What if you never again had to sit in front of yet another fact pattern?

Never again put your life in limbo for 6 months studying and waiting for results in agony?

Never again fumble randomly and feel lost figuring out how to approach or "attack" your bar prep?

 

Introduction to Passer's Playbook 2.0 | Table of Contents | Buy Passer's Playbook | FAQs

Or go back to the Make This Your Last Time blog...

 

Imagine being able to put this final hurdle behind you forever and claim the lifetime privilege of telling people you're an "attorney"...

Today's you says, Yes, this is all I want in life! Give me the relief, unplug the thorn in my ego, depressurize the cabin of my soul!

But... your future self can't be trusted.

Let's see what happens if you leave it all up to future you...

"Oh, the bar is X weeks away" feels the same as back when you said, "Oh, I'm only a 1L. I'll sign up for bar prep later."

Then as a 3L you said, "Oh, I have a year to decide."

Then when prices skyrocketed you waited until after graduation while saying, "$4,000?! Outrageous! I was Too Busy to remember the promos they kept bothering me about! At least now I can use the 'I have to pay off my loans' excuse if I don't want to go out."

You think about the coming weekend. You see two whole days and think, "Yes, this is it! No classes, no lectures, just gonna be grinding all day. I'm the embodiment of productivity. I got this shit!"

You wake up Saturday morning. You perform your ritual of cycling through the same 3-4 social media apps to get your dose of daily loneliness. Gotta watch a Tasty video because you want the blur of hands to make you feel like life should be effortless.

It's now late afternoon and you've found yourself divvying upvotes and downvotes in YouTube comments. Justice is served. You just figure, "OK, Sunday is the day." You end up doing 12 MBE questions and call it a weekend. Better than nothing for sure. Work is for weekdays! "Fo' sho," you tell yourself. Your mom shakes her head.

Now contrast with this scenario:

The next weekend, you confidently and excitedly print those past essays. Instead of hoping to be productive, you know you're getting them all done, no question, with study techniques (more like learning techniques) that literally make you feel like you're doing something right for once in your life.

You go through five essays on Saturday morning (or any day if you don't waste time on lectures) and still have time to check Facebook before lunch.

You check off the issues and rules in 20 minutes. You dust off your hands after seeing that your outline of issues and rules is just as good as the sample answer—or better.

You notice your hard and smart work is paying off. Your answers are improving. This improvement is motivating and giving you confidence.

Your acquaintance is posting yet again about the harsh life of a bar student with a string of ill-formed hashtags. "Woe is me; look at me," they say, while med students roll their eyes.

You smile quite evilly as you imagine gloating your victory over that person who slightly annoyed you for three years and is now nowhere to be found humblebragging on Facebook.

All of the above are real possibilities, but the present just feels too unreal and complacent in the face of overwhelming pressure and helplessness.

With the exam looming over you like the Sword of Damocles, how prepared will you be?

Let's take a step back and approach this differently.

 

On my first attempt at the bar, I did the things that you’re probably doing...

 

  • Watch exhausting 4-hour-long videos (pausing them to fill in the blanks) and read outlines religiously
  • Get hot and bothered by the thought of checking off all the assignment boxes and filling in the completion % meter
  • Feel a sense of security knowing that they had it all planned out for me—just follow "The Plan"!

Sweet, all I had to do was get out there and pass like a boss, right?

Nope, I was being a tryhard but not an overachiever.

More importantly, I was allowing someone else to dictate my pace, my studies, and ultimately my fate: a bar prep company, my ex-gf, professors… It was college all over again, just going with the flow.

Ultimately, it was a failure of myself—my arrogance, underestimation of the bar, and mindless shotgun tactical hell. It was caused by a failure to focus on the right things that moved the needle.

And then, the first time I took the California bar exam in 2013, I failed spectacularly. I underperformed in each section—essays, PTs, and the MBE.

What I realized since was that it was up to me to prevent forest fires. It's always been.

Of course the "big box" courses have to cater to the average student. After they water it down, they spike it with fear or sugar. Sure, it can work for many people—those who have already realized that no matter what you use, bar prep is still a self-learning endeavor at its core.

There’s no reason to drink the Kool-Aid and become reduced to a mere average student if you don’t want to be one.

 

But people realize there's something wrong with their expensive bar program when it's too late...

 

"some who took Barbri are angry and feel as if they were unprepared and steered in the wrong direction"

"Biggest regret. To take Barbri and trust it for everything."

 

Would you bet your life on a coin flip?

 

Honestly, all you want in life right now is the relief—the security of knowing you'll be able to find better jobs, pay off those loans, prove yourself.

You don't even care about celebrations. You just want to pass and remember what happiness was like.

