Studying for the MBE, Whether to Delay the Bar to 2017, Working While Studying, and Scheduling with Tunnel Vision

There’s nothing like hearing your own recorded voice for instant cringe. Despite your reasonable assumptions, I am not a peak human and always have things to improve upon.

Meanwhile, let’s instead focus on what you can learn today from a coaching call I did with a reader so that you might be able to take away some insights for improving your performance on the bar exam.

Here’s a recording of my discussion with Kristy about:

  • Her score report and studying for the MBE to improve her score next time
  • Whether it’s right for her to delay her retake to the two-day CA bar in 2017
  • Working while studying
  • Scheduling with one-track tunnel vision.

Continue reading Studying for the MBE, Whether to Delay the Bar to 2017, Working While Studying, and Scheduling with Tunnel Vision

3 Options If You Failed the Bar

It’s that time of the year again … California finally released bar results on Friday.

What’s the over/under on how many people SAY they’re not going to immediately check their results at 6 PM (“I’m gonna enjoy the weekend and wait for the mail”) but can’t resist when presented with the ultimate choice?

My bet is that you know your result by now.

Passage rate for the 2015 February California Bar Exam: 39.5%
2016 February CA Bar Exam: 35.7% (down from last year again)

(What the hell is going on??? This is getting out of hand)

If you passed the bar –

Congratulations! Bask in your badass glory (tactfully)! February is especially notorious for low passage rates.

You beat the odds, got your black belt, and the real training begins in the “real world” that you put off since taking the LSAT. For now, be proud of yourself and enjoy a well-earned sigh of bittersweet relief.

If you failed the bar –

You are in the majority. I don’t think that’s all that comforting, though. You still didn’t pass the bar. Damn it!

I’m truly sorry and regretful to hear this news. This is always a bittersweet time for me. After reading this, if you want to discuss anything, email me and let me know how I can help.

Nonetheless, I can’t sugarcoat it forever. The letdown is infectious to everyone around you. You may even have a job or loans that depended on your passing. At this point, a time machine is the only thing that will make you feel better.

Let me tell you: I know failure is fucking terrible because for some reason I haven’t stopped messing up since I was born (including falling on my head at least 4 times). It’s like I have to retry everything at least once. I grew up in Silicon Valley where the motto is to “fail fast.” How about try not to fail?

But you know what… Improvement comes from constant feedback and learning every time you struggle to solve a difficult problem. The disco mosaic of the Rubik’s Cube is still scattered. Keep turning the puzzle until it clicks for you. This is a learnable skill!

Continue reading 3 Options If You Failed the Bar

Admire the Buttcrack (and 8 Other Last Minute Tips for the Bar)

I had this convo (paraphrased) after seeing toothpaste on her pimple:

“Does toothpaste cure everything?”
“Yes”
“Can I use it to cure crippling loneliness and despair?”
“Maybe if you used it to brush your teeth”

Straight fire. I couldn’t walk because I was laughing to pretend it wasn’t a critical hit to my ego. I-it really wasn’t, OK?!

Aren’t you tired of that? You put on a brave face so your family and friends stop worrying about you or wishing you “good luck” (like they know what the hell you’ve been through). I don’t want to tell you “I know u will pass if u believe in urself !!” because I’m afraid it will overinflate your optimism and also because I have no empathy. That’s what your friends are for, if you haven’t totally estranged yourself from them yet.

The fact may be that all that studying and memorizing and practicing and pacing in the bathroom and having nightmares and telling yourself “you can do this!” and telling yourself “I’ve seen better heads on lettuce, loser”… weren’t a cure-all despite your efforts.

That’s all right. I’m not saying don’t have regrets in general because I’m all for acknowledging your mistakes or wanting to do better. But at this point, if you’ve done your best, have no regrets as you go into the exam.

It’s too late for regrets now because the bar is finally here and is actually happening. It’s too early for regrets now because you’ll have plenty of time to be left alone with your thoughts and anxiety as you wait for your results.

Continue reading Admire the Buttcrack (and 8 Other Last Minute Tips for the Bar)

The Underrated Practice of Practice (and the Science of Holding Hands with a Girl)

Holy shit, I’m already getting sweaty just thinking about this, although it is a perfect 72 or something degrees here in Man Diego. I don’t think the favorable male/female ratio on the East Coast is worth living in a place covered in more frost than the Dorito dust covering my fat fingers.

Continue reading The Underrated Practice of Practice (and the Science of Holding Hands with a Girl)

Answering the Call of Nature (Listening to Yourself When Studying for the Bar)

What? Not potty humor again!

Lol no, this is different, although I can probably try to come up with something if you want… or you can just log out if you don’t want to hear it.

It’s already the end of January and you’re pacing around the bathroom avoiding eye contact with yourself and thinking “wouldn’t it be crazy if the bar is coming up in just 4 weeks, but I’m just drained physically, emotionally and spiritually and I don’t want to think about this anymore?”

Or maybe you got into a routine by now and are feeling complacent with how things are going. Either way, your body is trying to tell you something—nature is calling! We weren’t meant to slave over shitty exams for months.

Continue reading Answering the Call of Nature (Listening to Yourself When Studying for the Bar)