The 20/10 Cycle: How I Hacked My Motivation to Study 12 Hours a Day

Try this and get back to me. Ask friends who are single (or better yet, a date) why they’re on [whatever dating website they’re on]. See how many say this:

“Oh I’m just bored, lol.”

Yeah right! Come on now. If they were really bored, they could be doing plenty of other things on the Internet in this day and age. But somehow people think “I’m bored” is an answer as convincing as “I’m lonely.”

It’s such a surface-level answer that says nothing. You’re bored…because you’re lonely and have no one to talk to? You’re bored…of no one showering you with compliments like they used to? You’re bored…because it’s Valentine’s Day (which is my birthday)?

Now I’m not advocating telling people the bare truth about why you’re prowling dating profiles in the dark trying to sleep even though your arms are getting tired holding up your mobile device like Rafiki in the opening scene of The Lion King.

Rafiki in Bed
For best results, tilt head left approximately 90 degrees.

It’s just that I see the same kind of platitudes and self-delusions surrounding how much bar study one can get done. How many times have you said that you’re going to grind through all those essays and MBEs today/tomorrow/this week? After all, it’s just you and your laptop at the library!

I'm kinda worried about this person's bar prep

And how many times have you actually accomplished it? Hmm…

Continue reading “The 20/10 Cycle: How I Hacked My Motivation to Study 12 Hours a Day”

I Messed Up

Something happened on Friday that I thought was relevant to the topic of an upcoming post: dealing with your weak areas on the bar.

For weeks, I’d been corresponding with a patent examiner giving me the runaround regarding a patent application close to allowance. But he was a nice guy who was willing to work with me (when available) and share information.

We exchanged emails (i.e., on record) discussing the merits of the case when I should have used email only to set up a phone call. I sent documents that were not in compliance with the guidelines. I had not CC’d the client manager (who is ultimately responsible for the case) until today when I forwarded the entire exchange as a FYI.

In addition to getting chewed out by the exasperated client manager, I got called in get a stern talking to by two other partners. I thought I was going to be reborn into the next life.

Will I get over it? Sure, it’s a learning experience and an inspiration to do better.

But you can bet your sweet ass that I will from now run email and document drafts by the responsible supervisor (so that the case doesn’t get compromised if it ever goes to litigation or even be grounds for malpractice).

My neurons have locked in these jarring experiences to avoid this mistake at all costs.

Keep this in mind as you read the upcoming material and think about how messing up is not always such a bad thing (for example, if I happened to pass the bar the first time, I’m not sure if this project would exist).

Sometimes all you need to get unstuck is permission to fail, and you have it from me.

Should You Get a Bar Tutor?

A question that comes up sometimes is whether one should get a bar tutor. Since I have no experience with that, I had to find out how others have dealt with this issue.

On your behalf (because no one else did), I asked three people who took the bar the second time with a tutor and passed. There is a lot of great information here for those on the fence, so pay attention!

Since I usually talk too much, I’ll let L, D and E handle it from here.

Continue reading “Should You Get a Bar Tutor?”