Friday, May 16, 2008

If at first you don't succeed ....

Try, try again.

And it looks like I'll be trying again come July.



Jenevieve said...

I'm so sorry.

Kim said...


I'm so sorry!!!! I was pulling for you so hard!!!!! Best wishes next time around. You'll slay this beast in July!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, GP. If anyone deserved to pass, it was you, man. Get your mind off this crap over the weekend, and relax as best as you can.

Jonathan L. Kramer, Esq. said...

Okay, guy, I guess you stay on Part Time for the next couple of months. Get back in gear.

Your (always) friend and occasional Boss,


Anonymous said...


I am very sorry to hear that news. You are wished the best. I know this is terribly frustrating and painful. You will pass in July!

Stephen Flynn

Anonymous said...


I'm so sorry that you didn't make the cut this time around. I was really pulling for you. Fear not though. I was in EXACTLY your same position at this time last year. I failed July 2006 and February 2007, came from a Tier 1 California ABA School and did decently in law school. I passed July 2007 and you my friend will pass July 2008--mark my words.

I know that being so close to being finished with this chapter of your life hurts. GP, it is okay to hurt and feel sad. But after you give yourself a few days (maybe even a week) to swallow this sour pill, get back on that horse and slay this dragon. You can do it. And the taste of success this fall will be that much sweeter.

Know that you are respected and people are pulling for you. Keep the blog going, okay???

Anonymous said...

Ditto, keep the blog going, lots of us out here pulling for you.


calbar blondie said...

We've got to stop meeting this way on Friday nights in May and November, GP...we'll both be going back at it. Blah is right, but wait for the score letter and re-strategize.

Anonymous said...

So sorry. You'll do it, man! Keep the faith!

Anonymous said...

Hey man, we're in this together. Also, took the July 2007 didn't pass it, took the February 2008 Bar, also didn't pass it, so here we are taking the July 2008 Bar. This is our time to pass it.

Anonymous said...

Ill be a 3rd timer in July too. Goodluck to everyone and congrats to those who did pass.

And now we wait for the scoreboard sticker to come out...

thecalbaristhebaneofmyexistence said...


i'm so sorry. i've become a fan of sorts and am pulling for you like everyone else. don't lose hope. you'll grab the exam by the balls and take it down in july!

Abe said...

Bummer man, bummer. Trying again worked for me, you get this one in July, you've earned it!

Anonymous said...

i failed in 07/07. i know the feeling of failing this exam.

dont let it get you down. i just found out that i passed.

my advice to you is to get a tutor. but, you cannot pass this exam unless you get your spirits up. this is NOT the end of the world, by any means.

i have enjoyed your blog for the past year now and will continue to check in on what will ultimately be your success!

take care and good luck.

Daniel said...

I'll be taking it a third time as well. Good luck. We'll get 'em next time.

Anna said...

I just wanted to echo what everyone else is saying. Three times is going to be the charm - it just is.

I like what the anon said above: Know that you are respected and people are pulling for you. Keep the blog going, okay???

peace and light,

99 problems said...


I don't know what to say. But, your essay answers seemed strong. I was envious at most of them. I want to help. Don't throw in the towel. Anything I can do. I'm in. Just post.

Ill respond.

99 problems

Anonymous said...

I've been following your blog and I am very sorry to hear this! Please keep in mind all the blessings you have in life and try to keep it in perspective. You are in my thoughts, and I wish you luck!

Anonymous said...

I am in the same boat. How do I face my wife this time?

Anonymous said...

my condolences. i've also been following your journey and hope good news are ahead for you in november.

Anonymous said...

i'm sorry it didn't work out for you this time. i'll be struggling through my ump-teenth bar exam here in ohio. i know it's hard, but keep your head up & get 'em next time!

keep the blog going. you don't know how many repeaters are out there. we are all in this together!

take care!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I haven't ever commented but I also will be doing "third time's a charm" in July. I am not going to even go into my amount of education-let's just say that the number of degrees on my wall is not yet exceeded by by bar failures so this test is NOT about intelligence! :)

Anonymous said...

I'm a First Time Failer...such a freaking loser I am UGH!

Anonymous said...

I also failed it twice in CA and decided to take it in other state the third time; it was like a walk in the park.

You will pass next time I am sure. The MPTs are key to pass; practice a lot of them, get the trick and you will pass. I am sure you do well in essays and MBE.

All the best,


Weezy said...

I'm sorry, GP.
Take care of what you need to do.

KeithL said...

Hey Grand Poobah - ran across your blog this week while awaiting results of my second cali bar exam attempt... you nailed everything I been thinking since February on the money. Sorry to read you missed it - I'm going back for a 3rd time myself. Solidarity, my man.

Anonymous said...

The exam is easy, it is the graders that suck. I've passed two bars, but failed this one. They need to lighten up in the review room.

Anonymous said...

Oh man, I was hoping you would receive good news tonight. I'm so sorry. You deserved to pass. You have iron guts to even tackle the California Bar Exam... I am not as gutsy as those of you!

Yes, please let us know when your scores come out. It sucks you have to go through this a third time, but I'm living proof that the third time is the charm!!

Rocks on Sommers said...

Stay with this-I know you will pass. Been following your blog since July bar.

I know when you pass it will be even sweeter.

Anonymous said...

Sorry man.

Anonymous said...

The 3rd time is the charm. This was my 3rd time, I passed. The difference? I asked other people to give me feedback on my actual bar essays. I met with tutors. I got perspective. In truth, your blog helped me keep faith and continue to study diligently.

