Passing the California Bar Exam with the “Tripod Approach”?

A coaching client and I were on the phone discussing strategy for the upcoming California Bar Exam in July.

The good news was that his MBE scores from previous attempts were already on track to pass the bar exam in California. He consistently got scaled scores of over 1440.

(If you’re taking the exam elsewhere, you’re already halfway home free with a good MBE score according to the “tripod approach” I’ll describe in a bit.)

The issue was that he couldn’t consistently score well on the essays. The essays he thought were the best, he’d get a 55 on them. The essays he wrote fewer than 1,000 words and thought were his worst, he’d get a 65 or more.

BY THE WAY: You don’t “pass” the MBE, or an essay, or a performance test. You pass the EXAM with enough total points—all or nothing. I will throw my keyboard out the window and hope it falls on the next person who talks about “passing an essay with a 65.” How does grading work for the CBX? Read.

Given his situation, I suggested a couple of approaches that would focus on a few key areas that would easily bring him over the hump to pass the California bar in July, once things “clicked” for him…

One of these is the basis for the Tripod Approach, which is a minimally effective approach where you focus on a few key portions when preparing for the California Bar Exam to get the largest return.

Continue reading “Passing the California Bar Exam with the “Tripod Approach”?”

6 Ways to Reclaim Your Time & Energy While Studying for the Bar Exam (Even If You’re Working Full Time)

I’ve been where you are. In a way, I’m still there.

Your hair feels gross, the fridge is empty, and you’ve been scraping together whatever free time you can. Words in front of you are jumbling together into a blurry mess, passing by like a dream and also slipping away like one.

In short, you feel like a steaming pile of anxiety because there’s so much to do with so little time to study for the bar exam and you’re feeling the pressure from the impending doomsday. The worst combination.

But it’s not just time. Time isn’t your scapegoat. “Life is short” is propaganda by people who wasted their time.

“Yeah, maybe when I have more time. I’m going to feel motivated someday. Everything happens for a reason.” Oh, okay.

You need ENERGY. You need CLARITY so you can do productive work. Even if you had the “motivation,” it doesn’t mean jack unless you do something with it.

I’m the LEAST energetic person you’ll ever meet. If I can find ways to juggle things, then so can you, a person who has generally been successful in life. We all have 24 hours a day.

Continue reading “6 Ways to Reclaim Your Time & Energy While Studying for the Bar Exam (Even If You’re Working Full Time)”

Stop “Studying” and Start Learning: The Underrated Practice of Practice

Back in college, I gave my cheat sheet for our engineering midterm to a girl. How do you say no to a girl? Answer: You can’t.

It had all the equations needed, but she got the lowest score in the class because she didn’t know how and when those equations applied. She hadn’t practiced applying those rules to similar problems.

You’d think they’d be plug and play, but they’re not. Context matters. Knowing when and how to use them matters.

She was my gf at the time btw. Awkward! Oh well, live and learn.

When you don't practice for the bar exam

And that’s what I want to talk about—learning.

“Do I really know this?” It’s natural to question yourself at every step when preparing for the bar exam.

What people try to do:

  • Consume material to cover all the subjects first
  • Obsess over rules and get overwhelmed
  • Collect more tools than is possible to look at and reconcile
  • Endlessly seek the “best” tool
  • Fill in the available time

This is when we pour our coffee, make room on our desk, organize our pens, turn on the computer… and then just stare at the words.

How to actually find out:

Continue reading “Stop “Studying” and Start Learning: The Underrated Practice of Practice”