Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Questions From The February 2009 Exam Have Been Released

Is it just me, or did they release these questions sooner than they have for past exams?


Anonymous said...

Number of takers is usually less in February and results released in 2 1/2 months rather than the 3 1/2 months for the July bar so the release of questions at this time should not surprise.

Anonymous said...

I decided if I fail this time I will take the bar in a state with 90% pass rate, and if I pass I will come back to California and take the exam as a licensed attorney.

Anonymous said...

90 % - which state is that ?

The Grand Poobah said...

The NCBEX keeps these stats. The latest figures available are from 2007.

The states closest to a 90% pass rate are Minnesota and Montana at 89%.

Or try this if the above link is too kludgy:

Anonymous said...

Does anybody know why could it be so hard to pass the Bar exam in Puerto Rico? On average their passing rate is lower than the one in CA!

Anonymous said...

The questions are never released before the results go out. True that the results come out about a month faster for the Feb exams (vs the July exams) but this is unusual that the questions have been released this quickly. Highly unusual. My guess--someone screwed up.

Anonymous said...


You are already sounding like your average lawyer!

First you said, that your fourth time taking the bar, would be your last time.

Than you changed your mind, wanting to go to either Minnesota or Montana and attempt passing their bar exam (since they have close to a 90% passing rate).

Than you said, that if you pass their exam, you would come back to CA and attempt taking the CA bar as a lawyer.

Make up your mind my friend, what exactly are you going to do?

Let me fill you in on something, lawyers coming in from out of state, have a much tougher time passing the CA bar exam than you may think.

Going back to your old IT carrer may not be such a bad idea after all.

Not everyone that gets through law school and earns a JD, has to go out and practice law.

Anyway, whatever you decide to do, good luck to you. By the way, I think that you passed thir fourth time around.

The Grand Poobah said...

Anon 8:49: I've noticed the tendency of some commenters to attribute to me, comments made by someone else. I am not the person who said he was going out of state to take an exam. I couldn't be that person because, as I've said all along, I went to a non-ABA school. The other states won't let me take their exam until I've practiced in CA for a number of years, if they let me take it at all.

For future reference, all posts by me are accompanied by my smiling face. You see? That's me off to the right. (;-)>

Anonymous said...

Actually if you take a look at your own blog the results were released even earlier for the previous February Bar Exam.

They were released a whole week earlier on March 12, 2008

The Grand Poobah said...

Yep, you're right. Maybe I'm just not paying attention. Or maybe I'm suppressing bad memories as a coping mechanism. Whichever it is, it still seems odd to get them so early.

Anonymous said...

The California Bar is the hardest bar exam in the country. If you accept that statement you also need to ask are the opportunities for attorneys in California and benefits to being an attorney in California so much better than other states that the take no prisoners bar exam is worth the effort. If the answer is yes, taking the bar until you pass it is a no brainer assuming you can survive financially. If the answer is no, what are we doing to ourselves?

Anonymous said...

Just keep taking it until you pass. I hope this is your last time but if it isn't SO WHAT! I took the bar, passed and no one has ever asked me how many times I have taken it! Has anyone ever asked whether you had a perfect attendance in grade school?
I read to my sons tonight the "Little Engine that Could." Its a great story that shows perseverance and due diligence. I want to teach my sons not to give up and not to let others bring you down. Don't let these losers tell you to quit. I am an attorney and I get chills everytime I think about it. I took the bar several times too!
I do suggest you keep your mind sharp and do MBE’s. If you don’t pass you are not scrambling to get your brain back to speed and remember all the subjects. By continuing to practice on your 6 core subjects you won’t be so overwhelmed come May.
Good luck GP!
-A Repeater

Anonymous said...

GP or anybody who wants to respond:

Are the newest PMBR books actually different from previous versions? The reason I ask is I bought a 2007 set and found out those were the exact same set from 2001.

I don't want to waste the money buying a new set if these 2007 books are no different.

Anonymous said...

Exam answers. Guess it would be posted one at a time


Weezy said...

Hey Anon@10:36,

My school had older editions and a friend lent me a more current one. In the end, I didn't notice a major difference and so I used my own 2005 set both times I studied for the exam.

