Friday, May 15, 2009

Hey, does anyone's kid need a subject for a science project?

I'm sure I qualify as some sort of freaky example of the futility of humanity and determination in the face of adversity.

I tried to sign up for the July 2009 exam but the website rejected my application. I wonder if they're trying to tell me something. Oh well. To Hell with 'em. Monday's probably good enough for that.

There's a kind of peaceful serenity in this moment. Right now, I know where I stand. I haven't yet begun to study in earnest so I'm not wondering if I'm improving, and I'm not in that purgatory between the exam and the release of results.

I'm going to relax this weekend then get back to my hobby on Monday.

Oh joy.

For those of you (us) who didn't pass, we can't give up and let this thing win. I believe the solution lies in getting back to the basics. When I was programming computers for a living I would sometimes get so deep into a problem that I lost my bearings. When I looked up I'd usually find that I'd wandered down a rabbit hole and was trying hard to dig my way back to the surface. When this happened I would erase all the code I'd written since I entered the underworld and reevaluate my plan of attack. Then I'd use the things I learned from that struggle to come at the problem from a different angle. I think this situation calls for some backtracking.

Cheers to all! Best of luck on the July 2009 exam to all of us (mis)adventurers. And to all of those who would encourage me to give up - go bugger yourselves. I don't want, or need, nor am I interested in, your opinions or suggestions. After all, you know what they say about opinions ... (hint: it has something to do with the buggering suggestion.)


Anonymous said...

dude, find the state with the highest pass rate and move there...quickly.

Anonymous said...

He cant take any other bars but CA. He went to an internet law school. Dont know how much he invested in it financially but I hope Poobah does not lose his sanity over this and seriously considers moving on. Doubt he has 200K of debt here riding on this. Its just hard. You run out of emotional and physical stamina.

Anonymous said...

Can you imagine the relief in seeing gp flunk. Misery loves company. I hate this comment. But it is all I can say at thim moment...

I now love gun rights.

Anonymous said...

In continuation of my prev comment, (gun) GP - you got the guts to put thatg clock back on.

Let's get it done.

The Grand Poobah said...

Anon 7:30: That's an odd comment, but I understand what you're saying. No one wants to be left behind. Believe me, I know. All of my classmates have already passed.

Anonymous said...

7:11 and 7:17 - you tools - go fukk yourselves. you must really hate yourselves to cap on people who don't give up. why don't you read another blog pertaining to a$$sholes who have no life

Anonymous said...

So I am an observer to this whole process, but have a lot of skin in the game (CA bar spouse). The CA bar is wreaking havoc on my life too. I think Poohbah is great to be so out there with his trials and tribulations, and I have checked this blog often to find out the scoop on the exam. All you folks with negative energy - just stop. My mother always told me if you can't say something nice don't say anything at all. Good luck Poohbah for next time. And in case you're wondering, my spouse has not checked the results yet.

Anonymous said...

GP: I don't mean to get things going, but when you went to register for the exam and it didn't take--could it mean that you did pass, and there is a snafu or mistake in your entering your application number and all that? I know someone who was not on this first list that did actually pass.

Anonymous said...

Didn't pass. My name does not appear. Wow. I've done thousands of cases, dozens and dozens and dozens of jury trials and I failed the freaking California bar! I'm a member of the damn US supreme court bar and have worked on briefs for cases that have decided the law ofthe land, but I failed the Cal. Bar? Pissed off and and a bit confused. But I ain't giving up. What and absurd exercise. Good luck GP... I am simply PO over this and a bit shamed. In the morning...back to work. Going to rent office space and gear up as if it was a capital case.

The Grand Poobah said...

Anon 7:47: Interesting observation, that is. After past exams I've been able to reapply right away despite the 'schedule' that said re-takers can't apply until the following Monday. This means that either I've passed and they screwed up the results list, or they've fixed whatever problem they might have had that allowed repeaters to reapply early.

The application for the July 2009 exam says: "Applicants who took but did not pass the February 2009 California Bar Examination may start applying for the July 2009 California Bar Examination on May 18, 2009."

