In discussing a study plan with a repeat bar taker yesterday, he brought up an interesting question. He mentioned, “I was thinking of doing the really intensive memorization during the last two weeks before the exam, what do you think of this plan?” Well, first of all, some of the big, commercial bar prep. companies take this approach, so it’s not like this is a novel or totally crazy idea. On the other hand, I would also strongly advise against it. Here’s why. [Read more…] about Why Waiting to Memorize Until the Last Two Weeks is a Bad Idea
The other day, a lawyer friend and I were talking about our bar exam experiences and how absolutely stressful gearing up for the test can be. Everyone who takes this exam probably reaches a low point. Ask any lawyer, and they most likely have a sob story about when they pretty much bottomed out at their wits’ end. One of the best stories I’ve ever heard even involved a now-lawyer slumping onto the floor crying and eating peanut butter straight from the jar. . . with his hands instead of a spoon! Hey, no one said this exam was easy! [Read more…] about Can Playing with a Pet Help Relieve Bar Exam Stress?
Everyone who takes the bar exam wants to pass—otherwise, why would they be taking it? Sometimes students tell me how much they want to pass, but yet, they still can’t seem to get their act together to do the work it takes. They say things like, “I’m really committed this time around,” or “I want to pass so much, it’s all I can think about.” Okay, great, good for you, that’s all fine and good. The question is, are you ready to step up and do the heavy lifting or not? [Read more…] about Why Really Wanting to Pass the Bar Exam Isn’t Enough
The California bar exam results were posted and, as with every season, there have been some very high highs and very low lows. Today, I was talking with a new student and re-reading some advice I wrote a couple years back on failing and it struck me how often the words “shame” and “unworthiness” can enter into the picture. Coincidentally enough, this week I also finally had the opportunity to read some books by one of our favorite researchers here at the Bar Exam Toolbox, Dr. Brené Brown. And guess what? Dr. Brown has spent her career delving into just these topics. [Read more…] about How to Cope After Failing the Bar Exam
As bar results filter in from all over the country, the news is either met with extreme relief or any number of other more negative reactions: shock, disbelief, fear, regret, maybe even some self-loathing and shame—to name a few. For those of you who got bad news, you have some important questions to consider, and some important steps to take. Based on helping re-takers through this process many times over the years, here is my best advice for you as you launch into this difficult process. [Read more…] about Why Did You Fail The Bar Exam?
Acupuncture . . . What is it? Does it hurt to be stuck full of needles? And, perhaps most importantly, can it help you pass the bar exam? These were all questions I had the first time I tried acupuncture, which, interestingly enough, occurred when I was studying for the bar myself—hence the inspiration for this blog post! Long story short, I can honestly report that my experience was great. It really wasn’t painful at all, and I have never slept better! [Read more…] about Should You Try Acupuncture While Studying for the Bar Exam?