You have questions about the bar exam. How to study. When to study. Whether you’re on the right track. Picking the right bar prep supplements.
I have some answers. You may or may not decide they’re the “best” answers for you, but do you need 100% optimal answers?
What you’re really looking for is certainty. Someone to just TELL you what the hell to do. The loudest voice.
But that’s where the danger lies in the landscape of bar prep. Everyone who passed is suddenly a “tutor” who can teach you their secrets. You shop around yet end up where you started.
There are no secrets, and there are a million ways to pass. You have it in you already. It’s always been up to you.
Sounds scary but also freeing, right?
Sure you could use some support from others, but I want to encourage you to listen to yourself a little more instead of blindly doing what someone else says you “need” to do… Not just with bar prep but with everything else.
But it’s all so overwhelming… Examples of frequently asked questions:
- Which course/program should I take?
- “Any tips” for the MBE/essays/passing the bar?
- Should I get AdaptiBar or UWorld?
- Which outline should I get?
- I’m a retaker. What do I do now?
X or Y? A vs B?
Analysis paralysis keeps you from doing anything at all.
It’s good to get various opinions, but waiting for perfect knowledge before you act can make you LESS certain. Unless they know your situation, advice is often just a reflection of their own situation. Bar prep is personal.
If you want to make the wrong decision, listen to everyone. Debate over conflicting views. Ask question after question, but don’t do anything with the answers.
Oftentimes, you already know the answer! But maybe you just want to vent or have someone validate you in this time of uncertainty.
Instead, I want to empower you to make your own independent choices about what makes sense for you (and be confident about them).
Again, it’s good to do your due diligence. It’s part of making a decision. Let me offer some suggestions to narrow down that process:
1️⃣ Part of getting good answers is asking questions well.
2️⃣ If you need structure, any major course will “work” (maybe not Kaplan).
It’s not about which tennis racquet you use against Serena Williams that’ll make the difference. It’s your technique with the racquet. If you do use a course, know how to use it properly so that you’re learning from it.
3️⃣ Curate advice as well, not just tools.
There’s a cost to getting 100 different recommendations and joining every free workshop and study group: You’re lowering the signal-to-noise ratio. How are you going to decide which advice to use? You get even more confused.
Pick and stick to FEWER sources of advice you can trust.
4️⃣ Our minds play a trick on us where we think that the more extreme an action is, or the more we pay for something, the more we think it’ll change things.
5️⃣ No one can teach you. You can only learn.
You could have a gym trainer but end up going through the motions with no gains.
You could have a therapist and not see any changes because you’re unwilling to change your thoughts.
There’s a lot of useful advice out there. The question is how you can implement it in your specific situation. Take what you can use, and leave the rest.
There’s no such thing as the “best,” only what is a fit for you. Instead of agonizing over the “best” resource or the “best” teacher, you should be concerned about how YOU can be a good student. Successful students apply the advice they do get instead of waiting for the advice they want to hear.
I’ve already curated some tools and approaches that have worked for me and many others. There’s no way for me to guarantee an outcome, but I can help you weigh the outcomes.
If you try something and it doesn’t work, great. Elimination is one way to progress. Cross it off the list, and try another. This is how you figure out what works for you.
Ultimately, bar preparation is a self-study endeavor. Tools, courses, and supplements are simply there to support that.
Put another way, you’re the dean of your own studies. Here’s how to fix 4 common mindsets that hold you back from being an effective dean.