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students take the test

Good luck on the July Bar Exam!

Hello everyone!

Whether you’re taking the Cal Bar or the UBE, I wanted to wish everyone good issue spotting, solid outlining, and analytical (and not conclusory!) analysis.  You can do it!


Arrive early.  Masks optional, but if you bring one, no writing on it.  Stay on time during the test.  Bring your admission ticket without writing on it.  NEVER USE YOUR CELL PHONE IN THE EXAM ROOM!  Good luck to everyone!



Test answer sheet with pencil. Examination test. Education conce

Friday before the Bar Exam! Mock exam deadline is TODAY! Masks optional

Hello y’all!

Friday before the Bar Exam, and today is all about the mock exam.  Today is the last day to get your mock exam done.  The first ability is availability!  They won’t let you in the room without it.  Triple-check that you’re in good shape.  Today’s the day!  The link to the mock exam is:  Remember the password is mock123.


Mask update:  The Cal Bar’s July 22 update indicates that you can bring a mask if you want.  It’s optional.  Final answer.  If you bring one, make sure it doesn’t have a valve.  I would recommend an N95 or KN95 (if you’re going to wear one, make sure you wear a good one).  And make sure there’s no writing on it.


One important update from the Cal Bar:

ExamSoft recently shared that new Windows laptops containing Intel 12th generation chipsets are not supported and may not be used to take the July 2022 bar exam.

Doublecheck your laptop!

Here’s the information from ExamSoft:

New Windows devices containing the Intel 12th generation chipset are triggering Examplify’s automatic virtual machine check. These are NOT currently supported. Therefore, they cannot be used for the upcoming July 2022 bar exam.


Please confirm that your device does not contain this chipset by following these instructions:


Confirm your Processor/CPU model

  • Navigate to Control Panel > System and Security > System to open it.


  • Right-click on the Windows start menu icon on the bottom left-hand side of your screen. Click on ‘System’ in the menu that pops up.

Your computer’s Processor/CPU model is located to the right of ‘Processor’ under ‘Device Specifications’. Find a number that is displayed after the ‘Intel® Core™ i7-’. If you see a number 12, this device is not supported for the upcoming bar exam. For example, Intel® Core™ i7-12650HX Processor is the 12th generation processor because the number 12 is listed after i7. Here’s a full list of processors that are NOT supported: 12th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Processors Product Specifications.

If your current device uses an Intel 12th generation processor, you must use a different device.


Your new device must meet all other minimum system requirements listed here: On the new device, follow all the steps from the email with the subject line: ‘IMPORTANT: Installation & Registration Instructions’. If you need assistance, contact ExamSoft support at 866-816-3065.

IMPORTANT: Take and upload a mandatory mock exam.


This is a mandatory step prior to exam day!Here’s how. The mock exam password is ‘mock123’.


Almost there, y’all!  Hang in there!  You can do this!

man working at a laptop

October Baby Bar Registration – remote exam once again

Good morning, Baby Bar takers!

October 2022 Baby Bar registration is open – make sure you file on time by August 1.

Note this little tidbit:

The October 2022 First-Year Law Students’ Exam will again be held remotely. Further details regarding the administration of this exam to come. 

But, but, but, remote exam testing is untenable.  But, but, but, the MBE can’t be delivered online.  Scaling can’t be properly done.  Structural integrity can’t be guaranteed, etc., etc.

Well, it’s the Baby Bar… whatever.  Apparently, according to the Cal Bar.

Just be intellectually honest about what you’re doing.  Evidently you’re saving money from renting convention halls (though I thought application fees took care of that)?  Or are you using the Baby Bar to experiment with remote testing with an eye towards moving to remote testing in the future for the Cal Bar too?  Remember if you’re doing that, you need the NCBE’s buy-in for the MBE, and well, they don’t seem too thrilled with paperless MBE questions.  We’ll see what the Next Generation’s final recommendations are as time goes on.

Anyway, for now, Baby Bar takers, masks aren’t your concern for the October Baby Bar.  However, no scratch paper for you for your essays, seemingly.  If you want help Avoiding Scrolling Hell, reach out to me and I can work with you this fall.


