If you are taking the February bar exam, then I recommend that you begin (if you have not already begun) your studies now. It is never too early to start preparing for the bar exam. If you are in your last semester of law school you are probably busy with your final classes and perhaps looking into or seeking employment opportunities. While these are both important, you should not delay in preparing for your next major hurdle – that of passing the bar exam. If you have not already chosen a bar review program, then you had better get going on that very quickly. Whether you have enrolled in a course or not, I recommend that you begin your studies now.
Here is what I recommend (for first time takers):
1. Prepare for your bar prep by determining where you will study when you are not in class (will it be your bedroom, an office, a library? Think about it and make a plan).
2. Make a list of your best and worst subjects in law school.
3. Identify your strengths and weaknesses early (for example, do you have trouble with MBEs or with writing? You ought to know by now which areas you have difficulty with in terms of testing. This will be important as you will want to devote more time to the areas that present the most trouble).
4. Set aside time now, each week, to study for the bar. Your bar class will likely not begin until after you graduate from law school. However, you should NOT postpone your studies until then. Instead, begin taking practice mbes so that you can begin to familiarize yourself with the format of the bar exam and re-acquaint yourself with subjects that you have not studied in a long time. if you are currently in law school and about to take the February 2012 bar exam, I recommend that you devote four hours per week during the months of October and November to early bar study.
5. Begin preparing your family and friends for your upcoming unavailability (see our post about “disconnecting” during bar studies). Your family and friends know what it has been like to have you in law school. They certainly remember that you have midterms and finals and that during those few weeks each year that you were probably unavailable or less available. However, they may not have an appreciation for the battle that is ahead of you when you begin your preparations for the bar exam. You will do yourself a great service in explaining to everyone now what this process will require. Let your family and friends know that you will be unavailable once you begin your bar review program.
It is very helpful to prepare those around you for your absence. I am not suggesting that you don’t talk to anyone at all for two months. However, if you are serious about passing the bar exam, you will limit your social activity and focus on your studies. To really have an excellent chance of passing the bar on your first attempt (or any attempt for that matter) you will need to study all day and everyday for two months. During this two month period of time you will need to take breaks. BUT, you will not have time to go out several nights a week, to take lots of phone calls, spend copious amounts of time emailing and text messaging and surfing the net.
Stay tuned for more advice in the coming days and weeks. Also, if you are interested in receiving our free MBE handouts, send us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Congratulations to all of you who are about to graduate from law school and good luck to all who are awaiting bar results from the July 2012 bar exam!
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