So how do you start recovering the brilliant confidence you used to have back in the good old days?

Your future self can't be trusted, and your present self is a poor predictor of the future. But the emotional and mental toll your present self is feeling is real.

Can you afford to take this exam another time?

This is about the future. It's not just about passing the bar. This is a huge opportunity to make our friends, our parents, our family, and—most of all, your own dreams—proud.

If you feel you're not halfway ready, don’t put this off thinking your future self will go into overdrive and figure it out somehow.

Case in point:

  • Are you feeling behind at this very moment? If so, how did you end up that way?
  • Are you able to walk me through your current study regimen, step by step, how you practice and study for the bar? If not, what exactly are you doing?

This is an important hurdle in your career. Do you have a dream? Work for a recognizable law firm. Help the people you want to advocate for. Gain financial success, prestige, and admiration. Get revenge. Just get the bar over with and stop postponing your life.

Whatever your motivation, this is the last hurdle, the bottleneck, toward your reason for going to law school in the first place, or toward the end of your refuge from the "real world." This is your final quest before being able to lead a free life.

What will happen if you don't pass?

  • Humiliation, insecurity, anger, a moment of utter loneliness, that crushing feeling when the raw reality of defeat closes in on you.
  • Delay your career and job search longer than you have to. You might even have to delay taking over the family practice.
  • Lose another 6 months of your life studying for the next bar.
  • Conspiracy of math + time: Spend more on testing fees ($791+), rent, lost salary, etc. to delay 6 more months of your life... Unless your firm subsidizes you, in which case you can donate your wads of cash to the needy (me).
  • Explain to nonlegal employers why you have a doctorate but not going to be an attorney. Reassure them that you're actually not that expensive of a commodity.

Failing just once changed my life in a significant way. (On the upside, I've become humbler, less fragile, and less active on Facebook.)

Whether you pass or not is basically a coin flip.

For example, the average pass rate in California is ~55% in July (43% in 2016!) and ~40% in February (34.5% in 2017!). Other states have followed suit in a race to the bottom.

Can you afford to bet your livelihood and test your luck on a coin flip?

Well, all you have to do is be on the passing side of the coin, right?

If you're looking to improve your chances of passing, instead of reinventing the wheel, maybe you need a tool—a loaded coin—so that the odds are always in your favor.

Yes, it's a super high-stakes exam. But you have more control over it than you think. You don’t have to follow “The Plan.”

While I won’t give you a get-barred-quick silver bullet or one WEIRD trick to pass the bar exam, I can offer you a comprehensive collection of how-to’s for your most problematic aspects of preparing for the bar.

If you want to move on from the bar and unleash your free life, then allow me to help you bring you clarity and action against the confusion, frustration, and disorientation from the torrent of shit that is the bar.

Introducing…

Passer’s Playbook 2.0: The MTYLT Action Guide for Future Attorneys to Prepare for the Bar Exam

passers-playbook-cover

Passer’s Playbook 2.0 is a self-study guide with end-to-end, step-by-step, inch-by-inch frameworks for high-performing bar takers (in CA/UBE/any jurisdiction) who are willing to take action to maximize their chances of passing their next bar exam.

With Passer’s Playbook, you’ll get clear on how to get that much closer to passing the bar and achieving the credentials and recognition you want. It’s literally the guide I would have wanted when I retook the bar.

More specifically, you’ll discover how to, among many other things…
  • Virtually guarantee that you identify the relevant issues to rack up points (without randomly “spotting” issues) (see Section 5)
  • Take advantage of this potent-but-often-overlooked part of studying... and why practice alone is not enough (see Shortnotes pages 21-25)
  • 2x (or even 3x) your essay practice efficiency without sacrificing the learning so you’re not overwhelmed by the sheer amount of practice (see Section 5)
  • Balance review and practice so you know when to put your nose to the grindstone (see Section 4, Sample Study Schedules)
  • “Recharge” your motivation so that you become a calmer, happier and willing learner without feeling useless and unproductive (see Sections 3 and 4)
  • Write in a way that leaves your essay graders no choice but to hand over the points you deserve (see Section 5, IRAC/CRAC Example Vault)
  • Add extra points to your MBE score (go from “multiple guess” to “multiple choice”), including tactics on how to choose 50/50 choices, how to be efficient during the MBE, and how to guess with the highest chance of being right (see Section 6)
  • Craft a flexible study schedule that works for YOU, not the other way around, even if you have a full-time job or family to take care of (ready-to-use sample schedules, templates, and actual example schedules from CA & UBE students included) (see Section 4)
  • Stop wasting precious time spinning your wheels by concentrating on what moves the needle and moving past your mental blocks, including how to overcome your psychology of failure and how to ask your mentors the right questions that will elicit insight, not mere information (see Shortnotes, Cheat Sheets, Sections 2, 8 and 9)
  • Feel like you’re on the right track and things are coming together: Reduce overwhelm, move in the right direction, and know where to get the right tools without breaking the bank (see the Blueprint, Supplement Shopping List, Section 4, Appendix I, and exercises after each Section)
An "Accelerator Kit" is included to get you to focus on work instead of getting overwhelmed...
  • Systematic Study Blueprint: high-level roadmap for your preparation process (think Approsheets for the bar)
  • Shortnotes: a highly concentrated 27-page guide that distills key insights from a comprehensive guide (with all-new insights that are only in here)
  • Sample Study Schedules V2 (from 2 weeks to 10 weeks until the bar), templates, and real example schedules from CA & UBE students
  • Weekly Action Plan: suggested action steps and checkpoints from a weekly perspective
  • Supplement Shopping List: recommended supplements and where to get them, tiered based on your budget (whether you have a low budget or an infinite budget)
  • Cheat Sheets: quick reference for key reminders and learning techniques for each portion of the bar and generally
  • IRAC/CRAC Examples Vault: annotations and analyses of this all-important essay format

