What Should Your Final Preparation Look Like?

Oh you terrify me. But you also delight me. Can’t that be said for at least one person in your life?

True story. Last Friday, I was invited by a guitarist to play the keyboard for his band. Oh my! Exhibitionism was just what I needed to enflame a terror-delight in a heart that has been devoid of emotions since I started attending my alma mater (which dipped in ranking ever since, go figure).

Since I knew nothing about what they were playing, nor had I improvised anything in years, I had to regretfully decline. I got to watch them play for free, though.

Regret. Self-doubt. Insufficient preparation.

If last July is any indication, more than 50% of those attempting the CA Bar Exam will feel something like that come November.

I don’t want to tell you “I know for a fact u will pass if u believe in urself !!” because I’m afraid it will overinflate your optimism and also because I have no empathy. That’s what your friends are for, if you haven’t totally estranged yourself from them yet.

It may seem like a ridiculous coin flip at this point, but perhaps it isn’t too bad if you load the coin in your favor (some optimism is good):

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How to Apply Rules with IRAC

Essays: Get the “I” and “R” right, and the rest should flow relatively naturally. So these “I” and “R” would be good place to focus on throughout your essay preparation.

Even if you had just a few weeks to prepare for the bar, there’s still time to learn the “A” part of IRAC—applying the rules. Once you learn how to work facts into your answer, you may not need to practice the “A” part as repetitively as you would for issue checking and rule recitation or memorization.

I’ll demonstrate a simple and clean rule application, based on this question I got:

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How Well Should You Be Doing to Feel Secure with Your Progress?

Preparation lowers your risk of non-passage. 

Thank you, Fleet Admiral Obvious! You’re welcome, but have you really thought about how much preparation is needed for an acceptable level of risk?

When there are only a couple more weeks to go, the state of the union inevitably seems to turn to “this is awful i wanna die HELP!”

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5 Things I Did Differently the Second Time to Pass the Bar as a Repeater

The thing about reality is that your brain doesn’t notice it until it’s wrapped tightly around your brain like a sheet of aluminum foil, crinkling and making a polygonal mess.

0 minutes remaining. I slapped in my applicant ID, my entry ticket to three seconds of pristine agony. Then two, three more times. I made sure I was reading correctly. For once, I wasn’t delusional.

I could feel the heavy air of TRUTH closing in around me. Light fading quickly. But I wanted to believe. No, the silvery foil pushed its way around the noodles of my brain, turning into TV static. It was wrapped around the potato, and my brain realized it then.

In some other universe, I passed. But in this one, I failed. I failed. I failed.

2013 was the worst year of my life. My brain convinced me to break up with my friend of ten years and girlfriend of three. My dad screamed at our family on Christmas morning and night. I failed the July bar and haven’t since posted a status on Facebook out of supreme shame. 16 months and counting since becoming Facebook celibate. Facelibate.

I lied down on my bed. Then I got up.

The experiment was a failure. It was time to change the variables. This was how I would prove I was not insane. Then 2014 became the best year of my life.

Having experienced both outcomes of the California Bar Exam, I’ve distilled the following insights that were instrumental to passing the bar. These are things I did the second time but not the first time. Do you like clickbait? You won’t believe #4!

Any fool can learn from experience. I prefer to learn from other people’s experiences.

Make this the last time you have to walk the line between heaven and hell with these 5 things I did differently the second time to pass the bar exam.

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