Archive for December, 2009

Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year Celebrations: Include Your Family in Studying for the February Bar Exam

Posted in Uncategorized on December 23, 2009 by barprofs

This weekend marks 2 months to go until the February bar exam. Take a few days off to relax your mind and have quality time with those that love you.   Take the time off with no guilt attached. 

Those that really love you want to see you pass the bar.  Know that with certainty.  Those who are pulling and picking at you, saying you don’t have to study that long or want you to go to the clubs and parties are not your true friends and do not want you to be successful.  Hopefully, you have ejected them from your life for these final 2 months that you are studying.

Sometimes those loved ones see you study and see your struggle and wish they could help you, but don’t know how.  Bar applicants who have children find it hard to be both a parent and have a full time study plan.  Don’t ignore them.  Try to integrate them into your “experience”.

During these weeks of celebration for Hanukkah, Christmas and New Years, look at those that are supporting you in ways you may not even realize.  Maybe your mom makes you breakfast every morning before you leave to go study.  Maybe your spouse is doing the heavy lifting as you study.  Let them know you appreciate their support, even if they are just getting out of your way during this period before the bar exam.

No person is an island.  You need your family and friends during this stressful period of bar exam studying. Have your family help you.  They will be glad to help and they will be proud of the little part they played in your success.  Give your family members or your children one of your study books and have them test you.  This is particularly good for the elements of a cause of action. Have your family help you recite those causes of action.  See if you can make a game out of it, with your children or family members each calling out an element of a cause of action. 

You may be surprised on game day when you are calling up the exceptions to the hearsay rule and you remember the face of your loved ones yelling it out to you.

Have a terrific Christmas, Hanukah and New Years.  Rest, relax and then get back to work.  The February Bar Exam is right around the corner.

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The Importance of Having a Study Plan for the Bar Exam

Posted in Uncategorized on December 11, 2009 by barprofs

A study plan is imperative to pass a bar exam, whether you are taking it for the first time or you are a repeat bar taker.

Why a study plan?  In order to pass the bar, you need two things:  time-management and discipline.  Sticking to a study plan will conquer both requirements.  Thorough preparation is the key to passing the exam and having a plan in place will allow you to manage your time and using your discipline to stick to the study schedule. For a plan to work, you have to address your learning style as well as the substantive areas you will be tested on.

What do I mean by learning style?  Ask yourself, how do you learn?  What worked for you in law school?  Some people like reading outlines, some like to do practice questions and then read the answer explanations, some like to do their own outlines, or make up flashcards.  You should know the answer to this question by now.  How do you best learn or memorize the substantive law?  Also, ask yourself, when do you best learn? . What works for you?  Do you like the evening hours to study, do you take frequent breaks.  Know all of that before you write your study plan.  Also, just prior to the bar, switch over to the bar schedule.  Get up early, as if you are taking the bar, and work for those 3 hours as if you are sitting for the bar, break for lunch and do another 3 hour stretch to mimic the bar.

For your study plan, you should first start with relearning and reviewing the outlines with some practice questions thrown in and as you pick up the pace, you’ll reverse it and do more practice questions and essays and only use your outlines for clarification on questions you get wrong or confused about. 

Be realistic with your goals and your study habits.  For example, you can’t go throughout the entire day with no lunch or no exercise or no breaks because you were unrealistic in the time aspect of your plan.  You have to write a study plan that suits you and your personality without slacking off.

Don’t ignore your weak areas or your strong areas.  You may not need to schedule as much time in your stronger subjects, but review them as consistently as you do all the other subjects.  You may not need to read or reread the outlines of your strong subjects, but during those time periods, practice your questions.  You may need those extra points on the bar.  For your weaker subjects, do not ignore those subjects.  All bar examinees have weak subjects.  Spend time on those subjects as you would other subjects and just keep practicing.  You’ll be surprised at how much you really do know in those weak subjects. 

Where should you study?  Again, that depends on your learning style.  Can you get work done at home or does the distraction of the television or the computer or the phone make you turn it on? Does studying at your school make you study more or do your fellow students distract you and make you chatter rather than study?  Make sure wherever you go that it is quiet.  Turn off the phone, the text messaging, and the internet.  This is too important for you and your career to be easily distracted.  Let’s face it – none of us what to spend the next 6 weeks in constant study – it’s torture.  Just remember this is your career you are talking about.  You sacrificed to go to law school, you can sacrifice for the two months and you’ll be a lawyer for the rest of your career.

Good luck in your studying.

Please note Bar Professors offers private tutorial for the Florida 2010 bar.  Send inquires to pass@barprofessors.com.

Repeat Bar Takers: Don’t Let the Odds Discourage Your Goal to Pass the Bar Exam

Posted in Uncategorized on December 6, 2009 by barprofs

As a repeat bar taker, you are clearly at a distinct disadvantage for passing your next bar exam.

The pass rate for all repeat takers for the California July 2009 bar was a shocking 22%.  In California, 2,515 applicants were repeat takers for July 2009 and only 553 applicants passed.  In Texas, only 52% of the second time bar takers passed the July 2009 bar and only 38% of repeat takers in Massachusetts passed in July 2009.

It’s time for all repeat bar takers to start studying now for the February 2010 bar exam.  The “key” to passing is obtaining a private tutor.  Do not do what you did before – taking a commercial bar course a second time will not help you.  Make sure you have a plan in place to ensure your success.

Please note Bar Professors offers private tutorial for the Florida 2010 bar.  Send inquires to pass@barprofessors.com.