McGeorge Bar Prep

What You Need to Succeed on the CA Bar Exam

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CDO Bar Power Boosts

Posted by mcgeorgebarprep on May 26, 2015

Join the CDO this summer for free snacks and treats as you study!

Message from the CDO:

Tuesday, June 9, 8:30 AM, Lecture Hall Lobby:  Jamba Juice or Starbucks Delivery (for 10 Raffle Winners)

Tuesday, June 23, 10:00 AM, CDO Lobby:  Power-Up Snack Break & Raffle Contest

Tuesday, July 7, 8:30 AM, Lecture Hall Lobby:  Jamba Juice or Starbucks Delivery (for 10 Raffle Winners)

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Summer 2015 Extra Feedback Program

Posted by mcgeorgebarprep on May 12, 2015

The July 2015 Extra Feedback Program submission schedule now is available!  This program allows all McGeorge graduates sitting for the July 2015 bar exam to submit selected exams for extensive,  individualized written feedback.  Please see the schedule below for more details.  We hope this schedule will not change, but if it does, we will notify you here and on the Facebook page.

Be sure to take advantage of this terrific opportunity this summer!  Only graduates of Pacific McGeorge may participate, but they may be enrolled in any commercial review course.

2015 Summer EFP Schedule PDF

2015 Summer EFP Schedule

Questions:

Torts Question

Performance Test Question Packet

Con Law Question

PR Question

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Bar Prep DOs & DON’Ts

Posted by mcgeorgebarprep on May 11, 2015

You want to pass on the first try, and we want you to pass on the first try. Here’s how to do it:

Do NOT underestimate the bar.

You made it through a tough law school curriculum.   You have what it takes to pass the first time. You’ve probably passed every exam you’ve ever taken. You’re tired and studying this much is exhausting. BUT: You’ve still got to push through and work as hard as you can – maybe even harder than you’ve ever worked before – to pass. Take preparing seriously from the beginning all the way through. No lounging by the pool every day telling yourself that you’ll start really studying tomorrow, or you’ll really start studying again in six months.

DO adopt an “attack” attitude.

Respect the exam, work hard, and take it seriously from the start, but do not psych yourself out into thinking that you might fail. No one ever feels fully ready, but if you prepare wisely, you WILL pass. Go in knowing that, and attack the exam with everything you’ve got. If you run into a tough question (essay, PT, or MBE) that you just don’t know – like we all did – do your best and move on with the same “attack” attitude. One question won’t kill you, but giving up will.

DO take advantage of the support programs available.

Take advantage of programs offered by the school, such as the free lectures on May 12 & 18, discounts on preparation software (check your Pacific email account for more info), and the free Extra Feedback Program, which allows you to submit practice exams for individualized written comments throughout the summer (the schedule will be posted here soon). Follow this blog and/or like the “McGeorge Bar Prep” Facebook page for more info, advice, and support all summer.

DO simulate practice exams & compare your work to the sample answers.

That means timed, in a realistic environment, and no cheating!! And then when you’re done simulating those practice exams, simulate some more. This is the key to success, and it is the most common regret among those who fail the exam. As they studied, they either felt like they didn’t need to write that much, or they felt like they didn’t know the law well enough to start writing…but you will NEVER feel like you know the law well enough, so just do it. You can mess up; that’s why it’s called “practice.” Just issue-spotting is not enough. Plain and simple: You will fail the bar if you do not fully simulate practice exams and compare your answers to the sample answers.

DO be real with yourself and do NOT set yourself up for failure.

If you know deep down that you will pay attention better if you physically come to campus to attend the commercial bar review lectures or to study and write practice exams – and that’s most of us – then do it! Staying holed up in your bedroom only partially paying attention to online lectures will not work. When the big review companies started offering access to online versions of their programs at no additional charge, the overall CA pass rate dropped significantly. Coincidence?

DO take care of yourself.

Eat healthfully, exercise, and take some planned time off to relax (i.e., an afternoon here and there, not a trip to Hawaii). It’s true that the bar exam is a marathon, not a sprint. You’ve got to be mentally ready, but also emotionally and physically up to the challenge.

DO believe that if you can graduate from McGeorge, you can pass the bar on the first attempt!  Focus, work hard, and we’ll see you at the Swearing-In Ceremony!  ONE AND DONE! 

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PR Review Videos

Posted by mcgeorgebarprep on May 4, 2015

Taking the MPRE and/or the bar exam and want a refresher in PR — the one subject most likely to appear on the bar? We haven’t reviewed these videos carefully, but they are free and from a reputable CA source (who generously allowed us to share them here). Note that the final video in the series addresses major distinctions between the ABA rules and CA authority.