What doesn't kill can only make us stronger. The difference between a man and a boy - is that the man learns from his mistakes.

Anonymous said...

hey man I'm sorry to hear that. I just found out I passed after failing twice. You can and will totally do it next time. While it's a necessary step (to pass the bar) it's certainly no measure of anything relevant. I'm no smarter than or knowledgeable than I was before I failed the first time. Obviously the real annoyance is the time delay (purgatory) but other than that, it's not a big deal. You will become a licensed attorney.

Third times a charm!

Anonymous said...

First, I want to sincerely thank you for the blog. It has been a great source of commiseration.

I was and am pulling for you. I felt you had a pretty strong chance of passing this time. Of course, as nearly all of us here know, the California bar exam can be inscrutable and seemingly capricious. I wish you the best with the July exam.

Anonymous said...

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. - JFK.

Keep Blogging!!!

Anonymous said...


Sorry GP.

Anonymous said...

GP, I was not successful this time either.

Thomas Edison said it best: "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

Next time we'll make it work!!!

shoortie said...

don't give up! i want to thank you for sending me the ca distinction chart. you probably don't remember who i am but still. i passed and i am convinced at this point that it's not how much you's about luck...i know you will pass in july!

biff said...

Very sorry.

CalBarNone said...

Sorry man. I'll be a 3rd time taker in July too - been following the blog for some time now. Guess we just wait for the scores and see where we need to be more precise.

Goodluck in your studies and keep the blog going.

Anonymous said...

GP -

It took me 8 times to pass the CA bar!!!!

You can beat this thing. I'll be pulling for you in July '08.

Anonymous said...

3rd time takerss, including GP himself, let's get together and war game this.

Anonymous said...

ive been reading your blog ever since i took the bar this february, and it was great solace to read comments from a person who felt exactly (read shitty) like me about the exam.. i am really very sorry that you did not make it this time, and i wish you the very best for next july. good luck, and thanks for sharing your insights and experiences.. you really made a difference in my take on the exams!

Anonymous said...

Hang in there my friend. You've helped a lot of people along the way. There will be some good karma coming back your way. I thought your analysis was pretty solid on most of the questions, so I'm pretty surprised you didn't make it. You'll do well; just keep the faith.

Anonymous said...

It's just not fair. Take comfort in your family and friends and that wonderful guy who will give you a job, and rally...

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear that you failed the bar exam, that sucks mucho. Might I suggest I find them very insightful for the essays--they basically kicked my butt in the essays, but I think their advice helped me pass.

JWMN said...

I'm so sorry to hear that, GP. You WILL get this thing the next time out. I wish you nothing but the best.

Anonymous said...

Hello, Im a first time failer and feel like my world has crumbled, any recommnedations as to where I should start for July...I took Barbri and thought I was beyond prepared. :(

stella said...

GP, keep at it. You have a great outlook on things, and you've helped so many of us get through so much. Hang in there!

Robert said...

I am sorry to hear the bad news. Having gone through this before (while reading your blog)I know how hard it is to deal with not passing.

Given the fact that you spotted almost all of the issues in the essays from the past two exams, I think it might help to sit down with a tutor to see where you may be going wrong. Good luck to you.


Anonymous said...

I took it 8 times and was ready to quit but I passed. Don't give up. If you hand write, learn to type, form a study group, the graders are looking for analysis/ argument. When you can defend/ explain your position to others, that is when you know the law. Bar reviews are good to help you stay focussed but often their law outlines are taken from past answers which are full of flaws and I don't think there is one that is honest about their pass rate. The law in Barbri or Gilberts outlines seemed the best to me. I don't want to be sued for lible but I did spend 50k on reviews so I will list them in the order I felt they wer helpful to me, best to worst. John Holtz(performance) Whitney Roberts/The Barcode, Barbri(must be in study group because I found the tapes are dry) Sherry Karney(great motivator, but outlines could be improved, Cal Bar Tutorial(outlines confussed me but he did have these great issue clusters to improve issue spotting,Flemings(Jeff would be a great trial lawyer, confident even when wrong, there was a lot of reading from the outlines(contaiing law from released answers) in class that failed to keep me interested and I really never felt my questions in class were answered.
I hope this helps all of you still trying.

Anonymous said...

You'll pass, bro. I failed july 07 and beat the bastards this round. The graders really are awful. I had more than one 20 point discrepancy on my essays. Look forward to the good news in November.


Anonymous said...

I am a licensed attorney in another state...and same here--- no pass in CA. I don't tell the family anymore than I have to, to the guy talking about what to tell the wife. People look at me weird because I passed in other states and haven't passed in CA.

Keep on keeping on, GP.... it's hard, and we all have a ways to go before we get to how many times that guy had to take the exam before he passed. What was it 45 times? LOL.

I admit it is a burnout, a money drain, and I dream of the day when I get my life back and free to do other things besides obsess about passing the bar.

You only fail when you stop trying. End of the Dr. Phil crap for the day.... getting off my sorry ass and back to real property... Oh man, I am so friggin excited.

Anonymous said...

Stick with it, brother - your blog has been an inspiration and you will definitely pass in July.

Anonymous said...

GP: I am sorry to hear results--same for me, too. I practiced in another State for 9 years, graduated from a top 5 law school, etc., etc. This will be my 4th attempt. Its embarrassing as hell! I will try again in July but I am so, so tired; mentally & physically. Do you know what you will do different this time. I know I have to work on my writing style. I've done BarBri before and I know I need to do something else. Does anyone know of a good essay/pt course on weekends? Please keep you blog going. This is the first place I came after the bad news. Thanks again!

