McGeorge School of Law

Bar Preparation & Mentoring

Practical Analysis, Strategies, & Skills (PASS) Courses

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

PASS I is a three (3)-unit course that allows students to review and prepare effectively for each component of the CA Bar Exam: essays, MBE (multiple choice), and performance test. Students in PASS I practice using real bar exam essay and performance test questions, receiving extensive individual written and oral feedback concerning critical reading skills, issue identification, answer organization and structure, time management, and crafting effective rule statements, factual analyses or arguments, and conclusions. Students review selected areas of substantive law commonly tested on the CA Bar Exam and complete weekly homework assignments using Adaptibar online MBE software, to which they retain access until their bar exam date. CA Bar Exam procedures, standards, and strategies 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 I is graded on a pass/fail basis. PASS I 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. In fact, many spring graduates who took PASS I in the fall report that doing so helped them improve their law school exam writing in the spring.

PASS II 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 challenging: Civil Procedure, Contracts, and Real Property. PASS II 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.

Both 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 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.

Bar Financial Planning

Preparing for the bar exam is more than a full-time job, so we recommend that graduates do not work during the study period if at all possible.  It’s never too early to plan ahead, and Joe Pinkas, Director of Financial Aid, is available to discuss your options with you. Free bar exam financial planning webinars (pdf) also are available.  


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