Saturday, January 30, 2010

What? Me Worry?

We've all heard of those people who could only take the last week or three off right before the exam to study.  We've mostly heard these stories in relation to the wonderment of how they did this awful thing but still managed to get a passing score.  Well, I'm apparently aspiring to do just that. 

I'm in this position because I have to pay the mortgage.  All of the supplemental financial resources I relied on during previous bar exam attempts are depleted.  I have no choice but to accept any and all work offered to me.  Well, that's not exactly right.  I am declining some work.  But for the most part I'm taking it all and that leaves little time for study.  I've had to abandon the illusion that I could keep paying all of my bills while I did this bar exam thing (hey, who really needs a 750+ credit rating anyway?) 

When I say "work offered to me" I'm of course referring to my judgment recovery business, but I'm also doing process service.  I became a registered process server in November of 2008 as a safety measure in case I didn't pass the July 2008 exam.  In hindsight, that was an excellent move.  I've been staying busy doing serves for some of my buddies who have passed the exam as well as other people in the judgment recovery business. 

I haven't been posting here because I've been very busy, and, as I've said before, I think I've said about all there is to say about the bar-exam-taking process.  I don't enjoy talking just to hear myself talk and, contrary to what a few people think, this is not an ego trip for me (that should be painfully obvious).

Actually, I am getting a little studying done here and there.  I'm mostly focusing on the PTs.  My plan is to become very good at the PTs and at the same time not lose my traditional edge on the MBEs and my recently acquired proficiency on the essays.  Despite the fact that I haven't been able to practice as much as I'd like, I still have a pretty high level of confidence that I'm going to pass this time.  Delusional?  Perhaps.  I prefer "Optomistic".  Remember, I'm a glass-half-full kinda' guy. 

I encourage everyone out there to keep their noses in the books.  When I'm not reading I'm listening to lectures, which helps me stay current on the rules.  And most important, I believe, is practice.  One of the most consistent pieces of advice I've heard during the time I've been doing this is to practice writing as much as you can - essays, PTs, short outlines for memorization.  That's what I'm trying to do now.  In the next few weeks it's what I'm going to be spending the bulk of my time doing. 

Cheers, all.   Continue to endeavor to persevere!  (;-)>


Anonymous said...

What's up? It's Introvert Speaks. Don't know if you remember me. I have a lot of respect for you not giving up on your goal.

Man, you know the law after all your studying. You obviously know how to write. You don't need any new books, programs, or tutors.

Read the call of the question. Use the law to identify the key facts. Outline to organize your issues. Write [insert legal term] because of [insert key fact] statements. State a conclusion. Use can still use IRAC. That's it.

MBE is more about understanding how rules function, reading the questions carefully, and knowing how to use the process of elimination.

You got this.

Anonymous said...

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Breaking up your studying with hard work might be the breakthrough you need to nail this thing. It sounds counterintuitive, but I believe that stepping back, getting some balance and new focus in your life, will help you enormously this time around.

Best of luck to you - both in your new business venture and in February.

Anonymous said...

All the very best GP!!! Unlikely I will get online until after the Bar....we will make it this time! YES! we can!

IP_Freely said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Grand Poobah said...

Hey Freely, I got that! Thanks! All we need now are the Spys, and ... who else? We could use plenty of stickers at the very least.

Anonymous said...

Loyola Law School has distributed the following list of California Evidence rules that are mandatory for the CBE:

*Admission By Party Opponent
*Confidential Marital Communications Privilege
*Discretion To Exclude
*Dying Declarations Exception
*Exited Utterance
*Expert Opinion
*Form Of Answer
*legal relevance
*offer To pay Medical expenses
*present Sense Impression
*Public Records Exception
*Spousal testimonial privilege
*Standard Of Relevance
*Statement Against Interest
*Statement Pertaining To Medical Diagnosis Or Treatment

Understand this, since commencing testing on CA law, Evidence rules have been only tested 2 out of the last 6 exams, be certain that if Evidence comes up on the February exam, you will be required to know these rules, so you may as well LEARN THEM!!!!!!!!!

Good luck all.

Anonymous said...

I came from a non ABA school, but CA accredited. I went to night school, got married, and worked while in law school...juggling. Then I failed. Failed again. Had a kid. Failed. Had another kid. Failed again, almost passed. Then, I studied my butt off and really blew it...worse scores ever!

Finally, I gave my tutor a chance. I also gave myself a chance and said if I don't do this now, I will DIE. Life is over. I had that mentality.

I studied on my way to work, sometimes during work, the drive home, late at night, on weekends, hardly spending time with my two kids. At the same time, I was a paralegal with a demanding job/boss. I said, this guys just a prick. What separates me from him? The BAR exam. I will do it.

Then, I took it and thought I failed. Why, because I finally figured out how hard (or easy ) it was. They want a lot from you. So, believing I failed, I did not even bother to check my scores online that Friday night. Well, I noticed something different. The envelope was smaller than usual. Could it be? No way. Holy $*(#! I passed....and that song New York by Jay Z fit my life. It was my song. It was the right time. I felt that amazing pride in myself.

