Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Either I'm Slipping, or ...

... just not paying attention.

The State Bar has published the released answers for the July '08 Bar Exam.

Read 'em and weep.


Anonymous said...

I saw them this morning as well. After reading the selected answers, I can't believe I passed. Just goes to show--you don't need an answer anywhere near as detailed or organized as the "model" answers.

Keep your chin up.

Anonymous said...

I didn't take this bar exam, but omg, I can't believe that one Con Law case where Justice Douglas talks about penumbras actually ended up as a bar Q. Crazy.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the bar model answers. I missed by three points this time and noticed my answer to one of the essays which I answered completely had some pages missing when I received my print out. I also received the lowest score on that essay. I'm sure the Bar Examiners don't take any responsibility for the failure to print the complete answer. Anyone ever have this problem?

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:05--if your story is true, if I were you I would definitely contact the Bar ASAP. Since they print the answers there (vs. test takers printing them), I would think it is *their* responsibility (and you would think the grader might notice pages missing). It could be they graded the whole answer but only sent you some pages. But I think it is worth checking out, especially considering the margin you failed by. I don't know of any policy or other situations like this, just going by my gut feelings.

Anonymous said...

GP and anybody else out there:

Does anyone who didn't pass think they did great on an essay, then read the ones you get back and think "What the hell was I thinking?" I am embarrassed of some of the crap I wrote.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone EVER learn of the "TAKE CARE" Clause as noted in quetion 2???

Anonymous said...

No. But if the Brain Trust at the Bar thinks it is great, the Constitution must have been amended when I wasn't paying attention.

It has to be right if the Bar graders thought it ruled.

I will add the "Take Care" Clause section to my Con Law outline.

Anonymous said...

Dude...what's the point of the timer? To get yourself and others as stressed about the upcoming exam as it is? Its not like people don't have an idea already.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:47. It's not your page. If you don't like the timer then don't look at it or don't view the page. Simple solution.

Anonymous said...

How are you doing? How is the studying coming along? I personally love the timer...

No Hard Feelings said...

Friends, let me remind you that the posted answers are "passing answers" nor " the best answers".

P.S. It's all about analysis.

Anonymous said...

Hello GP and friends,

Just to make some of you feel better, I managed to pass this last bar exam (third try) and I did not include a "take care" clause in my con law essay.

Just do what your tutor / class says. Stick with the program. Model answers are more about structure than rules.


The Grand Poobah said...

Anon 1/1/9 4:28: Concur, I do! (;-)>

Anon 1/7/9 4:47:, See Anon 1/7/9 7:03.

Anon 1/7/9 7:03: What you said.

Anon 1/7/9 9:04: Slowly. But surely. Lisa has been great. and thanks!

NHF: Correct, you are. Very important point, that is.

Anon 1/10/9 10:01: Re: the tutor, I agree and I plan on doing exactly that. This time. I'll be the first to admit that I've not been as diligent as possible in the past. Of course, that will always be the case until I'm not, and my name appears on the pass list.


Anonymous said...

Greetings all,

The most tested subjects on the CA bar exam, shown in descending order, dating back to July 1991 exam:

EVIDENCE 19 11.31%
CIVIL 18 10.71%
COMMUNITY 16 9.52%
PROPERTY 15 8.93%
TORTS 15 8.93%
CRIMINAL 11 6.55%
REMEDIES 9 5.36%
WILLS 7 4.17%
TRUSTS 3 1.79%
AGENCY 0 0.00%

We certainly do not know, what they are going to test moving foreward, however it would seem, that there are certain subjects, that they prefer to hit more often, than others.

Good luck to all the upcoming february 2009 takers.

Viet said...

I downloaded one to prepare for my Baby Bar. There is one question for Contracts.

Anonymous said...

Continued from Anonymous January 16, 2009 11:05 AM:

Some subjects have more areas of law to be familiar with than others do, here is the list in descending order:

TORTS 55 12.01%
CONTRACTS 48 10.48%
EVIDENCE 46 10.04%
CRIMINAL 37 8.08%
WILLS 31 6.77%
PROPERTY 30 6.55%
REMEDIES 25 5.46%
COMMUNITY 20 4.37%
AGENCY 14 3.06%
TRUSTS 14 3.06%
PROCEDURE 14 3.06%
CIVIL 11 2.40%

At least we know, that there is a FINITE amount of information, that we need to know, to write on and analyze, in order to pass the bar.

Anonymous said...

This may seem like a really obvious point, but it is one most often forgotten by bar studiers.

PR is on every test. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.

PR is required to be on every test by the state legislature.

You might get lucky and have PR be a Performance Exam topic, but you'll definitely see it.

Bar studiers: Hit the PR very hard. You can't miss!

Anonymous said...

I agree with hitting PR hard. Another safe bet? Will/Trusts/CP or some hair-brained combination of the three. I'm surprised when people blow off these "three" subjects because they overlap heavily (I don't even consider them three separate subjects) and are ALWAYS tested in combo or solo. Always--look at the selected answers. Testing the trifecta is the easiest way to weed out the out-of-staters who didn't bother to look into the CA distinctions. If I had to do it again, I wouldn't overlook them--but that's just me.

Richard said...

I hope all is good with you mate - if you don't give up you can't fail :) I'm out in LA finally working in immigration law but need a better visa pretty soon or i'm going back to england :( Great weather out here tho - i guess winter is done!