And that’s not even mentioning the “troubleshooting index” and short exercises included with the comprehensive 250-page how-to guide to efficiently and effectively prepare you for your next bar exam.

Bonus!
  • Pocket guide to accelerate your bar prep, with minimalist and cut-to-the-chase answers to 17 common FAQs

» Full file list (click to expand)

» Hide

I made this with you in mind so that you can be the coach in your own game.

During the most important game of your life, you might need help on something, completely freeze in panic, get stuck or overwhelmed … need to get back on task, regain focus, and become grounded.

Like a sports coach, you can pull out this playbook whenever you have questions about where you want to be headed.

 

recent California bar pass rates

As pass rates plummet around the country, it becomes more and more evident to me that learning the “how to” by doing at least some self-directed studying is the way to go for many people (because “big box” companies are about WHAT to study not HOW to study), as long as proper guidance and strategies are in place.

That’s the missing piece. And here’s what most of us don’t realize: Whether or not you use a “big box” course, you still have to learn the missing how-to by yourself.

Put another way, while you can use certain tools from the “big box” course, you also want a way to use those tools catered to your personal situation.
 
You might be like many of my past readers who will end up passing but struggled in the beginning…

  • You feel like you got scammed by your expensive bar course because you haven’t learned anything after going through their program
  • You have no patience to figure out where to focus your efforts because you’re completely overwhelmed by everything you (seem to) need to do
  • You don’t know what’s going to improve your performance within the limited time you have

That’s where I come in, with the “how to” part that $4,000 courses leave out. I could say a lot more about this, but it wouldn’t fit in here (already talked a lot). However, I organized all my observations and insights from the last 3+ years into a self-study guide and tools to go with it.

The playbook answers the questions…

  • How do you effectively and efficiently prepare to pass the bar exam?
  • How do you distinguish your answers from the panicked person next to you?
  • How do you prove to the grader that you have what it takes to pass the bar (it’s NOT whether you have what it takes to be a lawyer)?

Bar prep companies would answer:

  1. “Thanks for your $$$$! Isn’t it exciting to get a box of tomes? Go ahead… have fun posting pics on Instagram to finally impress your friends!”
  2. “Here, follow this strict schedule that you’d better follow or else you’ll fail! Don’t forget to check off the boxes and watch the cool progress meter for motivation/fear!”
  3. “Keep up with the ‘professors’ reading off the outline or else you won’t be able to fill in all these blank lines!”
  4. “Good luck! If you fail, we’ll let you study with us again (if you ticked all the boxes). Just one time though ;)”

Sounds good in theory… except they don’t teach you HOW to prepare for the bar! If you haven’t found out yet how miserable your existence will be by blindly marching to the beat of the “big box” companies, you shall soon envy the dead.

Instead, I want to give you cost-effective and result-effective approaches (tested and proven over six administrations of the bar exam in multiple jurisdictions) and a feeling of courage to go out on your own, rather than merely a safe space to make you feel protected under a reputable name. (Doesn’t seeing the word "Barbri" make you feel safe and scared at the same time?)

 

"Show me what I'm getting with this"

Anyone can find information for free on Google. But the playbook offers you more than mere information. It discloses useful, practical and actionable insights and tools that have been distilled and organized for your convenience.

Check out the table of contents and a blank “troubleshooting index”

But how will you know if this will help you? This is an "action guide." Like everything else, it probably won't help unless you do something with it:

Joyce failed the 2017 February Texas bar exam, but then passed it July

Joyce didn't pass the 2017 February TX bar exam, but then passed it July

 

Mark passed the 2017 February California bar exam (the one with the 34.5% pass rate)

Mark passed the 2017 February CA bar exam (the one with the 34.5% pass rate)

 

Will today be a pivotal moment for you?