Santosh Giri said...

Lets beat this thing in July.
Count me in first-timers who did not make it...
My weakness has been MBEs. I will work my ass off on it this time.

Anonymous said...

six times, six times...that is what is took for me to final clear the hurdle. Every time there were people I studied with that passed the bar and everytime there were no words that could comfort me in my disappointment. The one thing I realized was that this comes down to how bad you want it. I find it hard to believe that I studied more for my sixth attempt than I did for my first,second or third. Bottom line is this is a character builder and dedication, credit cards and an empty stomach to eat the humble pie was the right combination for me. Worst line in the World but if I can pass this thing anyone can....keep it movin'

lostkiara said...

Anonymous 6 timer: Maybe this is not the forum (hope you don't mind GP). .. Can you point to what you did differently? What do you think made you pass--get over that hurdle on the sixth that maybe you missed or glossed over previously? I would really be interested in knowing your thoughts.

99 problems said...


You're the man. What is it you want out of life? What type of person do you want to respect you? I don't know what you are looking for (other than to pass) but you have it. Congrats. I was pulling for you big, never met you, don't know you, and this was the first spot I hit after I got the results. I got lucky. I hope if there is anything you need from us you reach out.

Anonymous said...

I was a multiple failer and this time spent virtually my entire time studying on the Barbri mini-review and a compilation I made of rule statements from any old essay answers I could find.

I also worked on trying to beef up the analysis part of my answers so that I was holding the grader's hand through the progression of the rule statement. It seemed silly, but I guess it worked.

I hope this helps someone b/c I wish I'd heard the same advice a while back. You don't have to memorize the rule statements as much as you have to analyze. Trying to memorize all of that stuff just makes you crazy.

I echo the sentiments of many here in saying that your blog has been a very helpful part of this process. Good luck to you in July, GP. Destroy them.

Anonymous said...

GP, what a bummer! I had full faith you would make it. I will make July 08 my fourth and final try which means I must and have to pass. Ditto to 6th timer - for some of us, the key may be to study till we drop. To L, I just downloaded some sample essays from Bargrader - glossed over a couple, style is excellent - I plan to sign up with them as I believe my essays lack the depth of analysis that is necessary to pass although I did hit 75 for one of my essays in the July 07 bar. To all who did not make it this round, all the best with the July bar and may November be our last and final meeting on this blog on this subject. GP, I look forward to seeing on your blog, a "hip, hip hurray" instead of "blah" at 6:00pm on Nov 21. It is a big blow and a drag but it would be a waste to give up regardless of how downtrodden we feel this weekend. Time to pull up our socks and hit the books again. I started last evening and has been studying most of today. The official study schedule kicks in tomorrow morning at 8:00 am. Once again, I have to say goodbye to normal life and get back to grinding the books.

Anonymous said...

I was a repeater who passed this time. I am not sure how appropriate it is for me to say so but PMBR, bargraders and the Tyler "Nail the Bar" books helped me more than BarBri ever did.

Anonymous said...

I was also a repeater who passed this time. For those who are going to take the bar again, I think it's crucial you don't lose your confidence and tackle this beast head on.

My approach to taking the exam the second time worked for me...I hope it can help someone else.

MBE's...practice! It helps to write out questions you miss too. Also, when you miss a question and you go over the correct answer, don't forget to go over the wrong answer too b/c it will clear up your thought process as to how you are handling a problem.

Essays...practice! Get as many previous CA bar essay questions AND answers as you can. Write out your answers and really go over the sample answers (don't just skim). Even make sure you track your answers in terms of the format the sample essays are laid out in.

PT's...again practice! You can't do a 3 hr PT every day, but do what you can. Also, spend time outlining your answers (1-1.5 hours) b/c it makes sure that you have all the correct cases in all the required places and ultimately it helps you when you actually write your essay b/c you have a proper flow. Also, as obvious as it sounds, make sure your tone is correct throughout the essay.

Again, I'm sorry if this sounds full of crap, it just worked for me so I'm hoping it can help out anyone else.

Good Luck!!!

Anonymous said...

I would agree, spend time actually practicing the PTs well. I took this approach because I knew if I did them well I could make up for other mistakes since the are worth so much.

My approach was to read the libary and as soon as I saw law I would get it on my computer until I had my section headings and then filled in the blanks. I thought this was helpful because it made sure I addressed everything I needed to.

Also, I took Honigsbergs (barbri) advice on fully writing out one essay a night. It was the last thing I would do before I went to bed each night but I would do them and make up the law if I didnt know it. I think this helped a lot. I wrote several completely false statements of law on my exam and all worked out.

Anonymous said...

Dear G. Poobah:

I have read a significant portion of your blog. I am sorry that you failed the California Bar Examination for the second time.

I have read the bulk of the comments left for you encouraging you to retake the bar with renewed vigor. My advice is quite different: you should not retake the bar examination and you should go back into Information Technology. I am attorney and I have retained an attorney in the past. I would never create such a ludicrous blog because I respect myself and I respect my past, present, and future clients. What client would look favorably on this shameless blog devoted to celebrating the continuing public failures, neurosis, and personal shortcomings of its self absorbed author? In fact, no client would find this site remotely amusing and would certainly think twice before retaining you.

Do us all a favor: take down this site and do not retake the bar.

California Attorney At Law

Anonymous said...

