Bar Prep Tips: Why You Should Not Panic Yet

Whether you were sick, caught up in the holiday spirit, traveling for the holidays, or otherwise were unable (or unwilling) to stay on schedule for Bar Studying, there is a chance you may be a bit panicky upon resuming your study schedule. While the degree of panic likely varies with how far behind you fell, it is not time to panic yet and to do so this early on could well have an adverse impact on the resumption of your studying.

  1. Assess what you missed and draw up a schedule: Rather than constantly checking your schedule of assignments and getting anxiety over those which you missed, take an inventory of sorts of the assignments and their types and plan a schedule that will get you caught up in a reasonable amount of time. DO NOT make an unrealistic schedule; set achievable goals. Otherwise, your stress levels will likely increase if you do not meet your goals.
  2. Determine what you NEED and look to the MBE: Did you miss a major MBE topic? If so, prioritize the MBE topic over a non-MBE topic. Why? The 7 MBE topics constitute 50% of your exam score and are also fair game for essay testing and often provide a foundation for topics reserved for the essay portion (Example: Contracts and Property are foundational for Trusts/Wills/Secured Transactions; Constitutional Law and Civil Procedure are foundational for Conflicts of Law, etc.). In UBE jurisdictions, that means MBE topics can account for 50% up to –  arguably -65% [Note: I know the actual math would be 80% if tallying the MEE and MBE portions, but it would be irrational to think that the 6 essays will be strictly or only on the MBE topics, but I can foresee potential for 3 essays or the equivalent of 3 essays in terms of points, such as in “hybrid” essays covering more than 1 topic]. In theory nailing down MBE topics should also help with studying and understanding essay topics such as Trusts, Secured Transactions, and so on.
  3. Are you a “pro” on the/a topic you missed? If you look at the topic(s) you have missed and find that you took them during law school and feel fairly comfortable with them, rather than spend a lengthier amount of time reading those outlines, try merely reviewing the mini outlines/ final review outlines/ study sheets, or whatever shorter outline your bar prep company provides. This will save you time and allow for you to move onto lectures and practice questions faster. If there is something you do not remember or are confused about, take note of it and look in the longer outline later.
  4. Ensure you have a support system: First, if you are looking for a supportive environment or area where you can talk to other examinees/law students/graduates and so forth, message me and I will add you to a group on facebook with over 1,000 members. Next, make sure that the important people in your life understand as best they can that you cannot be disturbed or pressured into taking time off of studying due to the important nature of the bar exam and if not all of them understand, try to communicate solely with those who are supportive of your current and temporary situation.
  5. Shameless self promotion: If there is something that my materials cover and you find them helpful, please make free and liberal use of them. More contracts will be uploaded soon, but if there is a specific subtopic or even a subject you would like me to create or post materials for, contact me and request it.
  6. Mind over Matter: Remember, you are fully capable of passing this exam; you survived law school and finals and probably at least one grueling internship or placement or clinic, etc. Do not let falling behind for a bit make you question your ability to pass – there are still nearly 2 months left!

Feel free to peruse my website for other tips and tricks (more/updated posts will be coming), and look for an updated product review for Studicata tomorrow – the app has features that I had yet to discover when I first published my review and I find them helpful, hence the updated review.

Advertisements

Game Time – Final Tips and Motivation

Now that we are in the final few days, some words of wisdom and tips…

  1. Freaking out over the mbe? Use your last few days to focus on the areas your bar prep company or supplemental materials state are most tested. For example, hearsay, negligence, individual rights/1st amendment rights (they seem roughly equal these days).
  2. Scared of the mpt’s? Don’t be. You practiced for them, you know your time limits and shortcomings by now, and everything we need is going to be in the library/file.
  3. Essay topics scaring you? Find the overlaps, look for the big picture and see if it all clicks. For example, on the UBE, look at your strictly MEE topics. Agency and business organizations flow easily, but look at conflict of laws – it is basically civ pro v. 2.0. Conflict of laws can also be mixed in with any number of topics, such as family law. Secured transactions? It’s basically an ugly baby of contracts and property law, depending on the context.
  4. Still scared of essay topics? Remember the points you can get for issue spotting and analysis, and maximize points whenever possible, such as in hybrid essays. Make sure to finish the questions but if you have no clue about a subquestion on one essay, do your best to issue spot, and then if need be, make up and apply a rule.
  5. Remember, we KNOW this stuff, it is a matter of retrieving it under pressure. 

Finally, if we do not pass, will it suck? Yes. A big disappointment? To us, yes. But remember that this test has been failed multiple times by well known jurists, senators, presidents, first lady’s, and so on. Not passing may suck but it certainly is not the end of the line, nor does it reflect your intelligence or how you will perform in whatever attorney role you take on. If you think it does, JFK Junior, Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Justice Cardozo, Governor Brown, and quite a few others would beg to differ.

So, walk in and out of the exam with your head held high, have some faith in yourself and remwmber: we can do this.