Memorizing for the Bar Exam: How to Remember and Recite the Rules

There’s this weird phenomenon where you meet someone new and then 1 second later it’s impossible to remember each other’s names.

If I didn’t care about them 10 seconds ago, I’m not gonna care about them all of a sudden as if they were my newborn (whom I’d name Genghis (Hahn) so I don’t forget).

But what can I say? It’s impressive, for that exact reason, when someone actually remembers your name in conversation without having to say, “Sorry what was your name again? I’m so terrible with names hahahahaha.”

One of the themes I advocate is to focus more on “big wins” and needle movers. Not spending an ungodly number of hours exhausting yourself with lectures, flashcard arts and crafts, or endless memorization.

However, memorizing (or more directly, remembering) is still an unavoidable base requirement for succeeding on your essays and the MBE.

And the fact is, your bar exam requires you to remember a LOT. The typical brain is made for processing data but not so much for forcing discrete information to be inscribed into your memory forever.

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How to Craft Your Own Study Schedule with a “Macro-managed” Plan

The only thing I remember from law school is my negotiations professor saying this in class randomly: “Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.”

It’s so true. Is bar preparation worth doing? Then it’s worth doing right.

By now, you’re filled with determination to study and get this thing over with… but how? Where do you even begin?

You may be lost and not sure where to start heading from here. Like you just ran into a dead end in an unfamiliar part of town and your phone’s about to die (which is why I finally got a car charger after months of denial about how good my phone’s battery actually is).

We talked about how, whether or not you use a “big box” course, this is still a self-learning endeavor. We also talked about how you’re the dean of your own studies. You’re ultimately responsible for learning and internalizing the material as well as the skills to apply the material.

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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:

“I listened to all those bar course lectures. They were so helpful!”

Trying to sit through and listen to bar course lectures from Barbri, Kaplan, Themis, BarMax...
Can you imagine?

Sometimes we think “doing whatever it takes” to pass the bar means throwing thousands of dollars into a black hole.

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. Or worse, pausing lectures to fill in all the notes. Then not even remembering 99% of it.

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

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