McGeorge Bar Prep

What You Need to Succeed on the CA Bar Exam

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Save the Dates: Upcoming McGeorge Bar Support Events

Posted by mcgeorgebarprep on March 28, 2016

From the Office of Student Affairs:


Senior Day 2016

Tuesday, March 29, 4-6pm, Student Center

Complete the many tasks that need to be done prior to graduation. Free dinner! One & Done t-shirts! Drawing for cool prizes!


One & Done Panel: Recent Alums Candidly Discuss What It Takes to PASS the Bar Exam

Tuesday, April 5, 12-1pm OR 5-6pm, Classroom E

Come hear recent McGeorge alumni discuss the bar exam, what it takes to pass, and personal anecdotes about what worked for them. Get your questions answered, and learn what steps you should be taking to make sure you are One and Done! Food will be served.


Bar Exam 101 Group Presentation with Belia Ramos

Tuesday, April 12, 6-7:30pm OR Tuesday, May 10, 6-7:30pm, Classroom E

Professional California bar tutor and former bar grader Belia Ramos will explain exactly what is needed to pass the California Bar Exam.  Ms. Ramos will walk you through how the bar exam is graded, practical study tips, advice on how to structure your study schedule, and advice about how many practice exams and MBE questions need to be taken to succeed. Please RSVP to, though if your schedule opens up at the last minute, don’t hesitate to drop in.


Sterile IRAC Group Presentation with Belia Ramos

Thursday, April 14, 6-8pm, OR Thursday, May 12, 6-8pm, Classroom E

Professional California bar tutor and former bar grader Belia Ramos will teach you a systematic way of deconstructing bar essay questions and writing strong essay answers. Not to be missed! Please RSVP to, though if your schedule opens up at the last minute, don’t hesitate to drop in.


We encourage you to take advantage of these supplemental bar preparation opportunities. Please contact Rebekah Grodsky, Director of Academic & Student Affairs, with any questions at or 916.739.7089.


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A Week in the Life of a Bar Applicant

Posted by mcgeorgebarprep on March 23, 2016

Some students have expressed concern recently about planning ahead for their post-graduation bar prep, wondering what a typical week may entail.  You will receive a detailed schedule from your bar review company soon, and you should use that as your planning foundation; but to give you a general idea of what your schedule might look like, I compiled information from past years to create a couple of examples.

Some caveats to consider first:

  • These are only examples.  Your own schedule may be quite different.


  • Each week in your prep period will change, depending on the date (e.g., early or later in the prep period), your commercial company’s assignments/simulations/lectures, etc.


  • You can adjust your bar company’s schedule to meet your personal needs, within reason.  For example, if you have a family function on, say, June 15, you can plan ahead and move that date’s assignments into the preceding and following days to allow you to take that day off.  Just do not take a day off and not account for those missed assignments.


  • Some students who saw these mock schedules already were surprised by how “light” they seem. Bear in mind, though, that they represent a seven-day-per-week commitment for over two months, and each includes 8-10 essay simulations, a PT simulation, and 150-170 MBEs.  That is a lot, and since self-care is a vital component of effective bar prep, you should have at least a little downtime each day — again, within reason; taking a full day off every week might not be the best idea.  (We recommend an approximate total of at least 45-50 fully simulated essays, 5-6 simulated PTs, and 1500-1800 MBEs during the post-graduation prep period.)


  • Related to that point, this schedule assumes strong focus and effective completion of each scheduled task, which then permits that downtime without sacrificing your preparation.  If you spend an hour answering and reviewing MBE questions, but during that time you’re distracted by other things (the Internet, a phone call, daydreaming, etc.), then that hour was not very effectively spent and may necessitate more time for that task.


  • Each person learns and studies differently, so some of these time blocks may not work for you.  For instance, it may take you 90 minutes to simulate and review an essay, or it may take you more than two hours.  (You might consider creating your own schedule in 30-minute increments instead of hour-by-hour.)


