How Do You Become Confident in Your Bar Prep?

Are you panicking? Feeling crazy like a possessed head of lettuce (which doesn’t even make sense because it’s just that crazy)? Feeling stuck and overwhelmed?

If so, these are perfectly valid reactions to the daunting task before you. You’re not alone in feeling this way!

It’s OK if you don’t feel confident about your bar prep. As a guy, I can understand being pressured to “be confident” and “be yourself.” That kind of advice is so vague and misleading I don’t even know where to begin.

But if you want to rant to me or ask me for “any advice?” so you can somehow receive a magical response with the one weird trick that will solve all your problems and make you feel a little happy for more than three minutes… If you’re hoping for that feeling of confidence to be infused in a green-juice smoothie delivered to you from outside yourself…

Cease.

That’s not happening today. This is a letter to the you who is willing to develop confidence in your bar prep.

If you’re not ready or willing to generate that feeling from within yourself, you can come back to this later. Or never—who says you need to feel confident with your bar prep anyway?

Continue reading How Do You Become Confident in Your Bar Prep?

Bar Exam Success Commandment 4: I Will Give You Actual Confidence (to Identify Issues Without Issue Spotting)

The angel on your shoulder whispers to you as you hallucinate from studying…

Don’t cry, you’re going to be a fine lawyer… You’re a good person no matter what… Life is short, just YOLO it…

Screw you, it doesn’t matter even if you never appear again! We’re trying to pass the bar here!


This is the last of a four-part series on what I think are fundamental study strategies, whether you’re a first timer or a repeater. They are fundamental in that they are important concepts that I focused on that made a difference in my second attempt, but you can tailor the concepts to your own needs.

Part 1How to Gain a Superpower for the Bar Exam
Part 2Time to Apologize to Math Now (and Improve Your MBE Score)

As mentioned at the end of Part 3: How to Exploit Scarcity on the Bar (and Improve Your Essays), recall that you can still salvage partial credit for incomplete rules and application. But without identifying the right issues, you get zero credit for those unraised issues.

I mentioned the WHAT (identifying issues) and said I would tell you the HOW (to systematize that mystical process).  We try not to use the s-word (“spotting”) around here. We don’t randomly “spot” issues that we happen to catch in the stream of facts.

This was actually one of the biggest game-changing insights I had for my second time.


Continue reading Bar Exam Success Commandment 4: I Will Give You Actual Confidence (to Identify Issues Without Issue Spotting)

Bar Exam Success Commandment 3: How to Exploit Scarcity (and Improve Your Bar Essays)

Excuses, excuses… Let me know if any of these sound familiar.

We like to tell people we “don’t have time” or that “time is the most valuable resource” or that “life is short~” (even though we love to procrastinate).

You’ll never hear me say that last one. Life is actually really long! Can you even imagine being confined in prison for more than 1-2 years? Compare that time to our lifespan of 80-90+ years. Having lived 31 years already feels like forever, and with my luck, I’ll have to go through it two more times.

Point is, we do have a lot of time at our disposal. We just choose to squander a lot of it, too.

Whatever “squander” means to you, if that’s the way you want to live your life, I support your right to do so. But don’t blame the human condition or your age for a “short” life; blame yourself.

Then what’s the true scarcity of this world? What is the one thing that’s radically limited and expires very quickly?

Money? Everyone wants it, but you can always make more.

Time? You don’t necessarily lose time forever. You can get your time back to do what matters to you: Hire a maid instead of cleaning, get takeout instead of cooking, get Magicsheets & Approsheets to assist with practice instead of painstakingly recreating condensed outlines and essay attack sheets, etc.

(BTW the time for investigating and hemming and hawing is over; do not get them if you’re a tool collector who wonders why they’re so overwhelmed)

I think there’s something even more scarce.

Read on to see my answer and how you can use this scarcity principle to give yourself an edge on the written portions of the bar exam.

Continue reading Bar Exam Success Commandment 3: How to Exploit Scarcity (and Improve Your Bar Essays)

A candid, no-BS look at bar exam preparation after everyone else has bounced