July 2014 Bar Exam Predictions and Tips

Hello All,

If you would like to be added to our July 2014 Bar Exam Tips and Predictions Email List and/or receive a free copy of our Evidence Handout, complete the form below and we will send the handout to you via email and add you to our Bar Exam Tips & Predictions Email List.

Be sure to select “yes” or “no” in the drop down menus below and click on the “submit” button at the bottom of the form to be added to our list.

Please understand that the bar exam predictions are released as it gets closer to the bar exam – my enrolled students are promised that they have early access to my predictions – so while I will provide predictions to those who join our email list, it is released later than what I release to my students in my classes. Incidentally, it is not too late to join our next Bar Exam Cram Session. We have three spots left in tomorrow’s Two Day Bar Exam Cram Session. To register for tomorrow’s session, click here.

Good luck in your studies!

Note: This handout will be available until July 31, 2014.

Your contact information is safe – we do not share, or sell your information.

Free “How to Pass the California Bar Exam” Workshop for the July 2014 Bar Exam

We are having one more free, “How to Pass the California Bar Exam Workshop” for the July 2014 Bar Exam.

When: Tuesday, June 3rd from 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm

Where: Los Angeles, California*

Our workshops fill up quickly. Reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis. This workshop is free and includes free bar exam templates. Space is limited.

Click here to make your reservation

All the best to everyone studying for the July 2014 bar exam!

Lisa Duncanson
Program Director/Founder
Bar None Review
(213) 529-0990

California Bar Exam Score Sheets: Free Score Review

Hello all,

If you failed the February 2014 bar exam, you should know that you are not alone. February bar exam pass rates are typically between 41% and 43%. So, if you did not pass, you know that you are among a significant number of people who are in the very same position.

What do I do now?

So what do you do now? Do you take another bar review course? Do you hire a private tutor? Do you study on your own? The answers to those questions will be different for everyone. First, you need to properly evaluate why it is that you failed. Second, consider attending one of our free bar exam workshops.

Free Bar Exam Workshops

We will offer at least one free bar exam workshop for the July 2014 bar exam. Our next free bar exam workshop is on Thursday, May 22nd from 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm. To register, click here.

Free Bar Exam Score Review

We provide, for a limited period of time (as our classes and private tutoring obligations begin and then we are just not available to provide this service) a free review of your past bar scores. In order to participate in this program, you will need to send your scores to pass@barnonereview.com. We only accept scanned in score sheets (but we do not accept your typed in scores in an email). We have to be sure that we are dealing with you. In addition, provide a phone number where you can be reached (all score reviews and evaluations are conducted via phone). Apologies – we no longer receive score sheets via fax.

Why should I have my scores reviewed?

As a repeat bar examinee, the first step to passing the next bar exam is to review your bar exam score sheet. This can be a very confusing piece of paper. Partly because it is simply just painful to look at. Here you are, you have just received the terrible news that you have failed the bar exam and now you have to make sense of the scores. In my experience, examinees very often do not understand how the scaling works or what equals a passing “raw” score. So hopefully, what follows below will be of help to you.

Because the scoring of the California Bar Exam is scaled, it is not easy to understand what a given raw score means nor is it clear where you will need to focus from numbers alone. For example, if an examinee scores consistently the same scores on their essays (i.e., all sixties or three fifty-fives and three sixties) it will indicate a different problem than an examinee whose scores have a greater range (i.e., one 45, one 75, two 65s and two 60s etc.).

What is a passing raw score for an essay or performance test?

First of all, the raw score that is passing for the essays, performance tests and the MBEs varies from bar exam to bar exam. Most examinees incorrectly believe that a 70 is always required for an essay to be passing. However, this is simply not the case. In the past several bar rounds, a passing raw score on the essay has been as low as a 61 and as high as a 63 – not a 70. Of course, a 70 is a much better score to receive and better yet, 80s are really what you should be shooting for – this is the score we do our best to teach our students to be able to achieve consistently.

What is up, why are scores missing on my score sheet?

If you were unsuccessful on the February 2014 California bar exam, you have probably already received your score sheet from the the California bar examiners. If you have taken the bar exam more than once, you will notice that your score sheet is different this year. There is no raw MBE score provided (how many out of 200 MBEs you completed correctly), instead only the “scaled score” is provided. In past years, the bar examiners always provided a total “raw MBE score” as well as a breakdown of your raw MBE score for each MBE subject.

