Myth of Memorization on the Bar Exam

Many bar takers are obsessed with the idea of memorization. It’s something a lot of students have concerns with and something I think about, too.

I think it comes from a place of insecurity. They say, “As long as I memorize this perfectly, I will be set for the bar exam.”

No, that’s not the point!

This is a common thought process, especially for those starting out. Yes, you do want to memorize as early as you can. And yes, you def want to know the material before the bar.

It’s not that I’m ragging on memorization. You should memorize. It’s table stakes. Everyone’s doing it. It’s a minimum requirement. Just a cost of entry.

I do want to point out what bar students miss when they get tunnel vision around memorization. Don’t miss the forest for the trees:

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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:

“All I had to do was listen to all those bar course lectures. They were so helpful!”

Can you imagine?

Sometimes we think “doing whatever it takes” to pass the bar means throwing thousands of dollars into a black hole. (But it doesn’t have to be expensive.)

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

tfw you think the lectures are making sense

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

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Preparing for the 2020 Bar Exam: Learn from Their Biggest Mistakes

It’s that time again. Results for the 2019 July bar exam are in for every state.

You’ve endured the obligatory “aww… you got this” and “I’m sure you passed” comments for weeks and months.

Anxiety squirting into your heart every time you thought of the moment of truth. Heart ricocheting around your ribcage as you check for your name on the pass list. Waiting is the hardest part.

Well, the insanity of the wait is over. But it turns out your nightmare isn’t over…

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