I google everything, and during my first weeks of law school, I consistently googled, “getting through law school with my sanity intact.” I desperately searched for others who had made it through law school without losing their minds. My obsession with clarifying with Google that there were others who had survived, followed me into bar exam prep, where I googled “Will I pass the bar?” and “Will I die if I don’t?” incessantly. And as I’m sure you are already aware, Google could not decide these answers for me. [Read more…] about Searching for Answers to Passing the Bar Exam
On exam day, whether it’s the bar or a law school exam, we end up trying to control every aspect. For instance, if you were like me in law school, you had your time itemized: wake up at 6 a.m., shower for 7 minutes, put on clothes, make coffee and be in front of my desk by 7 a.m. Study for 25 minutes, 5-minute bathroom break.
If you want to call me a little neurotic, that would be okay. I had my time down to a science and if anything interrupted that schedule, I panicked. [Read more…] about Visualization on Exam Day
Have you googled “Famous People Who’ve Failed the Bar” at least once since deciding to go to law school? I’m pretty sure you have. I did. I don’t know why reading about these people gave me such comfort, but knowing there were other people out there who had failed, successful people who’ve built incredible careers post failure, helped calm the “I am stupid” mantra my brain had on repeat.
I hope reading this, seeing their names lined out in front of you, will help you to comfort that uncomfortability that comes with failing the bar. [Read more…] about Five Famous People Who Failed the Bar
I used to joke that graduating from law school was like finishing a triathlon and being told that your medal, banana, and sports drink were a town over, and there were no buses to get you there. You had to walk. I can’t remember if I wrote that in another blog post, but it feels so accurate I just keep reiterating it. The brass ring was so far from where I finished it might as well be its own race – and it is. The problem is, we don’t really get to revel in the fete that is getting through law school before we are thrust into this exhaustive summer or winter of relearning everything from first year.
When I took my last final, I was so relieved. I knew there were three more hurdles to being done with school (grades coming out, graduation, and the bar), but I didn’t know how to shift into each of those stages. By the time graduation ended, I was still swooning over being done and no where near the mindset I needed to be in order to study for the bar. It didn’t help that my mother had decided to stay in town for an additional week, we were sharing my car, and I was pining to spend time with her and my family.
The second time I took the bar, there was no prior graduation, but I still had to figure out how to mentally shift into bar prep. Below are the steps I wish I’d taken before the bar the first time that might have made a world of difference in my studying.
When I was in law school, I felt like information on the bar was this mirage in the distance – and not necessarily a mirage I wanted to become acquainted with. It was hazy, unattainable, and confusing. Professors would explain pieces of the exam to us, I knew how long the test would be and the basic parts, but mostly information on the bar was used as a scare tactic to force us to fear our exam periods. “If you can’t get a B on my test, you have no hope of passing the civil procedure portion of the bar exam in any state.” This is not true, of course, because after your 1L courses, you have two more years of law classes to take. Two more years to figure out your learning style, implement healthy study habits, and buckle down for the bar exam.
So I got to my third year of law school knowing very little about the bar exam. I didn’t know how to study or prepare for it – in fact, I’m comfortable saying, I didn’t know how to prepare for the bar exam until the second time I sat for it, and that was mostly due to my amazing tutor. I most certainly did not know which state to take the exam in, nevermind which state I saw myself practicing in. Which is why I find myself having a hard time finding a job in Florida with a New York bar license.
Below I’m going to outline the steps I wish I had taken prior to signing up for the bar exam that I think would have made this process easier.
If you have read my other articles, you know I’m a little bit of a bar exam sitting expert – I had to take it twice. The first time around, including during bar prep, I was so hyper-focused on the terror of the exam, that I forgot to organize what I was going to pack and how I was going to attack the exam. The second time, though, after therapy, tutoring, and many bug out drills, I was completely prepared for the exams.
Below are the three things I think you need to remember for exam day.