If you plan on sitting for the bar exam in the near future or if you simply enjoy keeping up to date on the latest bar exam news, you’re probably well aware of the revelation that bar exam scores are at a historic all-time low. This isn’t the first year that scores have taken a plummet. In July 2017, the national mean MBE scaled score was 141.7. However, everyone hoping that this average was a one-time fluke may have faced some serious disappointment when the NCBE released the national mean scaled score for July 2018. A shocking 139.5, a surprisingly low result, especially considering that the national mean score has not been that low since 1984. So what exactly is happening? Why do scores appear to be on a down turn and is there anything we can do to fix it? Well, to provide the shortest answer, it’s unclear why scores have plummeted. Some people have attributed this to law schools accepting students with low LSAT scores. While I can concede that there is perhaps a slight correlation between an examinee’s poor standardized testing on the LSAT and then later on the bar exam, I cannot attribute this as the sole factor for this issue. Instead, I contend that a variety of factors may have contributed to this plummet. Everything from the number of examinees to the difficulty of the exam should definitely be taken into consideration. However, regardless of the true underlying cause, you probably have one major concern as you read this post, “how can I avoid ending up on the lower end of the score spectrum?” I suggest giving the below options a try. [Read more…] about How Do I Survive the Bar Exam with MBE Scores at a Historic Low?
It’s probably safe to say that bar prep and bad habits go hand in hand. These bad habits may develop based on the limited time within the average ten-week preparation schedule. Limited timing which may sometimes push you to cut corners by seeking out alternative ways to cover more material as a justification for your use of time. Alternatively, these bad habits may stem from the voice in your head which tries to work against your productivity, by suggesting failure. As a result, you may respond to this voice by instituting behaviors such as extreme study hours which in effect causes burn out and works against the very goal you’re trying to achieve. Regardless of the source from which these habits develop, they by no means benefit you and all serve as definite pitfalls which should be avoided at all costs during your bar preparation.
What are these pitfalls you ask? Although I can’t delve into each and every pitfall within this article, I do want to cover five very common pitfalls which you can nip in the bud today.
So let’s jump in!
My initial gut response to this question would be, “it surely wouldn’t hurt to.” However, after assessing this a little further, I recognize that preparing to sit for any bar exam can in fact be a truly hurtful process. This process can hurt even more if your heart isn’t in it. The bar exam is a major commitment! Adequate preparation for this exam could take about two months at a minimum. That means, two months of consistent study, sleepless nights and 24/7 dedication. If you know for sure that you want to become a licensed attorney, it goes without saying that taking the bar exam will be an absolute necessity. However, if you’re a little unsure as to what career path you want to take on after achieving your JD, you have some flexibility. Graduating and then jumping into bar prep does not need to be the dedicated path for you. You have the opportunity to take the road less traveled, and I want you to embrace this as a viable option, as opposed to feeling like you have to follow your peers in sitting for this exam early on after law school. Therefore, if you’re experiencing the predicament of whether you should take the bar exam or not you could perhaps take the below into consideration. [Read more…] about To Bar or Not to Bar? Should I Bother Taking the Bar Exam If I’m Not Certain That I Want to Be an Attorney?
If you’ve recently sat for the bar exam, Congratulations! As you begin the process of suppressing the experience you just survived, we can finally move on to discussing the important stuff. Yeah you know what I’m talking about, the coveted, “post bar trip!” If you already have one planned, then you’re ahead of the game. I hope you enjoy the adventure ahead of you! However, if you’ve procrastinated in putting a plan in place or just avoided planning one altogether due to high cost, lack of time or fear of your unknown post bar state of mind, this post is for you! In this post I will cover how you can quickly plan a post bar trip on a budget and also how a post bar trip can in fact be beneficial in soothing your post-bar state of mind. [Read more…] about Post Bar Trips on a Budget
Hey everyone! Welcome to part 3 of our mental health and the bar series. This posting marks the end of this series and, if you’re reading this following the bar exam, congratulations! You have tackled an enormous feat, and you have now begun the transition into your legal career. This transition, however likely, begins with the dreaded “results waiting period” and follows with a legal career which may possibly involve some sort of stress inducement. Unfortunately, these factors can certainly bring up some mental health issues, regardless of a predisposition or an overall stable state of mind. Therefore, developing and maintaining good mental health practices is crucial, especially during this starting point of your career. [Read more…] about Mental Health and the Bar: Tips to Maintain Good Mental Health Post Bar Exam and Beyond
There’s no question that during your bar exam preparation you’ve given some thought to the 101 ways that the exam could go all the way wrong. You’ve heard the horror stories right? The computer crashes during the essay portion of the exam or perhaps the infamous software crash that has already reared its ugly head a few times. Maybe you’ve heard about the GA examinees who suffered food poisoning (myself included), the California exam takers who witnessed a fatal car accident during their lunch break or the GA examinees who were incorrectly told that they failed the exam.
If these stories have kept you up at night, you’re not alone. Experiencing a bar exam disaster is horrendous and in some cases such disasters have had a direct correlation to a failing score. I wish I could tell you that there’s a way to ultimately prevent every disaster, but that just wouldn’t be true. Some of these disasters are inevitable and entirely out of your control. However, there are safeguards that you could institute to help diminish the likelihood of a disaster happening to you. In fact, I’ve outlined five different safeguards that may be of some help. Now these safeguards aren’t bulletproof, but if they don’t quite work, I’ve also assessed two ways in which you could possibly overcome these disasters and ultimately make it to a passing score.
So let’s jump in!