Anonymous said...

here's the answer to all your problems,


That is truly how one passes the California Freakin' Bar

This came to me in an epiphany as my 3 year old said,
"Papi, you're freakin' me out!"

I know as you all know that this thing is way too built up, and only by looking at it behind the smoke and mirrors for what it is,

3 days,
6 essays,
2 PTs
and 200 multiple choice ?s
will you ever succeed in makin' the next step towards

So, pull up your favorite Zenlike approach, study in the way you are happiest with, repeat,

get a bit of rest, laugh with the kids,
and may the games begin yet again!

and u 2 may find yourself, like I have sneaky suspicion GP will b post-May,

in the Courtroom for real!

Then, you're all on your own,
but I'll be there with you in some way or other soon enough,


Anonymous said...


As a person who failed the bar and knows how isolating and personally devastating it can be, it seems to me that this blog causes you to waste needless energy responding to a lot of idiots with nothing better to do than to criticize you. I agree that blogs re: the bar are helpful to persons taking the bar, this blog has turned ugly and mean spirited towards you. It is my advice that you shut this thing down and get some peace.

Anonymous said...

On the recent corporations essay, what importance, if any, did the fact that SI was a "closely held" corp. have on the analysis? Neither member of the board was a shareholder, so I presume that fact is there for us to discern that it is immaterial to the analysis required by the interrogatories. Thank you.

EBA said...

Has anyone here passed or know of anyone who has passed the California bar exam who had a 150 LSAT or lower? If you do random searches on the calbar attorney website, you'll notice that 80% of the members are either from law schools that have high LSAT scores or they're from top undergrad schools (thus, high SAT).

I personally have not met anyone who did not have a high LSAT score (160+) who has passed the Calif. bar. I have a low LSAT and this does not fare to well with me. Any info from anyone who has passed with a low LSAT would be greatly appreciated. THANKS.

Anonymous said...

I had an LSAT score of 150 and I passed the July 2008 CA Bar Exam on the first try. I was fortunate to have gotten into a Top 30 school despite my low LSAT score. I do not think that there is any correlation between the LSAT and the CA Bar Exam. The LSAT is in no way similar to the CA General Bar Exam. There are some test prep companies that will prey on your insecurities and will tell you that if you had a low LSAT score, you need more intense preparation but I disagree.
If anything, I think the bar exam is similar to the AP (Advanced Placement)exams I took in high school and I did very well on them. The AP exam is a subject based exam that includes a multiple choice section as well as essays. The LSAT does not test any specific subject so I found it hard to study for it.
I take a great satisfaction in knowing that I passed the CA bar exam while my classmates with higher LSAT scores and law school gpas did not.

Anonymous said...

I had a 151 on the LSAT and it took me 3 times to pass the Cali Bar. However, I attended a top 20 law school - got in because of my extremely high GPA. A friend of mine who had a 150 and went to Southwestern passed on the first try (she passed the Feb 2007 exam, the one I miserably failed - that exam was the hardest ever with one of the lowest passing percentages, only 36% passed that exam). I tend to think that LSAT will make it harder for you to pass the first time if it's low, but it doesn't matter when you keep retaking it. I agree with the poster who said the Bar is more like AP exams. I always got a top score on the AP - a 5 - but on standardized I did terrible. I think the bar is more like a mix of both standardized and subject-specific like the AP exam or the SAT II. I have not heard of anyone with lower than a 150 passing the bar on the first try. Subsequent tries sure, but not the first try.

Anonymous said...

I passed the CA Bar and had 1060 SAT but went to UC Berkeley and had a 152 LSAT and when to Golden Gate University School of Law, which is ABA but not high on the tier rating. But more importantly I passed on my first try and have a full time job that actually pays well.

EBA said...

Thanks for the input guys.

Anonymous (April, 2009): how many people do you know who passed the California Bar (in subsequent tries) who had an LSAT in the 140s?

I had a 151 LSAT after studying ALOT, and never had enough time to get to the 4th passage on the reading comprehension section. I think that is what is really freaking me out for the Performance Test (I can see there is a lot of reading/writing to be done in 3 hours for that).

Has anybody else who has taken the Calif. bar had similar problems? Thanks alot.

EBA said...

Also, what %ile did you all graduate in your law school class?

