Bar Preparation Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive

It’s socially acceptable to shit on math. It’s politically incorrect to dislike “travel” or “dogs.” And it’s considered weird and risky to not sign up for a big bar prep course by the end of your third year of law school.

Let’s start by addressing that last one about bar courses.

Unless you were already exposed to the idea of alternate paths, you probably naturally assumed that you needed to go with a bar prep company after graduation. The question was framed as “what’s the best bar course” rather than “should I?” You were bombarded with offers from the usual suspects since day one.

So it’s not your fault. Also, there’s nothing wrong with using a course per se. I’m 100% for educating ourselves.

It’s just that you don’t NEED a course. You don’t NEED a tutor. You don’t have to spend $10,000 or $4,000 or anything close to that (besides registration fees) every time you take this test. (I’ll show you how below.)

I’m not wagging my finger saying you must or mustn’t enroll in a bar prep course. The right investments will pay off. I’m just saying you can think about it and consciously decide for yourself.

There is a way to pass the bar other than with big box bar prep courses.

Start by checking for any internal narratives you may have about what you need to buy to prepare for the bar. Here, I’ll help you reexamine the default assumptions born from “big bar” lobbying by answering these questions:

  • What are the drawbacks of “big box” bar programs?
  • What can you do instead to address these drawbacks?
  • What are the benefits of big bar courses?
  • Should you sign up for one? (It depends)
  • How do you prepare for the bar exam without a prep course or a big budget?
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How to Get 20/20 FORESIGHT for the 2020 Bar Exam

Welcome to 2020, where “social distancing,” “the new normal,” and “stay home” are the new meme phrases to replace “in this economy.”

But life and the bar go on relentlessly no matter the state of the planet.

It’s that time yet again. Results for the 2020 February bar exam are in for every state (pass rate in California 26.8% WTF?).

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 hard part. It’s even harder to get non-lawyers to shut up about obligatory “aww… you got this” and “I’m sure you passed” comments for weeks and months.

Well, I’m just gonna ask you. Did you pass?

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You Need a Study Plan: Why You Should Make Your Own Bar Prep Study Schedule in 2020

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.

We know that we must enjoy the process (not merely fixate on the goal of passing the bar) for sustainable momentum.

Just as what’s enjoyable is personal, bar prep is also personal.

You might be working while studying for the bar exam. Maybe you have every day free for bar prep and don’t want to blow this opportunity. Or maybe you have the first 6 hours of your day free while the kids are in school/Zoom classes.

There are a million ways you could approach this which can’t be captured with a unified master calendar. There is no one-size-fits-all study schedule. This alone is reason to abandon the cookie-cutter plan and create one that works for your situation.

Cool, but where do you begin?

You may be lost and not sure where to start heading from here. Like you ran into 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 was).

Here’s a first step that will narrow down your routes and simplify the sudoku of choices…

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