  • Each person also has different strengths and weaknesses.  If you struggle with effective essay writing, for example, or a particular substantive topic, then you might want to add more of that into your personal schedule.


If you have questions or would like to discuss your own schedule, please do not hesitate to contact me.

A Week in the Life of a Bar Applicant

A Week in the Life of a Bar Applicant2

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Bar Prep Head Start

Posted by mcgeorgebarprep on March 9, 2016

The spring term is notoriously crazy (for everyone, professors and students alike!). On top of all of your law school commitments, the specter of the bar exam looms not too far in the distance (four and a half months in the distance, to be exact). While your first priority should be your classes and earning that walk across the stage in May — and while you’ve technically been preparing for the bar exam to some degree since your 1L orientation week — there are some steps you can take now to give yourself a head start on your intensive summer preparation.

First, keep it manageable, especially if you are carrying a substantial credit load this spring and/or have work or other commitments.  You may have your commercial course review materials now, but you will not be able to memorize the entire Property outline this weekend; instead, set a weekly goal for yourself that is more feasible. For example, you might read five pages of that outline, or the section on, say, mortgages, and make a few flash cards or start a flow chart. Alternatively, you might plan to practice with ten MBE questions and make flash cards for those rules instead. If you set a goal now to take about thirty minutes each week to make ten flash cards, you would have over 100 by graduation.  Pretty impressive!

Whatever you choose, get into the habit now of scheduling it.  Block off that time on your calendar, and stick to that appointment.  It will be good practice for how you should operate this summer once you have your commercial course homework schedule.

Small steps today can take you a long way toward being one and done this summer! If you’d like to discuss anything related to your bar prep in person, please don’t hesitate to email me to set up an appointment.

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Posted by mcgeorgebarprep on February 22, 2016

Sending all the very best to everyone this week!  You’ve got this!! 13f99c4975bf318a234e4f9cb432b45f

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Diversity Bar Scholarships

Posted by mcgeorgebarprep on January 29, 2016

3L Diversity Scholarship to Cover Bar Exam Expenses

The California Bar Foundation 3L Diversity Scholarship is now open! Any diverse 3L who plans to practice public interest law in California, and who plans to take the July 2016 California Bar Exam, is eligible. Winners receive a free Barbri bar prep course along with a living stipend. Deadline is Tuesday February 16, 5pm. Application can be found here:

And for the first time, we are thrilled to offer co-sponsored 3L Diversity scholarships with the following five affinity bar associations throughout California:

Asian American Bar Association Law Foundation

Orange County Asian American Bar Association

East Bay La Raza Lawyers

Black Women Lawyers Foundation

The Charles Houston Bar Association

In partnering with these groups, we are connecting with even more diverse law students throughout California. Specific criteria for these special co-sponsored scholarships are available on the application registration page.

We are committed to supporting diverse California law students who are devoted to improving access to justice in California, and this scholarship is one important way we are doing so.

Please email me with any questions at

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Feb. Bar Meetings

Posted by mcgeorgebarprep on January 11, 2016

February bar takers, you can meet individually with Courtney Lee this and next month for some extra support, to check in about your progress, to vent if needed, and/or to get your questions answered. You may have received an email at your Pacific account with specific times available, or you can just email her directly at (be sure to include the “1”) to arrange an appointment if you haven’t already.

Also, a friendly reminder: the Extra Feedback PT is due tonight by 6:00!

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July 2015 Answers Released!

Posted by mcgeorgebarprep on December 28, 2015

The State Bar has finally released example answers for the July 2015 bar exam essays and PTs.  This is a great, free resource, but remember, all we know is that these are “passing” answers; we do not know exactly what scores the answers received, and they might contain errors you want to avoid in your own writing.  For example, a format might be odd, or a heading might not fit particularly well, but usually the released answers make up for any such deficiencies with solid issue-spotting, clear and accurate rule statements, and most importantly, strong factual analyses.

