Experiences and thoughts on taking the July 2006 Bar Exam

Friday, November 17

The System

yaz: What is our system by the way?
Bruin7089: Do we really need a system?
Bruin7089: what systems are available?
yaz: Texting
Bruin7089: So text messaging is the way to go huh?
yaz: I think so
yaz: So if it is positive for both sides you can then call and go out and get wasted
Bruin7089: and what if a side fails?
Bruin7089: Gets wasted alone?
cuyaz: Then it is up to that side to call
cuyaz: Defer to failing side

Friday, July 28

Blah Blah Blah

yaz: I dont know what kind of mood I am in
yaz: Just a blah mood
Bruin7089: have to find something to do
Bruin7089: and not just something
yaz: No shit
yaz: This is day one and I want to go crazy
Bruin7089: for the past two months we've had a goal to accomplish and scheduled our days around that goal
Bruin7089: so now you have to find a new goal
yaz: Yeah it is almost an emotional let down

The MBEs Were Hard

For a lot of people. Myself included. Here's to hoping for a huge bump when it's scaled.

The Next Few Months Are Going To Be A BItch

The day before the bar exam I spoke with one of my aunts who wanted to wish me good luck but also said, "You better pass." A buddy of mine, after the first day was over, got, "How did you do?" and "Did you know all of the answers?" After the bar was over the first question my mom asked me was, "How are you?" second question "So how did you do?" third question "Did you know all of the questions?"

Sunday, July 23

My Best To All This Week

I don't mean to be overly dramatic over some silly little test, I merely continue a tradition in hopes of inspiring those who may harbor doubts over the coming days. And no matter the results, having experienced this firsthand, I respect all who give it their best shot.

Good luck to all taking the bar exam this week.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian.'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispian's day.'
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

Saturday, July 22

Some Advice

For those precious few moments left before the exam and during.

What To Pack?

At least a couple of people are ahead of me on this task.

Friday, July 21

Some Nice Ground Rules

Nothing against the well-meaning words of support but for some reason it doesn't seem to help and is becoming more annoying than anything else for some reason. And please help out afterwards, as we try to forget about the bar exam as soon as possible by never reminding us of how the summer of '06 was spent.

Some Great Quotes About The Bar

The bar exam, however, is not law school, and it is not the practice of law. It is a contorted alternate universe where mediocre and good enough are the proven roads to success. As such, now is the time to stop trying to be perfect and to get comfortable with your mediocrity.
--David Galalis, Massachusetts

Like the Super Bowl the key is not to bury the opposition but to play not to lose. Not going to matter if you passed by 1 point or 100 points. Nobody will know or care. I think the 2 keys are reading and not freaking out. This is a mind game. So don't fall for it. Relax focus and visualize.
--John Davidson

My biggest fear about the bar exam was the number of people who were convinced it would not be difficult for me. While I mostly agreed with the assessment, I was worried about the effect of that assumption proving invalid.
--Darrell G. Stewart, San Antonio, Texas

Thursday, July 20

It's European

No laptop bags allowed into the testing centers so I suppose I need a men's carryall version of the bar exam purse.

Wednesday, July 19

Embrace Feeling Stupid

I found the following relatable:
In science, feeling confused is essential to progress. An unwillingness to feel lost, in fact, can stop creativity dead in its tracks. A mathematician once told me he thought this was the reason young mathematicians make the big discoveries. Math can be hard, he said, even for the biggest brains around. Mathematicians may spend hours just trying to figure out a line of equations. All the while, they feel dumb and inadequate. Then one day, these young mathematicians become established, become professors, acquire secretaries and offices. They don't want to feel stupid anymore. And they stop doing great work.
Hopefully, after the bar is over and we've felt more than our fair share, we won't mind feeling dumb and inadequate again.

At Least We Have Our Health

Tuesday, July 18

Yes, I've Lived A Very Charmed Life Up Until Now

Seeing that I haven't had malaria had an acid bug fall on my face; been jumped by five muggers at the same time; or puked into my own diarrhea; I would probably have to put studying for the bar high up on my unpleasant experiences list.

Bar Exam Math

Sunday, July 16

It's No Big Deal

Pardons board member Jesse Gallegos has withdrawn as the governor's nominee to head the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice after telling legislators he never took the bar exam, when actually he had failed it.

"It's something I forgot doing," Gallegos said Wednesday. "It's something that people find hard to believe, but that's what happened."

"I forgot that I took the bar exam and failed it," Gallegos said.
If it's forgettable, how big of a deal could it be? So no worries ok?

