6 Ways to Reclaim Your Time & Energy While Studying for the Bar Exam (Even If You’re Working Full Time)

I’ve been where you are. In a way, I’m still there.

Your hair feels gross, the fridge is empty, and you’ve been scraping together whatever free time you can. Words in front of you are jumbling together into a blurry mess, passing by like a dream and also slipping away like one.

In short, you feel like a steaming pile of anxiety because there’s so much to do with so little time to study for the bar exam and you’re feeling the pressure from the impending doomsday. The worst combination.

But it’s not just time. Time isn’t your scapegoat. “Life is short” is propaganda by people who wasted their time.

“Yeah, maybe when I have more time. I’m going to feel motivated someday. Everything happens for a reason.” Oh, okay.

You need ENERGY. You need CLARITY so you can do productive work. Even if you had the “motivation,” it doesn’t mean jack unless you do something with it.

I’m the LEAST energetic person you’ll ever meet. If I can find ways to juggle things, then so can you, a person who has generally been successful in life. We all have 24 hours a day.

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Myth of Memorization on the Bar Exam

Many bar takers are obsessed with the idea of memorization. It’s something a lot of students have concerns with and something I think about, too.

I think it comes from a place of insecurity. They say, “As long as I memorize this perfectly, I will be set for the bar exam.”

No, that’s not the point!

This is a common thought process, especially for those starting out. Yes, you do want to memorize as early as you can. And yes, you def want to know the material before the bar.

It’s not that I’m ragging on memorization. You should memorize. It’s table stakes. Everyone’s doing it. It’s a minimum requirement. Just a cost of entry.

I do want to point out what bar students miss when they get tunnel vision around memorization. Don’t miss the forest for the trees:

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You’re the Dean of Your Own Bar Exam Studies

Here’s something that people who pass the bar never say:

“All I had to do was listen to all those bar course lectures. They were so helpful!”

Can you imagine?

Sometimes we think “doing whatever it takes” to pass the bar means throwing thousands of dollars into a black hole. (But it doesn’t have to be expensive.)

Or following some unsustainable cookie-cutter schedule (which doesn’t care if you have other responsibilities like work or family). Good luck if you fall behind by one day.

Or letting a perfectly fine morning slip through by religiously sitting through 4 hours of droning lectures. Worse, pausing lectures to fill in all the notes. Then not even remembering 99% of it.

tfw you think the lectures are making sense

I remember those days. Those are things I didn’t do my second time. Here’s what I would do instead:

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