Happy asian guy taking off disposable medical mask at classroom

Masks likely not mandatory for July 2022 Cal Bar Exam

Hello everyone.  Happy July.  Just about two weeks to go until exam day!

This summer, the mask situation has evolved over time for the California Bar.  The April 14 FAQ indicated masks are optional.  COVID numbers have gotten worse over time, but hospitalizations and deaths numbers did not dramatically worsen.

Alameda County created reinstituted a mask mandate.  I’m shocked that the Cal Bar didn’t publicly react.  Mask mandate in one Cal Bar Exam site (the Oakland site is in Alameda County) would necessitate masks for every Cal Bar Exam site, unless the Cal Bar wants a class action lawsuit from a very litigious group (the entire Cal Bar applicant pool).  Publicly, they said nothing.  Remarkably, Alameda County gave 24 hours notice and rescinded its mask mandate a few weeks ago.  Crisis averted.

The other potential issue about a mask mandate is from LA County.  Public health officials indicated that the county would likely reach the high COVID tier, and that would result in a mask mandate.  That would trigger masks for Cal Bar Exam sites in LA, and again, that would necessitate masks for all bar takers.

But the date was a moving target.  First, it was mid-June, then late June, then early July, and around this time came the kicker:  the mask mandate wouldn’t immediately trigger.  Once LA County reached the high tier, it would have to stay there for 14 consecutive days for the mask mandate to trigger.

On July 8, the LA Times published an article titled, “With ultra-contagious BA.5 rising, how close is L.A. to an indoor COVID mask mandate?”  Buried in the lengthy article was this important assessment:

“Based on current trends, however, Ferrer estimated the L.A. County rate could surpass the high threshold as soon as next week.”

The only way that a mask mandate would occur for the Cal Bar would be ALL of the following:

  1. LA County reaches the high tier Monday, 7/11.
  2. LA County stays there 14 consecutive days.
  3. On 7/25, the day before the Cal Bar Exam, LA County announces at 9 am that two consecutive weeks are met, and WHAM-O!, mask mandate.
  4. The Cal Bar reacts at 10 am and announces masks are mandatory for the exam, and brings masks to all of its exam sites in case students don’t bring one.

Quite a needle for the Cal Bar to thread.  I don’t see it happening.

Officially, wait until Tuesday morning.  Check out  If you don’t read that LA County reaches the high tier on Monday, then you can take your mask off on exam day.

A student asked a great question:  fine, no masks on exam day, but should I be wearing a mask before then?  My recommendation is YES, if you go outside your house, for any reason, for any length of time, wear a mask.

You don’t want to get COVID just before the Cal Bar Exam!  Remember:  the first ability is availability!

Good luck to all as you finalize your preparations for the July 2022 Cal Bar Exam.



Taking a Test

June 29 update about masks, admittance ticket, and mock exam

Hello everyone!
Remember that item I posted about the July 2022 FAQ document being replaced with info about Clear Health Pass/Mask Mandate that was copied and pasted from a bar exam page shortly before the February 2022 exam?  As in, dates included late January and early February?

Well, that was short.  Less than a few hours later, it’s gone.  So the April 14 FAQ is now back where it belonged, and no updates have issued.

So as of June 29, no need to upload vaccination status anywhere.

As of June 29, masks aren’t required for the July 2022 Cal Bar Exam.  I strongly recommend you wear one for 3- to 3-1/2 hours a day just in case LA County announces a mask mandate that would begin July 15-22.

If the weekly Cal Bar Friday update indicates, final answer, no masks required (on July 1, 8, 15), then stop wearing a mask.

If the weekly Cal Bar Friday update on July 22 (the Friday before the exam) says masks are optional, then you can take off your mask.

Admittance tickets and mock exams are theoretically available as of Tuesday.  Evidently these are distributed in batches over the next week.  Call the Cal Bar if you don’t have your admittance ticket by July 5.

Remember, you MUST complete the mock exam by July 22, otherwise you won’t be admitted to the exam.  And who wants that?






Impact of the Dobbs abortion decision on the July bar exam

Hello friends.

