dismiss any topic. First Amendment Speech was once tested three times back to back. Many other subjects have been tested three times in a row. Anything is possible. However, I will post what I think is more probable and provide essay scenarios of what I believe could come up on this exam.

Be sure to check back here for more and be sure to let others you know who are studying about my blog.

Remember that you can accomplish so much in these final days. This is really the most important time. You will be relying heavily on short term memory, so make certain that you study well in these last days. I am always stunned at how some examinees will say: “If I don’t already know it now, it is too late”. That could not be more untrue. It is NOT too late. Read essays, read essays, read essays!

I wish all who are studying for this exam the very best of luck!

Sincerely,

Lisa Duncanson
Program Director/Founder
Bar None Review
barnonereview.com

July 2012 California Bar Exam: Free “How to Pass the California Bar Exam Workshop”

Hello All, 

June 2nd will conclude our series of free workshops for this bar round season as we will then need to focus exclusively on our enrolled students.

Our next, and final, “How to Pass the California Bar Exam” workshop will be held tomorrow, Saturday, June 2nd from 10:00 am until 12:30 pm in the city of Orange. This workshop will be taught by Lisa Duncanson (the author of this blog).

Workshop attendees will receive free handouts (including selected Bar Exam Writing Templates). Space is limited, but, at the moment there is still room in our morning workshop. To reserve your space, contact us at: (949) 891-8831 or via email at: pass@barnonereview.com

Note: if you wish to reserve a space this evening or early tomorrow morning, please send us an email and we will get back to you.

All the best to all who are studying for the July 2012 Bar Exam!

barnonereview.com

July 2012 California Bar Exam: Free “How to Pass the California Bar Exam Workshop”

Our next “How to Pass the California Bar Exam” workshop will be held Thursday, May 31st from 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm in Orange, California.

Workshop attendees will receive free handouts (including selected Bar Exam Writing Templates). Space is limited. To reserve your space, contact us at: (949) 891-8831 or via email at: pass@barnonereview.com

Additional workshops to be held on:

Saturday, June 2nd – 10:00 am – 12:30 pm (How to Pass the California Bar Exam Workshop)

June 2nd will conclude our series of free our workshops for this bar round season as we will then need to focus exclusively on our enrolled students.

All the best to all who are studying for the July 2012 Bar Exam!

barnonereview.com

California Bar Results February 2012: What Should I Do If I Just Failed The Bar Exam?

NOTE: This is a repeat of a former posting, but relevant now, if you have just received failing results. Therefore I have posted it again. Good luck to all of you who are either repeating the bar exam this July or taking the bar exam for the first time this July. Time is on your side, especially if you utilize it. Here is my earlier post about “What to do if I failed the bar exam” – Also, please consider attending one of our free upcoming workshops: NEXT FREE “How to Pass the California Bar Exam Workshop” will be held on May 23, at 7 pm in the city of Orange, California.

Also, I will post rate sheets for our various course offerings here on this blog. However, you should wait until you receive your test scores before deciding upon what you need. For example, we offer a variety of course options (including a live course designed specifically for the repeat taker as well as home study options, exam grading only options, tutoring via Skype and online, Performance Test Courses – held live in both Orange County and Los Angeles). We will consider a Northern California Performance Test course based upon enrollment. However, again, I can not emphasize enough that you need to have your scores before making a decision. Best of luck to all.

What should I do if I just failed the bar exam?

If you have failed the bar exam, keep in mind that you are in good company. Also, realize that the bar exam is not an IQ test. Many very bright and hardworking examinees fail the exam. If you have failed, you will need to do the following:

1) Get past being devastated as quickly as possible – as harsh as this sounds, you really do just need to get back to work as soon as you can. Those that do, have the best chance of passing the next exam. Start by doing MBEs.

2) This is going to hurt, but – find out why you failed - this starts by getting your scores back from the bar. The bar will automatically mail score sheets to all examinees who failed the bar. This usually takes 1 – 3 days after bar results come out. When you get your scores, don’t panic and don’t make assumptions about any one section. You will receive both a raw score and a scaled score. Take the time to read the materials that come with your score sheet that explain the raw and scaled scores. See also, other posts on this blog about making it to re-read and interpreting bar scores. And, if you need help interpreting your scores, you can get it free through Bar None Review barnonereview.com or contact me (Lisa Duncanson) directly at: pass@barnonereview.com

3) Commit to taking and passing the next exam - in almost every case, I would recommend taking the very next bar exam. Obviously there are sometimes reasons to sit out a bar exam administration – but in most cases, the best advice is to take the very next exam. Think about it, the material seems like it has fallen out of your head right now – just think how hard it will be to put it all back together if you wait another six months – that would be a whole year since your last review – not a good plan.

4) Develop a plan of attack - Your plan might include taking another bar review course, hiring a tutor, or continuing your studies on your own. There are many courses available (assuming you already tried barbri) that cater to different needs – small classes, private tutorials. Do your research and due diligence before enrolling in a course. Ask for references, ask to see the course materials before enrolling, make sure the bar review provider is a good fit for your needs. And, don’t abandon your common sense – if it sounds too good to be true – it probably is.But, whatever you do (take a course or study on your own) make a plan – figure out how many hours you will study each day, where you will study, how long will you have to review each topic, how many essays you will write each week, how many MBEs you will do each day, how many PTs you will write – figure it out, map it out and develop a plan.