The previous comment was the most ridiculous comment posted on this site so far. Blogs, by nature, are self-absorbed. In a sense, that is the point of a blog -- to express personal opinions and views. So to criticize him for utilizing his blog to express his views and opinions -- the entire point of blogs -- is asinine.

Secondly, those who fail the bar don't necessarily possess any particular "personal shortcomings" which should deter future clients from retaining his services. Failing the bar isn't a "personal shortcoming," rather its a part of the process and journey of reaching a goal -- becoming licensed as an attorney.

Finally, to criticize the author for being neurotic is rather irrelevant. I know a number of licensed attorneys that are not only neurotic -- but alcoholics, drug users, and the like. To imply that the author will not be able to attract future clients as a result of slight neuroses -- when licensed attorneys with far great problems are able to attract business -- is again, absurd.

I think that the previous poster intended on being mean-spirited and discouraging. Why he/she chose to do that is beyond me, but as someone who took and passed the Feb. 2008 Bar on my first try, I strongly suggest you try again. If your goal is to become an attorney in California, the only way to do that is to retake the bar. Do NOT lose focus and do NOT give up! You have come this far and to walk away at this point would be a waste, in my humble opinion.

Anonymous said...

G. Poobah:

My previous post was not intended to be "mean-spirited or discouraging" but was meant to be honest.

The fact remains that I honestly do not believe you can adequately represent our profession. I've no doubt that given enough opportunities, you will eventually pass the bar exam. However it's people like you that make the bar exam's existence necessary. We, as members of the bar, seek to limit the number of practicing lawyers to those that will not be utterly incompetent or otherwise morally deficient such that the public is put at risk by their practicing law.

I've no idea what your legal capacities are. For all I know, you graduated summa from Yale. I thus do not find that your two previous failures necessarily render you incompetent as a future attorney. However, I do find you morally deficient to be an attorney. I know from reading this blog that you are indiscreet, shameless, neurotic, solipsistic, self-loating, depressive, maudlin, petty, and unstable. While possession of these character traits does not violate any technical California Bar rule, they certainly place future clients at risk.

While anonymous above defends you with the half-witted claim that he knows licensed lawyers who are, "alcoholics, drug users, and the like", I hardly think this helps demonstrate that you would markedly contribute to our admittedly less than pristine profession.

Why does one fail to find blogs chronicling the exploits of a medical school graduate preparing for, taking, and failing the medical boards? The answer is that the medical profession does a much better job of keeping lunatics like G. Poobah out of medical school. With the proliferation of second rate law schools, lawyers have gone from being respected professionals to disreputable incompetents. The fact that you "FUBAR'd" two bar examinations is bad enough, you have done much damage to yourself and your (possible) future profession with the creation of this blog.

California Attorney At Law

The Grand Poobah said...

Anon: 1:49: Thanks for your opinion. I'm sure there are many others who share your view. Only time will tell if you're correct. Check back in ten years.

99 problems said...

Hey California Attorney at Law-

I won't say what I want to say, because unlike yourself, I practice self-control, as well as law. I am embarrassed to be part of a group that counts you as a member.

Great vocabulary, you should try less time spent using a dictionary and spell check and more time thinking about what an arrogant, out of touch, ass you have become.

Anonymous said...

Ok I have to comment on California Atty.
First calling someone "morally deficient to be an attorney". Isn't that the definition of an atty. You know flooding the courts with BS claims for no other reason than someone is paying you that has a grudge.
Second blaming the "proliferation of second rate law schools, for lawyers having gone from being respected professionals to disreputable incompetents. Knowing the Legal process is only half of the game, The rest is the knowing the topic of the case. When I need a lawyer on a case that involves IT, I am going to hire the grand PB over some un happy Stanford grad that has no life experience outside of the couthouse.
Hang in there GPB

lostkiara said...

Wow, I guess being an attorney means you lose your compassion and heart. Now, that is something you can really admire.

California Attorney at Law, somewhere along the line you have lost something. Obviously, this blog has made an impression on you. For a person that is so beyond the "maudlin" etc, you came back, just to knock somebody down that might need somebody to pull him up just a little.

Kindness, Mr California Attorney at Law....remember that when you look at people (hopefully not your clients) with disdain. You bring a certain disgrace to the profession because you belong to the school of thought that you have to be cruel or rude to be good. It is the in thing these days..disguising rudeness and arrogance with truth.

I believe there is a story going around that Einstein's teacher told him he would amount to nothing. Guess the teacher was wrong.

During the stressful time of studying for the bar, people laugh and vent...we are human... laughing and comaraderie is a good thing.

Insensitivity is not a particularly great asset in anyone, let alone an attorney, California Attorney at Law. This is one of the main reasons the general public has a disdain for attorneys--the arrogance.

A young attorney made a few mistakes in his closing argument, to the point where the judge's shoulders were shaking up and down and tears were forming in the jury members eyes. These were not fatal mistakes... These WERE HUMAN ERRORS. He ended up winning for his client and the thing they commented most was that "He acted human.... I could see myself doing something like that."

Word to the wise: You could be a Constitutional Law guru, and expert for all I know, but remember you are simply HUMAN too like everyone else.

So, on that note---go look at yourself in the mirror and think about who you think are and come back and apologize to a guy who has supported many a candidate taking the bar. He should have no shame... you should. You are losing your empathy, kindness, and those HUMAN qualities that truly matter to clients.


calbar blondie said...

I would totally disregard what the "mean-spirited" attorney says, GP. The real story behind the CA Bar exam and how hard it is for many to pass on 1, 2, 3 tries needs to be told. It is not a myth! I know plenty of out-of-state attorneys who would never attempt it even one time for love or money. Keep up the good work on your blog and I'll bet when your score letter arrives, you will find out you came very close to passing.