PR Review Video Series

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July 2015 CA Bar Exam Application Now Available!

Posted by mcgeorgebarprep on March 2, 2015

The Application to take the July 2015 CA Bar Exam is now available, and the timely filing deadline is April 1, 2015.  After that date, fees will increase.  The application and further information is available here:  https://www.calbarxap.com/applications/calbar/California_Bar_Exam/.  Please read the instructions carefully before selecting the “Begin Application to Take the California Bar Examination” button at the bottom of the page.

Apply soon so you can avoid late fees and start on your path to being One and Done!

More information about dates and deadlines:  http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov/Portals/4/documents/gbx/BXInfo.0715_R.pdf

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“The Bar Is Finally Over” Reception

Posted by mcgeorgebarprep on February 25, 2015

All February 2015 McGeorge bar takers are welcome at the The Bar Is Finally Over” Reception this Thursday, February 26, at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento in Downtown Sacramento.  The event will begin immediately following the completion of the bar exam (approx. 5:30PM) at the Glides Market Bar area.

Come celebrate your accomplishment with drinks and snacks, and bask in the pride of your McGeorge family (professors, administrators, and fellow graduates)!

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Bar Simulation Day: March 14

Posted by mcgeorgebarprep on February 24, 2015

Congratulations and best wishes to all McGeorge graduates sitting for the CA Bar Exam today!!  Current seniors, your exam date will be here before you know it, so here is one chance to get going on your way to One and Done this summer:

On Saturday, March 14, you will have the opportunity to participate in the Pacific McGeorge Bar Simulation Day.  This simulation will mimic the real bar exam, with three essay questions in the morning, a break, and a performance test in the afternoon.  Everyone who writes the simulation will receive individualized feedback on each answer, and the chance to attend a review session.

The simulation is required for all students enrolled in Practical & Persuasive Legal Writing, but it is open to any 3D or 4E student.  Like the bar exam, the simulation will be closed-book, so please study the rules sheets linked below before attending the simulation.  The law tested on the essays will be Criminal Law and Procedure, Professional Responsibility, and Evidence.  Also like the bar exam, be prepared not to bring anything with you into the testing room, except your laptop and/or pens (this includes bags, purses, phones, etc.).  Students who type the simulation will submit their answers in Word format.

Time management and endurance are vital to bar preparation, and simulated writing practice is the single biggest key to success this summer. This is your chance to assess your skills before you even graduate, so don’t miss this opportunity to start down the path to being ONE AND DONE!

If you are not enrolled in PPLW but would like to participate in the simulation, please RSVP to sacstudentaffairs@pacific.edu so we can be sure to have an exam for you.

Location:  Lecture Hall

Time:  8:30 a.m. – ~5:00 p.m. (break 12:00-1:30 p.m.)

Rules to Study:  Crimes Rules     PR Rules     Evidence Rules

 

More logistical info from the Dean of Students:

“We will attempt to run this exam as closely as possible to the way the State Bar runs the Bar exam.  To that end, here are the instructions that the State Bar has available on their web site regarding the administration of the exam:  http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov/Portals/4/documents/Examinations/EXAMADMINPOLICIES_R.pdf

My advice to you is this:  Pretend this is Day One of the Bar exam.  Thus, only bring to the classroom what you are allowed to bring to the Bar exam.  Lock all your other valuables in your apartment or your car.  We will not allow backpacks, cell phones, etc. or any food or water in the examination room.  You will have a 90-minute break for lunch.  Dining Services in the Student Center will not be open, so plan accordingly.

For those of you who are typists, you will not be using ExamSoft, but instead, will be required to answer each question in Word (a separate Word document for each essay and the PT), and then email each answer separately to mcgeorgepplw@gmail.com.  The subject line of email should be:  LastName-Subject (e.g., “Smith-Crim” or “Jones-Evidence”), and documents should be saved in Word, with the same title (LastName-Subject).

We will have blue books available for those of you who are writers and for anyone whose computer malfunctions during the exam.  We anticipate that the exam should end at approximately 5pm.”

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Tant que je respire, j’attaque!

Posted by mcgeorgebarprep on February 23, 2015

It’s FINALLY here! Hopefully you have set a time today to stop studying so that you can relax and attack the exam with a fresh mind tomorrow morning. (Trust me, you’ve been studying for months; at this point a few hours will not make much, if any, difference.) As you start to wrap things up, here are a few last-minute –and hopefully repetitive — reminders:

Mind the clock!

