@import url('http:// I Passed....but The Bar Exam is Still a Bitch: Round 2: July 2005
I Passed....but The Bar Exam is Still a Bitch
I took the Bar Exam more than once, several times actually, and lived to tell the tale....retakers take heart...the bar is a bitch...but not impossible...
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Round 2: July 2005
Lots of people don't pass the first time........right? That became my mantra. It still hurt like hell that I was actually sitting for the test again. Somedays I found myself in stunned disbelief and just wanted to climb under the table when the subject of the bar exam came up. I thought that I might get another letter from the bar saying they'd made a mistake. Or maybe it was my boss who thought that......he had been pretty stunned too

By this point, my attorney-boss had taken to taking me along to lunches with all his attorney buddies. After I failed the exam, he still wanted to take me to the lunches, but I was so traumatized that I wanted to hide instead....(I swear, I became alot more enlightened as the process went on, I'm just trying to do justice to the way I was feeling then, which was pretty miserable. ) I was so ashamed.

I started researching the exam on-line. I had gone with MicroMash because I could do it from home. With a three year old and living in a rural area, there was just no Bar-Bri class anywhere close for me to even consider. What I didn't realize at the time was just how bad the MicroMash program was, at least for me. I had no idea how to prepare for the essays. The MM suggestion was to: Read the Outlines. There were practice questions, but the model answers were so ridiculous that I just gave up. I memorized a little bit of law, but not too much.

Where I really spent my time was on the MBE. MicroMash really is great for that because of the software. I spent the majority of my study time with there. Probably well over 3000 questions.

So after 6 weeks of full time study with MicroMash for the second time, another failure. Yup.
My MBE's went from 123 to 164. My essay scores actually went down. Which I couldn't figure out for the life of me, I actually had spent more time reading NC law before the second exam than I had before the first. Because the ways the scores are weighted, even with the huge jump in the MBE, my overall score only changed 2 points because my essays went down about 10 points.


The weeks that followed that second rejection were odd. For the first few weeks I was ok. Then I realized that I wanted to quit my job at the law office because I couldn't stand it anymore. I went back to SAT test prep tutoring. Shortly afterward I was sitting in my kitchen thinking that I needed to sweep and make a grocery list. I started crying because I didn't think I could. I realized that I had to find a counselor because things were getting seriously out of hand......


That was October. The counseling helped. Failing two bar exams is not something that anyone chooses. It was harder on me than I like to admit. Although my slack ass attitude towards test one really set me up for failure. Plus I had an awful lot of personal shit going on. Dealing with a disintegrating marriage while failing two bar exams and trying to raise a baby by yourself....well it all weighs on you.....but that's life, yes? None of things are excuses for not passing.......
posted by Bar Bitch @ 8:51 PM  
4 Comments:
  • At 9:51 PM, March 29, 2006, Blogger Rosa said…

    Thanks for sharing your story. I failed the Bar twice and am a stay-at-home mom of 2 kids under 4. I cannot do what you are doing. You are AMAZING. And yes, what you went through to (working full time to raise your child BY YOURSELF), is good enough reason to not pass the Bar. That is a lot to do. You are obviously determined to conquer this darn exam and you will. I just took the Feb 2006 Bar (3rd try) and I get the results in May. I don't know how I did, so I will reserve comment on how to study and pass. I will definitely share what works if I pass. Please keep posting and letting us know how you are doing. "See" you soon.

     
  • At 6:09 PM, April 04, 2006, Blogger firefox said…

    Thanks for starting this blog, I didn't pass the NC bar either. I also used TSG, but didn't follow the program to the core, this time I've decided to go with mash.

    Whatever it takes, I'm ready to do!

    Anyway, have you considered doing the barbri homestudy program?

     
  • At 9:55 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Bar Bitch said…

    I think probably if someone else was telling the story I would completely agree---but we are all our toughest critics and I have never been good at not being the best at anything I do ....I was a Kaplan instructor....I wonder what they wouuld think if they knew one of their trained LSAT assassins couldn't pass the bar so far? Makes me giggle...

     
  • At 9:38 AM, September 01, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow. You got the hard knocks, kid. But you know what they say, "that which does not kill us will only make us stronger."

    FYI, my fiancee 'failed' the July 2006 NC bar examination. He used MicroMash to study but studied diligently for 2months or so. In utter disbelief he went to view his answers (I don't remember his scores but his MBE was in the 160s and he had two 2's on the essays). When he got there and looked at the model response and his response he realized that they were identical but that he used a different 'buzz word' than the model answer (but one that meant the exact same thing as the model answer's buzz word). So he showed it to the exec director who promptly informed him that there was no review process and he'd need to take it again. And of course he pointed out that they were identical but for the buzz words.

    Not only did the exec director refuse to help him, after a certain point he refused to listen anymore. With the obligatory, "there's nothing I can do to help you," the guy gets up and walks out on him.

    Well my honey felt pretty screwed as I'm sure you could imagine. He was going for an LLM in a top 20 law school at the time and everyone was getting their bar exam results back. Not fun. So as he's leaving, someone at the bar must have felt sorry for him but basically pointed out that the exec dir is really just the board's secretary. He can't do anything for him, but they can.

    So my honey comes home, reinvigorated by task. He researches each and every board members name, and wrote them a letter which he sent to each and every board member. Basically it said look, I studied for 2 months straight, got a 160 something on the MBE portion, I have two 2's on the essay and one of them is identical to the model answer. Please just look at it. Even if you don't change it, please just loook at it. Do the right thing.. Please just treat me the way you would like to be treated in this situation.

    Well fully expecting that it would make no difference at all, and preparing to retake the exam, a month or so later he gets a letter in the mail stating that he passed and welcome to the NC bar.

    So don't trust the numbers, check them out if you're putting the effort in and not getting the results. There can be mistakes made. It's a test graded by humans. It's worth the trip.

    I'm sure you're smart enough to pass. We all are.

    FYI, I see BarBri books for sale all the time on ebay.

    Heaven forbid you have to take the bar exam again but if you do, I would recommend buying the barbri essay portion for NC and studying that like it were your religion. Why? Because evenif you don't get lucky and see an identical exam question on your test you will definitely understand what they are asking for when you see their questions. Why? Because you have been studying very similar questions for the past 2 months and know what the model response to the questions are.

    Just a few thoughts. GOOD LUCK on your results.

    Oh, another more expensive tactic you could take is sitting for the NY bar which doesn't even grade your essays if you get a certain score on the MBE, and then just waiving into NC after 5 years. You can practice something in the federal administrative arena I suppose until your 5 years are up.

    The most important thing is not to get discouraged. It's just a test. You *will* pass it.
    Never underestimate the power of I R A C. IRAC is your friend. :) (Issue: state the question at hand, Rule: state the applicable rule of law, Application: apply the facts to the law, Conclusion: state the outcome based upon your analysis) You probably know all that but thought I'd toss it in there for good measure

    Good luck to you!

    Never quit, it takes all the fun out of life. ;)

     
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