There is still time to pass the California Bar Exam!

Hello All,

Yes, there is still time to pass the California bar exam, because there is still time to reserve a spot in our next (and final July 2016) Bar Exam Cram Session! We still have a few spots left in our Bar Exam Cram Session this July 16 and 17 to be held in Los Angeles near LAX!

Not sure what to write? Not sure how to start your essay answer? One of the common problems bar examinees face is simply not knowing how to start an exam. Everyone knows how to start a Community Property exam answer, but do you know how to start (and set up) a dormant commerce clause exam? Or a Substantive due process exam? What about how to handle an Evidence Transcript Style essay (don’t dismiss Evidence just because it was tested in July – each bar round the bar examiners repeat on average three topics that were tested on the prior bar round on the next bar administration. It would be just like the California bar examiners to either test Evidence again as a whole essay or as a cross-over with one or even two topics).

Your focus in the coming weeks and days should be not only on memorizing the law, but also on seeing how the material is tested. To do well on the essays you will really need to know how to set up each essay, how to organize it properly and of course, how to start your essay answer. We teach you how to start each essay topic and how to organize your answers in such a way that you address the relevant issues, and that you know how much time to spend on a particular issue.

There is a method and approach for the essay topics. If you know the approach for each essay topic (Torts for example has four main essay approaches: Defamation, Products Liability, Negligence and Tort Remedies) you will have a much, much easier time on the exam. This isn’t just for the essays, it helps with your MBEs too.

It makes far more sense to have an approach for each, rather than to try to work only from a checklist for the entire subject and hope that you will figure out the correct issues on exam day. Instead, I recommend that you prepare for each type of essay and memorize approaches for each so that on exam day you are writing quickly and efficiently and addressing the correct issues. Every topic has an approach and if you know that ahead of time, it makes your job of issue spotting and writing an above passing answer, that much easier.

Take a look at Constitutional Law. You likely are memorizing a lot of material for this subject. It is tested on both the essays and the MBEs. It is really equivalent to several topics if you think about it. That is one of the reasons examinees often struggle with subjects like Property and Constitutional Law – because each subject is really several different topics wrapped up into one. You need to treat it that way. If you do, you will have a much easier time both memorizing and understanding and ultimately writing passing essay answers. There are approaches for virtually every subtopic of Property and Constitutional Law. Think about it this way – you would not write an easements essay the same way you would write a landlord tenant essay or a covenants/equitable servitude’s essay. NO, in fact each of these has its own distinct and separate approach. Constitutional Law also has many subtopics, each with a separate approach. Once you start thinking about these larger subjects in a more compartmentalized way, it will be much easier to memorize and to handle on exam day.

For example: First Amendment Speech issues should generally be handled this way:

  1. First Amendment Speech – “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech.” This is incorporated to the states via the 14th Amendment.
  2. Is the speech content based or content neutral?
    1. If it is content based, it will be subject to strict scrutiny (unless it is commercial speech – which will receive some protection under the Central Hudson test. If it is commercial speech, apply each prong of the Central Hudson test).
    2. If it is content neutral, then you must apply the Time Place and Manner test. But, your focus on the type of forum will typically be brief)
  3. Is the regulation on speech overly broad?
  4. Is the regulation on speech vague? (Here, if people of common intelligence must guess to its meaning, then the statute may be void for vagueness)
  5. Does the regulation create a prior restraint on speech (chilling effect on speech)

Many examinees fail to recognize that addressing over breadth, vagueness and prior restraint is required to pass a First Amendment Speech essay. If you miss prior restraint,  over breadth and vagueness on a First Amendment Speech essay, it will not likely pass. These are the kinds of things we address and cover in the Bar Exam Cram Session. Our students find it invaluable. If you know ahead of time that whenever you have a First Amendment Speech exam that you must always address Prior Restraint, Overbreadth and Vagueness, then you will simply do it and in doing so, you will be capturing points that are all too often missed by others. Every subject is like this. It is critical that when preparing for 15 subjects, that you have approaches memorized ahead of time.

Our students leave the Bar Exam Cram Session feeling confident. We take what seems unmanageable and make it do-able. If you are uncertain about how to make the most of the next few weeks, then consider attending The Bar Exam Cram Session. We not only provide a two day, live course, with a condensed review of the bar tested topic, a complete set of The Bar Exam Cram Sheets (proven to be an extremely effective tool, especially for essay approaches, memorization and organization). We also include past essays based upon my bar exam predictions for you to review in the final days leading up to the exam, tried and true approaches for the essay topics and MBEs, a study plan to follow for the critical last ten days leading up to the bar exam as well as email updates up through the bar exam.

For more information and to Sign up/Learn more here

Here is what some of our past students have had to say about our program:

“I would not have my career as a lawyer if it weren’t for Lisa Duncanson. Her review course was easy to understand and her study plan was very effective for me. I would highly recommend considering her course!”

Edward Dailo, Esq.

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Dear Professor Duncanson:

I wanted to let you know that I passed the California Bar Exam!!!  I was one of your Bar Exam Cram Session students.  I was meaning to send you this e-mail a lot earlier, but after I passed the bar, my boss threw me right in and I’ve been making court appearances ever since. 

I used the tools and techniques that you taught me in the cram session . . . and . . . I used the essays you provided like you taught us.  I think that really was the key to passing the bar, at least for me.

I’d like to thank you for all the support that you gave all your students throughout the bar exam. It was really great to know that we could reach out to you during the test.

Elizabeth Argueta, Successful July 2015 Bar Examinee

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We hope to see you at our final Bar Exam Cram Session for the July 2016 bar exam!


Lisa Duncanson

Bar Exam Guru/Founder Bar None Review