Let's see what Monday's mail says.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps, if the law is this important to you PB, why not consider taking the LSAT (if you havent already- do internet law schools require it?) and with all this practical experience on the bar, you should get a good enough LSAT score to go to an ABA law school so you can pass a bar in a 'sane' state. Get a JD that commands some respect and will help you land a good job when you pass. Whats the good of merely passing with an Internet law school degree anyway in such a crappy economy. Even third tier law grads from ABA (not fourth tier) are having major troubles.

Laura said...

GB, I'm so sorry to hear your name wasn't on the list. But, I can hope that there was some kind of mistake, which is why you can't sign up for July yet. Your blog was a lifesaver last year when I was taking the July bar. You really do a great service to everyone in CA bar studying hell. So, again thank you for what you do and have done for the rest of us out there. Best of luck in July (or hopefully not if there was an error).t

99 problems said...


Let me help ya. I passed this thing last year first attempt. Also "multi-stated" another one a few years back. Never failed one. I've been following ya since I started studying in 08. No charge.

Give more than you take.

Anonymous said...

Grand Pooba-
I have been reading your blog for the last year and been struggling with the same issues. You have truly been an inspiration and I admire you for your strength. You are sooo talented and I think your path is to be a writer. You are too inspiring to be a lawyer. But I support your path. This test is a lot of luck and I wish you all the luck in July!. But remember you are better than them don't let them get you down

The Grand Poobah said...

Brian: Unfortunately, a traditional/ABA law school is out of the question for me because I have a wife/family/mortgage to maintain. The law school I attended had a campus, regular professors and gave those of who lived locally the option of attending classes in person. It was classified as a "Correspondence" school because it streamed all of its classes live over the internet. The State Bar has a rule that any school that broadcasts more than 20% of it's classes (or some similar small percentage) is a correspondence school. However, while I did attend classes in person, due to time constraints faced by most working adults our actual class time was limited.

However, if you are a rich philanthropist and wish to fund my living expenses and tuition for the three or four years it will take me to get through an ABA school, and the subsequent bar exam, feel free to send the check to my business address. It shouldn't take more than about $400k or so; $500k tops. (;-)>

GP Judgment Recovery
417-B West Foothill Blvd. #332
Glendora, CA 91741

Oh, and if anyone knows someone with a judgment they're having trouble enforcing you can send that information to that address as well.

I'm updating the GPJR website right now and I'll post that address again soon.

That, my friends, was a shameless plug. (;-)>

Anonymous said...

GP" I am totally absolutely pulling for you!! I have some recommendations for a class if you don't mind. By the way, this is acrazy time and I hope you are not letting this affect you. It's a brutal test that tests your very core. I really apologize for what you're going through- you sound like a great person with a good-heart. Try to approach this next test with a mean and a$$hole streak and dominate it. Let me know how I can help!

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:11-
You are the reason this world is going to shit. You are heartless, thoughtless and a drone. If we had humans as lawyers and lawyers as humans we wouldn't have jerks like you. Just call me ESQ. Bitch!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Insanity def. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

You really need to determine whether you are actually preparing yourself for the CA Bar Exam, not to be a lawyer, but the exam and just the exam. After this many times, you should be able to put your finger on what is holding you back and solve the problem.

If its a matter of "I just can't get all that info organized into an answer in the time provided" you either need to pare down your answer, or admit that maybe this exam is not something you can do.

Just because you want to do something doesn't mean you can or should. I am sorry to sound negative but part of learning from experience is to be honest with yourself - not "with God's help I will whoop this" but honestly determine whether this is something you can actually accomplish.

I was a professor once upon a time and I counseled lots of students who really wanted to go to med school but didn't have the academic skills - too bad since they might have made good doctors, but they couldn't deal with the masses of information that the medical profession demands you must know before they give you the degree.

Young said...

GP! I have a brother who took the Feb. 2009 bar as well. I think he didn't pass either: I "think" because he called me and said the screen showed 4 different scenarios why his name doesn't match (one you didn't pass, two, your number doesn't match..etc) Unless the screen would have clearly said "you did not pass", he seems to have a hope there...I dunno. I have seen him tried so hard to pass, and I feel bad for him now. Your posting is a true inspiration for a person like my brother.