If you took the July 2015 exam and would like to meet to review your answers, I’d be happy to meet with you. If so, I require that you complete one essay or PT comparison chart for each answer you wish to discuss, and that you come prepared to explain to me in detail how your answers differ from the example answers, and what would have made them better.  (Please note that the campus is closed now through Jan. 3.  I then have to travel for work purposes in the first week of the New Year, but I will be available to meet starting the week of Jan. 11.)

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First Extra Feedback Essay Due Monday

Posted by mcgeorgebarprep on December 26, 2015

Don’t miss the first opportunity to get individualized feedback on your practice exams!  The first essay, Property, is due by 6:00 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 28.  See this post for more information and a copy of the question.

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Don’t wait to prepare for February!

Posted by mcgeorgebarprep on December 15, 2015

Today is the last day of final exams at McGeorge. While students still taking exams now have cause to (responsibly) celebrate their completion tonight, any graduates planning to sit for the February bar exam will need to get back to work ASAP. Far too many graduates — both those taking the exam for the first time and those returning for another round — believe that they can take a break during the holidays and begin preparing in earnest in 2016, but they are mistaken!

If a graduate waits until January 2 to begin studying and practicing, she only will have seven weeks — just over 50 days — to review all 13 subjects, write simulated essays and PTs, and practice MBE questions. A common recommendation is to complete 50+ timed, realistic (no cheating!) essays, 5-6 PTs, and about 1500-1800 MBEs during the bar prep period, including meaningful, methodical review of every question (try this chart for the written portion)…and that does not count studying the law itself! If a graduate is taking the February bar exam and begins preparing today or tomorrow, she will have almost three more weeks of prep time than she would have if she waited until after the holidays.

Many people have asked me why I think the February first-time pass rate is lower than July. There are several factors, although it is NOT a more difficult exam, but I think a big one is time. There are two to three fewer weeks available to February applicants who wait until after the holidays to prepare than there are for May graduates who begin preparing then and continue through July. February applicants, be sure to use your time wisely in December so you can have a similar advantage! Sure, you can take some time away if you celebrate Christmas on December 24-25, and on New Year’s Eve/Day, but sitting out for a whole week, appealing as it sounds, should not be an option.

A special note to retakers waiting to receive your answers from the State: One of the worst things you could do is wait to start practicing again until you get those answers back, because you might be waiting until mid-January. Furthermore, there are no comments on them, so you would be completing the same methodical comparison to the sample answers as you would for your own practice, so get started NOW. (Side note: If you are a McGeorge graduate, I am happy to review your answers with you once you get them back, but I require anyone wishing to do so to complete this chart for every question you wish to discuss, and come in prepared to explain to me why you think you received the score you did. This is far more useful for you than if I completed this comparison myself and then told you about it.)

There are several free programs available for McGeorge graduates sitting for the February bar, many of which begin this month. First, there is the Extra Feedback Program described in the post immediately below this one (the first exam is due Dec. 28). Second, you should have received at your Pacific email account information regarding enrollment in Adaptibar at a reduced rate, as well as some group presentations with a local bar tutor (meant to be a supplement to your commercial review course). Graduates from any year are welcome at those sessions. Please see your Pacific email for details, and contact with questions and to RSVP.

May you have a peaceful and rejuvenating holiday season with loved ones, but with time budgeted for bar prep. It’s not much fun, but it is worth it to help ensure that this is the last time you ever have to do it!

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February 2016 Extra Feedback Program

Posted by mcgeorgebarprep on December 4, 2015

McGeorge graduates sitting for the February 2016 CA Bar Exam, here is your chance to receive more feedback on your practice exams!

Feb 2016 EFP Schedule.JPG

PDF: Feb 2016 EFP Schedule


Property Question

In re Black

Contracts Question

Remedies Question

Some commercial courses assign these questions earlier than their Extra Feedback Program deadlines; if so, you are welcome to submit them early, but they still will be returned within two weeks of their EFP deadlines.

We look forward to helping you succeed this winter!

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