Distance Law said...


I have an extensive post on my blog re: California Attorney At Law.

Generally, I find that people telling another to quit are ones that rarely try anything tough. Tough for them I mean. For some the bar exam is easy, but they are terrible lawyers. For others, passing after several attempts makes the experience of passing sweeter, and makes them a better lawyer than they might have been had they passed on the first attempt.

Between you and him, I'd rather have you in my corner for any project.

Take Care,

lostkiara said...

GP: Here is a great lawyer... the guy that made the HUMAN ERROR. He was representing a criminal defendant who was a full blown transexual (dress and all)... His point in his closing argument was to make sure the jury was not prejudiced against his client for being who he was and to look at the evidence.

He ended up getting his client's name mixed up with the Prosecutor's name and throughout his entire closing argument, he said just because Mr X is a transexual, etc etc.. judge the evidence.

Prosecutor got beet red but didn't say anything... The young guy was on a roll. Judge's shoulders started going up and down trying to hold in the laughter and the jury kep from laughing as the tears came out of their eyes. He thought he was doing good--realllll good.

As his client sunk down in his seat. Moral of the story for all lawyers out there. Juries, clients, the public want you to know the law for sure, but being HUMAN is what gets them. They loved this attorney and he won.

Remember that when you are sweating it in Court. Know the law, be good to your clients, and be who you are.

Anonymous said...

California Atty at Law !?!
You suck big time ! Probably you think about survival of the your defence....think twice probably are yourself struggling for your own existence among all competent lawyers out there.....hey...remember one thing... KARMA gets back to you and you've got to believe in it....I would not be sorry to hear you being disbarred and stripped very soon.....see....what damage you hav done...? You are making us puke poison..... Two cents from my side......Mind your own business and if yu cannot be supportive to anyone....just shut the fu*k up! I dare you....we all do.. and on day down the line...i would love to seeyou distressed, dismayed, disoriented and all other 'dis' that you truely deserve....

YOU, are the biggest loser I have ever seen..... a selfish, mannerless, stupid moron...and yes i mean my words.....

May you suffer....

FIRST TIME FAILER....and July 08 Bar passer ready to kick your ass...

Anonymous said...

I highly doubt that person is even a CA atty. Probably passed an easier bar in another state. And I would think any person who feels the need to post something so negative and rude when a person is down does not have the moral character required to practice law in CA.

GP--so sorry to hear you didn't pass. I am guessing you had a 1439 or something. Don't give up.

Anonymous said...


I've really enjoyed reading your blog and following your experience. I didn't pass in July '07, and finally did it this time around. Keep your head up, and keep trying. Its a sweet feeling to get through this beast, and I look forward to you getting to share this same experience.

You'll get there, no doubt.


Anonymous said...


I am also a California attorney, and I have to say, I have no idea what the other California attorney is talking about. I've read your blog for a while now, and I see nothing on it that would prevent someone from hiring or employing you. Try or try not a third time as you see fit, but ignore that commenter if you haven't already. I highly doubt he is in any position to comment on employability. I would bet he's a low-level document reviewer somewhere--if he's even an esquire--who has no position or sway with the hiring committee.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the (first) anonymous Cal atty's comments just sound like he was having a personal meltdown of some kind.

You'll get it next time.

rgz said...

I thought FOR SURE you would pass!! Best of luck to you, I enjoy reading your blog, and the help you provide to others as well as the information you share with us. Thank you! This July is going to be it for you!

Anonymous said...

G. Poobah and Supporters:

My general views about the impropriety of this blog won't be repeated. I would reiterate my point comparing the legal profession to the medical profession. Again, if any medical school graduate chose to post a blog that publicly aired their psychological struggles with a board examination, they would be ridiculed as unprofessional, pathetic, and incompetent. The fact that such behavior is tolerated and even encouraged within the legal community demonstrates the type of individuals that compose our community. Our profession suffers high rates of depression, substance abuse, and suicide. It is not the practice of law which causes this but the quality of people who inhabit the bottom half of legal practice.

Retake the exam. I'm sure you'll eventually pass but the fact remains: we are a despised profession, as we once were not, because of G. Poobah and supporters. While you may hope that my "karma" will be negatively affected or worse, I simply represent the silent (large) minority of professional attorneys who wish the practice of law would return to its once exalted status on a par with medicine.

California Attorney At Law

Anonymous said...

Get over your sanctimonious self.

The Grand Poobah said...

California Attorney At Law: And, so, what? I should quit? Because you think I should quit? Do you also offer free drinks to people as they leave AA meetings? I'm sure you won't be surprised when I don't take your advice.

Instead, I'm going to use your words as motivation, thank you. I'll remember you at my swearing-in ceremony, and I'll smile.

You won't find any misery here. Disappointment? Sure. Self-analysis? Yep. Reorganization and re-dedication? Absolutely. What you won't find is surrender.

If you’re looking for a group of people who enjoy misery, you’ll love this discussion board:

Thanks very much for your help. You’re welcome to stick around and contribute an opposing brief now and then. But keep in mind that too much of a good thing is … well, too much.


EvilTwin said...

California Attorney is obviously a bar exam grader. The only reason he/she/it is reading your blog is to feed on your carcass. It may be an attorney, but it's no longer a human being.

Anonymous said...