Anonymous said...

I just want to encourage GP not to give up on his dreams. I know some people will say give up but he should preserve. There is a woman who finally passed the exam after 14 times.

No matter how hard you practice, I feel that there is a certain amount of luck involved when it comes to the bar exam. Some subjects are easier than others and this particular bar exam was harder than last year.

Everyone who has a law license right now should be very humble because none of us knows what are passing score was.

Anonymous said...

Repeaters cannot register for the July Exam until Monday the 18th.

"Applicants who took but did not pass the February 2009 California Bar Examination may start applying for the July 2009 California Bar Examination on May 18, 2009."

Anonymous said...

Anonymous professor with the 9:14 P.M. comment. How can you, as a teacher say this to someone? I'm just baffled. Maybe PB is not doing something right and maybe its luck, anxiety or nervousness during tests. It does not take a genious to pass this exam. Sure, there are people who don't have the brain power or whatever. You bluntly saying that is just evil. Go fu#$ yourself. Nobody need you, "teacher".

Anonymous said...

To "Young"
The screen doesn't say "you didn't pass." If that's what your bro told you, you better figure out why your brother is lying to you. If you didn't pass, it says your name/number don't match with a name/number on the pass list. Plain and simple. Everyone who fails gets the same screen.

GP: You know all the haters will come out and tell you what a POS you are, how you are just fooling yourself, blah, blah, blah. They've all got emotional defects otherwise they wouldn't be here kicking a man when he's down. Take the weekend, enjoy yourself and get back on the horse as soon as you are emotionally and mentally ready. This test is not bigger than you are.

Anonymous said...

I didn't pass either. This was my second try. I think the hardest thing is telling my family and friends that I still didn't pass. Just disappointing when you are viewed as the smartest person they know. (LOL) Not really though:) I just hope that my score improved rather than decreased.

Going for it again in July though. Third time's a charm!!!

Anonymous said...

2nd attempt but I passed!!! WOOOHOOO! Sorry to hear GP. Next time man, don't give up.

Anonymous said...

The fact that you immediately attempted to register is a reflection of your courage. Good for you to start again. You have plenty of time.

I passed 6 years ago after taking it a few times. I still cringe every May and November when the results come. Its one of those residual effects. I still have dreams that it was a mistake tht I passed.

Check out the pass list on Sunday 6 a.m. to verify or the Daily Journal.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


I went to an ABA school, 1st tier, worked my way through all three years to pay for living expenses. As a result, I saved myself roughly 100K of debt. I did the same thing at my top Ivy league undergraduate school. Everyone else in grad school, like yourself, was taking out loans to the tune of 200K. I guess that's what you're bugging about now anyhow.

Do you honestly somehow think you are more deserving of a law degree or the abbreviation ESQ. than someone else who didn't go to the same school? Piss off wanker! My schools would eat yours for breakfast on any tier, any day of the week, but that doesn't mean shite! We have all poured blood sweat and tears over law school and the CA Bar exam, regardless of where we went.

I passed the bar, on my THIRD attempt with self study. Didn't take Barbri, or the 15k bar loan, AGAIN worked all the way through. My friends thought I was crazy! This blog saw me through the entire way. There is no room for arrrogant pricks like you on this blog or in the legal profession.

Like Poobah, I started my own business and fortunately I can take the time to help my business grow because unlike you, I don't have double the amount of student loan debt to worry about.

So, what Poobah should have said to you was. To each his own, SUCKA!

Anonymous said...

GP: best of luck in July -- you can do it!

Anonymous said...

GP: Let me say first that I KNOW what you are feeling. Please know that while you continue to work on passing the bar that there truly are jobs out there that are perfecetly suited for people with JD degrees even though they have not passed a state bar--more difficult to find now but I know my Firm is looking. I have many friends who went to top tier schools and just could not pass a bar exam. There are opportunities with law firms--in conflicts depts., recruiting, library research, etc.--bar prep programs reps, teaching paralegal courses (there is a demand in the current market), etc. There are many opportunities. You may have to make them but they are there for the making/taking. I have written before and told you of my positive expereince with the Whitney Robert's program (on my fourth attempt). You will pass. People say that all the time (I know) seems empty but it is true (again, I know). By the way, I'm glad you looked at the results when you did. Dust yourself off and keep moving forward. you are an inspiration!!!