I personally do not think that this changes much of anything about what is actually necessary or what it takes to pass the bar exam. However, it does mean there is one less diagnostic tool to use to evaluate an examinee’s performance. Mostly, that just makes the exam scoring to be even a bit more mysterious and perhaps confusing. But, the fact that there isn’t a break down or a raw score provided does not make the test any harder (or easier). It is still the same test.

Wishing you all the best of luck in your studies! Stay tuned for bar exam study tips!

 

Lisa Duncanson
Program Director/Founder
Bar None Review & Bar Exam Cram Session
(213) 529-0990

California Bar Results February 2014: 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: OUR NEXT FREE “How to Pass the California Bar Exam Workshop” will be held on May 22, at 7 pm in the city of Torrance, California, to register for this free workshop, click here.  And, for tips on how to create a study plan, click here.

We offer a variety of course options (including a live course designed specifically for the repeat taker as well as home study options, tutoring online and in person, The Score Maximizer Program, Performance Test Courses, Attorney taker bar review and of course our Bar Exam Cram Sessions). 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 - 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. For tips on how to create a study plan, click here.

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
(213) 529-0990
barexamcramsession.com

barnonereview.com

California Bar Exam Results: February 2014

Hello all,

Congratulations to all who passed the February 2014 California bar exam! So proud of testimonials like this that have been coming in since last night! We are so happy for our students and look forward to helping more student pass the July 2014 bar exam!

There is still room in our free “How to Pass the Bar Exam” workshop this coming Thursday as well as our Bar Exam Cram Session on May 31st and June 1st enter promo code: GURU for a $50.00 discount!

“To Lisa & the rest of the Bar None Review Staff:

WE did it! You have helped, yet again, countless people pass the California Bar Exam. Congratulations!

I would like to truly thank you for everything you have done and all the efforts you put forth to help me through this hectic process. After being unsuccessful after my first attempt at the CA bar, I honestly did not know where to turn or what to do to improve my performance. After spending money and dedicating my life to one of the “big-box courses,” I felt defeated. And then, I found you.

From our first meeting at your free workshop, you made me believe that I could do this, and that the bar is not something to be feared, just something you need to understand to pass.

During the course of our studies, you continued to make me feel like I could pass the exam and gave me every tool necessary to do so. Most days, I was even excited to open your materials and get started. I learned more than I ever thought I could and even felt semi-confident during the exam. Ok, afterwards I was a wreck, but who isn’t!

When I saw those green letters appear on the screen last night, that my name appeared on the pass list, I couldn’t have been happier. I have been waiting for this day for years and owe it to you.

From my heart, I thank you, Lisa.”

Chelsee Montgomery, Esq.

California Bar Exam: Good Luck to Examinees Waiting for Bar Results!

Hello Everyone,

Bar results for the February 2014 California bar exam will be released Friday, May 16, 2014. Good luck to all who are awaiting results!!!

Best,

Lisa Duncanson
Program Director/Founder
Bar None Review
(213) 529-0990
barnonereview.com

February 2014 Bar Exam Predictions: Part One

First of all I want to wish you all the very best of luck in your studies this week and I want to thank you for following my blog. It is quite humbling and is truly an honor to have this reach into bar examinees’s lives and to be able offer some support and advice for free. It is one of my favorite things to do. That being said, please understand that my students who pay to take our courses do not appreciate it if I release our “predictions” weeks in advance to the world. They pay for the privilege of our insights – at least they see it that way.

During the last February bar round, out of respect for my enrolled, paying students, I did not release my “predictions” publicly until the day before the bar exam. But, this year I am releasing predictions a bit earlier. I know, not as early as some would like.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM ME: I will post predictions here today and additional predictions in the coming days. The “predictions” are really just possible essay scenarios that I think are a bit more likely on this bar round. Always, my enrolled students needs must come first. But, I will continue to post here as often as I can.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO WITH THIS INFORMATION? The point of making predictions is not to tell you that you should study these areas exclusively. It is simply intended as some guidance for what might show up and should it show up, the fact that you have given these areas a little bit of extra thought will feel very good on exam day. If you are weak in any of these areas, then it especially deserves some extra treatment. If you are weak in an area that is not on my list – you NEED to give that area extra attention. Do not assume something will not be on the bar exam. ANYTHING can be tested on the essays and you should have prepared with that in mind. Anyone who tells you something is not going to be tested is ignorant of what the bar exam in California is like – topics repeat back to back on multiple bar rounds – so do not discount any topic.

