Monday, March 24, 2014

Does It Seem Like the February Bar Exam ...

... was just yesterday, or just last week?  Or does it seem like you took it months ago? 

Towards the end of my 5-year ordeal I can remember normal space/time becoming warped and twisted.  Time would slow down for the month of the exam, as I prepared for those three days, then it would speed up to normal again the day after it was over.  It would remain normal until about a week before results were released.  And when I found that I had failed yet again a weird Twilight Zone effect would descend on me which would last until the first day of July or February.  It seemed odd to me (in a not-good sort of way) that I only felt normal when I was preparing for the bar exam.  But those last few weeks before the exams were the only times I felt like I was in control of my destiny.   As for the months between the exams and the day the results were released ... I felt like I was living in a kind of demented purgatory. 

Bizarre, I know. 

But that's all over now.

Speaking of it being over, your wait is almost over!  Jason Tolerico will again be offering his most excellent outlines for FREE starting May 1, 2014 (But only for a limited time!)

Actually, they're not quite FREE.  Sure, he's not going to charge money for them, but he is going to ask that you come back to my blog and post a comment with your opinion on them. 

And when you call (or email), if you mention that you heard about his FREE OUTLINE offer from THIS BLOG they'll be DOUBLE-FREE!  (Just kidding.  I'm pretty sure there isn't any such thing as "DOUBLE FREE", especially not in ALL CAPS(!), but, hey, it couldn't hurt!)

P.S. Being a lawyer is a good thing.  I like it.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Last Minute Study Suggestions

I know a lot of people suggest not studying on these last couple off days before the exam, but I could never do that. It was easier for me to study than it was to pretend that I was relaxed!

So, my recommendation for today and tomorrow is to do MBEs for about 30 minutes, review Jason's outlines (if you have them) for one of your weaker subjects for about 30 minutes, then take a break for about 30 minutes.  If you do this, these last two days will fly by and you'll keep the material fresh in your head. 

Also, do not stress out about memorizing the rules.  The graders are not looking for perfect rule statements - they're looking for solid analysis.  On my last exam I spent much less time agonizing over the rule statements and much more time thinking about the relationship between the facts and the elements of the rules. 

Best of Luck to All!


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Hey, Wasn't That ...

... the results for the July 2013 exam that went flashing by my window just now?   Man, if you aren't looking  for it, it just zips by without making a sound. 

I hope everyone passed!  

But I know that's not the case. 

Down, butterflies.  Down!  That's better.  Every time I think about the moment when I saw my results last year I get an attack of the butterflies.  Trust me when I say the post-passing butterflies are much friendlier to your stomach lining than the pre-test butterflies.  In fact, the pre-test butterflies were more like moths for me because they tended to eat holes in the lining of my stomach.  Bah.  Good riddance to those.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Monday, November 18, 2013

The "Free Outlines" Offer Has Ended ...

... for now, at least.  Apparently quite a few people were impressed by them.  I suspect the offer may be reinstated at some point between the February Exam and the release of results, but all I know now is that the offer for free outlines has been withdrawn.  They can be purchased, of course,. but you'll have to contact Jason to get all of those details. 

On another note, Dustin Saiidi's book is available for those who cannot afford a full-blown bar prep program.  Dustin did not graduate near the top of his class yet he still passed the bar exam on his first attempt.  In his book he tells you how he prepared for his bar exam, and truth be told it sounds a lot like the approach I finally settled on.  Anyway, if you don't have the resources to spring for a full-blown bar prep program you might want to take a look at Dustin's book.  A link to Dustin's book is, or soon will be, in the top right corner of this blog.

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Big THANKS To Those Folks Who ...

... followed through and commented on Jason's outlines.  Your feedback helps everyone. 

Here's a link to an interesting article in today's Los Angeles Daily Journal entitled: "Slow bar exam results upset law deans, recent graduates. Law deans complain that State Bar's lag hampers students' job searches."

And to answer the commenter who asked my opinion about the actual practice of law now that I've earned my license, it's everything I expected it to be, and more, and less (sort of.)

First, not one client has asked me how many times I took the bar exam.  Not one.  And my client base includes other attorneys, whom I suspect would be the persons most interested in that number (if there were any interest, which it appears there is not.) 

Second, it helps to have an aggressive entrepreneurial spirit if one is going to start one's legal career as a sole practitioner.  Either that, or have a lot of friends in the business.  I'm not very entrepreneurial, but I do have quite a few friends, and I suspect a large part of my new business is from referrals by my friends.  I say this because I've received more than a few phone calls from people I've never met, and who have no reason to know of me unless someone pointed them in my direction.  I am puzzled by that, but I am also very grateful. 

Third, it's expensive to start and maintain a sole proprietorship law firm.  Not only does a sole proprietor have to pay the mortgage/utilities/etc. at home, there are all the expenses associated with being an attorney, which include office space rent, insurance, utilities, subscription fees, membership fees, association fees, and all the other typical costs of practicing law (filing fees, process service fees, investigation fees, ad nauseum.) 