Anyone else can do this too. It requires for many, a lot of focus, time and being hard on yourself. :)

Good luck,

Anonymous said...

RON SAID: Then, I studied my butt off and really blew it...worse scores ever!

Finally, I gave my tutor a chance. I also gave myself a chance and said if I don't do this now, I will DIE. Life is over. I had that mentality."

Ron, what is the difference between studying your butt off without a tutor and without a life or death attitude, and studying your butt off with a tutor and a life or death attitude? Since you studied your butt off both times, the difference is a tutor + life or death attitude? I'm trying to figure out what to change. Currently, I am really working my butt off. I'm not sure about the attitude and I can't afford a tutor.
I'd like to hear more specifics, your weaknesses, solutions.


Anonymous said...

OK. I studied my butt off both times, but it was the mentality aspect. Not only did I study and say "oh, I get it. I know everything about Torts." No, life became Torts. Everything I saw while not studying became about Torts and all the other subjects. I guess if you study hard, work out hard, you can still go further...into obsession. Obsession may work:)...and really, I tricked myself into thinking I will die. If there is no consequence if you fail, you know you can always take it again. That's the comfort level you get stuck in. As far as a tutor, the second time, I used teh same tutor, but I did not meet him and got less graded exams because I myself could not afford another hit monetarily. So, it was not the tutor. However, I took constructive criticism as it came and I stdied only one source of material and studied it like the book of Eli, not flipping. That's not good.


Anonymous said...

New Orleans Saints 27 - Indianapolis Colts 19

Anonymous said...

GP, Your cycling again. Before every exam you (1) get pumped up and optimistic, (2) then you post detailed bar exam notes or answers out of what seems pure nervousness or asking for good Karma and then (3) you makes excuses for possible failure by discussing your finances, your family, your business.

I am not being mean. I am merely making an observation. And before everyone starts getting mad at me, I'll have you know that I too worked full time, had a family, aand a mortgage.

I never made excuses. I knew from the start that I needed to do it once and do it right. I shut out everyone and did it. I passed.

I guess it's your nature. I feel really bad for you and I wish you the best. I hope after this exam, you will find happiness.

The Grand Poobah said...

Interesting observation, that is. You're probably right, but I'm not going to go back and check. My usual style is to lower expectations but I've never given it much thought. Still, it's interesting that someone noticed.

I'm sure that people have also noticed that I've posted almost not at all this time around. I think that's evidence of my shifting priorities, but it could be something else entirely. I'm sure someone will come up with a theory.

Best of luck to all!

The Grand Poobah said...

Interesting observation, that is. You're probably right, but I'm not going to go back and check. My usual style is to lower expectations but I've never given it much thought. Still, it's interesting that someone noticed.

I'm sure that people have also noticed that I've posted almost not at all this time around. I think that's evidence of my shifting priorities, but it could be something else entirely. I'm sure someone will come up with a theory.

Best of luck to all!

Anonymous said...

Good luck to you GP. I will keep you in my thoughts. Sta focused! You can do it.

Anonymous said...


One thing will remain constant in your pursuit of passing the exam...Until you are able to make the exam the NUMBER ONE priority in your life, you shall never pass, that is a certainty...You have th rest of your life to woory about everything else...As of right now, it does not seem to anyone on here, that the exam has been made a NUMBER ONE priority in your life...Think of what I said, when you study for the July 2010 exam and do yourself a favor and start studying for it on February 26, 2010.

Anonymous said...

Here, here for Anonymous 5:31 p.m. I agree and have said as much in a previous post.

ANY amount of time spent on anything other than studying for the CA Bar Exam(excluding eating, sleeping, and working) is a WASTE OF PRECIOUS TIME.

It should be obvious that this "blog" is a colossal waste of time for anyone trying to get past the CA Bar Exam. Especially for the 6th or 7th time. I'm sure I'll get some smart ass answer from "GP," but IMO, this site is noting more than a "warm and fuzzy" feel good place for CBX failures to commiserate with each other and for attorneys like me who can be reminded of what was but is now no more.

Don't get me wrong. I wouldn't wish failing the CBX on anyone, even an enemy. But I feel no sympathy whatsoever for any Bar applicant who (publicly) WASTES precious time.

To paraphrase the bumper sticker, Sit down, shut up, (stay off the internet) and STUDY!

The Grand Poobah said...

Hey, look! CAAL's back.

She's direct evidence of the State Bar's need to do emotional stability testing before granting a license.

Anonymous said...

Guess you didn't take "CAAL"'s advice (assuming you are correct).

He's a lawyer, you're not. You keep wasting time on you're blog, i.e., doing the same thing over and over and over and he's got his ticket.

Gee, maybe you might want to take his advice.

The Grand Poobah said...

Shhh... trying to study, I am. Please hold your comments until March. Negativity doesn't help. So, presuming you're trying to help, please refrain from helping until after the exam.

It doesn't take a genius to state the obvious. So please, unless you have some useful advice to pass on, please hold it down.

