Sunday, December 14, 2008

Everything's in pencil at this point ...

... but here's my plan. Take it for what it's worth, which, considering my history, may not be much.

For the essays: Lisa Duncanson at Bar None Review is going to help me figure out what's wrong with my writing. And I've still got a bunch of essays at that I can use to confirm/verify/track my progress.

For the MBEs: The Emanuel people let you take their MBE program again at low or no cost if you paid for it before, but failed to pass the exam. They've already sent me new updated material for the refresher part of the program, and the three-day intensive live program will be in February (I think).

For the ... metaphysical: I'm using a new bar exam related, relaxation, brain-wave-frequency-type program. I've used this type of product before for various things, but this particular program has just recently been developed and is specifically targeted to help people get through the bar exam. I'll have a link to their site soon.

And that's pretty much that.


dtrizzle said...

It sounds like you have a good plan in place. Good luck GP.

Weezy said...

Good luck GP!!!!

Anonymous said...

I am the person who asked about your study plan.I am so glad you are taking the bar! You can do it!
Your plan sounds perfect. MBE's just requires practice. Please try reading it one by one, highlight the answers that are important and do it for all six subjects. When you're done, do them again. If you are using BarBri start with the beginning portions. It is tedious but by the time you cover the 77 questions for each subject you will be confident for the next level. Before you know it, you can just go to the answers and read the highlighted portions. You can also write headings and reminders above the questions. Trust me, I have lousy MBE's scores and it works because I began to see the concept.
Best of luck, my thoughts are with you. This is your time to pass!

Anonymous said...

Did you attend the Bargraders
(2 day) PT seminar last time? If not, did you do their PT prep online? If you did these, how was it and would you recommend them?

Or, anyone else use Bargraders for PT prep? I am also considering Pat Linn. I'm looking for an alternative to Holts and Flemmings for PT prep. Thanks again.


No Hard Feelings said...

I'm glad you have a plan that you will stick to. I am not sure about the last part u really need to complicate your life with brain wave material?

Anonymous said...

I recently passed the bar exam. It was my third attempt. My MBE scores had always been passing, but my essay average was not quite there. I would always get one essay score in the 70s, and the remaining were dismal (including my PTs). During my first two attempts, I studied solely with the BARBRI books and essays. I should also add that I was working full-time all three attempts and did not take BARBRI or PMBR. I did however have the books.

the pmbr books worked for me. I also loved their lectures on tape.

My Third attempt, I decided to focus on my weaknesses and study smarter. I took the advice of some friends who used bar breakers on their second attempt and passed. The only thing I changed my third attempt was that, for the essays, I studied exclusively using the bar breakers books. I didn't bother with the substantive law volume (forget what that one is called).I just did all the practice essays from volumes I and II. By the time July came around, i could tell the difference between writing the 60s and 50s essays I had written before, and the passing ones I was now getting.
Most importantly, I could tell why I got those very rare 70s.

For the mbe's I continued the lectures(I listened to this while I drove) and doing at least 25-50 mbes per day. I also made flashcards. (These were things I did my first two attempts as well.

For the PTs. I really would not recommed what i did. I didn't practice them at all really. I devoted that time to essays. I think my drafting experience at the firm where i worked was what helped me with these.

My major problem was with my essays and organization. I knew and could recite the law, but even with headings and Barbri practice essays, I was still far from the logical reasoning, concise language, and easy flow the graders are looking for. For me, I believe using Bar Breakers is what helped me pass this time around. I went through each essay and did them over and over until I had that writing style down. After practicing so many, the exam was a breeze to organize. Infact for the remedies and contracts essays, I was able to remember what happened in an essay I practiced and almost regurgitate the answer, with some changes ofcourse.

My two cents aside, your plan sounds like a winner. If the writing portion really is your weak point, I would advise you to also add barbreakers to your regimen.

Good luck and Kick ass in February. We are all rooting for you!!

The Grand Poobah said...

NHF: Brain wave frequencies are a small addition to the traditional relaxation and affirmation programs that have been around for many many years.