CAVEAT: NO ONE CAN PREDICT WHAT WILL BE TESTED ON THE BAR EXAM. 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 what I call essay scenarios that I think might be worth considering.  I do not recommend that someone conduct their studies around predictions. However, I do think it is helpful to focus a little extra time on some of the areas that might be a bit more likely to show up on the bar exam – especially if any of these topics are areas that are weaker areas for you. So with that in mind here are some of my thoughts on what could be tested on the February 2014 bar exam.

Last bar round, I felt strongly that Constitutional Law could be tested. I also thought that Community Property (specifically the area of Van Camp and Pereira) would be tested. Both essays came up, and in the way that I would have expected. No, I did not see the 13th Amendment coming – but – the 13th Amendment on that last bar exam should not have thrown anyone – if you simply know how to handle the bar exam (more on “handling the bar exam” later). Of all of the essay topics that I thought might come up, I was most certain about Constitutional Law and Community Property (specifically Van Camp and Pereira). I tell you this simply because there were other areas that I thought were less likely, but possible areas for either repeat testing or simply possible, but not my first choice. Some of those areas (like Civil Procedure) are now on the top of my list.

Civil Procedure: This topic is being predicted by many and is sort of an obvious possibility. The most commonly tested issues in civil procedure are jurisdictional issues (Personal Jurisdiction, Subject Matter Jurisdiction) as well as venue (generally always a very short issue in terms of how much time you should spend on it), removal (also a very short issue coverage) and collateral estoppel and res judicata.

So, what specifically do I think could come up in Civil Procedure? Always Personal Jurisdiction and Subject Matter Jurisdiction are likely – since these areas are historical favorites for testing on the California bar exam. But, there are some areas that we just have not seen tested in a while (and many of these areas actually have a Federal/CA distinction).  These areas – that have been tested heavily historically – but have not been tested recently – are where I am leaning a bit more heavily for this bar round.

The areas that I feel are particularly due include: Collateral Estoppel and Res Judicata (one of my first picks if you were to have Civil Procedure on this bar exam) and the possible tack on type issues of: Notice and Code Pleading and/or Remittitur and Additur. See more detail below:

Pleading issues – like Notice and Code Pleading – would not require a long discussion, but it is tested often and does include a Federal/CA distinction. Federal Courts utilize Notice Pleading and California follows Code (or what is also referred to as “Fact” pleading). Another tack on area (by tack on – I mean it is typically a shorter issue on your essay exam, not something that can make a full one hour essay) that I could imagine might be on this next bar exam is the concept of remitittur and additur. But, recognize that these “tack on” type issues of Notice/Code Pleading and Remittitur/Additur are typically short issues.

What about Supplemental Jurisdiction? Sure, it can always be tested. BUT, bear in mind that if supplemental jurisdiction is tested, it will likely be what I refer to as a “tack on” issue or call because it would not be a large part of the question, but rather a shorter call within an essay exam). Typically you would expect supplemental jurisdiction to come up in the context of a Federal Diversity Jurisdiction essay.

What about Class Actions? Class actions has not been tested in a very long time – I keep thinking that is due, but, If you look at what is most often tested in Civil Procedure it is jurisdiction (PJ and SMJ and Venue, Supplemental Jurisdiction) and Collateral Estoppel and Res Judicata the absence of Class Actions does not necessarily mean it is coming. So while class actions has been absent for many bar rounds, it is still no more likely in my mind, as jurisdiction or Collateral Estoppel and Res Judicata. But, if you were to see a class actions issue, it is easy. Simply know the requirements, state each and address each separately (using separate headings for each requirement).

Incidentally – be sure not to mix up Res Judicata and Collateral Estoppel – make sure you know which one is issue preclusion and which one is claim preclusion. Here is one way to keep the two straight: the “C”s do not go together – in other words: Collateral Estoppel is Issue Preclusion and Res Judicata is Claim Preclusion. Should you get tested on this area – be certain to make note of the California (and minority) “primary rights” view with respect to claim preclusion.

Final thoughts on Civil Procedure: I do think that Collateral Estoppel and Res Judicata are both long overdue for testing. I still think you could see jurisdictional issues (it is, after all, a favorite area for testing) but, I would also expect to see some of the shorter, tack on issues appear (especially the areas where there is a relevant California distinction). Okay, enough said about Civil Procedure!

