The BarGraders essays and feedback helped me sharpen my IRAC skills for the Bar Exam. The insightful comments and model essays were extremely helpful in my preparation. My tutor, was extremely helpful in her comments and was readily available for specific questions along the way. Thanks!
Concord Law School - 2-time repeater, Member of CA Bar
UCLA - 1 time repeater, Member of CA Bar
I wanted to let my Bar Grader know how grateful I am as I watch my writing slowly get better. I made it through law school without ever learning how to write an essay.
Usually I have to be married to someone before I will let them treat me as badly as she has. My ego has more bruises than a blind boxing team. But for the first time, I understand what to do with the legal knowledge in my head.
San Joaquin College of Law - 3-time repeater, Member of CA Bar
Loyola Law School, Los Angeles - 1-time repeater, Member of CA Bar
I just wanted to send a quick note to thank you and all the staff at BarGraders for helping me prepare for the July exam. I can't tell you what a difference it made in increasing my confidence level and the way I approached the questions. The real proof will come in November, of course, but I can say without a doubt that the process of taking the practice exams and immediately seeing what a model answer would look like and receiving the grader feedback helped me (finally!) to understand how the questions are supposed to be answered and what I'd previously been doing wrong. It was almost enjoyable to tackle the questions this time - whew! Can't believe I just said that.
William Mitchell College of Law - 3-time repeater, Member of CA Bar
For those who struggle on the essay portion, check out BarGraders.com. You will not find a better essay program. They grade you realistically and score you on each element of IRAC separately. You will learn the style to pass the CA bar exam.
I have to laugh at the people that whine about errors in the model answers. It is all about learning the system. Right now you are a bar taker not a bar grader.
Loyola Law School, Los Angeles - 3-time repeater, Member of CA Bar
The first time that I took the bar, I scored around the bottom 15% for essays. The second time, BarGraders put me over the top. Your system was professional, fast, and I am very, very satisfied. When my general bar review course reviewed my essays, feedback took weeks, and even then it was far less informative than you were. Your system is excellent and I would recommend this course to anyone thinking about taking the California bar. I strongly feel that your course is the best possible way to study for the California bar essays. This is especially true when used in conjunction with a substance review book, such as the Conviser Review.
I took my attorney's oath last week.
University of San Francisco - 1-time repeater, Member of CA Bar
I found out about BarGraders from a friend who told me her tutor was fantastic at providing feedback on essays. I sent her my 6 essays from the July 06 bar exam and she set up a two hour tutoring session with me. In those two hours I learned more about what's expected to achieve a winning score on the bar, than any commercial prep course I took. She methodically went through each essay, pointing out the flaws and red flags in my writing that were causing me to fail. She provided me with starting points for developing my thoughts and organizing my paragraphs. I'm so happy I went with BarGraders it definitely helped me get past the hardest bar exam in the country.
John F. Kennedy Law School - 1-time repeater, Member of CA Bar
I just want to say thank you for helping me with my essays. I passed the bar in February and will take my oath next Tuesday.
I don't think I would have figured out a winning formula for a passing essay and I don't believe I would have passed if it was not for you and the rest of the graders... this is the closest thing one can get to the real bar exam.
Thanks again for everything, and keep up the good work. I owe it all to you guys.
University of Denver Law School - 1-time repeater, Member of CA Bar
Thank you so much for your input and advice through BarGraders. Even though I was a little freaked out and a little hesitant to study as hard as you recommended during our failed exam session, you totally scared me into it. Thank you.
Also, the feedback I got from the BarGraders graders was very helpful. It allowed me to see what I was missing. It also made it easier to start the essays, which I always dreaded during my other bar review course the first time around. Oh, and of course the 5-step approach totally made a difference in how I attacked each exam. This is a little embarrassing to admit, but I'm not sure I totally got IRAC until BarGraders. When I realized just how formulaic it was, I felt like a veil had been lifted on the essay section. I think I'm a better writer in general now, so I don't regret having to do the exam twice, I learned so much more this time.
So relieved, can't believe I can move on.
Golden Gate University - 1-time repeater, Member of CA Bar
I credit BarGraders for having helped me pass this time around. The graded practice essays and feedback gave me the info I needed to write a passing essay. With lots of practice, I formed the technique and organization I needed to pass on the second try. Thank you!
1-time repeater, Member of CA Bar
I am convinced that the secret to passing the bar is to practice writing a ton of essays. I would not have been motivated to do this without the help of bargraders.com. Getting immediate scores and helpful feedback on my essays fired me up to do more essays and improve my performance so I could get more favorable feedback from the graders. Sick as it is, it got to the point where I'd wake up every morning excited to find my daily "bargraders.com: essay graded" email in my inbox. It was the only thing I had to look forward to during those miserable months. I got to know certain individual graders, even though I've never actually spoken to them and have no idea what they look like. Their comments were extremely helpful and sometimes even made me laugh. Most importantly, I knew their comments were trustworthy because all the graders are actual former bar exam graders. In the end, I entered the bar knowing exactly what the graders were looking for. I just found out I passed last week. I'm on cloud nine, and I owe it all to BarGraders."