Please note the following message from the NCBE regarding the July 2022 UBE exam, and regarding the MBE on the July 2022 Cal Bar Exam:


NCBE Statement on SCOTUS Decisions

Examinees taking the NCBE-developed July 2022 MBE, MPT, and MEE will not be required to be familiar with this term’s US Supreme Court decisions.


If you’re taking the Cal Bar, please know that the Cal Bar approved the questions for this exam in late April, even prior to the leak of the draft decision in Dobbs.  You could see an abortion issue in a Cal Bar Con Law essay.  Unlikely, but possible.  If you see this come up, mention that it was a fundamental right before June 24, and subject to rational basis review afterwards.  Maybe you get a bonus point as a result.



Alameda County rescinds mask mandate. LA may institute one in mid-July

Hello everyone.


Well, that was fast!  Alameda County is rescinding its mask mandate, effective Saturday, June 25.


Per the LA Times:


Three weeks after becoming the first California county to reinstitute a mask mandate in most indoor public settings amid climbing coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, Alameda County has rescinded the order — citing improving conditions.

The move, effective at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, coincides as the San Francisco Bay Area’s second most populous county progresses from the high to medium COVID-19 community transmission level as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


So that means no chance of wearing a mask on exam day, right?  Not so fast.  LA County estimated that it would reinstitute a mask mandate in late June.  Then that estimate moved to early July due to lagging reporting during the Memorial Day weekend.  Now, the estimate is mid-July.  Per the LA Times:

Health officials in Los Angeles County have said they would reimpose a public indoor mask mandate should the region fall in the high COVID-19 community level for two consecutive weeks. That category, the worst on the CDC’s three-tier scale, indicates not only significant community transmission but also that hospital systems may grow strained by coronavirus-positive patients.

Based on current hospitalization trends, L.A. County would likely not reach that category until mid-July.

However, that projection is “based on that assumption of a continued rate of increase that doesn’t change, and that’s really impossible to predict,” said Dr. Paul Simon, chief science officer for the L.A. County Department of Public Health.

“We’re cautiously optimistic that we may level off and, in the best of all worlds, we will begin to see a decline in hospital admissions sooner rather than later,” he told reporters Thursday. “But it is hard to predict.”

Hmmm… “must be in the high COVID-19 community level for two consecutive weeks.”  “Not reach that category until mid-July”.

So what does the Cal Bar do?  Are we going to escape scot-free?  Or will there be an announcement of a mask mandate in LA County and prompt the Cal Bar to mandate masks days before the bar exam?  Who knows?

For the second consecutive week, the Cal Bar issued a Friday email and noted that masks are optional for the exam.

I still recommend that students wear masks for 3- to 3-1/2 hours a day.  If you see an email from the Cal Bar on Friday, July 22, and you see that masks are still optional, then laugh as you take it off (or if you are inclined to keep it on, you can).  But if LA County comes back with a mask mandate on July 20, or 22, or 24, and the Cal Bar is forced to email you that masks are mandatory, what will you do?  Would you prefer to have practiced wearing a mask for hours at a time for a month?  Or have no recent experience with it, and touch your mask 70 times over a three-hour period, and be super distracted?

I don’t know what the final answer is here.  Do you?  Would you prefer to have a plan B, just in case?

Tread carefully, friends.  Good luck to you as continue your preparation for the exam.






Female hand writing, close up

July 2022 Bar Exam Admittance Bulletin Available



Of note:  in person exam.