I’ve always gone with the flow all my life. I decided what was good for me based on parents, women, professors… everyone else.

This was my pivotal realization after failing the bar: In the end, you must take ownership of your own fate. Everything other than yourself is simply a suggestion. Only you can pass the bar and prevent forest fires:

self-study

If we want more pivotal moments in our lives, we’ve got to create them. The “big box” programs are not going to teach us this. They will tell us what’s good for us… while being silent about their own pass rates and effectiveness.

“If you find yourself in a fair fight, you didn’t plan your mission properly.”—Colonel David Hackworth

Imagine you’re a bar grader, rummaging through the same mediocre answers so you could collect next month’s rent.

Then you see it. A golden nugget in a sea of shit. A chill runs down your spine. You have no choice but to smile and breath sigh a relief. Haaa…

Someone has actually written an answer that makes sense to you and makes it easy for you to check off the grading rubric. It’s like they read your mind. You appreciate the clean arguments and organization and give them a little score bump.

Now back to reality…

Imagine sitting here in the exact same position, same time, same position, same computer, same everything. Everything is the same except:

  • You've perfected that one essay topic
  • You’re getting more MBE questions than ever
  • You know what the heck you’re doing

How would you feel?

In some ways, practical and actionable mean you may work harder than you ever have, but you will also work smarter and feel in control of the outcome.

Difficulty now is an investment in future happiness. I don’t want you to drag it on longer than it has to. But that doesn’t mean you have to suffer in agony alone.

You either learn or succeed. At the very least, you’ll learn something new. Maybe a “5-point insight” that you could apply. Don't let the bar be a learning experience.

At best, it could help you make this the absolute last time you see the bar exam staring you in the face… and finally open the door to the free life you’ve been waiting for.

"all I have to do is swear in and I'm an attorney... People are already calling with their issues"

Repeater who finally passed

And if it doesn’t help you, if it doesn’t even strike you as a culmination of my passion for helping you succeed at the bar, just send me a note within 30 days, and you’ll get a full refund and a friendly confirmation from me (this is a one-man show!).

While I won’t give you a get-barred-quick silver bullet or one WEIRD trick to pass the bar exam, I can offer you a comprehensive collection of how-to’s for your most problematic aspects of preparing for the bar.

If you’re ready for that, I invite you to check out Passer’s Playbook:

Get Passer's Playbook 2.0 — $79

Click here to look at the Table of Contents again.

» Again, here's what's included... (click to expand)

an "Accelerator Kit" to get you to focus on work instead of getting overwhelmed...
  • Systematic Study Blueprint: high-level roadmap for your preparation process (think Approsheets for the bar)
  • Shortnotes: a highly concentrated 27-page guide that distills key insights from a comprehensive, 250-page guide (with all-new insights that are only in here)
  • Sample Study Schedules V2 (from 2 weeks to 10 weeks until the bar), templates, and real example schedules from CA & UBE students
  • Weekly Action Plan: suggested action steps and checkpoints from a weekly perspective
  • Supplement Shopping List: recommended supplements and where to get them, tiered based on your budget
  • Cheat Sheets: quick reference for key reminders and learning techniques for each portion of the bar and generally
  • IRAC/CRAC Examples Vault: annotations and analyses of this all-important essay format
In addition to a 250-plus-page in-depth guide on efficient and effective preparation, supplementary references and tools are included...
  • MBE analytics chart (so you can determine and pinpoint your deficiencies as you continue to practice with MBE questions)
  • Performance Test guide (and exemplary California PT set, for CA people only obv)
  • Sample study schedules (whether you're 10 weeks or 2 weeks out)
  • Monthly scheduling template and examples
  • Audio interview on mindset now vs. on the bar
Bonus!
  • Pocket Guide FAQs to accelerate your bar prep, with minimalist and cut-to-the-chase answers to 17 common questions
Click here for the full file list

» Hide

What else can you get for $79?
  • A full-body massage
  • Half of a Hamilton ticket
  • Dinner for two in a dark restaurant

Or… an investment in yourself to get closer to passing, tools and systems designed to help you learn the exam and the law, and insurance against 6 more months of studying and stagnating while studying while job opportunities and life go on without you.