PROPERTY: Most are predicting Property. I would tend to agree that Property is very likely. I have some specific thoughts about what could come up if you were to see Property on this next bar exam. I think the area of Covenants (either in the restrictive covenant/equitable servitude context or the covenants of title) is a likely possibility. I also think that Easements are possible. The area of Landlord/Tenant is a favorite of the California bar examiners and it could be tested with either a covenant or easement issue. If covenants of title were to be tested, you would also have other issues that typically come up in the land sale context like: notice (constructive, inquiry, and actual) and recording act statutes. Be prepared to also (potentially) discuss constructive, inquiry and actual notice in the context of an Easements essay – where you might be asked to discuss whether or not the buyer of a parcel of land is taking that land subject to a purported easement.

Possibly Criminal Law – Murder: Make sure you know your essay approach for murder – murder has not been tested in a long time and it would make for a nice cross over with Criminal Procedure. Criminal law has been tested quite a bit over the last few years. This is not uncommon. But, what is unusual is the long absence of murder. It is due for testing. It is not my first pick for this bar exam, but the simple fact that murder has not appeared on the California bar exam for a few years now, ought to suggest it is coming sometime soon.

OTHER TOPICS that I think are likely: Business Organizations, Evidence (perhaps – finally – a transcript style essay) and of course Professional Responsibility (as you know Professional Responsibility is generally always tested on the essay). Take a look at my predictions from July 2013 bar exam – you will note that I suggested that you could see a professional responsibility fact pattern that straddles corporations a bit – for example, a lawyer who is representing a corporation and the specific issues that come up in that context. This did not show up on the last bar exam and as a result I feel it is more likely).

I will post more on the “predictions” very soon.

In the meantime, keep at it. Believe in yourself and stay positive. Maintaining a positive attitude in the days leading up to the exam is key. There is still a lot of time – use it well.

All the best,

Good luck to you!

Lisa Duncanson
Program Director/Founder (213) 529-0990
Bar None Review and The Bar Exam Cram Session (TM)

February 2014 Bar Exam Cram Session – 4 Seats Left!

Hello All,

I don’t usually put advertisements on my blog. But, I do have students who only find out about our classes after they have already taken and failed the bar exam and they tell me that they wish I had put up more information about our course offerings. So, here goes . . .


TO LEARN MORE OR REGISTER

PREDICTIONS AND TIPS: I will be posting predictions as it gets closer to the bar exam (I know, it is close already, but I do promise this material to my enrolled students first). Also, take a look at last July’s predictions – anything that did not show up on the last bar exam that I was leaning towards as possibilities then are even more likely now (at least that is my opinion). And, remember, it never makes sense to study around what is being predicted. Anything could be tested – so your goal is to be ready for whatever comes your way.

Also, if you find this blog helpful, please spread the word. And, don’t forget to join our bar exam tips list (see my earlier post here, to sign up).

Remember to stay positive and to believe in yourself. You CAN do this! Stay tuned for predictions. Wishing you all the very best in your studies!

Lisa Duncanson
Program Director/Founder
Bar None Review and BarExamCramSession.com
(213) 529-0990

California Bar Exam: Free How To Pass The California Bar Exam Workshop on December 4, 2013

Hello, we are offering a free, “How To Pass The California Bar Exam” Workshop on Wednesday, December 4, 2013.

How to Pass the February 2014 California Bar Exam Workshop” - Wednesday, December 4th from 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm. Los Angeles, California

Learn how to write for the California bar examiners in our popular free workshop! Students will receive free exam writing templates, an MBE approach handout and instruction on how to write for the California Bar Examiners (applicable to both essays and the performance test). If you would like to reserve a space in this workshop, click on the registration link below. Please understand that space is limited. Our last workshop filled up very quickly. Reservations will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis.

We look forward to helping you pass the California bar exam!

 Click here to make your reservation

If you have questions, please feel free to contact the Guru at (213) 529-0990.

 

 

California Bar Exam Results: The Waiting is the Hardest Part . . .

Well, isn’t that the truth. And, Tom Petty belting that line out could not make it more true. The waiting (for bar results day) is the hardest part.

In the coming days, I will be writing on some of the most requested topics – if you have any preferences as to what you would like me to write about – please do not hesitate to send me an email and let me know and I will do my best to address your topic or question.

The California Bar Examiners released the essay questions and performance tests to the July 2013 bar exam today. Here is a link to the July 2013 Bar Exam Essays and PTs

For all who are waiting for bar results, all the best of luck to you!

All the best,

Lisa Duncanson
Program Director/Founder (213) 529-0990
Bar None Review & Bar Exam Cram Session
www.BarExamCramSession.com

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