July 2013 Bar Exam: Thank You!

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Hello All,

Congratulations to all who took the bar exam this week! I want to thank you for following this blog and for your many emails – I truly appreciate it! We have had over 40,000 views of the blog in just the past week. Many of you have thanked me personally. Thank you. It is very rewarding to be in a position to be of assistance in this way. I am grateful for the following and for the opportunity to meet so many wonderful bar exam candidates. We had a meet up in Ontario after the first day of the bar exam. We did not get into details about the exam – other than the consensus that it was hard, and that performance test A was apparently off the charts in terms of difficulty (okay, enough said about PTA)!

I think it was really helpful for students to see each other after the first day of the test and to actually see and hear from others that day one of the bar was simply very tough. It helps to put the test into perspective and hopefully it helped my students, and those that joined us, to move forward to day two and day three. Like I said earlier, a large part of succeeding on this exam is to simply stick it out in spite of how hard it feels.

I have been through many things in my life (including two bar exams – both of which I passed), a cancer diagnosis (which took me out of bar prep for a couple of years – and quite frankly, it took me out of a lot of things) 🙂 This blog is what enabled me to come back to work. I am so very grateful. While I was going through chemo and all of the other things that cancer visits upon a person and their family, this blog was collecting followers. I had no idea. But, bar tips (even those that were a year or more old) are apparently always relevant (no pun intended). When I was ready to come back to work, I started by returning to this blog and was stunned to see that in the year out due to cancer treatment, there had been over 40,000 views. Now, fast forward to 2013 and we have had over 400,000 views. I know I have said it before, but it is truly humbling.

If it were not for people like you, following this blog, I would never have been able to restart my bar prep business. I love teaching and I love helping others. Thank you for following this blog and please share this with others if you think they would benefit.

Oh, a quick point – do not fret over what you wrote on day three! I mentioned (because someone wrote in about it) that there was potentially a hybrid contract on the bar exam. I have no idea if this was the case as I did not see the exam. So do not assume it was there (if you wrote on it, don’t worry about it – if you didn’t write on it, don’t worry about it).

So what should you do now? Rest, relax, put the test behind you.

I know this is sometimes very hard to do – especially after putting in such hard work leading up to this exam. But, do your best to put it behind you and relax. Be proud of your accomplishments – you put yourself in the position of even being able to take the bar exam – so you should be very proud.

The Bar Exam Guru will be taking a little time off. I will be back soon though. Please continue to send in your questions and I will get back to you as soon as I can. You can email me directly at: pass@barnonereview.com

All the best,

Lisa Duncanson
Program Director/Founder
Bar None Review & Bar Exam Cram Session

California Bar Exam: Congratulations Everyone – Nearing the Finish Line!


Hell All,

Congratulations on nearing the finish line! You are almost done!

I have received a bit of information now about what was tested on day three’s essays. Contracts, Torts and Wills (as you know if you just took the exam) were all tested. It appears that the Contracts essay may have involved a hybrid contract (remember, I have not seen the fact pattern, so I am going by what people have written in). I don’t want to say too much about the essays right now because 1) I haven’t seen the fact patterns, and 2) whatever was tested doesn’t really matter now – it is over and your focus should be on moving forward to the performance test.

Evidence did not show up on today’s essays (despite the fact that it was on everyone’s “predictions” list) – which just goes to show you how important it is to be prepared for everything. Perhaps you will see some Evidence on today’s Performance Test – but, either way, whatever the topic – be sure to follow directions to a “T”.

One of the most important things about the Performance Test is following instructions. Make sure that you do exactly what you are asked to do and in the form you are asked to do it in. There is a lot to the Performance Test – much more than I can possibly get into here. But, truly the single most important thing you need to do this afternoon is to commit to following the instructions and to finishing – no matter what – finish today’s performance test. If you were among those that did not finish the performance test on day one – let it go, don’t worry about it (it was challenging for everyone) – and commit to finishing today’s performance test – no matter what.

You should begin writing your answer within 70 to 90 minutes. Most do not start before 90 minutes is up. Do not let any more time go by before you get going on the task or tasks at hand.

The bar examiners have not tested multiple documents (tasks) on the performance test in some time. It is not as common for this kind of testing (where you are asked to prepare two memos, for example or asked to write a memo and then prepare a discovery plan or something like that). However, it has been done. If you see multiple tasks assigned, then be sure to check the boiler plate instructions to see if any percentages are given weighing each task this way you can budget your time accordingly.

Historically, multiple documents were not unusual (being asked to prepare more than one document was not unusual). But, the examiners have mostly stuck to single task performance tests for several years now. So, odds are you will have one document. But, don’t let it get to you if they resurrect an older type of performance test – it is all fair game.

Remember that the performance test could be on any topic (a bar tested subject, including professional responsibility, or a subject that you have no familiarity with). Whatever you get, you can handle it. Believe that and simply do your very best. Watch the time – be careful with respect to the time – don’t allow yourself to get bogged down by cases or facts – forge your way through and blaze a trail – one that looks like the document you were asked to produce!

All the best to you on today’s performance test!


Lisa Duncanson
Bar None Review