Jonathan L. Kramer, Esq. said...

"Read 'em and weep."

I think not. Rather, I suggest that all of you who have yet to pass (DON'T GIVE UP!) should study this current batch of released answers, as well as all of the prior ones you can get your hands on and study the level of analysis, the writing styles, and the standard phrases that keep on popping up (yeah, thanks BarBri...).


Anonymous said...

Feeling overwhelmed here. I practiced for a number of years in another state and then with my bride moved to California. All to discover a mid-life crisis and that I was very burnt out on law. I all but took a couple of years off, went back to school, did wood-working and didn't think that much about the law. Now, I'm faced with the California bar. Crap. Well back to work. Any words of wisdom?

Anonymous said...

To anon 9:09 -- why go back to the law now if you can avoid it? Wood working actually sounds more fun and probably makes you an interesting person. I don't intent to practice and am asking myself every day why I signed up for Feb.


Anonymous said...


I have a question. When you and Bar None reviewed your past essay responses from the July 2008, did you see what you did wrong, if anything? What did you see was the problem? What did the tutor say?

I truly believe we panic in the exam and miss an issue or talk about topics that are not on point. I would really be interested in what you have found out.

I found my answer could be better organized. I thought it was great when I was doing it in the exam, but then when I looked at it, I was embarrassed.

Anonymous said...

GP: Well, there is the thrill of the hunt in the court. I done more than several thousand criminal cases... some with mind blowing facts and people that would scare Steven King, and I miss being there up in the middle of it all. I miss the rush and I miss the fight. I also miss doing well for someone where my own effort is all that stands between them and jail, sometimes for something they didn't do and much more often than not for much less than they are being prosecuted for. So I just miss it and now... after these economic events of the past few months we certainly need the infusion of liquid assets... . I'm fighting through it and I won't quit. Brother, hang in there...I don't know you but given your sincerity from what I read here, I think you would be a good lawyer. There may be too many lawyers but there's too few good ones. Hang tough.

The Grand Poobah said...

Anon 9:09: Woodworking's fine, if you can make a living at it. If there's one thing I've discovered about the law, it's that there are many ways to earn a good living. And many of them don't involve a ton of stress. The CA exam is certainly a bitch, but I don't see any reason why you can't keep doing it. And you can do the woodworking gig in your off hours! After all, how can you afford all those fancy lathes and things if you aren't making good money? (;-)>

Anon 7:07: Lisa helped me recognize that my answers wandered. I'm able to spot enough issues, my challenge is that I rush off to write the answer before I get organized. As a result, I tend to talk about facts in places where they shouldn't be. For example, I wrote a practice defamation essay last week and talked about one of the plaintiff's defenses in my discussion about whether the statement was defamatory. When I got to defenses I felt like I was repeating myself, so I added extra BS to fill the discussion. If I had a proper outline I would have stayed on track. My goal now is to create a proper outline for every essay and stick to it.

Anon 8:27: Thanks. My favorite jobs have been those in which I've helped people solve problems. I know how that sounds, but it's true. I know it's also idealistic, and perhaps a pipe dream, to hope that I can do the same as a lawyer. But I'll have more control over my work now than I've had in the past, so there's no reason why I shouldn't be able to make that happen. Hopeful, I am!

Anonymous said...

I think we are both on to something, GP! It is this compulsion to write too quickly. I happened on these Leews CDs and listened to about 5 of them. I am working on the same thing--the outlining. I have to admit, my outlines on the Feb 2008 exam were a few notes in the margins on the essay or notes about the issues that the facts bring up.

With this overwhelming rush to go write, we run the risk of sometimes missing some issue. It comes up sometimes. The outlining or plan allows you to quickly see any further possibilities that need discussion and where that discussion should fit in.

Sounds great. Hope it all doesn't fly out the window at exam time for me.

Anonymous said...

Can you share some of your ideas as to how to earn a good living via the law minus the stress? I just started working as an attorney and so far all I feel is stress!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon 7:30am,

I am a new attorney as well - it's a stressful occupation for sure. I have found the best ways to avoid stress are:

1) Remember you can only do one thing at a time. Stay focused on that thing until it's time for the next thing. Concentration is key.

2) Stay organized - keep lists, calendars, and notes for everything, even if it feels redundant and slows you down a little.

3) Use support staff if you have them available. They are generally very knowledgeable about things that new attorneys don't know yet.

4) Ask questions! Seasoned attorneys rattle off terms of art without realizing that you don't know what they are talking about. Don't be afraid to ask.

5) Use Practice Guides! There is no need to reinvent the wheel with every task. Each type of law has its own "Bible." Get to know yours.

6) At the end of the day, spend some time getting the next day organized (make a to-do list or something). It isn't billable, but it is awesome to come in the next day and have a nice neat list to start on.

7) Finally, when you get home, take some time for yourself. Domestic obligations can be very demanding, but to be a good partner/parent/offspring, you have to be sane. That is, have a quiet drink after work, read a book you like on the train ride home, take a walk, or do whatever you need to do to get your blood pressure under control.

Hang in there!
-New Lawyer

Anonymous said...

Dear New Lawyer,
Thank you for your wisdom! I appriciate the encouraging words!
Best of luck to you.