Archive for December, 2010

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

Posted in Uncategorized on December 19, 2010 by barprofs

You have about 9 weeks to go until the February bar exam. Take a few days off during the holidays 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.

Please note that BarProfessors provides private tutorial for the Florida, California, Texas and New York February 2011 bar exams. Please go to barprofessors.com or send an e-mail to pass@barprofessors.com

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Repeating the Bar Exam

Posted in Uncategorized on December 12, 2010 by barprofs

The time has come when you check the bar examiners website, look up your number and see that you have failed the bar. Shock, disappointment, sadness, angry, embarassment – you run the gaunlet of emotions. What do you do now?

Spend a little time with your emotions. Get them all out – have yourself a cry, throw your books across the room, but then there comes a time when you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and try again. That will determine what you are made of and that, believe it or not, will determine what kind of lawyer you become. In the future, when you do pass the bar, you”ll bee in the middle of a particularly trying case and everything goes wrong, but your client is depending on you for help. You refocus your energy, dust yourself and your client off, and begin anew.

If you must take the bar exam again, do not take too long to get over your emotions. Have your cry and move on. It’s time to refocus again on the bar. I’ve had students tell me that they have studied the hardest they had ever studied for anything in their lives for their first bar exam. That’s probably true, but that’s why it’s time to examine how your study. Taking the exam again will call for a change in approach, strategy, and preparation for you to pass that final hurdle in fulfilling your dream of becoming a lawyer. The bar exam is not an academic exercise. The bar examiners want to know whether you are prepared to practice law.

Look at your scores in depth. What areas of the law did you not do well in? Were you weak on evidence or real property? What areas of the exam did you not do well in. Was it the essays, performance test or MBE? That’s where you should start in reformulating how you are going to pass the bar. Did you do well in the essay portion or the performance test but not the MBE? The answers to these questions will determine how to prepare a strategy for yourself as your prepare for the next exam. If you are weak in writing essays, practice strategic writing and essay evaluation; if you are weak in MBE. do more practice questions and, more importantly, critique your subject matter comprehension.

Don’t do the same thing you did for the first bar you took. I personally don’t think that re-attending the same bar review course you took previously is going to help you. You need the extra time to really bone up on those weak areas, without, of course, neglecting the stronger areas of your performance. If you need extra help, see about getting a private tutor who can work one on one with you to keep you sharp and motivated and you” be on the way to passing the bar. Keep working, don’t despair and good luck.

Please note that BarProfessors provides private tutorial for the Florida, California, Texas and New York February 2011 bar exams. Please go to barprofessors.com or send an e-mail to pass@barprofessors.com

Why Do Law Students Fail the Bar Exam? How Can I Pass

Posted in Uncategorized on December 6, 2010 by barprofs

Most law students fail the Bar Exam for three major reasons:

1.  They revert back to bad writing habits developed in law school

Under the pressures of the bar exam, many students revert back to bad habits.  These bad habits allowed them to graduate from law school, but will be the kiss of death on the bar.  Some of the bad habits include, not organizing your answer, no line by line analysis and not answering the call of the question.

2.     Poor Preparation and Time Management. 

Many law students start their bar preparation entirely too late, leaving most in a rush mode.  For the upcoming February 2011 bar, your preparation should start no later than December 15, 2010.  You should allow yourself 5 to 6 hours per day for studying.  But more importantly, studying correctly is the key.  You need to write and answer many essays and MBE questions. Your answers must be evaluated by a private tutor.

3.  They don’t really believe that they will pass

You must have a belief that you will pass.  Get rid of all negative thoughts, people and things.  You must truly believe that you will pass.  You must say this every single day prior to the bar and you must have the confidence to succeed.

Please note that BarProfessors provides private tutorial for the Florida, California, Texas and New York February 2011 bar exams.  Please go to barprofessors.com or send an e-mail to pass@barprofessors.com

The Importance of Having a Study Plan for the Bar Exam

Posted in Uncategorized on December 5, 2010 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 February Florida, New York, Texas and California 2011 bars.  Send inquires to pass@barprofessors.com.