Michelle said...

GP I wanted to thank u for providing this blog to help keep so many (including me) sane during the difficult study period.

I just found out that I passed (first try) and I think that the advice and well wishes found on this blog played no small part in that. Keep on it, all of your readers believe in you and thank you again!

Anonymous said...

You've got courage and integrity like nobody's business. I have so much admiration for you ability to keep at it, man. I know yo'll keep working hard, so I'll just wish you the best of luck. You can do it, GP!!

Change of Venue said...

I finally screwed up the courage to examine my Feb. 2009 exam results and discovered that I am now joining the ranks of the "repeaters." I admire your courage;you faced the demon, and more than once, and already attempted to register for the July bar exam. You even reset your counter. You are undaunted! As for me...

Anonymous said...

Times are really bad out there. If anyone who has passed, and out of a job, is willing to charge a reasonable hourly rate to simply review and critique essays, it would be greatly appreciated. People can't afford over $5k for another bar review. Surely, there are those that passed that have not landed a job that would be interested in something like this?

People need help out there. While those who have passed are still out of work, this could be a great way to help (at a reasonable hourly rate). Remember, just because you passed does not mean $2000 per hour is reasonable.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:51 -

You probably don't want to turn your fate over to any passer out there. Just because someone has passed doesn't mean they know how to advise other students to pass.

If you are looking for your essays to be critiqued, I would suggest The cost per essay is $50 - I believe they are sold in packs of 20 (so $1000). Less pricey than Barbri for sure.

Stew said...

Hi GP-

I've been following your blog since the first time I failed. I just passed on round 2 and I believe part of it was taking a break between bar exams to enjoy life and my family (not to mention save some money). I so admire your goals and ability to jump right back in. But, have you thought of sitting July out to regroup and take a break? I don't think anyone would fault you for it. My friend who passed on the third try took a break for the sake of saving his ego.

Anonymous said...

Hey GP. I too did not pass this go round. However, I have decided not to let this defeat me and I will take it in July.

It is just a matter of time before we get word that we passed! Keep on pushing on, that's the only thing that you need to do. The race is not given to the swift or the strong, but to him that endures.

Thank you for being a source of encouragement and uplift to me!

Liz said...

GP, I am continually amazed at your willingness to persevere. You are incredible.

I will be taking the July bar with you. Which location? Let me know if it's Pasadena, I'd love to stand up and give a shout out:

"Let's Go Grand Poobah!"

It might throw everyone for a loop, right?

Anonymous said...

you remain an inspiration to all those who attempt (regardless of result) the CBX. Those who pass the 1st time have no clue how they really did, and often come off as though they scored 1850 or better, when the reality probably is they barely scraped by with a 1470! Blow them off, and focus on your next steps.

I, too, have taken it 2x b4 passing this time, and can attest to the pure subjective nature of grading. 5 of 12 essay grades were 15-20 pts diff bet. 1st & 2nd read, w/ operant always being 5 pts higher than the lowest. I used the Moquin spreadsheet (see post re: your blog subject "I think I'm Going to Wait") to determine that, regardless of what my writing averaged, I was usually only 8 more correct MBE away.

My 1st prep started w/ BarBri & PMBR; 2nd w/ BarPassers. Neither made an impact on my scores, primarily b/c I could never type their suggested answers within the allotted time! So, this past time, I looked for alternate solutions. I wonder if you, too, like me, get bogged down with trying to produce answers in any way similar to those 'model' answers. I still cannot finish typing nearly any of the model answers, & very few of the CBX released sample answers, w/in an hour.

So, here's the approach I used for Feb 09. I only used a combo of Tim Tyler's 'Nailing the Bar' and Adachi's 'Bar Breaker' vols for essays, TT's simplistic NTB for the PT, and the 2 Rigos vols for the MBE. No clue what my score this time was, but they say I passed.