G. Poobah:

Perhaps I underestimated you. Or perhaps I am a real "supporter"; someone that actually motivates you towards your goals. Whatever the case may be, the sniveling toadies that offer their ceaseless condolences will be of no help to you when you have to try a case before a hostile jury.

If you really are committed to bucking up and passing, then I wish you luck. But if, instead, you are committed to being a sensitive neurotic, good riddance. Man up and get away from the groveling codependents who secretly like playing nurse to you. You look like a high testosterone man. Get angry and stop feeling so much. Pass.

California Attorney At Law

Anonymous said...

To California Attorney At Law, have you considered that the reason and the force that compels some of us to continue our repeated struggles to get the license is to improve the image of the legal profession that has been stained by the "kinds of yous." We are the next generation of lawyers that will raise the prestige of the legal profession. Your time has come and gone.

As GP said, check in in 10 years!!! Many of us will be out there doing the legal profession proud, will you still be there? With the poison you spill so generously on others, it is hard to imagine anything thriving around you. Hope you find peace within yourself.

There is a wise saying: "When you point your finger at someone, the ones remaining are pointed at yourself."

GP, you have been a pillar of strength for many who follow your blog. We are all rooting for you and know you will succeed in slaying the "bar" sooner than later.

All the best and sending good vibes to you today and always.

Anonymous said...

We need FEWER members of the bar like California Attorney At Law.
We need you, GP! Keep on truckin'
Plenty of us will hire you, buy you a drink, or whatever it takes to celebrate slaying the beast.

EvilTwin said...

So my question is...what is California Attorney doing here? Seriously, why would an attorney be interested in this blog unless he is a sicko getting off on the pain he has caused? He's gotta be a bar grader, which means he couldn't get a real job.

Being a lawyer is not just about getting knocked down. It's about getting back up. GP, you have provided a forum for non-passers who are struggling to get back up. Your willingness to share your vulnerabilities is appreciated. You are going to be a better lawyer than this idiot could ever hope to be. Jurors are human beings. It's no wonder he finds them hostile.

Washington State Attorney at Law

Anonymous said...

"Life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."

Thomas A. Edison

California Attorney at Law may have passed the CalBar but he is a real loser. He wanted to be a doctor but he could not even make it to medical school. He is unhappy as a lawyer, he hates competition, he needs a life.

If he doesn't like this blog he must avoid reading it. For me a 50 year old man who is a grandfather and decides to study law is an inspiration to anyone.

This Country needs a lot of lawyers with your integrity, never give up; learn from your mistakes, make amendments and pass the whole thing.

Best luck.

Anonymous said...


I have been following your blog for a year now; and I have enjoyed your insight and based on some of your observations, I know that you will make a good attorney. The bar is just hurdle that I know you will fly over with ease this coming July. Please be patient and don't give up.

Blawgin' said...

Thanks for keeping this blog, It gave hundreds of people hope and provided invaluable support to all of us in this long, difficult, and often very lonely experience.

I would suggest that you change your options to approve your comments before they list. There is no reason we should allow vile hostility on a blog meant to bring us together during a shared experience, let alone draw attention to it by continuing to comment on such negativity.

You have a rich, full life, and this exam is just another challenge that you will overcome. Already, you are very fortunate! Keep your spirits up!

P.S. As "anonymous" as you think you are, IP addresses can easily be tracked. You are not ever really anonymous. Often, we think because we are in the safety of our homes and list anonymously, we can say anything we want without consequences. This is not true. The same rules of common decency apply, even in an internet forum where we cannot see each other's faces...

The Grand Poobah said...


I had originally intended not to respond to your comments, but I guess that strategy is out the window. (;-)>

Blogs, like e-mails, are an imperfect medium. We have to understand that the stuff we write and read here are but small snippets of people’s lives and personalities.

And I think your “sniveling toadies” offering “ceaseless condolences” comment was a bit over the top. Do ballplayers, having lost a championship game, take a few minutes/hours/days to comfort their teammates? When someone has suffered the loss of a loved one, do we just tell him or her to “buck up”? Or do we take a few minutes to offer words of condolence before the tough job of reconciliation and rebuilding begins. This is the same thing.

Granted, failing the bar pales in comparison to a death, but for many of us it’s the closest we’ve come to that level of disappointment. And for others, it’s the worst loss we’ve ever suffered. So on the day of, and the weekend after, being hurt so grievously, I don’t think it’s a bad thing to take some time off to salve and bandage our wounds and the wounds of our comrades in arms before we rejoin the fight.

So, “sniveling toadies” we surely are not. And the “ceaseless condolences” will cease when we get our scores and dig back in on Monday.

And regarding the tone of my blog, my first thought about what you thought of it was, "whatever".

But depending on how long ago it was that you studied for and took the bar exam, you may have forgotten how cold and heartless this process can be, especially if you passed on your first attempt. This blog, for me, is an opportunity to take a break from the hard work of preparing (again) for this test. As much as the bar exam is a study in memorization, logic, and rationalization; this blog is a way for me to take a break and re-boot my brain.

Like a computer running Windows; when the thing’s been on and used heavily for a long period of time, the cache can get a little muddled, if you will. A few bits get overwritten here and there and from that point on, every cache I/O is off by just enough to cause confusion, which inevitably results in a system hang. This blog is me rebooting my brain; stepping outside and getting some fresh air. So if it seems a little unserious at times, that’s because it is.

But for me, and for the rest of us who blog about the Bar Exam, the job of preparing for and starting our new chosen profession is very serious. You'll probably recall that it was just as serious for you at one time. This is a vulnerable time for many of us. How do you think you would have responded to a similar attack?