If you forget every other suggestion you’ve heard this winter, please remember this one: DO NOT EXCEED 60 MINUTES ON ANY ESSAY QUESTION!! No good can come from spending more time on one answer at the expense of the others. A friend of mine admitted that when we took our exam, he spent about 80 minutes on the first (racehorse) question on Day 3. He got an 85% on that answer…but guess how we know that score.

Follow IRAC!

You have no greater friend on the bar exam, aside from your watch, than IRAC. Even if you encounter a “throat-clearer” issue, you can still use IRAC and make your grader happy. For example:

Common Law vs. UCC

The UCC governs the sale of goods, which are tangible, moveable objects. Since the dispute centers around the sale of a car, which is a tangible, moveable object, the UCC governs this transaction.”

That is a very short analysis, but it still follows a strict IRAC format. IRAC is what your graders will want and expect to see, so don’t deviate!

Zip your lips!

No matter how tempted you are to rush out of the test center at lunch and double-check every detail of your answers with your friends before you forget, DO NOT TALK ABOUT IT!! You know that the graders look at your answer holistically, so why bother comparing your thoughts with someone else? There is a Contracts question on file where the two released answers each decide differently on the UCC/CL issue. Can you imagine if those two applicants had discussed their answers with each other after the exam? Each would have spent the next four months fretting about failure, when in reality they wrote the published answers.

Don’t panic!

This one is difficult, but important: If you encounter a question on which you draw the dreaded blank, DO NOT PANIC. All panicking does is waste time. Instead, there are a couple of proactive measures you can take:

What would my mom say?

When I took the exam, Question 2 dealt with a topic our bar review professors promised would hardly be anywhere on the MBEs, let alone in the essays. Yet there it was. Instead of freaking out and thinking about how certain I was that I would fail (okay, maybe I did that for a minute), I thought about the question from a lay perspective: what would my mom, who never went to college, say if I asked her this question? Remember, these questions are not written to trick you. If you think about them logically, you will probably kick-start your brain and be able to pick out the issues, and even remember some (or all) of the rules.

Reverse Engineering

Those of you who took PPLW may remember this technique. If you draw a blank regarding a rule, read through the facts again with a critical eye. WHY was Fact A included? WHY was Fact B included? The Bar Examiners tailor their questions so that almost every fact can (and should) be used in an applicant’s answer. By reading through the facts and hunting for clues, you can probably “reverse engineer” the rule by picking out the facts that illustrate the elements.

Finally, and most importantly: NEVER, EVER GIVE UP!!

I was reasonably sure that I failed that second question. I’m still not convinced that I got a passing score on it, but it doesn’t really matter because I passed the exam as a whole. I was also “lucky” enough to encounter a couple of other questions (not just one) that I did not expect to see at my sitting. On top of that, I felt confident about five MBE questions. Literally, FIVE out of two hundred! But again, it doesn’t matter, because I passed as a whole.

So you encounter a curve ball, and you swing and miss. So what? That’s only one strike. If you throw down your bat and walk away, you might miss out on hitting the game-winning home run! Cheesy analogies aside, you simply have to stay positive and keep attacking each question with confidence, even if you have to fake it.

The title of this entry is a quote from Bernard Hinault, who won the Tour de France five times in the 1980s. Translated to English, it means, “As long as I breathe, I attack.” Take that attitude with you into the bar exam for the next three days, and no matter what they throw at you, don’t let it phase you. As long as you breathe, you attack.

We will be thinking of and rooting for every one of you this week!!

 

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Last Extra Feedback Essay (PR) Due Monday!

Posted by mcgeorgebarprep on February 11, 2015

The final EFP exam, Professional Responsibility, is due Monday, February 16.  PR is the one subject you are guaranteed to see on the bar exam, so don’t miss this opportunity for simulation and feedback in this commonly-tested subject!

Feb 2015 EFP Schedule

PR Question

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Note to Barbri takers:  We have been notified that this particular essay is also assigned for grading there.  We try our best to avoid such situations whenever possible and apologize for the overlap.  Regardless of where you choose to submit your answer, the most important thing is that you simulate written exams under realistic, timed conditions and compare your answers to the sample answers (on your own in addition to receiving any feedback). If you do this for as many exams as practicable, you will be well on your way to success this month!  

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Extra Feedback Contracts Exam Due Monday!

Posted by mcgeorgebarprep on January 31, 2015

The next Extra Feedback Program exam, Contracts, is due this Monday, Feb. 2.  Don’t miss this opportunity to get more writing practice and individualized feedback on your efforts!

Contracts Feb 1993 Question

Feb 2015 EFP Schedule

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