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Bar Preparation & Mentoring

Practical Analysis, Strategies, & Skills (PASS) Courses

McGeorge offers three courses to students in their final year of law school to help them begin preparing for the upcoming bar exam: PASS I, PASS II, and PASS III.

PASS I is a 10-week, two (2)-unit course that focuses on the essay and MBE (multiple choice) portions of the CA Bar Exam. Students in PASS I practice using real past CA Bar Exam essay questions, receiving extensive individual written and oral feedback concerning critical reading skills, issue identification, answer organization, time management, use of IRAC, and crafting effective rule statements, factual analyses, and conclusions. Students review selected areas of substantive law commonly tested on the CA Bar and complete regular homework assignments using Adaptibar online MBE software, to which they retain access until their bar exam date. CA Bar Exam procedures, standards, and techniques are explained and practiced. PASS I is required for students in Directed Study, but all McGeorge students in their final year of law school are strongly encouraged to enroll in either the fall or spring.

PASS II is a one (1)-unit elective course that immediately follows PASS I in the final four (4) weeks of the semester. Students in PASS II learn and practice the specific skills necessary to write performance tests successfully on the CA Bar Exam. Students in PASS II receive extensive individualized feedback concerning critical reading skills, answer outlining and time management, answer structure and tone, and effective objective and persuasive use of facts and law. CA Bar Exam procedures, standards, and techniques are explained and practiced. PASS II is not required for graduation, but all McGeorge students in their final year of legal study are strongly encouraged to enroll in either the fall or spring. Completion of PASS I is a prerequisite, and students may take both courses in the same semester.

PASS I and II are graded on a pass/fail basis and are designed so that students may take both in the same semester: PASS I in the first ten (10) weeks, and PASS II in the final four (4) weeks. PASS students must be in their final year of study at McGeorge, but students do not need to wait until the semester before taking the bar exam to take PASS I or II. In fact, many spring graduates who took PASS I and II in the fall report that doing so helped them improve their law school exam writing in the spring.

PASS III is a three (3)-unit, graded elective course offered in the spring semester that focuses on the substantive law of three subjects that graduates preparing for the bar exam typically find most challenging: Civil Procedure, Contracts, and Real Property. PASS III is a "flipped" class, meaning that students view substantive lectures online prior to attending class, and spend the majority of class time simulating and reviewing practice exams. The course is fast-paced, covering each subject in four weeks, and uses materials and an online platform for course content and assessments provided by Themis Bar Review.

All three PASS courses are offered as a precursor to—not a replacement for—enrollment in a post-graduation commercial bar review course. Enrollment in a commercial bar review course facilitates the organized study of all testable subjects that is essential to bar success. If you would like to discuss your commercial bar review course options, you are welcome to contact Professor Lee.

Bar Exam Attack Track (BEAT)

McGeorge graduates taking the bar for the first time also may participate in the Bar Exam Attack Track (BEAT) program, a supplemental bar review program offered after graduation in the winter and summer that creates opportunities for more simulated practice, written feedback, and individual counseling. BEAT allows participants to write practice exams more often and sooner than they otherwise might, but it is meant to work with the commercial bar review program schedules, not to add work to an already-loaded study plan. Due to its supplemental design, BEAT does not replace enrollment in a commercial bar review course. BEAT is open to first-time bar applicants, and admission is by application only. Check your Pacific email often during your final semester of law study for application information.

Extra Feedback Program

McGeorge graduates not participating in BEAT may participate in the free Extra Feedback Program (EFP) instead. Alumni taking advantage of the EFP submit designated essay and performance test practice exams for detailed, individualized written feedback. Exams used in the EFP are the same as those used in BEAT, but the EFP is completed online, allowing for greater flexibility. This program is open to all McGeorge alumni, regardless of whether they are taking the bar for the first time, and there is no application or RSVP necessary. Please watch the McGeorge Bar Prep Blog and/or "McGeorge Bar Prep" Facebook Page for the schedule, which will be posted shortly after graduation.

Individual Counseling

Professor Lee is available to counsel students and alumni who are studying to pass the California Bar Examination, whether they are taking it for the first time or trying again. Professor Lee welcomes students and graduates to meet with her to discuss their choices of commercial bar review programs, their extracurricular or work schedules during bar preparation, how to communicate with their families and loved ones concerning the support they will need, and anything else related to their bar success.


Courtney Lee, Professor of Lawyering Skills, Director of Bar Support
Email | 916.739.7242