I always presume people have good intentions until they prove otherwise. If I don't do that then I'm in a constant argument/fight. So, despite the fact that, intentional or not, you did the equivalent of showing up at the million man march in a KKK outfit, I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and let this go. Besides, I've got work to do.

Cheers, Peace, and Namasté.


Anonymous said...

"My previous post was not intended to be "mean-spirited or discouraging" but was meant to be honest."

Using words like "pathetic", "half-wits", and other emotionally charged words reflects an investment in knocking this guy down, California Attorney. This is not by any means honesty. You have an agenda.

It's okay to share with the group all your hostilities and "neuroses" as you call them. Because buddy, you have a load of them. You have spent your day tracking this blog to demoralize people. That says more about YOU than GP on a bad day.... I wish your clients could see you getting drawn back to this so-called pathetic blog that so insults the legal profession.

You have issues, serious ones, Sir or Maam California Attorney. Really, you can't help yourself, can you? GP on his worst day will be a finer attorney than you ever were or could be. Go back to watching Boston Legal. Wait, maybe you ought to check out Doctor Phil.

Anonymous said...

Madam CAAL:

I call you madam because obviously you have no balls.
Otherwise you wouldn't be tracking this blog and spewing such comments anonymously.

hmmm...there's something so familiar about your ignorance that makes me think we went to school together.

i guess we'll never know for sure.
see supra para 1.

The Grand Poobah said...

CAAL: One last thing. In the spirit of peace on earth and goodwill among men, I would be more than happy to carry on this discussion in private, although we'll probably just end up agreeing to disagree. However, If there's anything you want to ask that you're uncomfortable posting in public, feel free to avail yourself of the contact info in my profile.

Seriously, there are some things I won't talk about but, I've obviously put myself out there with the blog and many people have e-mailed me directly, so feel free. No harm, no blood, no foul.

I have a family, I'm rational and not vindictive. I'm relatively anonymous on the blog but there are enough people out there who know who I am so there's no risk involved.


Anonymous said...


Having read a fair amount of your writing at this point via your blog (which was a big help to me), I'm perplexed (as you no doubt are) at the bad news you received. Your writing is very clear, you have logical transitions, and you seem to effectively refute the arguments of others with solid factual analysis and appropriate syntax. I also observe that you seemed, other than perhaps on the CP question, to have hit most of the major issues on the exam. That leads me to believe, as others have observed, that you probably need to practice with a tutor linking your very capable issue spotting ability with applying the law to facts. You had to be very close to passing, but I did wonder after reading your blog how you had time to properly analyze all of the laundry list of issues you identified on some of the questions. For example, on the Torts question it took me 70 minutes to do a thorough step by step analysis of negligence/defenses, SL/defenses. I barely had time to throw in a little bit about public/private nuisance at the end, but I thought that was probably okay because this was a personal injury case, not a case where the neighbors were trying to shut down the facility. They wanted money--not equity. So perhaps that is the key, focus your obvious ability on the meat of the question, not the peripheral details.

Of course, I could be totally off not having seen your exam. You seem like someone who will make a very good attorney (calm and logical--even after being inappropriately attacked by some clueless nimrod). I really do hope you pass next time. I made it this time--my second go round (just like the former dean of the Standford Law School--this Bar is an equal opportunity humbler). What put me over the top, I think, was reviewing and practicing so many old exams this time. I'd have been in trouble on the CP question, like many others, if not for the fact that the Bar used the essentially the same QMP/QCP fact pattern on Question 5 as it did 5 years ago on a previous question. I knew they were looking for a QCP/QMP response to every interrogatory because that's what was in the previous model answers. I'll never know for sure, but I'm guessing that nailing CP (courtesy of the prior question) is what put me over the top. Hopefully, next time around, you'll find some similar nuggets in the old exams.

Good luck, God bless, and you'll get em' next time.

Anonymous said...


Please continue to ignore the CAAL. He is truly the "model" individual who gives our profession a bad name. Lawyers are known as selfish, self-centered people so lacking in compassion that we are hated and not respected by many.

Such rude and inappropriate comments from CAAL are why we have such a terrible reputation around the world.

The bar exam is a mission for many of us. One that plays with every aspect of our emotions, and makes us question our self-worth and ability at times. ANYONE who laughs at another's failures when it comes to the bar exam is unfit to practice law, and moreover, lacks the compassion necessary to be an adequate lawyer.

CAAL, you are quick to comment on others, yet you are so confident in yourself that you refrain from using your real name? You hide behind the signed "California Attorney At Law."

As a newly admitted attorney, I am ashamed to have you as part of my new profession.

Anonymous said...

From another CA lawyer (CAAL 2), in response to CA Attorney at Law (CAAL 1)--

Our adversarial legal system works best when there are more lawyers. Even with the number of lawyers that we have today, the poor of this country have less access to the courts than the corporations. The more lawyers there are, the closer to justice we get. There is a place in the bar for this blogger, and everyone who is not a criminal or a nut.

Lawyers are not like doctors. Doctors are out there to help. Lawyers are out there to hurt people (and help). So I'm not worried about lawyers not being ranked up there with doctors in terms of public opinion.

Forget what you learned in law school. There is no nobility in this profession and there never was. We are not like doctors, accountants, or even car mechanics. We are body guards and professional soldiers for hire. We employ the ugliest means. We get blood on our hands and get bloodied up ourselves. The fancy suit and the high billing rates don't change what you are.

Anonymous said...

Keep Your head up man, I have been checking your site for about since last exam. It took me 5 TIMES to pass. But i finally did.

