Friday, November 23, 2018

Pass the Bar to Avoid Drinking at the Bar

By Victor Ward

For most of my life, the Saturday before Thanksgiving was known as Rivalry Weekend. It was the Saturday when USC played UCLA, Stanford played Cal, Michigan played Ohio State, etc.

During the late 90s, I had my own personal rivalry: The California Bar Exam. I failed the exam 5 times.

It’s a three day exam, given at the end of February and at the end of July. The February results come out at the end of May. The July results come out on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

So, my rival ruined several Thanksgiving meals for me. Think about it: You get to see a lot of friends and family over Thanksgiving, and everyone who knows that you took the exam asks the question, “Hey, are you a lawyer? Did you pass the Bar, yet?”

In my case, the question almost became a Thanksgiving tradition.

There was also a deep disappointment in thinking about studying for the next exam.

But, I finally passed on time #6.

This past Saturday, my wife and I were in Los Angeles meeting with a money management firm. We have a startup, and we went down because one of my wife’s friends knows some heavyweight LA folks, and the friend had arranged a meeting. (If I mentioned the name of the person that we went to meet, you would probably not have heard of him. If I told you about the people whose money he manages, you would definitely have heard of them. (By the way, if anyone wants to invest, please let me know.))

Again, the guy and his firm are really well-connected, so there may be a contact that leads to an investment. But, our company was not in his space, so he passed on the offer.

Since we had our fantastic babysitter watching our son for Friday night and Saturday, we decided to have an overnighter in Santa Monica.

On Saturday afternoon, on the drive back to the Bay Area, we stopped at Westwood and went to the Boiling Crab. (They have good crab if you are ever in the area.)

On the television screens was UCLA vs. USC. And, that reminded me that it was rivalry weekend.

I thought about all the times that the Bar exam had beaten me. I thought about all of the frustrations that the Bar exam had caused. And, I thought about how all of that pain and disappointment was in the past, far, far removed from my current life.

I checked to see what the Bar passage rate was: 40.7%, a  67 year low. The pass rate for first-time takers was 55%, but the pass rate for repeat takers was 16%


So, while I read the results and ate crab legs, I made a promise to myself, that I will now share with you:

I am going to release an instructional video about how to pass the Bar exam.

Now, you may be saying, “Victor, you failed the exam five times! Why would — or should — anyone listen to you when it comes to passing this test?”

That’s a good question, and here is the (partial) answer: There are several reasons why it is hard for repeat takers to pass the Bar exam, and the main reason is probably NOT that the tester needs to study harder. (He/She may need to study harder, but, I do not think that is the main reason for them not passing the test.)

There is a certain way that you need to approach the questions. I am not talking about some type of positive mentality — although that doesn’t hurt. I am talking about a specific way of answering the essay questions.

I will release my instructional video, hopefully, before the end of the year. Yes, I am busy with the startup, but this is something that I have been thinking about doing for almost 20 years, and with the passage rates this low, this is an ideal time to release the video.

Don’t expect any Academy Awards, but do expect good results. And, of course, I will give you a money-back guarantee if you don’t pass.

The video will be economical: $49. IMO, just hearing me tell my stories about my different failures is worth $49!

If you know of anyone who is trying to pass the Bar exam, please point them my way. Truth be told, this approach is helpful to pass many kinds of tests, and it is also helpful for practicing attorneys. (More on that in the instructional video.)

Victor J. Ward  first came across libertarianism by reading Murray Rothbard's Ronald Reagan: An Autopsy and Walter Block's Defending the Undefendable. He holds a law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and an MBA from Santa Clara University. He can be reached at

1 comment:

  1. Glad you (finally) made it, Victor! Good luck with your startup. Startups are fun. Lots of work but great energizer. I've done many. No regrets.