Only the following items are allowed in the exam areas without prior approval. All items are subject to inspection at the test centers: 1. Government-issued ID 2. The admittance ticket with no writing on it 3. Silent analog watches 4. Prescription medications (does not include cough drops) 5. Cash (must not have extraneous writing on it) 6. Credit/debit cards that might be needed for the lunch breaks 7. Keys 8. Face masks without valves (with no patterns or extraneous writing on them) 9. Protective gloves (latex or rubber only) 10. Nondigital pens (standard blue or black ink), nonmechanical pencils (with eraser incorporated; no separate erasers), pen-style highlighters (must not be used on answers), rulers and paper clips 11. Nondigital timers and nondigital clocks measuring 4”x 4” or smaller. 12. Eyeglasses (no cases or sunglasses) 13. Foam earplugs (cannot be wireless and must not be connected to any mechanism or device) 14. Menstrual products 15. Inhalers 16. Diabetes-related items and equipment (does not include food or drinks) 17. Eyedrops in single-use vials 18. One back support (without a cover) 19. One orthopedic cushion (without a cover) 20. One standard-size pillow (without a case) 21. One bookstand 22. One footrest 23. Splints, braces, casts, crutches, wheelchair 24. Hearing aids 25. TENS units 26. Disability-related items that have been approved through the testing accommodations petition process 27. Separate keyboard, mouse (wired or wireless), laptop riser/stand no higher than 4 inches and a solid color mouse pad with no writing on it. During the MBE sessions, the items listed above are allowed in the exam room, except pens, highlighters, back supports, orthopedic cushions, pillows, bookstands or footrests, and laptops or laptop accessories. If you need any of these items due to a disability, you must request them through the timely filing of a Testing Accommodations Petition. 3 Applicants who will be handwriting their exam answers, or who are required to handwrite in the event of a laptop/software malfunction, must bring their own standard blue or black ink ballpoint pens. Applicants must also bring their own pencils for the MBE portion of the exam (several sharpened pencils are recommended). Mechanical pencils are not permitted. Pencil sharpeners and separate erasers will not be allowed into the exam room. Please note that applicants cannot bring wallets, tissues, lip balm, cough drops/throat lozenges, gum, candy, or other food or drinks in the exam room. Water and tissues will be available nearby at the test centers.

paper with pen

July 2022 FAQ update – IMPORTANT

Hello everyone,


This morning, the FAQ document for the July 2022 exam was removed and in its place shows the following.  It is the Clear Health Pass App and mask mandatory information… copied/pasted from the February 2022 exam.  Yup, including the dates (as in, January/February 2022 – see below).


This APPEARS to indicate that you will need to download the Clear Health Pass app and that masks are mandatory for July 2022.  But let’s wait until the dates are updated to see how official this is.




July 2022 Bar Exam FAQs

Under the direction of the California Supreme Court, the February 22–23, 2022, Bar Exam will be administered in person.


The State Bar recognizes that this is a difficult time for test takers and is doing everything it can—following state and national public health guidelines and taking additional precautions—to provide a safe and secure testing environment.  

Below are measures being taken at all testing locations to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.


  • Regardless of test center size, all applicants most provide proof of full vaccination or a negative test at check-in via the CLEAR Health Pass app. Applicants who fail to do so will be denied entry to the exam and will not receive a refund of fees.
  • Full vaccination refers to a complete regimen (two dose or single dose, depending on the vaccine) of a vaccine authorized by the CDC. Vaccination must be completed by February 8, two weeks before the first day of the exam.
  • A negative test may be a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test taken within 48 hours of the start time for the first day of the exam or a negative antigen test taken within 24 hours of the exam’s first day start time. All tests must be performed at a test provider or laboratory. At-home tests are not accepted.
  • Those who test positive for COVID-19 or show symptoms when they arrive will not be seated for the exam. They will withdraw and need to provide documentation to receive a refund.
  • If someone exhibits symptoms at the exam, State Bar staff may direct them to terminate their exam and leave the testing site.
  • Everyone at the testing site must follow safety protocols such as physical distancing in common areas and wearing a KN95/N95 mask or double masking.
  • All test-takers must read and sign a COVID-19 Code of Conduct form by February 17. The Office of Admissions emailed the forms on February 4. For security, everyone received a unique link to their form. Applicants who do not sign the form by February 17 will not be able to sit for the exam.

Health Pass by CLEAR

Use this link from your mobile device to download the CLEAR Health Pass app.

Applicants providing proof of vaccination should download the app and complete the one-time enrollment process by January 25. Make sure to enroll using the email address associated with your State Bar application.

The day before the exam, you will need to open the app and link again to the bar exam code–EFATTENDEE200.

Those who cannot provide proof of vaccination must upload their negative test result to CLEAR. Instructions for setting up the CLEAR Health Pass.

Mask Guidelines

Everyone at the testing site will be required to bring and wear either their own N95/KN95 mask or a 2-ply cloth mask along with a surgical mask. If you come to the test center with just a cloth mask, you will be provided with a surgical mask to wear under the cloth mask for double masking.


