Bar Exam Success Commandment 3: How to Exploit Scarcity (and Improve Your Bar Essays)

We like to tell people we “don’t have time” or that “time is the most valuable resource” or that “life is short” (even though we love to procrastinate). But I think we do have a lot of time at our disposal. We just choose to squander a lot of it, too.

Then what’s the true scarcity of this world? What is the one thing that’s radically limited and expires very quickly?

Money? Time? Milk?

I think there’s something even more scarce: human attention.

Read on to see how you can use this scarcity principle to give yourself an edge on the written portions of the bar exam.

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Changes to the California Bar Exam in 2017 July (Format, Grading, and How to Prep)

If this coming July is the first time you’re taking the California bar, I’m sorry to inform you that you can no longer get legacy bragging rights for enduring three days of this shit.

At least you can be informed of what’s happening in July and what you can do in response. Let’s take a look…

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4 Things to Remember for Performance Tests (You Won’t Believe #2!)

Many bar takers don’t know what to do with their time after they’re done with it. They forget what they used to enjoy.

They continue to study for the bar (just in case)… They take time off and go on a trip they can’t afford before going back to the real world (#funemployed)… They grind away at work and miss studying…

They’re bored.

“You’re bored? Isn’t there a mirror in the bathroom? You can look into it until it breaks,” I tell them passive-aggressively but only in my head because social decorum dictates it.

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How to Be the Ultimate Sore Loser (to Pass the Bar Exam Next Time)

The demonic countdown reads 1 minute…and it’s finally 6 PM.

You waited for this moment for months, maybe years. Schroedinger’s bar results are available, where irreconcilable possibilities, zero and one, coexist as long as you resist observation.

“Do I really check right now? Should I leave it alone?” Do you choose purgatory or risk hell? “I could just wait until Sunday so I could avoid anxiety / have a relaxing weekend!” Good luck with that, dude.

You can’t handle the anticipation bursting out of the seams of your heart. You slap in your applicant code, endure the few seconds of pristine agony, and see that you…

Did not pass. Only 43.1% did (for the July 2016 California Bar Exam).

FORTY-THREE PERCENT… That’s a February-level low. This was extremely tough.

This is the third-lowest pass rate on record for the July exam, and the trend is getting worse. It hasn’t been this low for the July exam since 1984, and the only other known low of this magnitude was back in 1951. What the hell is wrong with these people?

So you are in the majority. I don’t think that’s all that comforting, though. You still failed the bar.

I’m truly sorry and regretful to hear this news. After reading this, let me know if you want to discuss anything or just vent.

Nonetheless, I can’t sugarcoat it forever. At this point, a time machine is the only thing that will make you feel better.

Maybe you have a job or loans or children or a relationship dependent on your passage. Maybe you need your bar license to get a job in the first place. And maybe this wasn’t your first time taking the bar and need to change strategies (if something didn’t work for you, don’t do more of it).

Whatever the case, how frustrated are you? If you’re the type who hates to lose, who will struggle like an ugly worm because you care about what you are and what you want to do with your talents, I can show you how you just might pass next time…

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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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