5) Work hard - no matter how hard you worked the first time, you are going to have to work just that hard again. And, if in your honest assessment of your prior bar studies you conclude that you did not work hard enough – well then you are going to have to work harder. There simply is no magic bullet.

Best,

Lisa Duncanson
Program Director/Founder
Bar None Review
(949) 891-8831
barnonereview.com

California Bar Exam: February 2012 PTA

Hello All,

I have received an advance copy of Performance Test A (PTA) from the February 2012 bar exam. This was sent to me by the Los Angeles Daily Journal (an excellent legal newspaper) who received it from the California Bar Examiners. I received this advance copy because I was asked to write a model answer to PTA in the Daily Journal’s upcoming “Bar Results Issue”. The Los Angeles Daily Journal will publish a model answer for each essay exam as well as both performance tests in their upcoming “Bar Results Issue”.

I will provide a link to the Daily Journal’s Online Version of their model answers as soon as it is available.

Until then, for those of you who are interested, here is a copy of Performance Test A from the February 2012 bar exam: Performance Test A from February 2012 Bar Exam *

* Source: California State Bar Examiners and The Los Angeles Daily Journal.

Good luck to all who are waiting on bar results!

Lisa Duncanson

Program Director/Founder
Bar None Review
barnonereview.com

February 2012 California Bar Exam: Rehash About The Rehash

Hello All,

First of all, thank you to all who have been following the blog. And thank you to all who have written me personally. It is humbling to have such a large audience and I greatly appreciate your following.

I know some are waiting for a “rehash” of day three’s exams (at least some of you are – although, I am sure many would like nothing more than to not think about it at all.  And by now, maybe you have forgotten day three’s essays). In any case, a rehash there shall be.

I received many emails about day three’s exams. However, the recollections provided of the fact patterns have varied quite a bit. This makes providing a rehash (without the benefit of actually seeing the essays) pretty challenging. I pride myself on providing high quality content. And, the last thing I want to do is to ruin someone’s day by suggesting that they interpreted an essay (that I have not yet even seen) incorrectly.

So, I have decided to share with you some of what I believe to be the better breakdowns provided by actual examinees (with my own thoughts added – I will let you know when it is me and when it is an examinee’s interpretation of what was tested).

The California bar examiners are due to release the past questions (all essays and performance tests) any day now. At that point, I will be in a much better situation to provide my own interpretation of what issues were required.

However, in the meantime, I thought it would be helpful to share some of what I have received from some of the many examinees who took the time to write to me.

In addition to examinees writing in with their descriptions of what was tested, I have received many emails asking specific questions about the last exam. I believe that some of these these questions would be useful and so I will also post some of your fellow examinees’ questions (along with my answers). I will keep all email addresses private, of course.

I am still willing to address questions by email at: pass@barnonereview.com

I commit a certain number of hours each week to addressing questions at no charge and take all questions on a first-come, first-served basis.

Good luck to all who are waiting for bar results!  It can be a painfully slow wait to May 18th . . . hang in there!

Best,

Lisa Duncanson

Bar None Review

California Bar Exam: February 2012 Day Three Rehash Coming Soon

Hello All,

First of all, thank you to everyone who has written in with their thoughts on the essays. We will be sharing some of the more detailed analysis that students have provided and I will be weighing in with what I think was expected. Know this for sure (from what I have been told by examinees about the three fact patterns) there were many issues tested and there were different routes you could take to solve/resolve some of the issues presented.

We have received many, many emails from examinees out there who are worried because they feel that they missed an issue or two. Please understand that when an essay exam is heavily issue loaded or has more than one route to resolving the issue, then you are bound to “miss” something. It is normal and it certainly does not mean that you have failed that essay.

I know it is difficult, but, it makes sense at some point to let it go. To that end, I will be posting some of the issue analysis that were provided to me by examinees (detailed lists of what they felt was tested) so that you can see what other students felt they caught or missed. I will also do my best to weigh in on what I think the examiners were truly looking for on day three’s exams.

By the way, I really felt that Criminal Law had to show up on this exam . . . PTB was heavy Criminal Law. So they really covered quite a few of the MBE topics this round and of course heavy on Professional Responsibility (day one’s PT and day three – on one essay if not two). So, nothing too surprising really. I know, from the reports that I received from examinees, that this exam was tough. But, quite frankly it was a pretty typical bar exam round. If anything, it was a more typical bar exam round than July 2011 which really did not have any cross-over essays. I know that may sound easier (no cross-overs) but, it wasn’t an easy exam at all. Take a look at the July 2011 Real Property essay and you’ll see just how tough a non-cross-over can be (very heavily issue loaded and difficult to finish in one hour).

Day three threw many examinees for a loop. However, you should bear in mind that if you felt like it was tough, then so did everyone else. The key to passing an exam like the California bar exam is to keep writing in spite of the fact that you are a little thrown by the essay (as opposed to sitting there and thinking for too long about what to write – that can be dangerous).

