So you’re a licensed attorney. You have a blossoming life outside of California. And for some reason, you want to join an overcrowded state and tackle the hardest bar exam in the country (debate me, New Yorkers).
No judgment here! 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 full exam because of the higher pass rate? What about the possibility of boosting 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 non-California attorneys making this decision?
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?