Hypnosis, relaxation and affirmation have been commonly used for many years to help people improve their mental state when preparing for all kinds of challenges. I worked for a sales company many years ago that hired a motivational speaker in an effort to increase our confidence so we could make more sales. His program included relaxation, guided imagery and affirmations. I'm sure it impacted each of us in different ways but it must have worked because they paid that guy big bucks.

Regarding sound frequencies, it's been shown that certain frequencies stimulate specific areas of the brain. Some of those areas are related to relaxation, stress, memory, mood, etc ... It's therefore entirely logical to assume that listening to a low volume frequency that is masked by the sound of rain, or waves, or whatever, coupled with the message one is trying to impart, will increase the reception and retention of that message.

It's no substitute for studying, but it's certainly not going to hurt. And, besides, with all of the minor crises I'm dealing with now, I could use some relaxation.

One more benefit is that I can now take a short break from the books without feeling like I'm totally abandoning my mission.

Besides, resistance is futile. All will be assimilated. (;-)>

Anonymous said...


You mentioned that you are looking for an alternative to Holts...can you tell me why? Since I am looking for a PT specific course, I caught his name from the readers of GB's blog. Thanks.


Douglas said...

FWIW - my Bar Review 2.0 schedule in a nutshell:

Phase I - 3 days dedicated to reviewing, flascarding, and exam approach and rules memorization to each discrete substantive law topic (42 days total)

Phase II - 6 days (re-)doing the Fleming's PT Workshops I skipped in favor of the Holtz seminars.

Phase III - Boot Camp. 2 days dedicated to each discrete substantive law topic. Each topic will have 4 full essays written, plus an additinal 4 to 8 full issue analysis & outline. (28 days)

I am doing 20 to 30 MBEs a day on Adaptibar to keep my MBE skills where they were last time and maybe pick up a few more points there. (Total MBEs 2200 ish)

Total PTs written 10

Total Essays Written/Outlined 57/101.

I work 30 plus hours a week in my Firm as well.

As youc an see my focus is in the written part to get my 60 ish essays into the 70ish realm.

Anonymous said...

GP: You will have to let us know how it goes with Bar None. I am not with them nor have I used them. But I liked their sample essay critique. It's nice to see actual critiquing going on.

I am looking for a former bar grader who will review mine. There are a few out there. Now I need to get a decent price.

All these tutors are charging like they are in their lawyering roles. Some charge upwards of $200hr.

Teaches/tutors aren't charging $200 per hour, are they? Maybe they are.

All this upfront money -- no other business gets these kind of fees up front.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous up there who passed: This tip with practicing Adachi's organization. Thanks. I am going to try that as sort of the bar calisthenics.

Even as I am practicing, I see I have a hard time getting started--White Paper itis. Maybe getting down Adachi's organization approach would be good--or better than the "seat of the pants" technique I currently employ.

Anonymous said...

You're right, this field of tutoring needs to be held accoutable. I paid "Bar with Bobby" in Los Angeles well over $5000.00 up front and did worse.

So make sure you have references of REAL students who have passed. Also the material should be current.

kris said...

Do you have (physical) work-out time built into your schedule?

RE the brain waves: They use to have sensory depravation flotation tanks here. Sportsmen used them between matches to speed (mental) recovery time. I tried it, and even with being a bit claustrophobic, it cleared my head. I'm all for any "head clearing" on offer as my brain needs a chance to STFU and file everything away.

1EsqMom said...

Hi GP!
Keep on studying! You can do it! We are all behind you! I have been visiting your post since November and I am so impress by the people supporting you including myself!

The Grand Poobah said...

Anon 6:07: Bar None is good. I believe it's going to be the key. Finally. We'll find out in May.

Kris: I've always wanted to try one of those sensory deprivation tanks. Maybe when I'm a rich a powerful attorney!?!

1EsqMom: So true. On all accounts. I am constantly humbled by the spirit and support of everyone who reads the stuff I post. I know that people are pulling for me, and I haven't the words to express how much I appreciate that.

But the longer this drags on, the more I worry that I've just become the accident on the other side of the freeway that everyone slows down to stare at for a few minutes before they get on with their lives.

I need to clean this mess up, and soon. Everyone likes a story that turns out well in the end, but very few people want to watch a tragedy. Especially one that seems to drag on forever.