Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Well, I can't take time off ...

... so my only choice is to continue to travel the road I'm on. The path to my future passes directly through the bar exam.

Thanks for all the suggestions, I understand what you're saying, I just can't take a break.

I've just got to take it one day at a time.


Anonymous said...


You go my friend. We will both get it done. No worries. Hey by the way, you need to adjust that running clock to the appropriate time. the bar should start in just about 53 days and less than 17 hours from right now. talk to you soon.


The Grand Poobah said...

Hey Gabriel,

Right, you are. I had the hour still set for 6:00 pm, which was when the results were released.


Anonymous said...

Go for it, pb!

Anonymous said...

You can definitely study and work at the same time...

But you have to spend every night after work doing practice problems and having them brutally graded by Bargraders, a tutor, or someone else you trust to be honest.

Also, I once again recommend Steve Harris as a tutor, or his books if you can't afford a tutor. I failed the exam twice using Barbri and its progeny. I took it again with Steve's method and passed. No BS Poobah - I want you to pass.

Anonymous said...

You can't take a break from studying for the bar, or you can't take a break in 6 months to sit the February bar?

I hear and empathize with all you're saying - as a 5 time taker - with the exception that you have no other choice. Yes, the bar exam is part of your future - how soon in the future is entirely up to you.

After I had failed the bar twice I got a great legal-ish job at a big company. I held onto that job for two years and got accomodations to study for and re-take the bar twice more (twice more failing the exam). I'm in my late 40s, so I understand about aging parents, family commitments, and the exhaustion that comes with studying at this age. I simply could not study as late in the evening as my 25 year old comrades.

Looking at your essay/PT scores you've got a big improvement to make in less than 2 months. I just hope that you have given postponing the exam the weight and consideration that you deserve. The stress/anxiety and interference affect all areas of your life.

Anonymous said...

I know that ALL repeaters on here have heard this line before: "FROM THE FACTS THE ISSUES WILL RISE". The question remains how many of you repeaters believe this to be true?

Believe it or not IT IS TRUE. The essay portion of the exam in set up to test your competency as to how much of the facts you can understand and discuss NOT how much of the Conviser you can recite and outline. In order to pass this exam you have to become a believer that you must exercise your focus as to what the FACTS are and as to what you are being asked to RESOLVE.

Look it is you own individual choice to continue to try to memorize every rule in the Conviser and FAIL AGAIN or to start understanding fact patterns and PASS ON YOUR NEXT TRY.

Either way good luck to you whatever you decide to do.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Learning the nuances of the rules (as for the MBE) is much different than learning how to apply rules to a set of facts.

Again good luck to all.

Anonymous said...


We love ya in Blog Land. Seriously we do, but just consider this. This is hard to even think about. Look at all the facts and determine if you are not unconsciously sabotaging yourself. Just think about it. Sometime we manifest (not intentionally) what we really think on the inside and end up engineering scenarios (not intentionally) to make that negative thought a reality. Just something to think about. Sometimes we make obstacles for ourself. Today--create your environment so you WILL pass. Don't create situations that bring on more problems and then attempt to pass the bar. Because, then you are just creating a situation where you are paying $750 to roll the dice and hope you get lucky. You owe yourself better than that.

Kim said...


I've been following your blog since I failed my one and only attempt at the CA Jul 07' Bar. Let me say that it is truly an honor to read your blogs and see your wonderful perserverance in the face of some rather challenging circumstances.

Keep your head high and know that YOU WILL PASS!!!! You will becuase you want it bad enough and will be a successful attorney. Everything happens for a reason and perhaps, even though I know how hard it is to do this, try to look at your previous failures and what strength and character it shows you have to never give up. That is the type of attorney that clients need.

It is clearly your essay writing that is hurting you on the exam, based on your scores. Trust that you know the black letter law and focus most of your time on essay/pt practice. Your MBE score was awesome last time, so trust that you'll continue to immprove that without much more effort.

Each day when you study, at least once say, "What does this all mean to eternity?" Becuase, when you do pass, and you will, this will be only a two year struggle in the rest of your productive and wonderful career as an attorney.

Anonymous said...

I've noticed most repeaters who pass are in the game with mbe's and PT's, but fight it out with everybody else on the essays, meaning talented law grads who pass first time, score a 55 on an essay too. Passers simply have adequate mbe's and PT scores. Not necessarily great, but 65's on the PT's always, and a 130ish raw mbe (not great either).

The goal should be to meet this minimum standard above all else. As I said, people who pass also score a 55 on an essay, but with minimally adequate mbe and PT scores, that 60-65 average (although not good scores) on the essays will be enough. Trying to score a handful of 70's and 75's on the essays to make up for lagging PT's or mbe's is insane.

I suggest you find a repeater who can't seem to pass the essays but (for some reason) writes passing PT's (in theory, much harder than essays as evidenced by your scores). Better yet, find someone who doesn't practice the PT's and scores 65's + (they are everywhere). These are the people who can teach you how to write a passing PT. They have an innate ability to do them. That is my advice.

