Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Hello Campers!

Getting started, I am. I'm using a book now that I bought back in the Spring for the July exam. It should be useful because I used it only rarely at the time, seeing as I had both the PMBR and BarBri books from which to study. It contains not only a boatload of questions, but a pretty good PMBR-like breakdown on the diabolical psychology of MBE construction. It's Strategies and Tactics for the MBE by Walton and Emanuel. I'm not very far into it yet but I'll try to post a review before too long. Make sure to ask me if I forget, eh?

Zeb made a comment in, uh, the comments, about a list he had compiled of resources that we all talk about when we ask each other for advice. I put the link to the list in my Blogroll along with a link to his blog, but you can also get to the list here. It seems to cover the main resources. I'm sure he'll not appreciate me asking you to send him recommendations if you know of one that he hasn't listed. So I'm not asking you to do that. Okay? Get it? I'm not asking you to send him ideas for his list. But, of course, if you want to go ahead and send them on your own, he can't blame me for all of the extra work! (;-)> Hey, might as well make it complete, eh? Make sure to thank him as you drop them off on his doorstep. Perhaps some homemade brownies would help?

Speaking of food, it looks like many people have chosen Thanksgiving as the stepping off point on their journey to the Feb exam. You can count me among that group. I know what you're thinking. You're remembering the posts where I wrote that I would start studying again after Labor Day. Well... it turns out that my tenuous hold on the hope that my essay scores would be high enough to bolster my lagging PT scores was weakened even more by the thought of studying again so soon. So, in the interest of sustaining the self delusional happiness for as long as I possibly could, I decided not to study again until after the results were released.

It turns out that ignorance is indeed bliss. And now I sit here in knowing non-bliss. It's like when you finally decide to spring for that 60-inch HDTV. Life's great! And then, after three and a half months of movie-watching ecstasy, you find out that it's been recalled. The factory's taking it back for repair. And you won't get it back for six months!!!! Yikes! And on top of that, they tell you that you're going to have to be the one to fix it! Double-Yikes!!

So here I am. I've got the repair manual and my tools laid out on the table in front of me and I have to teach myself how to fix my 60-inch HDTV. And the worst part about the challenge is that it doesn't look like a 60-inch HDTV at all. It looks like a California Bar Exam! Triple-Yikes!!!


biff said...

Isn't Labor Day a tad early?

Jenevieve said...

I'd been doing very poorly on MBE's and a week before the test I used that Strategies and Tactics book and by some miracle I passed the July 2007 exam. I highly recommend it. Good luck!

The Grand Poobah said...

Biff: That's what I thought when I actually sat down with the Conviser. It was too flippin' early.

Jenevieve: (love that name!) I'm going to use fewer resources this time around. This book looks pretty good. It's nice to hear that it's been useful to someone else. Thanks for that!

calbar blondie said...

I'm using S and T, too, GP. Alternating between that and the Barbri practice questions, and using the Holtz Study Sequence. That seems to keep me on track.

weezy said...

i am leaning to getting the book now.
i can narrow the choices down to two, but i keep picking the wrong one! arghh!

Distance Law said...


Do you believe the grading of the essays on the General Bar is equivalent to the grading of the essays on the Baby Bar?


The Grand Poobah said...

DL: Yes, I believe the grading standard on the Baby Bar is just as high as it is on the General Bar. And that makes it more difficult to pass because we aren't used to writing bar-quality essays after only one year in school.

Anonymous said...

I am with you !!!!!!!!!!

Distance Law said...


I asked about the grading because I failed the Baby Bar five times. I believe I failed the first four times because I did not practice under timed conditions. I did so, meaningfully, on the sixth time and passed. I felt like a knuckle-head for not doing it from the beginning...I hope to repeat the same practice for the General Bar.

Anonymous said...

GP, I was 14 point short for the July and I am with you. A friend asked me to come here. I read all your blogs and I truly believe you deserve a pass, certainly in Feb. Thanks for everything that others can't appreciate; but for us, the repeaters, your blogs are very helpful.

As to the new subjects, you have any information resources that I can get some updates?

