This rant was inspired by a moment I had in therapy, a new thing that I started in December. Yeah, I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. Anyway, I’ll tie this back to the therapy story later.
Bar exam takers have passed using Barbri.
People have passed using Themis.
People have passed using Kaplan Bar Review…
And this is despite all the shit I say about Kaplan because they’re like Olive Garden trying to be everything which ends up being bland and giving you diarrhea. Just look at how many fucking tests they prep for LOL
People have passed using every sort of bar exam tutor (including the ones I’ve vetted).
People have passed using AdaptiBar or UWorld (or neither). But just in case you’re agonizing over which one you should get, here’s a comparison of AdaptiBar vs. UWorld so you quit debating minutiae and get back to using one so you can get to studying.
People have passed using Magicsheets or other outlines (or in combination).
People have passed with and without using a bar review program, a tutor, or a particular study supplement. In fact, everything, including Barbri, is a supplement that supports your own self-learning.
People say, “I FINALLY passed because of such and such.”
People have also FAILED using each of the above (though most eventually retake the bar exam and pass).
How could any resource be the best when they ALL work?
Ask people which is better or what’s best, and you’ll get different a consensus depending on who’s answering and what time of day you ask.
Conversely, while any of the above will help, you don’t NEED them either.
“Do I need X to pass? How many questions do I do to pass?” Those are some of the worst questions, next to “any advice?” after giving me nothing to work with.
How am I supposed to answer that question? No, you don’t need it to pass!
But then you might come back saying “b-but you said I don’t need it,” so now I have to decipher your email like an essay question and play 20 questions to figure out your background and current situation. And if I’m lucky, I’ll get radio silence after wasting my time thinking about what turned out to be you venting into what you thought was the void. Never talk to me again.
All you need is empowerment and encouragement to seek the right strategy and resources for you.
The bar exam isn’t easy! It’s a difficult professional licensing exam. Bar prep sucks and gives you anxiety. It really tests your limit.
One of the things passers have in common is that they use what they have on hand to get started and start learning from it. No one can teach you. You can only learn.
Just because you have the most expensive tennis racket doesn’t mean you’ll beat Serena Willams. Whether you’ll score against her depends on YOU and your own training, not the equipment.
When you start a business, you don’t need nice business cards, an LLC, or a fancy website (my original website was ugly af). That’s just “playing” business. You don’t have a business until you have paying customers.
People who spend days, months, or YEARS looking for the “best” resources end up drowning in all the overwhelming choices. They get distracted. They don’t prioritize studying for the bar exam. They’re doing everything EXCEPT for what actually moves the needle. They’re just “playing” bar preparation.
Here are 3 signs you’re just “getting ready” and not doing anything about it. Sit in a quiet area and reevaluate if you’re exhibiting one of these symptoms.
Back to my therapy cliffhanger…
I called out my counselor on something I thought was contradictory. He appreciated that because apparently everyone else just nods and tells him, “Yes, whatever you say.”
But I was respecting MY time and HIS expertise by ENGAGING with the ideas discussed:
- Taking notes
- Actually implementing the advice…taking action that irreversibly affects my life because I made a decision to defer to the person I hired knowing that there is no perfect advice, only forward movement
- Seeing progress on my issue
- Checking in every week and tying things back into previous sessions
- Taking what I like and leaving the rest
- Questioning things that don’t make sense to me
I told him that other counselors may tell me different things than what he was telling me (which he said was true) but that I was there to get help. If we’re drawing a comparison to you, replace counselors with tutors or resources.
Being the best student benefits us.
You could spend days and weeks finding the perfect therapist (or bar exam resource), but when will you know? Isn’t that just pushing responsibility onto the world? Isn’t that just passively waiting for the perfect person to walk into your life as you swipe through dating profiles holding your phone in bed at 2 AM without even talking to them? The person who’s supposed to participate in your own rescue is YOU. When my customers take the bar exam and pass, most of the credit goes to them and their efforts.
ENGAGE with the shit you’re working with! That practice question isn’t going to do itself. Fuck it (up) yourself, coward.
It’s not an assignment. It’s not something to complain about. The point is to get better, for ourselves. Don’t just shoot for minimal competence.
This is why lectures can be dangerous, especially for repeaters. You get exhausted after waiting 4 hours for it to end and forget 99% of it. But if you’re an aural and visual learner, and you engage and remember the contents, then it’s actually perfect for you!
Don’t use a lack of resources as an excuse either.
Not saying you should take the path I took when I was flat broke—but I literally used hand-me-down Barbri books from a classmate I barely knew in another city in exchange for a scone I bought using a Starbucks gift card.
There are resources all around you, including right here where you are. For starters, just explore the tabs at the top of this page or read my posts. My goal is to fling open the doors so that anyone can pass the bar exam + offer premium study materials for those who want extra help or convenience.
But you must do the learning yourself.
Make sense? Get creative. Get MOVING. Be the best student instead of obsessing over the “best” bar supplement.