Anonymous said...


Take a pad of paper and leave it by your bed.

If you have trouble sleeping at night write everything that comes to matter how silly it sounds.

I did this during the bar exam and had the most restful nights.

Take care!!!

Anonymous said...


It's SO EASY to be mean on this site. Wow. Breathtaking, but I work with attorneys who yell when they mess up - and they do - so it's no wonder that attitude is here.

"ANY amount of time spent on anything other than studying for the CA Bar Exam(excluding eating, sleeping, and working) is a WASTE OF PRECIOUS TIME."

Not true. I studied with a 2nd timer and 3rd timer, I being the first timer. We all passed. We spent time on the phone talking about emotions, why we weren't exercising, how to face boyfriends - such as when they post pics of other women on FB while their girlfriend is studying for the bar (not me, I'm happily married).

There are distractions in life, often unavoidable and I don't understand how we attorneys or soon to be attorneys can judge anyone when we have not walked in the other person's shoes! I mean what the heck was all that studying of both sides for? To close you mind?

Back to my study group: I looked forward to my study group for support as much as I did for actual study time. We all passed and I contribute that passing score to my hard work, obsession and simple desire to NOT PAY THEM TWICE, as well as the comments from my study partners that had NOTHING to do with substantive law.

Just being around others who are "going through it" can keep you sane.

I am so happy to have met the Grand Poobah and I'm a late joiner but I'm even more impressed that you suffer these raw, childish comments.

You're one of my heroes!
Good Luck, hang in, be good and PASS THIS DAGGONE THING! ;-)

legis said...

GP - I came by to wish you luck on your exam.

I am taking NY once again this feb and I can't say I'm optimistic. Is it because I'm working? Nope. I'm not working, I've got all day to study and I'm starting to see that is not really the best approach for me. I waste a lot of time when I have the whole day to just put off taking the exam. I am doing some of the stuff I did last summer for the other jurisdiction which I passed, which I'm hoping will put me over, but if it does not, I'll have to change my approach.

Changing approaches is really the thing that matters when it comes to re-taking the exam. The approach you had before just didn't work. Time for a new one. Mine, last summer, was to just keep studying even though I felt it was futile. I reviewed essays like never before and honestly, with a solid MBE score, it put me over.

I am going to suggest that whatever you do, make sure it's something that works. Or at least something different from all the crap that didn't work.

I am also going to suggest that if you don't want negativity on this blog, you take off anonymous commenting to keep the cowards out. I find people are pretty big and bad when they don't have to put their profile or name next to whatever jackassery they are saying, but most don't take the trouble to sign in to do the same.

Finally, I am going to recommend that for the last few days before this test (all this week) you really focus on practice and review. I honestly believe that the last week or two before last summer's exam saved me, and the same period failed me the first time I took the exam. I plan to spend the rest of this week holed up in the library from 9-5 like it was my job. Maybe you should try the same.

Good luck, GP, God be with you this Feb!

The Grand Poobah said...

Legis: Thanks. Good luck to you too!

I tend to do best when I have to scramble. And I'm definitely scrambling this time. Because of that, I feel more comfortable. I'm kind of in my zone. Whether it's the End Zone or the Twilight Zone is yet to be determined. I'm hoping for the former.


Anonymous said...

5:31--You are totally generalizing and over simplifying when you claim that studying for the test needs to be #1 in your life. Maybe it needed to be #1 in YOUR life, but I managed to keep my kids and husband #1 while the exam was #2 and I still passed.

GP--as much as I think this blog was cathartic for you at one time, I think you should shut it down after this test because you'll continually be belittled by "advice" from posts like 5:31 which serve no purpose other than to bring you down. Why give them a forum? Let them find someone else to haunt.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

note: i continue to hope this guy passes and my below comment is a joke

I hope you fail this time. because when you pass this time, the annoying people from past tests that blame the few hours a week you spend on this site, will proudly claim "see, i told you needed to quit caring about the dumb blog".

when in fact, spending some time venting/joking/etc about the test is a good thing. Since you have not been on here much (due to circumstances you have explained), I really do hope you are managing to get some free time, away from work and the books.

Anonymous said...

Hi Brian,

Ready...Set...CA Civil Procedure...It is coming my friend, so be ready for it this time!

All the best and see you on the other side.


Anonymous said...

GP - just came by to wish you the best of luck. I've been reading your blog since Dec '07. Keep the faith and you, too, shall pass. The satisfaction you get when you get sworn in is worth it.

Here's my advice: pretend you're a first time test taker during the last few days of prep. First-time takers walk into the exam with a confidence and a belief that they will pass. That confidence reduces stress and increases creativity when responding.

Keep your chin up, brother.

Anonymous said...

Good luck to all the Feb bar takers! I was there in Ontario last year and know what you are all going through...stay strong, stay focused, and get lots of rest in between.

Anonymous said...


Good luck to you next week!

- A Fun

Anonymous said...



Sandra said...

Good luck Brian and everyone!
I've been THINKIN' 'BOUT YA'! ;-)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.