The Year of Extraordinary Results: 4 Ways to Pass the Bar This Year

Happy new year! It’s that time again when everyone suddenly forgets the correct year.

By the way, I don’t believe your “resolutions.” Look at your friends saying, “Hey, I’m SERIOUS about my New Year’s resolutions. THIS time it’s for real.”

Sure buddy. If they really wanted to do something, they would have started or done it already.

I won’t let you simply declare your resolve and call it a day. Anyone can have good intentions. Anyone can be interested. Prove that resolve by actually showing me results.

Let your results speak for themselves.

Before you start shouting at the wrong person (aka me), let me ask you this: How are those resolutions from 12 months ago going?

Thought so. Vague wishes are unsustainable for most people, myself included. Estimates put the “failure” rate of resolutions around 75-92%. But I don’t want you to be just another ordinary citizen.

Just smile and nod at people who want you to be mediocre
Just smile and nod at people who want you to be mediocre

No, I want your next year to be AMAZING. I want you to get everything you want, whether it’s to…

  • Pass the bar and leave it behind you forever
  • Get your dream job, start that career, make everyone proud, and trick them into thinking that everything in your life falls into place effortlessly
  • Live a normal life like the rest of your friends

Let’s do it. How can we mark the new year (and every year after that) with extraordinary results? My two cents:

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How Do I Get Motivated to Study?

Man… I see this question more often than I want to. And if you look closely, it’s basically people just complaining that they don’t want to study.

How did they graduate law school? If finally becoming an attorney doesn’t entice them, I don’t know what to say. More like I hold back on giving a huge answer every time I see the question!

HOW do you get motivated? How DO you get motivated? How do you get MOTIVATED?

You don’t. Asking about it is just going to get you into a pity party with other people who also “don’t have motivation.” The blind leading the blind.

To be fair, it’s a gray area. Who wants to study for the bar exam?

You might as well moisturize your outlines with sandpaper because this exam is one of the driest, most boring things in existence. It’s natural to be uninterested if you’re looking at this huge, seemingly insurmountable goal—even if it is a high-stakes exam.

If you’re asking about motivation, though, don’t count on it to come to you first. “Motivation” and “inspiration” are fleeting. It comes and goes based on the situation, difficult to summon at will.

Keep reading to find out:

  • My answer to the titular question (or what doesn’t get you motivation)
  • 3 approaches to getting my own work done (and how you can apply this to your bar prep)
  • 5 productivity tactics (that don’t require you to give up on sleep)
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How to Systematically Identify All the Relevant Issues in a Bar Essay Using “Issue Checking” (Stop “Issue Spotting”)

Be honest now. Imagine you’re mentoring a starry-eyed 1L starting law school. How would you explain how to “spot issues” in an essay? How exact and specific can you get?

Is it just a mystical process where the crystal ball in your head somehow divines issues from the heavens?

The MBE isn’t the only section you gotta worry about. Every fellow repeater who retook the bar exam with me had to improve on their essays. Unlike multiple choice with an objectively correct answer, essays are subject to the whims of the grader.

On its surface, an essay is simply a string of IRACs (easier said than done of course). Prep companies and law school tend to focus on the “R” and “A” and assume that you already know how to find the “I” naturally.

That’s funny (not really) because an issue that’s never raised, or an irrelevant issue, is completely worthless.

But has anyone actually taught you how to identify those issues? They give you the IRAC framework and leave you to figure it out.

That’s why I’m going to explain it to you in more detail than this:

issue spotting

To spot issues, try your best.

Let’s try something more reliable, shall we?
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Improve Your MBE Score: 3 Rules for Effective MBE Preparation

I know I’m asking for a lot here, but think back to law school for a moment. What do you remember?

  • That fresh feeling of starting a new journey in a new place
  • That cute girl next to you at orientation who smelled really good that you couldn’t help but introduce yourself to her and live dangerously close to the edge of flirting because she’s friendly and smart and familiar with the obscure music you listen to, but you force yourself to be platonic because you’d already locked yourself into a medium-distance relationship right before law school for some reason, and then she gets married to some balding guy with thinning hair and a suspicious mustache while you end your own relationship right before graduation because you’ve accepted that your life is full of irony
  • Final exams worth 100% of your grade

That escalated fast, but you know what the deal is. Final exams are serious business!

Basically, law schools invite you to join them in what looks like a warm pool party but instead charge you more than the median household income and then throw you into the cold winds of society.

So what do you do two weeks away from the final? I mean, after you procrastinate for a week and get that same sinking feeling you get as when you realize your carton of fries is almost empty.

Right, you go “oh shit” and finally print all those old essays that your prof tested in the past. It’s less likely that you’d look for essays that another professor wrote or from some book from Amazon unless you were some kind of weird gunner.

For essays on the bar, you’d practice with the exact same essays the bar examiners have given out before. You wouldn’t go back to the 7-page-long hypos from law school.

Then why would a bar taker insist on practicing for the MBE using questions someone wrote at Barbri/Kaplan/PMBR?

That’s a rhetorical question. The “difficulty” of their questions doesn’t give you the right kind of stress testing. Yes, you can still use non-licensed questions as youll see below.

Also, if you’re building a study schedule that works for you, the MBE is a good place to start since it’s where the points are, you don’t need to write yet, and MBE subjects will overlap with your essays anyway.

Below, I’ll offer (1) sources of MBE questions you want to use based on your budget and (2) how to optimize using them.

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