Bar Exams

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Ed. note: This post was originally published on July 17, 2007. We republish it today, with a few updates added, to remind our readers taking the bar exam later this month that even though you surely won’t fail — especially if you’re having fun studying — even failing the bar won’t stop you from having a spectacular career, in the law or elsewhere. Good luck!

We recently wrote about Paulina Bandy, that poor creature who failed the California bar exam thirteen times, before finally passing it on try #14. Her story seems to have freaked out some of you who are sitting for the bar exam later this month.

Relax. Take a deep breath. You won’t wind up in a 365-square-foot shack in your mom’s backyard. Chances are, you will pass. And even if you fail the bar once or twice, you’re still not on your way towards Paulina Bandy-dom.

As it turns out, a number of well-known individuals — some famous for their accomplishments in law, and others for different reasons — didn’t pass the bar on the first (or even second) try….

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Ed. note: Please welcome Above the Law’s guest conversationalist, Zach Abramowitz, of blogcasting platform ReplyAll. You can see some of his other conversations and musings here.

I’ve used this conversational pulpit to whine about first-world problems like law school exams, Biglaw summer programs, and the like. But if there was one part of my legal experience that I truly enjoyed, it was studying for the bar exam. And one of the main reasons that I loved studying for the bar — I will get into the others soon — was the man who bookends the BARBRI courses each year with his lectures on Torts and Family Law: Roger Schechter. In the conversation posted below, I’ll learn a little more about the man who’s had prospective bar exam takers cracking up in their seats for the last 24 years, and see if he has any other suggestions for making bar study more fun and rewarding — oh, and making sure you pass!

Professor Schechter and I will be creating this conversation using ReplyAll over the course of the week, so check back as the conversations develops. And now, without further ado, the conversation:

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Making Bar Study Fun! A Conversation With BARBRI’s Comedic Lecturer Roger Schechter”

Ed. note: This post comes to us from Professor Joseph Marino, Executive Director of Marino Legal Academy.

I have never met a student that failed the bar exam because they did not know enough law. They failed because they could not score points with the law they knew.

JFK, Jr. failed the bar exam twice with other bar courses, receiving MBE scores of 117 and 118 (scaled), before skyrocketing to a 167 score after some one-on-one time with a trained Marino Tutor and having learned my MBE method.

In the last few weeks of your bar studies, you should focus on how to score points. I call this the “memory and exam performance” part of bar review. Exam Performance Training is learning how to score points. Marino Legal Academy has several well-tested tools to boost your ability to score points on the bar exam…

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* The criminal codes violated in Transformers: Age of Extinction. Violations of the code of good filmmaking not included. [The Legal Geeks]

* Remember the guy who turned Justice Ginsburg’s Hobby Lobby dissent into a song? It turns out he’s been recording a song a day since 2009 and that was his first hit. Congrats! Hopefully next Term Justice Alito can declare suffocating orphans constitutional so this guy can have a follow-up. [Music.mic]

* How to end an internship? The key is drunkenly denouncing all your bosses in public. Oh, how to end an internship positively? Well, then I’m going to need some advice. [Corporette]

* Fracking interests have a new plan to promote the well-being of those living in affected areas: pay them $50,000 to grant universal releases. This doesn’t make fracking sound dangerous at all. [Pro Publica]

* Hey folks taking the New York bar exam at the Javits Center! Order your lunch. [Custom Gourmet]

* Insurance companies are asking American customers to go to Tijuana for medical care. “I know you need heart surgery, but have you considered how awesome it would be to take in a donkey show after your release?” [New Republic]

* Mitchell Epner, who is basically our Donald Sterling beat reporter, has a recap of the first day of the proceedings. [mitchellepner]

* Conviction for multiple sexual assaults “can be the basis of an interim suspension of his law license.” Seems like that should be a little more definite. [Legal Profession Blog]

* One of the underappreciated challenges in state and local governance is the inability to permalink statutes. [Government Executive]

* For all of you gearing up for the bar exam, take heart that failure isn’t the end of the world. At least if you fail with a last name like “Roosevelt” or “Kennedy.” [Buzzfeed]

