Getting on track if your bar exam is in September

The fog is clearing up in bar world. We wanted certainty. We got it.

Some of the more populated states are postponing the exam to September 9–10 or September 30 – October 1. Others are staying put in July. You can check the status of each state here.

In an interesting move, California is moving the exam to September 9 and is administering the exam remotely. Oh you, always such a rascal.

In any case, it’s happening. Things are moving, and so must you.

As the dust continues to settle, what should you do to keep your mind focused on track?

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Should the bar exam be designed more like the real world?

“Get rid of the MBE.”

“The MBE is objectively graded. The essays are subjective. The essays should be eliminated.”

“They don’t use multiple choice in the real world.”

With so many shifts already happening in the world, will the bar exam have to be redesigned?

We’re already seeing some states reschedule their bar exams to September, at least for 2020. Is this the impetus needed to finally bring reform to the bar exam in “the new normal”?

It’s a complicated issue.

Here are my personal thoughts on this. No substantive bar strategies or techniques in this post.

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Bar Exam Success Rules that Buck Tradition: Keeping Yourself Mentally Sane During Bar Prep

I’m excited to share this guest article by Jennifer Duclair, Esq., a Bar Exam Mentor who specializes in mindset mentoring for powerful bar exam results, and offers regular five-day challenges to set up your own study plan. Today, you’ll learn how to work with your mind, rather than have your mind work against you on your way to bar exam success.

Bar takers could do with less suffering and more enjoyment in this rite of passage to becoming an Esquire.

However, most bar prep rules were developed ages ago and haven’t been updated much since then.  Here’s what to do to get away get from those methods that are so 1998, and do what really works today. 

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Should you take the California Attorneys’ Exam or the General Bar Exam?

So you’re a licensed attorney who already made it outside of California and, for some reason, wants to join an already overcrowded state and tackle the hardest bar exam in the country (debate me, New Yorkers).

No judgment. But the question on your mind is whether to take the one-day Attorneys’ Examination (essays and PT only)… or the two-day General Bar Exam (essays, PT, and MBE) like the rest of them.

Is it smarter to take the General Exam because of the higher the pass rate and the ability to boost your score with the MBE questions?

It seems crazy that you would choose to take a longer test, but could it be easier to study for it?

How are other attorneys making this decision?

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Giving what the essay graders want to see on the California Bar Exam: Q&A with BarEssays founder Gil Peles

When I think of supplements for the essay portion of the California Bar Exam, the first one I think of is BarEssays.

You’ve probably heard of it. BarEssays is one of the most popular study supplements for the essay portion of the California Bar Exam. It’s a collection of more than 3,000 real graded high- and low-scoring essays and performance tests from past California bar exams.

If you’ve ever wondered what an actual good answer is supposed to look like, this is how you can improve your essays—by comparing your practice essay to a variety of real graded student examples. I also wrote an in-depth review of the site here.

But how can you make the best use of it?

I asked Gil Peles, founder of BarEssays, if he would like to talk about that, and he agreed.

Here are some of the nuggets you’ll pick up from this Q&A:

  • How can you tell what the bar examiners want to see (and what you might be doing wrong)?
  • Formatting: What’s the difference about essay answers you want to write on the bar exam (as opposed to in law school)?
  • What kind of IRAC does Gil recommend for the bar essays? What should it look like?
  • How early should you start working on essays?
  • What can you do with your practice essays to get the most out of them?

Take it away, Gil:

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