You Need a Study Plan: Why You Should Make Your Own Bar Prep Study Schedule

The only thing I remember from law school is my negotiations professor saying this in class randomly:

“Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.”

It’s so true. Is bar preparation worth doing? Then it’s worth doing right.

After all, you’re the “dean of your own studies.” And we know that we must enjoy the process (not merely fixate on the goal of passing the bar) for sustainable momentum.

Just as what’s enjoyable is personal, bar prep is also personal. Your study plan and schedule are personal.

Here’s an example of what that could look like, based on the sample 4-week study schedule from Passer’s Playbook (taken from sample study schedules that span 1-10 weeks, also has example student schedules that go up to 17 weeks).

Sample 4-week study schedule for bar prep

Samples and examples can be used as a template, but YOUR schedule should fit you like a handmade glove and be flexible to YOUR needs and without strict hour-by-hour timing. You can’t predict what will happen, but you can account for it.

A personalized schedule helps you plan what you need to address each day. You’re ultimately responsible for knowing what YOU need to learn the material and learn the skills to apply the material.

There are many reasons your schedule will look different from everyone else’s: 

  • You might be working while studying for the bar exam.
  • Maybe you have every day free for bar prep and don’t want to blow this opportunity.
  • Or maybe you only have the first 6 hours of your day free while the kids are at school.

There are a million ways you could approach this which can’t (and shouldn’t) be captured with a unified master calendar. There is no one-size-fits-all bar prep study schedule. This alone is reason to abandon the cookie-cutter plan and create one that works for your situation.

Like why spend more time on Torts and less time on Evidence if that default autopilot setting doesn’t make sense to you?

Great, but where do you begin?

You may be lost and not sure where to start heading from here. Like you ran into an unfamiliar part of town and your phone dies (which is why I finally got a car charger after months of denial about how good my phone’s battery actually was).

Like the Titanic, going in the right direction is more important than how fast you go.

So here’s a first reminder that will narrow down your routes and simplify the sudoku of choices…

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Making Independent Choices for YOUR Bar Prep

You have questions about the bar exam. How to study. Whether you’re on the right track. Picking the right bar prep supplements.

I have some answers. You may or may not decide they’re the “best” answers for you, but do you need 100% optimal answers?

What you’re really looking for is certainty. Someone to just TELL you what the hell to do. The loudest voice.

But that’s where the danger lies in the landscape of bar prep. Everyone who passed is suddenly a “tutor” who can teach you their secrets. You shop around yet end up where you started.

There are no secrets, and there are a million ways to pass.
 You have it in you already. It’s always been up to you.

Sounds scary but also freeing, right?

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dreams of becoming an attorney

I want to talk about dreams.

The world is changing and so must we. We can’t stay the same and can’t pretend everything else will stay the same.

Changing means not staying complacent.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” —Charles Darwin paraphrased

Do our dreams have to change? Your dream of becoming an attorney doesn’t have to change… BUT how you get there might have to.

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How to Pass the California Bar Exam with a Focused Approach of Discipline and Consistency

Got yet another success story, by a reader who shared with me a very detailed and specific recap of her journey to pass the 2020 February California Bar Exam (26.8% pass rate) on her second try.

It was too good not to share.

Jinnyi Pak headshot

Before:

  • Big bar course made her “dumber,” wasted her time, DRAINED her energy and time. She was too wiped out to memorize or practice
  • Did not even know how to START any essay
  • Panic, doubts, insecurities, mind games, pressure

After:

  • Practical and effective approach
  • Used the right tools for her
  • Enjoyed herself because she could see herself getting better

Key takeaways and full story below…

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This Formula Shows the Importance of Each 5-Point Increment on the California Bar Exam

To pass the California Bar Exam, you need an overall scaled score of 1390.

That could look like a scaled score of 1390 for the written portion and 1390 for the MBE. These are generally referred to as “passing scores” since they put you on track to pass.

But how do the raw scores on your essays and PT convert to scaled scores? What do you need for a “passing score” for an essay or PT?

In answering those questions, it turns out there’s quite a sensitive correlation between the written raw scores and the written scaled score.

That is to say, EACH 5-point uptick gets you MUCH closer to passing the California Bar Exam. In fact, if your written score is in the low/mid 1300s, you’re MUCH closer to passing than you might think.

Here’s how…

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