I Accidentally Convinced Someone to Never Take the Bar Exam Again

After results for the 2020 October California Bar Exam came out, my inboxes were flooded with over 100 messages and DMs.

I individually responded to almost all of those over the course of a week and a half. It’s part of a post-mortem ritual that involves celebrating my community’s wins, greeting new readers and followers, and commiserating with the reality some have to face.

One of the messages was from Tracy, who was completely overwhelmed as she planned to take the next exam (click to enlarge, text version below):

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Be a Producer, Not a Consumer

Reading outlines. Reading sample answers. Memorizing.

All good things to do. But that’s simply being a consumer. It feels like progress.

Being merely familiar with something or being able to recognize it—even being able to recite a rule statement—doesn’t mean you can USE it.

Just because you love reading books or watching videos doesn’t mean you’re going to make a good creative. You have to keep putting work out there under the eyes of scrutiny.

  • Can you recall the issues and rules?
  • Can you pick out the correct answer (for the right reason)?
  • Can you identify all the relevant issues by looking at a fact pattern?
  • Can you organize an answer for an essay or a performance test?
  • Can you write out an answer in time?

That’s being a producer. That’s what you’ll do on the bar exam. That’s what the bar exam will ask you to do: to know HOW TO USE your knowledge to solve problems.

Consuming only prepares you to do the work that matters. It’s not the main thing to focus on.

It’s harder to test yourself with a question, take way longer than it should, and realize you don’t know how to answer it.

That’s what preparation is for… so that doesn’t happen while you’re on the hot seat.

Be a producer. Don’t just stand there. Give it a try now.

Holiday Motivation for Bar Exam: 3 Ways to Keep Going During Prep

What do you say when you’re not sure how to talk to a new person at a networking event (or holiday party)?

Here’s a simple script that worked perfectly for me:

  1. Walk toward someone.
  2. Extend a hand. (Adjust for pandemic times)
  3. Say, “Hi, I don’t think we met. What’s your name?”

And then you’re off to the races.

If this seems too simple, that’s the point. It’s not the perfect tactical wordsmithing of your intro that makes or breaks you. It’s the fact that you acted first and short-circuited your approach anxiety.

The parallel here to bar prep is to not spend too much time thinking about which supplements to use, which tutor to use, which newsletters to follow… when the most important thing is to have a plan, start moving, and stay consistent.

If you get stuck spinning your wheels “getting your ducks in a row” deciding on the perfect plan of action, you won’t get anywhere. A good enough plan > no plan.

In the end, whichever course or supplements you use, this is a self-study endeavor. You’re responsible for preparing yourself. Don’t forget that courses and supplements are simply there to support that.

“But it’s too cold outside, and it’s too warm inside, and this temperature delta and holiday spirit are making me too relaxed to do anything.”

I’m not letting you off the hook thinking “new year, new me!” and then NOT following through with your plans!

Keep the following 3 ideas in mind to light a fire under your ass and keep those buns toasty:

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