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.

To be honest, 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 uses your name in conversation without having to say, “Sorry what was your name again? I’m so terrible with names hahahahaha.” 

Actually, I think I creeped my neighbor the hell out when I greeted her by her name after having met once. Well hey, some people just won’t appreciate you, and that’s how life is.

I was able to remember because of the same thing I did as a 1L: I used a notepad (now my phone) to write down new people’s names so I could keep referring back to them later. Kristina has no clue who I am now, but I remember meeting her on the metro bus on the way to the bonfire in 2010 thanks to that notepad.

Useless information I wish I could forget—I tend to remember the very things I want to forget about the most. But if it’s possible to remember names of people we don’t give a damn about, then it’s possible to remember the foundations for our profession.

One of the themes I advocate here regarding improving 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 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 of shit. 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 Do I Get Motivated to Study?

Man… I see this question more often than I want to. And if you look closely, it’s basically people just complaining that they don’t want to study.

How did they graduate law school? If finally becoming an attorney doesn’t entice them, I don’t know what to say. More like I hold back on giving a huge answer every time I see the question!

HOW do you get motivated? How DO you get motivated? How do you get MOTIVATED?

You don’t. Well, you can’t count on it to come to you first. Asking about it is just going to get you into a pity party with other people who also “don’t have motivation.” The blind leading the blind.

Keep reading to find out:

  • My answer to the titular question (or what doesn’t get you motivation)
  • 3 approaches to getting my own work done (and how you can apply this to your bar prep)
  • 5 productivity tactics (that don’t require you to give up on sleep)

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Admire the Buttcrack (and 9 Other Last Minute Tips for Bar Exam Week)

Implementing, practicing, and doing. I hope, by doing those things, you’ve made solid progress!

You probably don’t feel ready anyway. The good news is that the more prepared you actually are, the less you feel prepared. The bad news is that the other way isn’t necessarily true.

Not all hope is lost, ye weary traveler. For now, go in with a “might as well, even if I’m screwed” or a “you never know until you try” attitude. You’ll be able to say, “I’m glad I tried.”

You'll never know unless you try

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