BarEssays Review: Practicing Essays Is Not Enough

Ever wonder what you’re doing with your life? How you even got into this mess?

And by life, I’m talking about California essays (and performance tests) that seem to need a beautiful mind to unravel. Because that’s your life now. It should be. I’ve been there. So has Gabrielle:

(If you’re taking the MEE or another bar, you may want to stop reading when you get to the table of contents.)

Part of why the written portion of the California bar is so difficult is what they demand out of your essays. The hypos are dense and packed with a landmine of issues for you to figure out under constant pressure.

This is one of several reasons why the California bar is considered the hardest bar exam in the country. This isn’t up for debate. You can try, but I will win.

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The Courage to Make Mistakes NOW

Our first date ended with her car getting towed.

She was the type of person to schedule her showers by the minute because of her absurd rotation schedule in med school. Yet she had taken three hours out of her life to meet me again.

I wanted to hold her hand so bad. A perfect pretext to see how she felt about me… that I ruined because I lacked three seconds of courage.

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Bar Exam Success Commandment 4: I Will Give You Actual Confidence (to Identify Issues Without Issue Spotting)

The angel on your shoulder whispers to you as you hallucinate from studying…

Don’t cry, you’re going to be a fine lawyer… You’re a good person no matter what… Life is short, just YOLO it…

Screw you, it doesn’t matter even if you never appear again! We’re trying to pass the bar here!


This is the last of a four-part series on what I think are fundamental study strategies, whether you’re a first timer or a repeater. They are fundamental in that they are important concepts that I focused on that made a difference in my second attempt, but you can tailor the concepts to your own needs.

Part 1How to Gain a Superpower for the Bar Exam
Part 2Time to Apologize to Math Now (and Improve Your MBE Score)

As mentioned at the end of Part 3: How to Exploit Scarcity on the Bar (and Improve Your Essays), recall that you can still salvage partial credit for incomplete rules and application. But without identifying the right issues, you get zero credit for those unraised issues.

I mentioned the WHAT (identifying issues) and said I would tell you the HOW (to systematize that mystical process).  We try not to use the s-word (“spotting”) around here. We don’t randomly “spot” issues that we happen to catch in the stream of facts.

This was actually one of the biggest game-changing insights I had for my second time.


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