Any insight? Yeah. I think TT's approach to the PT probably got my scores up. After reading the Memo, & before reading anything else, I drafted opening headers & repeated what the memos asked, then inserted a few blank lines (for space to actually complete the assignment), then drafted a conclusion restating that I did what the memo asked, along with "Bar Applicant' as signature. According to TT, if it looks like you complete the assignment, you'll probably pass (he also says to continue using simplistic IRAC for each PT issue/object).

As for essays, I had an underlined 1 or 2 word heading, followed immediately by a single sentence "the issue is..." followed by a 1 or 2 sentence simple rule statement, and then a paragraph or 2 of discussion, for each issue I identified.

I wonder if such a simplistic approach might not help you this next time. And, yeah, I expect some of the nay-sayers to rag on this post, but whatever ...

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:39 -- "It is just a matter of time before we get word that we passed!"'s not.

I could take 1,000 prep courses on becoming a CPA and I'd still never pass. I just ain't great with them numbers.

Some of us know our limitations. Some of us have to spend $1,000 a pop having it told to us.

Why not become a paralegal?

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:39 - GP has said numerous times that he is going to keep taking this thing until he passes. He has his own business already anyway, so the paralegal route seems, to this writer, to be counterproductive.

GP - I think it's private tutor time, man:

kris said...

There are always wise-asses out there talking shite about what it takes.

I teaach law part-time and was passing along a couple of study tips - learned through bitter expereince. I shared that I'd taken more bar exams than the entire Kennedy family.

Some smart arse asked which one, like the Kennedys, I'd failed. I said NY and he helpfully said, "maybe you should try another state".

"I have"
"Which one?"
"England and Wales" I am a barrister and solicitor.

If you keep at it, you not only will defeat it, once you do, they will all fold. And when that day comes, and it will, none of these fuckers will have shit to say.

No surrender.

Anonymous said...

Good luck next time, GP.

By the way, do you know whatever happened to Barred for Life and Blondie at the Bar? I just wonder if they ever passed or what. They haven't updated their blogs in a long time.

Anonymous said...

GP, Never, ever, give up. Review your study plan. In what area(s) are you having trouble? Perhaps there is a better method of synthesizing the law that will provide a more efficient method of recall. Essays and Jeff Adachi = me passing the bar exam. I bought his books two weeks before the bar exam, and they saved me. Find a coach/mentor/tutor who will help you study for the bar in whatever manner and method works best for your brain. Do you need counseling for performance anxiety, self-esteem, confidence, whatever? Have someone burn some sage around you. Who gives a crap, do whatever it takes. Leave no stone unturned. I agree with the other posters who suggested perhaps you sit out the July bar. Only if you think you have all the arrows in your quiver to defeat this enemy, should you sit for the July 2009 bar exam. You can slay this monster. And to those who suggest GP give up, get dead.

Anonymous said...

Gotta like Kris's advice. Our friend from the rainy islands has Churchill running through his veins. Never surrender. Good advice to take to heart. Well, got my scores today and I had a good Wednesday (took the MBE because I like standardized tests although I could have taken the two day Cal bar), and Thursday but apparently not on Tuesday. I'm going to rent an office for the 60 some days I have available to study and work on improving my skills at bar exams. A narrow miss is still a miss. Never surrender. GP, for my 2 cents don't take July with your tutor if you can (hear great things about her) on your weak areas and knock this thing off. Set daily goals, and keep at it every day. One foot in front of the other.

Anonymous said...

I too didn't make the cut. Good score on MBE, but need more practice questions for my 33 a day. Used PMBR last time. Anyone have any experience with Rigos or Bar in a box ? Any thoughts on the pro's or con's of each?

Anonymous said...

GP: Followed your blog since second try. Just passed the fourth time. It' NOT ABOUT LUCK!!!! I wrote out 84 essays, all under strict time conditions, three in a row always. Reviewed each one in the most hyper-critical sense and paid attention to EVERY detail and was always learning those minute rules I never thought were important to know. Those are issues too. Even if only to be dismissed.