Thursday, July 13

I Hope There Isn't A Swimming Section

The Wall Street Journal takes notice of the misery and links to this essay, an excerpt:
The California Bar provides a list of twenty-three approved items, including "up to two pillows without cases," "silent analog watches, timers and clocks not measuring larger than 4x4 inches or smaller," and "ear plugs or plastic material normally associated with the sport of swimming." Huh? Is there a swimming section on the California bar exam? Maybe that's why so many people fail. Or maybe they fail because the questions are written by the same guy who wrote the "not measuring larger than 4x4 inches or smaller" clause. That leaves clocks measuring… exactly 4x4 inches? I guess so. It must stem from some episode in which a test taker tried to wheel in a "good luck" grandfather clock. Or something.

Even putting aside the hours of enjoyment you can have packing your test-day clear plastic storage bag, preparing for the bar exam isn't a heck of a lot of fun. Most people say the worst part is doing hundreds and hundreds of practice multiple choice questions, but I think the worst part is how doing those multiple choice questions makes you feel about the world. Nothing good ever happens to the people in practice bar exam questions. Everyone who crosses the street gets hit by a car, every doctor botches the surgery, parachutes never open, contracts never get fulfilled, anyone who uses a lawnmower ends up in the hospital, as soon as you write a will your whole family dies, employee benefit plans never pay out their benefits, computers all get viruses, your friends are always intoxicated, stealing your farm equipment, and driving it into the barn, police search you all the time for no good reason, you can never find a good place to hide your weapons, banks never recognize a signature as a forgery, and the forger always flees the country.

Bar Exam Essay Predictions Are Out

Of course there's this little disclaimer from the guy who makes the predictions for Barbri:
There's just no guaranteeing which subjects they'll actually test on. And as Sakai says, he does these predictions for fun - there's no method to how he actually comes up with his predictions - it's just a hunch from looking at what's been tested in the past.

And I just have to mention that for the July 2004 bar, he was completely wrong. On all but two counts. Sorry, but I ain't playing those odds.
And there are even a couple of conspiracy theories out there.
Don't believe essay predictions from Sakai at BarBri or anyone else. It's my opinion that the CalBar Examiners are now actively trying to throw off people who look for patterns. Be ready for anything.
Should I have taken the BAR/BRI predictions about what would be on the test? Absolutely not (I'm convinced Sakai is working for the State Bar).
Anyway, here's one set of non-BarBri predictions for the California bar exam essays:
  • Corporations,
  • Evidence,
  • Professional Responsibility,
  • Constitutional Law,
  • Community Property, and
  • Remedies.
And if I remember correctly, BarBri's predictions are:
  • Corporations,
  • Evidence,
  • Criminal Procedure,
  • Trusts/Professional Responsibility,
  • Community Property, and
  • Constitutional Law
Do with those lists as you please. And for many more predictions that will make your head spin, you can go over here. From a quick glance at that message board, it appears that Con Law, Evidence and Professional Responsibility are a consensus pick to be on the Bar.

Tuesday, July 11

Great Question

I'd go through everything on Paul's list. But I wouldn't go through everything imagineable - I mean seriously, an armadillo? So I do have my limits, though I would probably go through that whole armadillo thing too.

Monday, July 10

I Guess This Is One Way To Get Motivated

Don't kill the tiny people.
I also dreamed I was taking the MBE, but it graded itself as you went along, and every time I got a wrong answer these little tiny people on the page would be hanged. No pressure! So I was sitting there getting all the answers wrong and all the little people were crying and begging me to save them and I was sobbing about how stupid I am and killing them all.
I'm fairly certain that this imagery is going to seep into my own bar exam studies.

Inside Exhibit Hall B

This is where I'll be taking my exam. For more videos about the Ontario Convention Center click here. And yes, I'll be staying at the Marriott which means I'll have to deal with this.

Sunday, July 9

People Will Use Anything As An Excuse To Take A Break From Studying For The Bar

I like to use sleeping, eating, going to the gym, going #1 or #2, watching tv, blogging, reading blogs and other websites, daydreaming about life after the bar, people watching at Starbucks, napping, listening to music, figuring out the meaning to life, and watching paint dry as valid reasons to take a break from studying.


Too bad it's not an acceptable response to any essay or MPT.

Thursday, July 6

Every Minute Helps

Bathroom? Who has time to go to the bathroom during the bar exam? That would take too much precious test time. I'm bringing some empty water bottles or if that's not allowed then a pair of Depends will do.