Anonymous said...

Hmmm....I was probably bottom 30% at a top 20 law school. Reading comprehension was actually a strength on the LSAT - I always got to the 4th passage and scored high on reading section in general (logical games was the reason I had a 151). Performance tests were actually the reason I passed the bar - from the times I failed it, I once scored an 80 on a performance test (I actually don't know of anyone who scored 80 on performance and failed the bar anyway...who cares now, I am an attorney now anyway so the Cali bar can only delay your admission, but not prevent it if you've got the brain). To answer the Q about how many tries it took someone who scored in the 140s on the LSAT to pass the bar - I know a girl who went to a 4th tier law school and scored a 147 and it took her 2 tries (so it took her less tries than me - it took me 3). So don't give up! It's possible to pass this thing with a low LSAT, but I definitely think that those with high LSAT scores have a lot more chance to pass on the first try and push you into the non-passing 50%.

Anonymous said...

EBA, don't stress. You have time to take a PT specific class that will teach you how to get through the volumes of material in the most efficient manner.

Anonymous said...

does anyone know if there are posted sample answers available, not that I have any doubt that i passed.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone started to study for the bar? I am nervous and want to start studying again.

Any advice?

Jaybad said...

GP - thanks for your candid comments re: law school and the bar. It's not easy, and no one should castigate you for being honest about the process. (Maybe that award need only go to 20-something, cocky, just out of school grads. :0) Only kidding.)

I recently wrote a post, and discovered in hindsight from your blog that the questions were out.

Regardless, if you're interested, you can check out my post at (

PS - I'll be 35 when I get the news **that I passed** in a few weeks. :0)

Anon@10:34 p.m. - this too shall pass... Wait it out...

Anonymous said...

In response to the percentile question as Anonymous April 4, 2009 7:33 AM; I was 38 of 203; or 18.71%.

The Grand Poobah said...

Jaybad: (Are you by any chance related to StrongBad?)

Nice post. This thing truly is a beast. And like you, I believe talking about the exam is a form of therapy.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I took the bar for the first time this past Feb. I have no idea how I did. I'm wondering if I should start studying now in case I failed. I was able to take 2 months off work and go to Barbri and study full time for the Feb bar, but if I have to take it again, I will have to keep working full time. For those of you who have taken it more than once, do thngs come back to you pretty quickly once you start reviewing again - even if you wait 3 months? Thanks for any advice!

Jaybad said...

Hi GP! You're right, it was therapeutic to write about it. It took me a while to get there. I once woke up with a nightmare about the exam testing us about cooking (too much Food tv, perhaps?), and that they barred me from it because I made contact with one of judges. ;0)

Nope - no relation to Strongbad. Very technologically-challenged, apart from the usual email/blog stuff.

Good luck! I'll connect with you in a few weeks, hopefully with positive results. :)

Anonymous said...

i took and passed last year--2nd time around, yet i still frequent this blog, as the exam took a large part of my life.

this years exam looked more difficult compared to previous years, good luck to you all!

i passed on my second attempt at the CAL bar by following this technique--I preface my discourse by noting that i had a high priced tutor the 2nd time around.

1) i made my own outlines. these were made directly out of the bar bri conviser mini review. first, i copied--verbatim--the table of contents for each subject, then i went through conviser mini and filled up my table of contents. i tried to use as few words as possible, because noone can memorize sentences. literally, i would write elements with 2 or three words max. each outline will take apprx. 4-5 hours to make, real prop takes longer, but agency takes shorter. in my opinion, this is a must to pass the exam.

2) i memorized the outlines. i knew them cold. by the end, i could literally sit down and write them out. remember, keep the outlines short. i dont mean skimp out on anything, just dont be wordy.

3) practice writing essays and have them graded or reviewed or review them your self with model answers. i wrote out at least 60 complete essays. you must write out the complete answer to get timing down, and to get your rhythm and style for each subject down.

4) essay style -- use every single fact that they give you. for example, in a torts matter, if there is a fence, ask--how high is the fence, how sturdy, what is the fences purpose? the fact that the examiners gave you something, like a fence, you can use your own analysis. another example is from contracts, builders or contractors, ask if they licensed. licensed contractors are held to a higher standard. i know it sounds stupid, but these little things help. also, this applies to the MPT also--it may be a closed universe, but you can make your own factual assumptions, as long as, you leave it open as an assumption...such as, if the builder was licensed then....whereas, if he was not then....