"following your advice and truly putting in the time seems to be working"

"Taking it on my own was a lot more manageable with the structure your site & recs provided"

Danny certainly enjoyed Passer's Playbook and passed the 2017 February California Bar Exam

"This exam is a mind fuck"—Danny R. (34.5% CA bar passer)

 

Get Passer's Playbook 2.0 — $79

 

If you don’t feel that Passer’s Playbook is right for you at the moment, let’s make sure that's the case…

The truth about supplements

There are two arguments for and against spending $50 or $100 or even $400 on a supplementary resource for your bar prep (or for anything):

  1. DON’T GET IT: Your large previous expenses are sunk costs. After spending six figures on law school (don’t forget the 6% loan interest), $4,000 on a prep course, and $900 on bar fees, you should be pinching pennies and saving up just in case you have to retake the bar (or else you’re committing a sunk-cost fallacy or under the “what the hell, let’s go for broke” effect).
  2. GET IT: What’s another $50 in the grand scheme of things? It’s a small insurance policy for the chance that it could help you pass the bar, right? Passing the bar is priceless.

The trick is that I think both arguments are right!

And I believe you can solve this paradox by choosing your supplements carefully. Ideally, you would get a limited number (one, two at most) of the most effective supplementary material for each area of the bar.

As an example, if I were taking the MBE, I’d get either AdaptiBar or Emanuel’s Strategies and Tactics for the MBE Volume 1. Both are excellent and effective go-to resources; just pick one that matches the budget.

A sweet spot could be 3-5 supplements total. Going on a shopping spree will lead to too many things to juggle, which will only make you confused or waste money on things you don’t need. Going solo trying to reinvent the wheel yourself will lead to you not only looking like the dead but also envying the dead from all the stress.

That’s how you can balance the DON’T GET and GET calculus: You maximize the “bang” while minimizing your “buck.”

Don’t be like this guy who’s wondering whether dropping $7,100 on tutoring is a good idea:

7100

That said, where does Passer’s Playbook fit? Is it in the DON’T GET pile or the GET pile?

What if you didn’t have to decide in the first place? I could resolve the paradox by completely eliminating your risk:

1. Proven

The strategies and ideas contained inside the playbook have been tested and refined (since 2013) and proven to work, with applicants from many different states passing the bar using them.

2. What pilot users told me

So some early adopters of the playbook (21 to be exact) got a chance to do a pilot run.

elissa-10

 

olivia-8a

 

elissa-5

 

olivia-work

 

Oh, and I’ve added new material since then that not even they’ve seen. It’s 50+ pages longer. I've also added the Accelerator Kit with six brand-new tools to get you to focus on work instead of getting overwhelmed.

3. The cherry on top…

I’m offering a 30-day refund policy (as with all my products). If you hate the playbook, just tell me and (while it will sting my feelings) you will get all your money back. I don’t want your money if it’s not helping you.

If you’re facing a close decision, it’s usually better to lean toward action rather than waste time meditating over it for weeks. “Do or do not,” said a green man.

 

The best part: You don't even have to be "ready"... You're preparing to become ready.

Preparing for the bar is a learnable skill.

Yes, you can leave the bar behind you (forever) even if you didn’t go to the best school or didn’t get the best grades or are not a “naturally good test taker.”

If you can graduate law school, you can pass the bar. You don't have to be a genius or consume motivational quotes on Instagram or read articles about the TOP 10 TIPS FOR MEMORIZING (which you’ll forget as soon as you close the page).

Look, if people like Kathleen and Steph (and me) can pass the hardest bar exam in the country… you have no excuse!

Kathleen: A 49-year-old mother with English as her second language who went to an unaccredited law school passed the California bar on her second try.

success story - Kathleen 1

 

Steph: A convict who was in prison for 32 years had to learn how to use a smartphone and the Internet, and closed a 150-point gap to pass the California bar on the second try.

Steph story 1

Steph story 2

 

That’s great and all, but the question becomes: Even if you’re committed to passing the bar exam, how do you do the same?

I mean… be honest… when’s the last time you tried a “big box” prep course, paying thousands of dollars, only to find out you were less confident and knew nothing at the end? Or maybe you were no longer excitedly taking pics of your boxes of bar books to post on Facebook but instead had this vague feeling that this is actually some real shit you’re not prepared for?

If you’ve been using the big course to your advantage, great. I'm not saying they are totally useless. Barbri, Kaplan et al. do give you a very good “starter pack.” They are structured and have lots of really boring video lectures and busy work like filling in blanks (“pay attention and take notes!!”).

But, what the heck, the illusion of progress motivates you. You smugly make eye contact with the course progress meter staring at you.

Here’s the fundamental problem of a “big box” course: They give you WHAT to study, but they don't teach you HOW to prepare to pass the bar.

When’s the last time any of those “professors” took the bar anyway? You are reliant on them and their overwhelming one-size-fits-all regimen for the average student. You are not encouraged to study the way it works for you. Instead, you fall in line with a curriculum that tells you to study each subject for the same 2-3 days in a particular order so that everyone can go at the same pace.