UCLA - 1-time repeater, Member of CA Bar
I was a student in your course for this Feb exam. I passed the exam on my second try. I sincerely believe that your course helped tremendously in improving my writing. I think you guys are doing a great service by providing us (law students) with knowledge of what actual bar graders are looking for.
UC Hastings - 1-time repeater, Member of CA Bar
Thank you BarGraders! I was a 6 time bar taker. Each bar, my scores/ results were low in both the essay and PT portions of the bar. I took your course twice. The first time I took it, I did not take it very serious. Only did a couple essays and did not review nor study the feed back BarGraders provided. The second time I took your course, I made it my # 1 focus for my studies. I still studied multis too, however, my priority was essays. I learned the law from writing your essays. The best way to learn was by application of the law while writing. WOW!! I was told that hundreds of times but always felt that I had to study outlines, I was wrong. For this last bar, I wrote, and wrote, and wrote....and now, Im finally done writing for the State Bar FOREVER. BarGraders' feed back to each and every essay I submited was truly the key to my success. Thank you BarGraders!
6-time repeater, passed June 2013
I would highly recommend taking BarGraders if you are a repeat test taker or simply want to make sure you pass the bar exam on the first try. I failed the bar exam by nine points and it was solely due to my poor performance on the essay portion of the bar. However, BarGraders gave me all the preparation I needed to pass the Bar! I was given detailed feedback within 48 hours and they rated my progress. Plus, it was nice to know it was actual bar graders who were giving me the feedback. As my essay scores went up, so did my confidence. When I started out my essays were in the 55 range, but when I took my final essays I was scoring in the 75's & 80's. Also, the essays were very similar to the questions I actually saw on the bar. I wish I knew about BarGraders before I failed the bar as I know I wouldn't have had to spend the time and money to take the bar again.
Golden Gate University - 1-time repeater, Member of CA Bar
BarGraders is an excellent program that provides students with outstanding feedback on each and every essay that the student prepares. With your program, I was not surprised that I passed the California Bar Exam. I appreciated the fact that your graders were tough with their grading, yet provided concrete examples of how I could improve. You have my unqualified recommendation.
Southwestern Law School - 1-time repeater, Member of CA Bar
Thank you so much. I think BarGraders Practice Essays taught me that I have to deliver the material in a particular format... and really brought that concept home. Equally as important was the timed aspect. An essay had to be finished within the hour... no delays, no holdovers... It is a terrific program. But again, many thanks for your support and personal attention!
USF - 4-time repeater, Member of CA Bar
UCLA - 1 time repeater, Member of CA Bar
Far and away the best decision I made concerning the bar. It is a commitment, but it is also the most comprehensive way to study for the daunting essay portion of the unnerving California Bar exam. As an out of state law student I knew I was already a step behind and only wanted to take the bar once. BarGraders made sure that happened.
6-time repeater, Member of CA Bar
measure of an applicant's ability
In a notice recently published by the Committee of Bar Examiners, and available on the CA State Bar website, the new 2-day CA Bar Exam will continue to be designed to measure an applicant's ability to analyze legal issues arising from fact situations.
With respect to the essay questions, an applicant's answer must demonstrate minimum competency, meaning the answer must show knowledge and understanding of the pertinent principles and theories of law being tested, their qualifications and limitations, and their relationships to each other. In the words of the Bar Examiners, "The answer should evidence the applicant's ability to apply the law to the given facts, and to reason in a logical, lawyerlike manner from the premises adopted to a sound conclusion. An applicant should not merely show that he/she remembers the legal principles, but should demonstrate his/her proficiency in using and applying them."
With respect to the Performance test questions, an applicant's Performance Test answer is graded on its compliance with instructions, and on its content, thoroughness, and organization. In the words of the Bar Examiners, "The measure of passing goes to an applicant's ability to:
1. Sift through detailed factual material and separate relevant from irrelevant facts, assess the consistency and reliability of facts, and determine the need for and source of additional facts;
2. Analyze the legal rules and principles applicable to a problem and formulate legal theories from facts that may be only partly known and are being developed;
3. Recognize and resolve ethical issues arising in a practical situation;
4. Apply problem solving skills to diagnose a problem, generate alternative solutions, and develop a plan of action; and
5. Communicate effectively, whether advocating, advising a client, eliciting information, or effectuating a legal transaction."
If you would like a PDF of the Professional Responsibility February 2017 California Exam Question #5, please enter your email address, and you'll be able to download the guidelines thereafter.
The Committee utilizes a grading procedure designed to ensure that the difficulty of passing the exam remains unchanged from one administration of the exam to another. The statistical technique, called scaling, converts scores on the written portion to the same scale of measurement as the MBE.
MBE scores are reported on a scale ranging from 0 to 2000 points. On the written section of the exam, applicants are graded initially on a basis of 700 possible raw points: 100 points for each of the 5 essay questions, and 200 points for the Performance Test.
The scores obtained on the written section are then translated to the 2000-point MBE scale. An applicant's total score is the scale MBE score (on the 1000-point scale) multiplied by .50 plus the converted score on the written section multiplied by .50. Scaling ensures the two portions of the exam carry the relative weights assigned to them: written (50%) and MBE (50%).
For more information related to the description and grading of the CA Bar Exam, please go to the CA State Bar web site for the full content of this notice published by the Committee of Bar Examiners.