* Hobby Lobby may be behind us, but there are still anti-ACA cases on the horizon. [The Advisory Board Company]

* Morning Docket noted Neal Katyal’s op-ed suggesting the Supreme Court was less divided these days. Consider this a detailed response. [mitchellepner]

* Thoughts on Kitchen v. Herbert. [Pollvogtarian]

* The great unpaid internship revolt is on. And based on Harris, we should expect the working stiff’s got a great chance here. [Capital New York]

* Some right-wing college paper is bent out of shape that a full law professor teaching one class (and running a clinic) is paid over $200,000. That salary actually doesn’t sound all that shocking. Now what would be interesting (though these folks probably wouldn’t care) is how that salary stacks up to his female colleagues’ pay. [The College Fix]

* Ever see Jimmy Kimmel’s “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets” sketch? Here’s video of professors reading mean evaluations… [TaxProf Blog]

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The Socratic method is the marathon racing of law school: Greek, very few people like it, those that do are way too into it to be healthy, and the best thing you can say about it is that the first guy who did it died. But law professors continue to sing its virtues thousands of years down the road, even after evidence begins to mount that it puts some students at a distinct disadvantage.

That’s why it’s an event to see law professors argue on an Internet board about the merits of the Socratic method as an instructional strategy….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Former Law Prof Says, ‘The Socratic Method Is A Sh**ty Method Of Teaching’”

Mid-June and approximately six weeks to the bar exam.  If you are only mildly stressed right now, don’t worry, it will get worse, and worse, and yet worse, with, if you are like me, successive panic apexes interspersed with periods of apathy.  A wonderful cycle.  

This column doesn’t usually come with advice, but for your sanity I recommend taking a week off after your bar review course during which you don’t crack the books at all. It might help to have a facilitator ensuring you are perpetually inebriated during that time, so you won’t be tempted. All I can say is it worked for me….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Qui Tam: A Bar Exam Horror Story”

We know how much our readers love rankings, so this is probably a good time to let you know that the National Jurist has released its eighth annual list of the law schools thought to offer the “Best Value” to law students — usually a list dominated by public schools with a smattering of private schools. The magazine also released its second annual list of the “best value” private law schools at the same time.

The Best Value ranking system typically takes into account a law school’s tuition (weighted 25 percent), students’ cost of living expenses (10 percent), students’ average indebtedness upon graduation (15 percent), the percentage of graduates who got a job after graduation (35 percent), and bar passage rates (15 percent).

What’s so exciting about this year’s list? For starters, the list of the overall “Best Value” list includes the most private law schools to date, in part due to the fact that average indebtedness is down since law schools started tossing out scholarships like Mardi Gras beads just to convince students to enroll.

Let’s take a look at the 2014 “Best Value” rankings…

Please note the UPDATE on the second page of this post.

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If you appreciate the information and entertainment provided by Above the Law, please send us tips. You can reach us by email or by text message (646-820-8477).

Sometimes folks ask us, “What’s in it for me?” For example, on last week’s story about the epic UVA email screw-up, one reader wondered why UVA students told us about it in the first place.

Well, venting about something can be therapeutic. But sometimes tipping ATL can help people out in more specific and concrete ways. Here’s a great story involving a reader who emailed us about a problem that we helped to get fixed….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Happy News From The D.C. Bar (Or: Why You Should Send Tips To Above The Law)”

Stanford grads chilling around campus while studying for the bar exam received the grim news that the school was cutting off their access to the gym and pool. Not a huge shock since these folks are technically no longer students. Is this worth making a big deal out of? Meh. I mean, they’ve just indebted themselves to the tune of $130K+, so it’s not entirely unreasonable for the school to let them take a swim for an extra month. Especially for the subset of students still paying to live on-campus as opposed to just living in the area. On the other hand, school’s over. You have to expect to leave the nest some time, kids.

In any event, nothing engenders more sympathy for a cause than an over-the-top, petty response from a bureaucrat drunk on her own meager power. As they say, fights in academia are so vicious precisely because the stakes are so small.

And the dean and students trade barbs over a string of emails….

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