McGeorge Bar Prep

What You Need to Succeed on the CA Bar Exam

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For Those Not Celebrating Yet

Posted by mcgeorgebarprep on November 19, 2016

While we are thrilled for those who received positive results last night, we are mindful of those who are not celebrating yet.  If that applies to you, please know first that this score does NOT define you or your ability to have a successful career.  More tremendously successful lawyers than I can count were not successful on their first CA Bar Exam (previous Dean of Stanford Law, anyone?).

When you receive your score sheet, you are welcome to take a picture of it and email it to me so I can review it and see if it suggests any areas on which to focus moving forward.  If you plan to take the February 2017 exam and graduated from McGeorge, I encourage you to participate in the free Extra Feedback Program, the schedule for which will be posted here on the blog as soon as it is ready (likely later in December).  Any McGeorge graduate in the area also is welcome at the upcoming bar lectures held on campus:  Belia Ramos will host “Bar Exam 101” on Dec. 14 at 6:00 p.m., and “Sterile IRAC” on Jan. 3 or Jan. 11, also at 6:00 p.m. (RSVP & get room info at

If you do plan to forge ahead and attack the February exam, do yourself a favor and make the most of the next few weeks.  It may be tempting to put things off and give yourself a break until after the holidays, but that will cause you to lose over a month of time — which, as you know, makes a big difference!  You don’t necessarily have to dive in at 100% right now, but sit down and make a definitive plan for how you will use this time to your advantage.  Just saying generally that you’re going to “study” won’t cut it.

For example, there are 42 days (six weeks) from November 20 until January 1.  If I were studying during that time, I might focus first on the seven MBE subjects, devoting six days to each.  Here is a sample breakdown:

Day 1: 10 Con Law MBEs with quality answer review, making flash cards or notes for those rules, and review 1/3 of the substantive Con Law outline & make flash cards or notes

Day 2: Same (10 Con Law MBEs w/ answer review and second third of the Con Law outline, adding to flash cards/notes)

Day 3: Same (10 Con Law MBEs w/ answer review and final third of the Con Law outline, adding to flash cards/notes)

Day 4: 20 Con Law MBEs with quality answer review & flash cards/notes

Day 5: Review flash cards/notes; write & review 1 Con Law essay

Day 6: Day off (It’s okay to take a day off now, but don’t take a day off each week during “crunch time” in January & February!)

[Repeat for the other six subjects]

You might think this schedule is light compared to how you studied last summer, and it is; the holidays are busy, and you should spend time with loved ones if you can.  Quality review of the MBE subjects — to re-familiarize yourself with them, not to memorize them yet — will give you a solid foundation moving forward into the more intense study period after the new year when you do need to start memorizing, and it will reduce the likelihood of burnout.

That said, make the time your own.  You know yourself best, so focus on your weak areas first so you can revisit them more often later, and if you want to do more, go for it.  Just make some kind of daily schedule for yourself so you will be far more likely to make it happen.

If you would like to set up an appointment to discuss your schedule or preparation strategies, you are welcome to email me and we can arrange it.  Either way, I wish you all the best moving forward!



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