The California Bar Exam is not a barrier to entry:

How you study for it is…

There has been so much talk lately about how unfair the California Bar Exam is and many insist that the cut score must be changed.  Others question the exam’s efficacy and a few even maintain that the low pass rate is a result of a vast conspiracy. At ExecBar we help people navigate the waters with our thorough one day attorneys examination review course.

In recent months several Deans from various law schools petitioned the State Bar for a re-evaluation on the fairness of the exam and it supposed complexity.  That went nowhere.  Then, in recent days, the State Bar of California sent all of us licensed attorneys a survey whose results will purport to form the basis for the next generation of the  California Bar Exam.  The next generation of the Bar Exam?  What? If you actually look at the history of both the pass rate and the content of the exam you will notice that it remains stable and mostly unchanged – thereby begging the theory that the exam is not the problem, but how you study for it is.

Impossible Exam?

California has close to three hundred thousand licensed attorneys and somehow they all managed to pass what others term as an “impossible” exam.  Three hundred thousand.  That is a lot of people, and we are quite certain that they all do not possess genius level aptitudes.  If the State Bar insists on relevant input, then how about questioning how bar exam applicants’ study for the exam.  In all fairness, they did, sort of, last year by giving prospective applicants a forum to share information and learn about how others attacked the exam.  

What do law school graduates do to prepare for this exam? – The majority implement a one size fits all approach.  They cram into a room with 500 or so other exam applicants, listen to or watch a bunch of long long lectures and then go home at the end of the day wondering how in the world they will remember the over 7000 rules of law barked out to them in a 6 to 8 week time frame.   17 substantive areas of law are tested on the California Bar Exam. The main problem with “bar review” is that it is not really a review at all.  You are not reviewing the cases you studied, the notes you took, the questions you asked, and the answers your professors gave in law school.  You are starting over with a completely different methodology. 

The California Bar Exam is not like law school.  Whether it should be is a question for another time.   The California Bar Exam is simply a licensing exam.  It does not speak to your performance in law school, and it certainly does not dictate what kind of lawyer you will turn out to be.    

So how about taking a closer look at how you study for the California Bar Exam?  Stay tuned for our unique Executive Bar Review “how to” approaches. 

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The California Bar Exam is not a barrier to entry: August 27, 2019