Ahh, the beaten path. A very familiar and comfortable sense of security, ease, and confidence. Feels nice!

But you are not the average student.

You are your own person with your own needs. And you don’t want to leave it all to your future self to figure it out in the final week.

Why “what to study” is not enough

Ok.

First of all… to be blunt in case I’m not clear: Just because you “know the rules” doesn’t mean the grader necessarily gives a shit.

We know that memorizing and understanding the rules is merely the cost of entry. Everyone is doing that. It gives you the right to sit for the exam.

Yes, of course you need to know the rules. Not just know it—but recall it and recite it on paper.

Not just that either! "Knowing" the law conceptually is vastly different from knowing how to apply it.

WTF do they want? They give you points for proving that you can:

  1.     Identify and state the relevant issues from the facts
  2.     Recite the relevant rule
  3.     Apply the rules to the facts
  4.     Reach the “correct” conclusion

Maybe you're not writing it all out if you're doing multiple-guess questions, but this is fundamentally what you do on every single problem on the bar, whether it's an essay prompt, an MBE question, or a task on a performance test. (BTW, by picking the right answer choice, you've proven you did those steps correctly.)

Usually, these are important in order I just listed. That is, it’s not enough that you can rote memorize. It would be better if you could see a set of facts, recognize one or more rule elements, and identify the issue in the first place. FACTS → RULES → ISSUE.

Once you get the issue, you’re already halfway there. But without planting the seed of an issue, you can’t analyze that issue, and thus you get zero points for it. At least you’ll get partial credit if you do get the issue but forget the relevant rule or have cursory analysis.

See that? All that law you memorized is worthless if you can’t see the issue in the first place.

That’s the risk that comes with following the nice guys at “big box” companies. The pavement is littered with a trail of crumbs—all the law you need to know that you pick up along the way like Pac-Man.

"Look at all this complicated law; this is why you should pay us $4,000. I'm sure you can figure out the rest :)"

But you’re still left unsure what to do with it. So you stare and do nothing and eventually put your book away. At least you were productively reading the law!

What you rather want is to go for the Power Pills so that you can do what matters. Taking essays as an example, what matters is hunting down the relevant issues—where the BIG points are.

In other words, once you know...

  • how to approach a question (whether it’s an essay prompt or a multiple-choice question or task on a performance test),
  • how to improve your approach, and
  • how to do it efficiently

...everything else will flow out all pretty like rainbows out of a unicorn’s ass.

This is a serious exam! Half assing your way through the exam with your kitchen-sink spray-and-pray strategy is simply optimism. “I’ll figure it out later” is optimism.

They don’t give you points for optimism. You’re here face to face with reality. They want to know: Do you really know what you’re talking about? Then prove it!

Remember: It’s not just what you know; it’s also about how you use what you know.

Let’s be real, though. I know this is really hard work! It's fucking hard work. It may even change your life.

There will be moments where you won't feel good enough, while your friends are buying new cars (with obligatory photos on social media with their American Dream family), working at cushy jobs that give them free laundry, and being annoying yuppies in general.

Life will get in the way. You might have to deal with other obligations even though you want to make the bar a priority.

You’re going to get things wrong and feel stupid. You’ll risk threatening your ego in an attempt to elevate its status, and your ego will hate you for it. (If this happens, it’s a good thing because you’re actually doing the work that matters.)

But would you rather fail NOW or fail when it really counts? Failing later means you’ll waste another 6+ months of your life, live in fear of not passing (perhaps again), and face everyone you care about and work with so you can break the news (after you got so attached too).

Or instead, could you rocket past the people around you who are struggling to practice and are just hoping for the best? What if you could gain just ONE insight from the playbook that put you in the right direction?

How much would tha one insight be worth to you?

Anyone can find information for free on Google. Knowledge is power. Knowledge is certainty.

But can you apply that knowledge? That comes from insight, experience, and intuition.

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting tomato in a fruit salad (mostly because tomatoes are gross).

Exploit that knowledge! Application is progress.

 

“OMG but what if…”

Are you still lurking around the fence, when all risks are eliminated for you?

What will happen if you try? What will happen if you don’t? Would you rather invest now or pay later?

I don’t know. We as humans are really terrible at predicting the future and predicting what’s good for us.

There’s no way for me to guarantee an outcome, but I can help you weigh the outcomes. You never know when a small token investment (compared to a retake) could come in handy.

Of course, you may not need these materials, and that is totally cool. You gotta to do what works for you and discard the rest.

However, keep in mind that being a lawyer is a lifetime privilege once you earn it. All it takes is a moment of strength for the lifetime privilege of calling yourself a lawyer.