Anonymous said...

Ok so I am running a 26 mile marathon and at the 19th mile I decide this is too hard so I think I will take a few miles off to rest and then try again. I never get my second wind at the 20th mile because I quit. Enuf said. Keep on trucking GP.

Anonymous said...

Actually your analogy to a marathon is false (see directly above). He's never finished the marathon. Perhaps with the proper training then he could finish, but nobody who's suggested skipping July, has implied that GP wouldn't cross the finish line (i.e. a passing score) by working towards the February goal.

Anonymous said...

OMG! The clock is freaking me out. Breathe right? Just breathe? Anybody else havin truble keepin up with BarBri schedule!!!

Anonymous said...

Yes, the analogy is to having a sprained ankle. You don't keep running if you are injured. You rest the ankle and come back stronger.

wow, sorry to create all the hullabaloo.

Anonymous said...

cancel that post above. lol. I used that analogy awhile back. Thought you were referring to my analogy

Pay no attention to the person behind this crazy cyber curtain.

Liz said...

Anon 2:44, yes the Barbri schedule is almost impossible to keep up with. Lots of people defect at a certain point. You're not alone in feeling as though you're drowning.

Anonymous said...

Is it just my computer or did GP take his timer/clock down from his site?

Anonymous said...

I was in Washington State last week for a job interview. The managing attorney said to me," You should really not feel bad about this at all. This is Cal bar, it is common people taking multiple times to pass it. No big deal atll, I don't think not passing cal bar reflects bad on you. "

Wow, I was pretty embarrazed about the fact I did not pass, but then what she said made this sound nothing.

what a perspective

CF said...

GP (and others preparing for July) -- good luck to you.

For those of you, including GP, who have been down the road of studying for the CA bar before, I can't help but wonder if the plethora of specific study plan suggestions isn't muddying the waters a bit too much. I don't for a minute doubt that folks suggesting a particular study schedule or pattern have good intentions. I don't for a minute doubt that the plans these same folks are suggesting might work well for them, and may in fact have made the difference between passing and not passing. But everyone who finds themselves at the doorstep of the bar exam has taken, and passed, dozens of other exams over the course of his life. And in so doing, he or she has undoubtedly figured out the general approach to exam prep that works best for him or her. I think far too many people lose sight of that fact in the face of the mystique of the bar exam, and that bar review courses perpetuate the problem by pushing their ridiculous "study schedules" on their clients.

In my view, the bar exam differs from other exams we've all taken only insofar as it covers more material. For some reason, though, so many budding (or already practicing) lawyers feel that we need to adopt a radically different approach to studying for the bar exam than whatever we've used to study for exams in the past, because it's what we are "supposed" to do. I think as much of the stress that many people feel in preparing for the bar exam is due to their adjusting to that different approach as it is to actually covering the material they need to cover before the exam. Why, for example, would anyone think it's a good idea to spend three hours a day for two months making and studying flash cards if they've never used flash cards to prepare for an exam in their lives? I just don't get it.

Bottom line, if you're studying for the bar exam--regardless of your personal circumstances--you owe it to yourself to step back for a moment and assess just how close to your tried-and-tested exam prep comfort zone whatever study plan you're following is. If it doesn't seem at all familiar, see if there's something you can do to bring yourself back toward that comfort zone. If you're taking a bar review class, that may mean cutting a class here and there. Or it may mean going to every class and paying close attention, but slacking off on your at-home reading every so often. (FWIW, it almost certainly means taking the ridiculous BarBri suggested study schedule and putting it far from your mind--and preferably through the shredder.)

Again, good luck to you, GP, and to anyone else out there taking the exam who decided to read my overly long-winded take through to the end.

Anonymous said...

For PT's it really helps to have clerked for a firm or worked in the legal field so you get an idea of how to write like an attorney. It's the little things like saying "the Court should" (proper) instead of "the Judge should" (improper) that impresses the graders, who are practicing attorneys.

Anonymous said...

For the PTS the best advice is to create an outline from the INSTRUCTIONS given. Diagram each part of the task assigned and the outline is straightforward. There is no mystery to it.

Anonymous said...

For the PT's there is some mystery to it. When the task memo says "Write for my approval, an opinion letter to client stating their options under the circumstances," and the format letter says "An opinion letter must have a SOF, list of client's goals as you understand them, and a list of client options analyzed under applicable law including likelihood of success," everybody does this. Everybody considers tone and audience, and uses the cases/facts and statutes applicable to solving the client's factual case (given time constraints). Everyone also concludes (even if time constraints require a cursory one). All of this will get you a 60 at best. Make one mistake and you will get a 55.

Simply put, a 70 PT is a 60 that is 2-4 pages longer. Paralegals and administrative assistants (non legal professionals with no legal training) are notorious for passing the PT's with no problem yet they often can't write a passing essay answer to save their lives. Ever wonder why?