The bar is not luck, I never studied this way before, but after 84 full written essays, the exam was just another day in the office. Treat this thing with the detail and attention it deserves. Each essay must be written and re-written to perfection. Make each one the best yet. Trust this process and you will surely pass. Good luck next time and never give up.

Anonymous said...

I love that you put that clock on man! I can tell you one successful person,
that is you,
that I will be looking for in Ontario this July.

Many "successful" attorneys out there who I have seen do not have the intestinal fortitude,
never say die,
go get 'em,
i have not yet begun to fight attitude
that I see in you.

You are amazing,
and an inspiration to all of us who search our selves, souls, and dreams for the day that we 2 will be standing in the light.

On that day GP-
none will be looking at you differently,
or thinking you or me don't belong.

On that day people,
we can all sit and honor a great individual who we know has the dedication,
wherewithal, stamina, caring and compassion for his fellow humans,
and satisfaction in saying,
more than anyone whose ever attempted to Slay this Dragon,

Good show Man! Very admirable indeed!

Now, excuse me while I sit back,
pop open a cold one,
toast GP- our still fearless Leader,
and say

Take care of you and yours,
be gentle with yourself-
you splendid creature of this awesome universe,
do it your way-

and perhaps most importantly-
more than anyone here may let on to you-

become aware of the shifting winds and tides

for the secret to life and navigating successfully is not mere preparation, though that is always important captain,

nor hard work, though of course I don't need to tell you all how hard GP will outwork us all,

Nae, the real secret, the one which I think will get you and me, and all of us eventually,

is having the brave confidence to

for only in that action, in letting the unexpected variables which inevitably crop up and can lead you onto the rocky shores,
only by that Confidence in Every Fiber of your Being of the knowledge that you ultimately must steer your own ship the best you can,
beyond the waves, beyond the shore, beyond all the teaching, and beyond the stopping halting doubt that may make you hesitate at the wrong moment
(maybe PT B, or Essay 3?)

Only then, will you truly sail this ship strongly into the harbor,

Safe Journeys my friend,
and Godspeed!

Cheers :)

Anonymous said...

I passed after takig it 4 times and when I passed I spent months wondering how the hell did I do it? I figured I barely passed but I did pass.
GP, I did what I needed to do. I
even went so far as to ask for special accommodations because I truly have a medical condition. I just didn't think it was right to get special compensation. I decided that after four times, heck with it, I will use whatever I have; desperate times call for desperate measures.
If someone told you they could guarantee a pass for 10 grand would oyu pay it? I know I would.
Take drugs if you have too. I had a bar coach who hinted I should try retalin. She hade taken it for the bar. I got a friend to give me a prescription that I used on the days of the bar. My brain was sharper and more focus.
The point is, do what you have to do to pass. You already passed your moral character...we can all use a little help.

Midwesterner in D.C. said...


Everyone else has covered what needs to be said.

Keep fighting the good fight. Success is all that much sweeter when it takes a lot of work to achieve it.

Anonymous said...

CA Bar Spouse here again. Much less positive than the last post. After 10K (was it really that much - or was it more?) on our credit cards, complete humiliation, inability to interact with other professionals and talk about career, significant wasted time and blank space on the resume, and not having been in a courtroom for many years, we have decided to abandon CA and go back to the home state where spouse is a licensed and successful attorney. Why won't they let us in as an accomplished attorney in another state! I don't get it - the odds are rigged against anyone moving into the state who didn't go to law school here. I don't know if they grade people on a different curve or what. And the grades received don't make any sense. The evidence question, on which Spouse left 2 parts of 7 blank, received a higher grade than the other questions which were much better. The overall scores don't make any sense - how subjective can this be? So much for my career here. This frickin sucks. This exam destroys families and people's livelihood - why can't they allow reciprocity? Every other profession does. Sorry for venting but this exam really sucks. Good luck Grand Poohbah keep up the fight - here's one less person to compete with on the curve.

Anonymous said...

To the above spouse poster, how do you already know the individual scores for the essays?

Or did I just read this post wrong?

Anonymous said...

You didn't read the post wrong. The USPS is fast - got letter on Saturday.