Likewise, I believe my premium material will help you get closer to your goal of passing the bar and being able to tell people that you’re a lawyer—for the rest of your life. The word lawyer has such a powerful connotation I never knew about until I became one.

Probably just me but I feel awkward when people ask me what I do.

Barber: “So what do you do?”
Me: “I’m a patent attorney. I help companies and people patent their ideas”
Barber: “Ohh cool…”
Me: “Is he going to cut my hair weird now / expect a huge tip”

Friend: “Can I threaten the owner of my condo with a lawyer (you)?”
Me: “I don't know anything about landlord-tenant law”

Enough. If you’re at all curious whether this premium resource will help, take a look at the samples above and see if you think it’s a good fit for you.

If you decide to get Passer’s Playbook, you can keep it and receive all future updates forever. It’s also backed by a 30-day refund policy. You have a full month to see if it helps. If you hate it, you can send me a note and tell me why for a full refund.

 

I guess the ultimate question is...

How serious are you about the bar?

Look, I’m supposed to try to sell you something here. But at the same time, I encourage you to save yourself the money if you’re not going to be serious about it or find value in this. That’s fine with me. I’m sure you only want to use something that’s the right fit for you (and vice versa).

And simply put, you either want this or not. Maybe you’ll get it today. Maybe in a month. You’ve probably already made up your mind about getting it eventually, whether your brain knows it or not.

(Trust in the heart of the cards! Yu-gi-oh anyone? It's OK; I didn’t watch that shit either.)

I can’t tell you what to do either way at this point. In fact, don’t listen to anyone who tells you that “you’d better do XYZ!”

It’s funny how willing we are to spend money on networking for possible job leads, on nice clothes that will potentially get you compliments, on dates where you might get more than a hug…

But when it comes to a known and proven thing, we’re not as willing to invest.

I get it. The bar and passing the bar are abstract things that has permanently resided in the future since you were a 1L, until now.

Reality check: The time period between graduation and passing the bar is a death valley.

Take me for example. While I waiting for my first bar results, I barely got interviews. At the one interview I got, they warned me that any offer would be contingent on passing the bar. Not only did I get a rejection letter postmarked the next business day, I didn’t pass the bar either.

Fast forward to my second attempt at the California bar (which I passed). My former boss from my first summer internship (who tried to avoid me) suddenly wanted me to help him on a case. I did two interviews and got two offers (after graduating bottom 11% of my class). My then-boss wanted me to stay as long as possible, but I wanted to get paid 3x more.

I don’t know why and I don’t care why, but the getting that bar card… really fucking matters.

If you pass the bar, you gain the means to help your community, help your family, earn the prestige and financial success you've dreamed of. It flings open multiple doors of opportunity, where you can get literally 10x, 100x, or 1000x the return of any investment you make preparing for the bar (e.g., spend $75 on an MBE book to ensure the right to a $75,000 starting salary… or more).

How much is that really worth to you?

How much is 6+ months of your time worth to you?

Sure, you might not pass this time. If not this time, then maybe next time. But why not this time?

I don’t want you to feel the shame of defeat. I want to help you cross that bridge to the free life that you want.

amanda-pp

Amanda, a threepeater who passed the California Bar Exam in July, 2016 (43% pass rate)

Frequently Asked Questions

 

“Will the strategies and insights work for my state?”

Yes.

I can't guarantee that you'll pass. No one can. Only you can prevent forest fires.

However, you'll take away game-changing insights that you can apply to your prep and increase your chances of passing.

 

“How do I get motivated?”

You don’t.

“Motivation” and “inspiration” are fleeting; it comes and goes based on the situation. It’s a good feeling to wake up one random day and say, "Yeah! I'm gonna do 5 essays and 100 MBE questions today!" But do you actually want to do something about that feeling?

You don’t summon motivation or wait for motivation to show up like pizza delivery. You use a bit of discipline to establish a habit of studying (consistently and seriously but not necessarily with brute force). You find and use effective and efficient study techniques that work for you. You get better. Progress and mastery are motivating.

Overloading, overstressing, overburdening yourself just leads to burnout and you don’t even remember much. Like spinning your wheels and not getting anywhere.

 

“What’s the difference between the playbook and Magicsheets/Approsheets? Are they included with Passer’s Playbook?”

Magicsheets are my premium condensed outlines that tell you WHAT to study (95% of the frequently tested topics you need to know in 5% of the length of traditional bar outlines).

Approsheets are essay-approach templates in checklist and flowchart formats that tell you HOW to approach essays (which issues to hit when).

The playbook describes HOW to approach various aspects of bar preparation. It’s a compendium of strategies and insights.

These are all separate products and are not included with the playbook!

 

“Should I get Magicsheets or Approsheets also?”

