Give yourself a pat on the back.
Even taking the bar is an achievement. If you’ve made it this far, you can do anything.
You’ve survived three years of cold-calling, case-briefing, exam-prepping, and have the skeptical law student come-back to prove it. Remember when you were a 1L and you took your first exam? Upon flipping through the pages of that monster test, you probably thought there was no feasible way to finish on time, and the hypo probably seemed like The Hangover with a few extra plot twists. And yet somehow you made it through a number of those exams and worse.
Switch your study buddy
A little competition can be healthy, but do not let yourself get down if fellow students seem better prepared. A totality of the circumstances may be the test to apply since you may have taken fewer bar courses or have a different learning method.
An area where you do want to compare yourself is in attitude. If your study buddy knows how to laugh off wrong questions, but approaches the task at hand with calm diligence (perhaps he’s the son of Jor-El) then allow his attitude to permeate the air and influence your perspective. If his soliloquy of complaints starts and ends with the inadequate state of his cup of coffee, then it may be time to try studying on your own.
If you feel like I have felt and find a study buddy is too much pressure to begin with, try studying with a med student studying for the MCAT or a 2L studying for the MPRE.
Switch your location
Try switching your location, such as by trying out different libraries on campus. This may be your last chance to freely wander the libraries of other campuses, so embrace the opportunity to go on a library hunt to the marine science campus, or medical campus. If the summer weather in your area is agreeable, consider setting up a pliable desk in your backyard. I have heard of a law student who studied at a monastery, to find peace and solace.
A 2010 New York times article suggests switches may be healthy: a study in 1978 revealed that students who studied in two locations, rather than one, had better recall than those who studied in only one. Likewise, the article references similar studies that indicate that switching between subject matters also increases recall when compared to focusing on a single task—much like athletes who give their muscles a well-rounded training session with a variety of drills.
Do it for yourself
And finally, remember why you came to law school in the first place. It was not for the employer who offered you that contingent contract, or for your parents who hope to brag about their lawyer child. You came here for yourself: to live up to your full potential, to see the world from a different perspective, and to have the tools to change your life and the lives of others. So take this last sprint for yourself.
With only yourself as a witness, ask yourself whether you really are putting forth a good faith effort.
Most times, the law favors the bona fide party rather than the one with malicious intent (with exceptions that you know better than I). Be the bona fide student and avoid lying to yourself if you know you are slacking. Still, give yourself the credit you deserve and reward yourself with legitimate and well-earned breaks. In this hypo, you are your own client.
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Did you find this post helpful? Check out some other great articles:
- Test Anxiety and the Bar Exam – How to Handle It
- Passing the Bar Exam One Asana at a Time: Learning to Relax
- Last Minute Tips for the MPT
- Five Things to Do Your Last Week of Bar Prep
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