Fourth, the many and varied types of people who want and/or need the services of an attorney, and their reasons for so wanting/needing, has surprised me.   I'll try to post more on this later.


Monday, October 14, 2013

What?!? Don't Tell Me That Only Three Of You Took Jason Up On His Offer!

Seriously? 

Are you telling me there were more people interested in getting their hands on the mythical, magical, mystical BC outlines (that were never proven to actually exist) than on Jason's real-life outlines?  Tell me it ain't so!

I don't think anyone expects a subject-by-subject critical breakdown style evaluation, but a mere thumbs-up or -down would be better than the cricket sounds we're hearing now.

And I'll personally say THANKS to the three people (three crickets!) who did fulfill their end of the bargain since I created this situation when I stuck my neck out (okay, my reputation out, such as it is) when I recommended Jason's outlines (not to mention the rest of his program.)

Hang in there folks!  The results of the July 2013 exam will be released in, what, about six weeks?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Free Outlines! Limited Time Offer! Jason Tolerico's Updated CA Subject Outlines! Did I mention that they're FREE!



I was asked again last week for my opinion about Jason Tolerico’s outlines.  My challenge in rendering such an opinion is that I didn’t really get a chance to use his outlines in depth when I was in his program because at that time he hadn't completed them for all of the subjects.  The ones he did have completed, however, were excellent.  I found that the biggest difference between Jason’s outlines and the other ones I’ve used is that Jason provides more than a simple list of the issues, rules and elements – he cites actual cases so you can see how the rules are used in real life and he provides links to statutes so you can look at the source of what you are learning.  Seeing this stuff in context made a huge difference to me.   

Anyway, when I asked him how his updates were coming along he went ahead and sent me his outlines for the CA subjects.  Man, I can’t believe how hard this guy works on this stuff. You can tell he has pride in ownership.  He should, of course, because his reputation is on the line, but he’s really done a great job on these.  They're clear and concise, they tell you when each individual concept was tested last, and they show how frequently those issues show up on the exam. 

As we talked, Jason mentioned to me that he was thinking about using his outlines as a marketing tool for his One-Timers bar prep program and I came up with the bright idea of using the readers of my blog as guinea pigs ... um, intelligent and willing test subjects(!) to get valuable and honest feedback on them.  

So we came up with this idea - Jason has offered to send a set of his updated outlines for the CA subjects to anyone who requests them, but you have to mention in your email that I referred you.  His email address is jtlaws@gmail.com.  In exchange for his outlines he asks you to return to my blog and post your thoughts, comments, opinions, and critiques on them.  It seems like a fair trade off – he gets free publicity and you get free outlines. 

I know I’ve given Jason a lot of free advertising here over the past couple of years, but it’s justified because he was the reason I passed the CA bar exam.  And now that I don’t have the time to blog properly I am very comfortable using my blog to refer people to his program.  So send Jason an email today, mention me (the Grand Poobah!), and get a free set of his most excellent outlines for the CA subjects.

In the end, anyone who is serious about passing the CA Bar Exam should seriously consider Jason’s One-Timers program.  It worked for me.

Oh, one more thing, this is a limited time offer - it's only available until whatever day the February 2014 CA bar exam starts.  So get 'em while they're hot!

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Best of Luck to Everyone Tomorrow!

May you all find a way to peacefully coexist with the exam over the next three days.  But if you can't find common ground with it, then kick it's butt!

Now go do that voodoo that you do so well!
(Hedley Lamarr, Blazing Saddles)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A few weeks ago someone asked me to ...

... post links (or something) to my website, or to something that shows the kind of law I am practicing. 

So without further ado (or any ado for that matter), here is the link to my website: http://www.brjohnstonlaw.com/

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

My Interview With Dustin Saidi from www.IPassedMyBarExam.com

So, what with all of the hoopla, ballyhoo, frolicing, merriment, festivity, merrymaking, tomfoolery, falderal, and fiddle dee dee that went on after I passed the July 2012 bar exam, Dustin Saidi of www.ipassedmybarexam.com sent me an email asking if I would be interested in being interviewed about my experience.  

After scratching my head for a few weeks, wondering what interest anyone could have in the exploits of someone who only passed after 11 attempts, I agreed.


The result is posted here: http://tinyurl.com/lqu9bs3

In all honesty, I can't think of anything to say about the interview except that Dustin did a great job with the technical aspects of recording, editing, and producing the final product.  Other than that, it's all about me, and despite the existence of the blog, I am not a person who seeks the limelight. 

So for all those who are interested in hearing me describe my ordeal, in a positive way I believe, please take a listen.  Dustin has some other good interviews too so your time may be well spent.  

Oh, he's got a book too.  I don't have an interest in any book sales as a result of your visiting his website, but he's a good guy and you might just find his book useful.