My Journey to Passing the Bar Exam: Resources

Here’s a list of what I’ve used to pass the California Bar Exam:

  1. Babri Extended 6-Month Bar Prep (I would have done the 10-Month one if I could). I signed up early and ended up getting a $600 discount. It is a high investment, but it is worth it, in my opinion.
  2. AdaptiBar (it was included with the Barbri Prep). This was everything to me. I was able to do questions before I slept, on my phone, computer or iPad. Even if you are not taking Barbri, you can still get it.
  3. CriticalPass (also included with Babri Prep). This was really helpful because knowing the rules was one of my weak spots. I used the digital and physical version. I was able to answer one of my Essays because of reading the Constitutional flashcards several times on the Stairmaster before I FINALLY started getting it. I also used it a lot during open book practice to quickly refresh my memory. One way that I learned a lot was trying to do questions and, once I got confused, doing research and bridging my gaps. I used the flashcards a lot for this because it was easy to find the content.
  4. Essay Exam Writing for the California Bar (a friend gave me a copy of this book and it was a lifesaver). This book was SO good to me. I used my Babri essay book along with this. It was very helpful during the initial phase of practicing because I was still trying to grasp. The most helpful was the explanation of the essay. Not the outlining, not the model answer. They would explain the question and that really helped me because I have to understand what is going on to learn. Simply memorizing is not my strongest suit, so this was specially helpful to me! It was also GREAT for open book practice because of their outlines with rules. This helped me practice my analysis skills even before I mastered rules. One tip they give you in the Bar prep is that you can make up rules, the analysis is the true queen of the essay! So, it was crucial for me.
  5. Bar Exam Essay Rules (I got this when I identified I needed to know the rules, before I got the critical pass flashcards). I didn’t rely on it as much as the other ones. However, I did read it a couple of times and I also listened to the audiobook – specially on the plane or while taking a nap. The author has his own approach to the Bar Exam and it didn’t marry well with what I was doing. However, it’s GREAT and worth checking out to see if it will work for you!
  6. JD Advising (I attended a couple of their seminars). They offer their own MBE approach – which differs from the Barbri teaches early one. I heard about it only when I was way deep in the Barbri MBE mode and, honestly, I liked it better for me and my mind. However, you might want to give it a try and see what’s best for you. I read a lot of articles in their page and they were super helpful to me. I also attended some seminars getting closer to the exam and I took their free MBE questions.
  7. MindMaps (I would draw mind maps to organize information in my head). I used my iPad and pen/paper – depending on my mood. I used specially the outlines from the Barbri Book or the Essay book to “place” concepts and keys in an organized way so I would have a “mental checklist” for the Essay. VERY HELPFUL! Having an organized approach to the essay portion is VERY important so you don’t panic and waste time.
  8. California Rules of Professional Responsibility (I used the physical book at my School library). I am a codified legal landscape trained attorney and so just reading codes helps me a lot. With Professional Responsibility, YOU KNOW it’s going to be on the essay. So, you want to make sure you practice. Here, the analysis wasn’t the problem for me, but really knowing the rules and details. This was the best way for me to “memorize” and learn it!
  9. Raims Library (My school is my favorite place on earth). I used to go to my school ALMOST every day. I rarely wouldn’t be there. This was very helpful! Having a go-to space really put me in the right mood every time and having that routine helped me a lot. The environment really sets my mood!
  10. Past Exams and Selected Answers (I spent a LOT of time reading essays and sample/answers). This helped me become familiar with essays and how to approach it. Reading essays was one way that really helped me understand the structure and analysis better. I found a website that had essays back to 1987. I DO NOT recommend it going down that rabbit hole. However I did move past the ones offered in the Bar Exam – they are specially linked in Bar Prep websites. I just used google to look for a specific essay that I had on my Barbri essay book that I wanted to read the selected answer for.



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