If you have other source material for the law or know it well, then you don’t need Magicsheets. If you are strong at essays and can identify issues well, then you don’t need Approsheets.

Approsheets, although optional, fit perfectly with the "issue checking" technique.

Those who have used them in conjunction with the playbook can say more about it (with split opinions!):

amanda-8a-8b

tiana-8a-8b

 

“What's the one magic bullet that will inoculate me from having to take the bar again?”

This is not a get-barred-quick solution. If that’s what you seek, I don’t have such a thing.

All the information is out there. Everyone has access to the same information: Barbri, secondary supplements, my emails, etc.

Rather than mere information, we want insights that have been distilled from the information. We want useful, practical and actionable insights that get us results.

I’m not here just to give you information. Anyone can find all the info for free on Google. I’m here to point to the INSIGHT gleaned from years of experience, hundreds if not thousands of hours of coaching bar students via writing, researching and analyzing bar prep…

But more importantly, it will require you to act, to think, to focus, to use feedback, to fix.

In a real sense, you’re the one magic bullet.

 

“When’s the best time to use the playbook?”

Earlier the better.

The more time you give yourself to learn how to approach the exam effectively and efficiently, the less time you’ll spend reinventing and spinning your wheels.

However, two weeks before the bar would be my suggested cutoff point because by that time you should be practicing mostly, not trying to figure things out.

tiana-9—Tiana, foreign attorney who passed the 2016 July California Bar Exam (43% pass rate)

olivia-9—Olivia, first timer who passed the 2016 July California Bar Exam (43% pass rate)

amanda-9—Amanda, "threepeater" who passed the 2016 July California Bar Exam (43% pass rate)

The best time to start was yesterday. The second-best time to start is now.

 

“Do you offer any discounts?”

There are no discounts available for any of my products at this time. Here’s why:

  1. It is not fair to early adopters who took a risk and paid for the product (albeit at a lower price). Don’t you feel icky when you buy something and then it goes on sale?
  2. I find that those who invest in themselves have a better chance of success. If you’re not willing to pay for it (or work for it), how important is the bar really?
  3. Discounting will make everyone (including myself) lose respect for the product and the process. Every premium product is of utmost quality which comes from many hours of my time and effort.

Excellent quality

In fact, while there is no chance of a discount, there’s also no telling whether I will increase the price in the future, much like I’ve increased the price from the first group of pilot users to the second group. The price can only go up and will never go down (see reason 1 above).

That said, you would be locked in for all future updates, and I do offer a 30-day refund policy. If you think you made the wrong decision, send me a note within 30 days of purchase and you'll get a full refund.

I want to help people, but I only have 24 hours in the day. Then, subtract about 8 hours for sleep, 10 hours for my day job, and the rest of the time for learning and basic responsibilities (eating). As my readership grows, there's a true limit to how many people I can provide full, comprehensive help.

If you still find the price too steep, most of my material can be found for free by reading my blog (which load more slowly as more people visit), signing up (and waiting for) my emails, or joining the private MTYLT Facebook community.

 

"Can’t I just go at this myself?"

Of course! If you don't need any extra assistance, there's absolutely no need to get Passer's Playbook.

If you want a "coach in a pocket" to get guidance and reassurance that you're not going off the deep end, then consider this...

I've spent hundreds if not thousands of hours...

  • learning about how to prepare for the hardest bar exam (having taken it twice myself),
  • figuring out what works after finding out that the same old approach I had in law school didn't, and
  • tweaking the strategies after sharing them with others who then actually saw the results YOU wish for (passing the bar, duh)

You could reinvent the wheel and figure it out yourself, if you become an autodidact extract the useful insights from a sea of information.

That's a perfectly valid option since people do pass with their own strength.

Another option is to skip a few steps ahead with strategies and systems that have been proven to work for me and for others, which will make you more efficient, make you less uncertain, and give you more time to do the work that moves the needle.

This is also a mental game, and you need all the brainpower you can spare.

As always, do your due diligence and decide if this is right for you at this time.

You be the judge

You don't need yet another resource to drown in. Whether it's my playbook or something else, pick just a handful of effective resources instead of getting lost in overwhelm.

I've talked enough. I've shown you enough evidence and testimonials. Now the ball's in your court.

There's plenty of options on WHAT to learn. How do you attack the test itself?

If you want a "coach in a pocket" that will teach you HOW to learn the acquirable SKILL of preparing for the bar exam—the most important game of your life—give Passer's Playbook a try.

It's literally the guide I wish I had when I took the bar the first time:

 

Get Passer's Playbook 2.0 — $79

Click here to go back to look at the samples again.

Make this the absolute last time you ever see the bar exam staring you in the face. I hope to "see" you inside.

Brian