We will have something here by tomorrow on day three’s essays.

Thank you again to all of you who have written in and given your essay synopsis and analysis. And for those who have not done so already, feel free to do so. Also, still trying to answer questions as I can about the test. However, the point of my next post will be to hopefully address many questions all at once and to help you put this test mentally behind you.

All the best,

Lisa Duncanson

Bar None Review

 

February 2012 Bar Exam Predictions, Tips and Essay Scenarios

Hello All,

First of all I want to wish you all the very best of luck on the exam tomorrow. If you have been following my blog you will know that I do not really like to call my “predictions” predictions. I do not claim to be able to predict the bar exam. I have simply come up with some essay scenarios that I think might be worth considering. So, please review my “predictions” with that in mind.

There have been over 9,000 views of our blog in the past several days. Thank you for your interest . . . it definitely encourages me to continue providing free advice and handouts. I also want thank those of you who have expressed your appreciation via private emails – I truly appreciate it. And, I also appreciate your suggestions of things to include in the future. Please keep your suggestions coming after the bar exam. And, if you have any questions, I am still accepting questions via email at: pass@barnonereview.com at no charge. I will answer any and every question that I can.

After I learn what is tested on day one of the essays, I will post what I think may be more likely to show up on day three’s essays. I will be in Ontario, meeting with my student’s immediately after day one of the bar exam. I will put together my initial ideas about what I think might be tested on Thursday sometime tomorrow afternoon (while you are all taking the performance test). I will likely make some additional comments once I find out what was tested on the performance test. So . . . stay tuned.

Above all, stay positive, believe in yourself, trust your instincts and recognize that the bar examiners are not expecting perfection. At this point, believing in yourself is key, choose to believe that passing IS within your reach, it can only help you.

Best of luck to all who are taking the exam tomorrow!

Lisa Duncanson
Program Director/Founder
Bar None Review
barnonereview.com

California Bar Exam Workshops

“How to Pass the California Bar Exam” workshop will be held Thursday, May 24th from 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm in Orange, California.

To reserve your space, contact us at: (949) 891-8831 or via email at: pass@barnonereview.com

Additional workshops to be announced.

barnonereview.com

California Bar Results July 2011: What Should I Do If I Just Failed The Bar Exam?

NOTE: This is a repeat of a former posting, but relevant now, if you have just received failing results. Therefore I have posted it again. Good luck to all of you who are either repeating the bar exam this February or taking the bar exam for the first time this February. Time is on your side, especially if you utilize it. Here is my earlier post about “What to do if I failed the bar exam” – Also, please visit our bar review website at: barnonereview.com and check out our calendar of workshops – we will offer a variety of free workshops for students taking the Feburary 2012 bar exam (some will be specifically geared to those who are faced with repeating the exam this February).

If you have failed the bar exam, keep in mind that you are in good company. Also, realize that the bar exam is not an IQ test. Many very bright and hardworking examinees fail the exam. If you have failed, you will need to do the following:

1) Get past being devastated as quickly as possible – as harsh as this sounds, you really do just need to get back to work as soon as you can. Those that do, have the best chance of passing the next exam. Start by doing MBEs.

2) This is going to hurt, but – find out why you failed - this starts by getting your scores back from the bar. The bar will automatically mail score sheets to all examinees who failed the bar. This usually takes 1 – 3 days after bar results come out. When you get your scores, don’t panic and don’t make assumptions about any one section. You will receive both a raw score and a scaled score. Take the time to read the materials that come with your score sheet that explain the raw and scaled scores. See also, other posts on this blog about making it to re-read and interpreting bar scores. And, if you need help interpreting your scores, you can get it free through Bar None Review barnonereview.com

3) Commit to taking and passing the next exam - in almost every case, I would recommend taking the very next bar exam. Obviously there are sometimes reasons to sit out a bar exam administration – but in most cases, the best advice is to take the very next exam. Think about it, the material seems like it has fallen out of your head right now – just think how hard it will be to put it all back together if you wait another six months – that would be a whole year since your last review – not a good plan.

4) Develop a plan of attack - Your plan might include taking another bar review course, hiring a tutor, or continuing your studies on your own. There are many courses available (assuming you already tried barbri) that cater to different needs – small classes, private tutorials. Do your research and due diligence before enrolling in a course. Ask for references, ask to see the course materials before enrolling, make sure the bar review provider is a good fit for your needs. And, don’t abandon your common sense – if it sounds too good to be true – it probably is.But, whatever you do (take a course or study on your own) make a plan – figure out how many hours you will study each day, where you will study, how long will you have to review each topic, how many essays you will write each week, how many MBEs you will do each day, how many PTs you will write – figure it out, map it out and develop a plan.

5) Work hard - no matter how hard you worked the first time, you are going to have to work just that hard again. And, if in your honest assessment of your prior bar studies you conclude that you did not work hard enough – well then you are going to have to work harder. There simply is no magic bullet.

Best,

Lisa Duncanson
Program Director/Founder
Bar None Review
(949) 891-8831
barnonereview.com

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