Self doubt is only natural but realize that all you can do is believe in yourself and never let them tell you that your not good enough.

5 times man, and I would have done 6 if necc.

Keep your head up.....

Anonymous said...

Strange that CAAL seems to think that GP and his supporters are what brought the view of lawyers down. Most of us took the exam for the first time in 2007. So the public opinion of lawyers was stellar until 2007 when we came along? With those of us that passed the first time having at most a year of work as a lawyer under our belts? Yeah, right.

As to the suggestion to not allow anon comments: please don't do that. Not all of us have blogs, and we don't necessarily want to give out our email addresses. It's nice to be able to comment anonymously. Too bad people like CAAL have to screw that up.

Anonymous said...

The CAAL controversy is interesting. I used to practice in Oregon. It was well known that one of the best family law practitioners (and eventual president of the Oregon Bar Association) failed the bar on his first attempt. Moreover, he graduated first in his class from law school. Taking the exam multiple times does suck on a personal and financial level, but I don't think it means you will be a bad lawyer. Maybe you will be, but I venture to guess that many people who pass on the first attempt are bad lawyers. The bar exam is just an admission ticket (a very expensive and somewhat difficult to obtain ticket, but a ticker nevertheless).

If the opportunity cost isn't too high for you, GP, then take the test again. I might suggest using the AdpatiBar MBE prep. It is online and is a compilation of real MBE questions. Moreover, it comes with a pass or money back guarantee.


Anonymous said...

I just stumbled upon your blog and I've enjoyed reading it and comments since I received my failure notice on Friday. I just passed the essays, which gives me a little peace of mind, but royally failed the MBEs. I actually think I may have slept through them or had an out of body experience that day. Any advice on how dramatically bring up MBEs? I did 25-50 every day because I knew they would be my weakness. I took the special PMBR before BarBri. What do these people want?

Also, I would like to comment that I'm horrified by the amount of money the Bar gets from us.


Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog off and on for the past year and just wanted to wish you luck in July. In case this could be of any help to you or ASF (and if this is unwelcome, I apologize; I wasn't particularly interested in unsolicited studying tips last November, either, but come February this worked for me), what helped me the most this last time was the StudySmart program from Bar/Bri - I did 25-50 questions/day, and every time I got an answer wrong, I would type out (rather than cut+paste) the rule in an Excel spreadsheet with the area of law in column B. After sorting, I imported the most important or difficult rules into Word to create flashcards. Anyway, sorry to hear about February, but best wishes for July!

Anonymous said...

Just to add my two cents to your call for MBE help. I unfortunately, didnt pass in July, and was thrilled to hear the good news this February. The reason I failed in July was because of my MBEs.

This time around I did my required 50 per day - and any time I missed a question (or got it right, but didnt know the rule of law) I made a flashcard. Every day before studying I would go over those flashcards, and speak the rule of law outloud.

I know this seems like a simple and mundane way to study for the MBEs, but there were unequivocally 15-20 questions on that test that I wouldnt have known if it werent for using these flashcards.

There are always those hard and obscure questions that no one knows or has even heard of. And while repetition assists you in understanding how to take the exam, part of it is committing tidbits of information to memory as well.

Hope this helps. Good luck in July GP!

Anonymous said...

Further to anon's comment @ 9:12 -

It is also well known that Kathleen Sullivan, dean of Stanford Law School and one of the top constitutional law scholars alive today, failed the CA bar her first try.
Law School Dean Fails Bar ExamFriday, January 20, 2006 | 8:11 AM SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Jan. 20, 2006 -- Kathleen Sullivan may have been dean of the prestigious Stanford Law School, but she flunked the test many of her former students have passed, the State Bar exam.
The California Supreme Court has removed Sullivan from a biotech company's legal team in a $500 million-dollar licensing dispute.
It seems last year Sullivan failed the state's three-day test to become licensed to practice law in California. But Sullivan is licensed in New York and Massachusetts. She has also argued four cases before the U-S Supreme Court.

Anonymous said...

I find it ironic that this person who claims to be a Californa attorney is so vaunted, so talented and such a consummate professional that he or she has the time to be leaving rude and punitive comments on one man's blog. GP is doing something productive with his time - working and studying to pass the bar exam. He comes here to release a little steam, in the most good natured way. What are you doing with yourself, "CAAL"? You are so much about this stranger you consider yourself qualified to give him "tough love"? I think perhaps you are little better than a troll, someone with an obvious ax to grind. Your rude comments to GP only thinly veil the sense of inferiority you have about being a lawyer, as opposed to being a doctor or some other professional. Get right with yourself, pay more attention to your clients, and quit slinging your poison here on the personal site of someone who is trying to improve his own life. The only "pathetic" individual I can see in this place is you.

Anonymous said...

I passed this Feb on my first try and have been reading your blog since I was studying for it.

I read it during the exam. Your thoughts on the essays looked right to me. I don't understand what went wrong for you. And I'll never know what went right for me.

Forget about CAAL. Just find a way to fix the problem, whatever it is and move on. No self loathing, no neurosis, no feeling sorry for yourself. Just fix it. Period. In the scheme of your career that you failed a couple bars at the beginning will mean little, and in any event is over and done with.

Just fix it.

Kim said...

Hi GP,

There's always one arse-hole and I guess California Attorney at Law is it.

Funny, if this numb-nut supposedly passed the Cali bar, then why is he surfing Blogs about it? Ah, I suppose his dick is too small to fondle, so he excercises his fingers on the computer keyboard instead.