5) my average week included this 6 days of the following schedule (this is after all of my outlines have been made):

9:00-12:00 memorize 1 subject outline.
1:00-4:00 write out 3 essays for that subject.
6:00 - 7:00 review essay answers
7:00 - 9:00 do MBEs, AND MAKE NOTE CARDS for all wrong answers.

on day 7, i would work a 1/2 day and outline around 3 essays for all 6 subjects covered and review all of my MBE notecards. you can do all of this in around 5 hours.

DO THIS ROUTINE for 1 month after you have made your outlines.

THEN, spend 1 month where you can hit each subject for one day.

THEN, spend 2 weeks revieing everything.

total prep 3.5 months, apprx 65 hours a week. total 227.5 hours.

it may seem daunting, but you need to put in the hours to pass. i have passed the IL bar exam recently too and it was a joke compared to CA.

good luck everyone!

Anonymous said...

That looks suspiciously like my schedule...why were you following me!!!??

Anonymous said...

MBE nat'l results for Feb 09 MBE:

MBE mean 135.67 (10 pts lower than 7/08, nearly same as 2/08).
MBE range: 80.7 - 186.8 (lowest ~20 pts higher than low of 2/08, 3 pts higher than 7/08).


Anonymous said...

I got a 154 on the LSAT, went to a 3rd tier law school and passed the July 2008 CA Bar on the first try. I think that the attempts to find statistical correlations are irrelevant...but that's just me.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to continue the hijack of this thread but I find the LSAT correlation stuff interesting. Law schools do this to screen applicants and I'd love to see how it actually correlates.

I got a 154 LSAT, attended 4th tier school (GGU), had a 3.3 undergrad GPA at a Cal State school, 3.3 Law school GPA (spooky) and passed first try. I think my SAT was something like...1160 or something? On paper my stats are not so hot but I passed 1st try so, screw them!

greybird said...

I'm getting nervous about results! Here are my stats - what do you think? (other than that I'm being neurotic and no one can really predict anything)
*160 LSAT
*2nd Tier ABA law school
*bottom half of law school class, but probably not too far from center
*didn't finish one of the PTs
*screwed up the evidence essay
* was getting 65-70% on practice MBEs right before the exam

The Grand Poobah said...

Greybird: You stand as good a chance as the rest of us. Some of my friends, who had lesser qualifications than you, passed on their first try. Others with greater stats took more than a couple of attempts to pass. It depends largely on the individual.

Whether you pass on this attempt or on the next one, have faith - you'll be an attorney as long as you don't give up.

Michelle said...

3 days left. I felt fine until this past Monday, but now I'm hit w/ fear and trepidation, like I want to know but also don't want to know. Will someone come hold me and rock me back and forth lol?

Anonymous said...

I sooo understand the feeling! Remain calm and positive ;)

Anonymous said...

I actually was going along not thinking about the results (and not mentioning that they were coming out this Friday to anyone who knew that I sat for it) until my mom asked me about it on the speaker phone this last Monday in front of my wife. My stomach churned. Since then, the tension has been building at my home.

I'll tell you more about myself. I have a unique situation. I
graduated from law school (University of San Diego 2000), diagnosed with a brain tumor AFTER failing the bar. I didn't know it at the time but it was impacting my memory and cognitive skills for quite a few years. Years later, after two surgeries, getting off of anti-seizure meds, and feeling somewhat normal again, I decided to tackle the bar again. Fortunately or unfortunately, I attempted to study while working full time and taking care of a VERY pregnant wife.

But I tell myself, considering of what my wife and I have been through and regardless of what the news is this afternoon, I have been blessed with a beautiful son and wife, have my health, and in these times, I have a fairly decent job (albeit, not as an attorney). Life can deal you unexpected things. But whether or not my name is on that list will not dictate my worth (or everyone else's who is in my situation) as a person.

Good luck to all.

Anonymous said...

i am so impressed by your story.

i did not check until this morning. i did not pass. start applying for july exam.

anyone has any advice for second timer?