Category Archives: Tactics

How Do You Get Motivated?

It is indeed that time of the year again, when entire populations of countries around the world suddenly forget the correct year.

I meant 2017
By “entire populations,” I mean me.


Public service announcement: 2017 is around the corner. If my calculations are correct, that means the February bar is just two months (or “two whole months” depending how you feel) away.

What you do during the holidays is up to you. You’re an adult, living confidently within the illusion of free will. Just because I did MBE questions (from the excellent Emanuel’s Strategies and Tactics for the MBE Volume 1) on Christmas morning while my dad was yelling doesn’t mean you have to.

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Memorizing for the Bar Exam (to Recall and Recite Rules)

There’s this weird phenomenon where you meet someone new and then 1 second later it’s impossible to remember each other’s names.

To be honest, if I didn’t care about them 10 seconds ago, I’m not gonna care about them all of a sudden as if they were my newborn (whom I’d name Genghis (Hahn) so I don’t forget).

But what can I say? It’s impressive, for that exact reason, when someone actually uses your name in conversation without having to say, “Sorry what was your name again? I’m so terrible with names hahahahaha.”

When I was a 1L, I used a notepad to write down new people’s names so I could refer to it and remember the names forever. Kristina has no clue who I am now (she clearly forgot my name just like my Legal Ethics prof who referred to me as “one of us here” when I was dropping some truth in his class)… but I sure remember meeting her on the metro bus on the way to the APALSA bonfire in 2010 thanks to that notepad.

Useless information I wish I could forget—I tend to remember the very things I want to forget about the most. But it reveals a principle to remember all the shit you need to know on the bar.

And the fact is, your bar exam requires you to remember a LOT of shit. The typical brain is made for processing data but not so much for forcing discrete information to be inscribed into your memory forever.

Continue reading Memorizing for the Bar Exam (to Recall and Recite Rules)

Admire the Buttcrack (and 9 Other Last Minute Tips for the Bar)

Did you ever get sick the day of your interview, receive a rejection letter postmarked the day after, and be ignored by your attempt to get humble feedback? Or get wrecked by mauve dinosaurs on the 2009 July LSAT only to find out it really wasn’t an experimental section and you could have gone to a law school you would have despised less if you’d retaken it?

“I can’t relate to these rhetorical questions because they are oddly specific and your website is ugly!” These are no hypotheticals, my friend.

Sometimes you spend weeks and weeks being all excited by yourself…and then something regretful happens at the very end, undoing everything in a “failure of the last mile.” Let’s make sure this doesn’t happen to you on bar week.

Wait…bar week?! Yeah, that thing you delayed for the last X years. Soon the fated day will arrive, and you’re going to be sitting at your assigned seat with no escape, maybe behind someone whose jeans are too small. But it’ll eventually be over. Like there will be a state of existence at some point in the future where you don’t need to study for the bar.

Before that, logistics have a tendency to creep up on you when you’d rather worry about other things. The exam lasts the entire week, not just the hours you sit behind the person with pants that are too small.

Usually, I talk about long-term strategies to create a foundational framework. Now here comes the fun part: tactical tricks that can accompany your weeks of hard work. Here are some reminders to clear your mental space ahead of time.

Continue reading Admire the Buttcrack (and 9 Other Last Minute Tips for the Bar)