Many bar takers are obsessed with the idea of memorization for the bar exam.
Understandably, a lot of students naturally panic and have concerns about it. I think it comes from a place of insecurity. There’s a LOT to remember after all.
Panic mutates into paralysis.
They think, “As long as I memorize this perfectly, I will be set for the bar exam.”
They end up holding a bag of theoretical knowledge they don’t know how to use, neglect the performance test in the process, and end up with a score that’s not terrible but not great either. After all, they still memorized everything enough to stumble through.
This is a common thought process, especially for those starting out. This may seem to be a safe approach, but it’s actually reckless.
Maybe that’s why people are excited about the possibility of open-book bar exams in some states. I eagerly await their realization that it’s not just about having access to information—but whether they can use it properly. Removing the memorization requirement doesn’t really change the exam. In fact, it will probably hurt if you’re wasting time looking things up.
It’s not that I’m ragging on memorization. You should memorize for the bar exam—but not at the expense of learning. Memorizing is simply table stakes. Everyone’s doing it. It’s a minimum requirement. Just a cost of entry.
So you do want to start memorizing as early as you can.
But I want to point out what bar takers miss when they get tunnel vision around memorization. Don’t miss the forest for the trees:
Continue reading “Busting 4 Myths of Memorization for the Bar Exam”
“I need to know all the law first!”
What were those three years of law school for? Never mind.
There’s this strange concern in the atmosphere floating around.
A concern that if you don’t know it all, then you won’t be prepared to solve the problems… The thought that all you need to do well on the bar exam is to know it all…
So you sit there, fold your arms, and wait for osmosis. You receive. A passive approach. Maybe your soulmate will fall out of the sky, too.
And then when you finally flip open that essay after weeks of becoming a know-it-all…
You stare at the blank page.
In front of you, a blank canvas ready to be filled but only reflecting a harsh stillness.
The cursor blinks at you, urging you for your next order.
Cold sweat squeezes out of pores you didn’t even realize you had on your body. 😓
You decide to hit the books and videos again. Maybe you just need to know more… Maybe you’ll get ’em next time…
You’re mostly grasping the material, but then when you take a practice exam it’s like everything you know is out the window.
WTF? Why didn’t it work?
Continue reading “Two Biggest Fears of a Bar Exam Taker”
Here’s another story about a foreign-trained lawyer who made it out.
Laura from Australia passed the 2023 July California Bar Exam on her first try—preparing while working full-time as a senior lawyer in a global firm. She got to a place where she was “very excited” by the end!
Here’s how she managed to get to that state of excitement during bar prep and coming out of the exam. See how you CAN do things, rather than what you CAN’T do.
Continue reading “How an Australian Lawyer Got Excited to Take the CA Bar Exam While Working Full Time (and Passed)”
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 for sustainable momentum we know that we must enjoy the process (not just fixate on the goal of passing the bar).
Just as what’s enjoyable is personal, bar prep is also personal. Your study plan and schedule are personal.
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.
Here’s just one example of what that could look like:
Continue reading “You Need a Study Plan: Why You Should Make Your Own Bar Prep Study Schedule”
Salma is a foreign-trained attorney who passed the 2023 July NY Bar Exam (UBE) on her first try!
Despite her nervousness and debilitating thoughts of failure, she found a way to prepare for (and pass) this exam while using her time efficiently. She suggests how to study efficiently in LESS time.
Check it out.
Continue reading “Salma Passes the NY Bar Exam on First Try as a Foreign Attorney”