I’ve already shared that I’m taking the California Bar Exam this July (July 25-26, 2017). What I didn’t share is that I’m not doing it alone. My colleague and fellow Venjuris attorney, Robert McGee (aka Rob-tastic – no idea why I call him that), is taking it too â€“ and we’ve teamed up with Barbri to share our journey!
Partnering with Barbri
Rob and I both used Barbri to study for and pass the Arizona Bar Exam in 2014 and 2011, respectively. When we told them that we were taking another bar exam, they offered us a discount in exchange for sharing our experience studying for a bar exam while practicing law.
His and Her Bar Preps
Even though were taking the bar exam in the same state, we’re going to have substantially different prep and test experiences.
First, we’re taking different tests. Since I’ve been practicing law for more than four years, I only have to do the essay day of the exam. Rob’s only been in practice since late 2014, so he has to take the full bar exam: one day of essays, one day of multiple choice.
Second, we’re taking different Barbri programs. Rob is taking Barbri’s new Attorney Course. This is geared towards people who have recently taken another bar exam and likely remember a substantial portion of the information. Each subject has an assessment to gauge what you already know so you only have to focus on what you don’t remember. I’m taking the traditional Barbri course, because after being out six years, we assume I don’t remember much about the subject areas that are outside the scope of law I currently practice.
Third, we’re going to be traveling, especially Rob! I will be speaking at BlogHer17 in Florida for a few days in June, but Rob will be doing a 3-week trip to Barcelona for the INTA Conference followed by some much-deserved down time in Budapest and St. Petersburg. He’ll send photos letting us see where he’s studying.
Our boxes containing our Barbri workbooks arrived a few weeks ago. To celebrate the beginning of this adventures, we decided to bench press them:
Why Take Another Bar Exam? Why Now?
Almost everyone whoÂ hears that Â I’m taking the California Bar asks if I’m moving. My usual response is, â€œI’m just expanding the kingdom, not moving the castle.â€
California has strict rules about out of state lawyers taking on clients there, even for simple consults or transactional matters. I got tired of having to turn down opportunities for representation there, so when California announced that they were shortening their exam from three days to two, I decided to take it.
I asked Rob why he was subjecting himself to torture of another bar exam. He said, â€œBecause I have the time to do it now. Five years from now, family or business obligations may be eating up most of my free time. Thinking long-term, you won’t get far in life thinking â€˜I’ll just take the next opportunity to do stuff.’â€
Rob and I spent time with friends last weekend, knowing we won’t have time to see most of them until after the bar exam. Rob went camping with his friends and I did a Love and Complements Rally with Improv AZ.
According to our Barbri schedules, we don’t have to start studying until May 22nd, but we both want to get a jump on our work because we’re both going to be practicing law while we’re studying. I’m grateful to all my legal eagles who shared their tips for handling the daunting task of studying while working.
Follow our crazy journey! I’ll post an update every week through the bar exam. If you have any questions about what we’re doing, please leave it as a comment.