  • Your face mask must cover your nose and mouth and meet CDC guidelines the entire time you are at a testing site.
  • The only exceptions to wearing a mask are (1) if you are asked to remove your mask by a proctor for identification purposes, (2) if you are more than six feet away from any other person and engaged in the act of eating or drinking, or (3) if you are inside a fully enclosed vehicle.
  • Masks brought into the secured testing area shall not contain writing of any kind and will be subject to inspection by State Bar personnel.

For additional information about illness prevention, please refer to the CDC and the World Health Organization.

COVID-19 Global Economic Crisis Unemployed Worried Girl with Mas

Cal Bar Exam Applicant Update: Wear Your Mask for 3- to 3-1/2 hrs/day. NOW.

Hello everyone!  Happy June!

Graduation season has already begun.  I’ve heard from students who got COVID during this time.  And graduation season will continue for elementary school, middle school, high school, and undergrad levels, and even some law schools will have graduations.  And mask wearing will be spotty at best.

We’ve had Memorial Day – mask wearing isn’t at an all-time high.

Father’s Day?  I don’t know how many mass celebrations will be happening then.

But then, of course… July 4 – bad news for COVID positivity rates.

So the big question for Cal Bar Exam applicants:  will applicants be required to wear masks on July 26-27?  Sure seems like it.


UCLA and Cal Poly SLO have already reinstituted mask mandates.

Alameda County (home to the Oakland Cal Bar Exam testing site) reinstituted an indoor mask mandate on Thursday, June 2.  Per the San Francisco Chronicle:

On Thursday, Alameda County broke ranks by once again implementing an indoor mask mandate “to limit the impact of increasing COVID-19 cases on hospitalizations.” The mandate, which takes effect June 3, applies to most indoor settings, save K-12 schools and the city of Berkeley, which sets its own health protocols. The state lifted its school mask mandate earlier this year.

There is no end date for the Alameda County mandate.

Indoor mask mandate.  Not indoor mask mandate for events with more than 500 people.  Indoor mask mandate.

There’s more.  Note what the Los Angeles Times said on June 2:

With coronavirus-positive hospitalizations in Los Angeles County continuing to rise, officials said the nation’s most populous county could be poised to see a new universal indoor mask mandate later this month if the upward trends continue.

“Our weekly case rate and the rate of increase in hospital admissions are of concern,” L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Thursday. “If we continue on the current trajectory … we’re likely to move into the CDC high [COVID-19] community level within a few weeks towards the end of June, indicating increased stress on the healthcare system.”

L.A. County health officials have already said once the county enters the high COVID-19 community level, that will trigger a local requirement to wear masks in indoor public settings.

Also note that several counties with Cal Bar Exam sites are already in the high community level:

Nearly 1 in 6 Californians live in a county with a high COVID-19 community level. The affected counties are Santa Clara, Sonoma, Solano, Marin and Napa in the San Francisco Bay Area; Sacramento, Placer, Yolo, El Dorado in the Sacramento Valley area; and Monterey, Mendocino, San Benito and Del Norte counties elsewhere in Northern California.

As you are aware, Santa Clara and Sacramento counties have Cal Bar Exam sites.  San Diego and Orange County are already in the middle community level.

The Cal Bar has not updated its FAQ document (originally issued April 14).

The current momentum of this crisis strongly suggests that at least one county with a Bar Exam site will require masks on exam day.  Things could change, of course.  But you don’t know that.  And I don’t either.

So what to do?  Simple.  Assume that masks are required on exam day.  Wear a mask, EVERY SINGLE DAY, SEVEN DAYS PER WEEK, for 3- to 3-1/2 hours every day.  EVERY DAY, until the Cal Bar guarantees that you won’t have to wear a mask on exam day.

So, if the Cal Bar says on July 15 that you don’t have to wear a mask on exam day, you can laugh while taking off your mask.  But if you hear on July 15, July 20, even July 25 that you have to wear a mask on exam day.  How will you prepare for that?  You can’t.  Unless you start wearing masks.  NOW.

You’ve been warned.