Best wishes,


Anonymous said...

Hi GP, this is in response to Distance Learning. I passed my Baby Bar on first attempt primarily because the "cane" was a powerful influence on me - I needed to pass it to continue law school, plus I totally and completely memorized my outline and rule statements for all 3 subjects every night and every morning. It was manageable for 3 subjects. I think the grading of Baby Bar is somewhat different - I don't think there was weighting - I could be wrong and yes, it was extremely difficult to pass the Baby Bar - at 25% pass rate. I bummed out twice on Calbar - Feb 08 will be my no#3 - reason is partly the "cane" is no longer there, I am done with law school. The primary reason is that I did not use the same method of study for Calbar as I did for my Baby Bar - I did not commit myself to memorizing the outlines and rule statements. I believe to pass the essay portion, at a minimum one must have the complete outline and rule statements for all 13 courses memorized and ready to spit them out in seconds. That is quite a mammoth task but a necessary task to improve chances of getting a passing grade for the essays. Of course, the ability to weave the facts into the rules is what puts the bar candidate into the passing grade for the essay portion. Regardless of what the various bar review courses say about which portion of the exam is important, you have to target to average 65 for the essay and PT portion and hit the 130 raw points for MBE to have a good chance to get to 1440 and clear Feb 08. I am reading "Scoring High for Essays... by Gallagher" - I am about half way through and found the approach interesting. I am generally a good writer so I have no excuse to fall short other than failure to exert myself the way I should. I probably need to also go on the internet to lease a better brain for memorization for the next 3 months : ) - it appears my brain power has deteriorated in the last 3 years - blame it on age : ) : ). Best of luck to all in Feb 08 - the right efforts and a little bit of luck will yield the desired result.

boston girl said...

Hello - I came straight from MA to CA and straight up failed the July bar the first time. Just wanted to introduce myself as I will be tagging along for the ride over the next few months... I took Barbri and PMBR - does anyone think it is worthwhile to take Barbri again or are people starting this time with a different approach? I guess that's all for now.

Anonymous said...

Boston girl.

I'm re-taking the Cal bar in 08 and I don't feel barbri and pmbr are necessary unless you need the structure to study. If you are disciplined enough to go through your outlines, MBE and essays, I think you will be fine. As they say, practice, practice, practice.

Distance Law said...


Thanks for the info on grading, and thanks to anonymous for his post also. I have the scoring numbers in my spreadsheet and they agree, pretty much, with what he said. Now, back to getting my lins up...


Distance Law said...

that is getting my links up...I guess I need to spell check everything Duh.


PTB0208 said...

Hi GP, in response to JP's question about resources for new subjects - I just received Bar Secrets California Evidence - it is great and easy to keep track of the difference between CA and FRE and super great for those who are visual learners because it is in the flow chart format.

The Grand Poobah said...

Anon (Dec 4): Thanks for the kind words. They are very much appreciated. I'm glad that others have found my blog helpful. I think, however, that I haven't been of much help to anyone lately. (;-)>

I'm not aware of any resources for the new subjects other than the ones I wrote about in the Spring. Fleming has a good one, and of course there's the Conviser material. Adachi published an update to his Bar Breaker books but I personally found his material less useful than the others.

Hang in there. We'll get it this time!

Anon (Dec 5): The essays I wrote under the pressure of the Baby Bar were similar looking to the ones I wrote for the General Bar. I tend to get too conclusionary under pressure. It's good to see my answers though. I now have a base from which I can build.

Boston Girl: My opinion is that a second helping of the large programs like BarBri and PMBR would not be the best use of my time. Your situation might be different, but I think our needs have changed. I think a more focused approach that attacks our weak area will serve us better. Of course, I could be wrong. I'll get back to you in May!

Anon (Dec 6): Yeah... what you said!

Distance Law: I put the numbers in an Excel spreadsheet. That allowed me to play with different combinations to see what effect a higher or lower score here and there would have on my final score. Interesting, it is.

PTB0208: Did you send that suggestion to Zeb? (;-)> Thanks for the tip!