How to Maintain Motivation and Momentum While Studying for the Bar Exam

You’ve seen all the euphoria from people who passed the bar exam.

You’re probably “inspired” and “motivated” when you look at success stories, case studies, and accounts of people who excitedly announce they passed the bar exam.

When that happens, we say things like “if they can do it, so can I” (true). Or “I needed this today.”

Today? That’s some “new year, new me” type energy. I’m not letting you off the hook like that.

Anyone can desire to pass the bar. Anyone can fixate on the goal and tell everyone they want it. It’s not gonna happen just because you said it.

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How to Know What to Do for the 2021 July Bar Exam as a First Timer

Now that everyone’s here, maybe we stand a chance against the final boss.

It’s official. We’re back to “normal” since bar exams are being held in July again (not the mess it was last year with delays to September and October with every state fending for itself).

Life goes on relentlessly no matter the state of the planet. Let’s emerge out of pandemic life with a fresh start.

Getting 20/20 foresight on how to start your bar prep as a first timer

No fortune teller would accept me as an intern because I am a terrible predictor of the future.

In fact, people in general are terrible at predicting the “best” outcome or solution. “Hindsight is 20/20.”

But imagine that you could know what you should do before it’s too late. Having 20/20 FORESIGHT would be like benefiting from a second chance on your first time.

You can still use 20/20 foresight to “look ahead” with a crystal ball so that you can avoid mistakes in your bar preparation.

Come again?

Yes, even if you’re a first timer studying for the bar exam, you actually have a crystal ball!

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The 3 Things You Need When Starting Bar Prep (Live Stream Replay)

“What should I know when I’m starting bar prep?”

I did a live stream with Jennifer Duclair to talk about how to take the guesswork out of bar preparation and get a better sense of direction as you start studying for your next bar exam.

It was fun! Japes and nuggets of insights were dropped, and I’m pleased with how this turned out. (Maybe I’ll do another one next year…)

Here’s me throwing Kaplan under the bus:

What to do with your schedule when starting bar prep

Here’s the recording (go to 8:12 where I talk about the study schedule shown above), along with timestamps so you can jump to the parts you’re most interested in:

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5 Reframes to Power Up Your Mind and Emotions for the Bar Exam Right Now

Preparing for the bar exam forces you to cycle through various emotions over weeks and months.

One moment calm, feeling like you’ve done all you could. Panic and anxiety the next moment. Frustration. Utter confusion. Overwhelm. Back to relief. Rinse and repeat.

Reality can betray the most reasonable of your expectations and daydreams at whim, coloring the past with regrets and the future with despair.

But it can also present us with gifts if you look carefully. Some days you have to look much harder than other days. 

If life only gives you lemons, you weren’t looking out for the oranges.

Here are five philosophies you can apply right now to mentally reframe how you feel about the bar exam:

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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 on a good enough plan to overcome the threshold for approach anxiety.

The parallel to bar prep is worrying 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.

You can only learn. You cannot be taught by something else.

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 just 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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