Monthly Archives: May 2015

Watching my students begin bar review brings back memories –believe it or not, good memories!

Why?  Bar review does not have to be the nightmare or hazing ritual so many think of it as.  It can be one of the most empowering experiences ever, if you approach it that way and keep your attitude positive.

You CAN learn everything you need to know.  You would not have graduated law school if you weren’t ready to do this.  There is nothing that is above you or too complicated for you to grasp, if you work hard enough. You will be surprised how many concepts that may have been confusing in law school now become clear. That is exciting.  It feels great to master rules that once confused you.

There are many reasons why bar review makes concepts clearer, including:

1) Bar review lecturers try to make rules clearer.  Their objective is not to “hide the ball.”

2) You see the immediate application of rules in the practice exam questions you are completing each day.  Your mind is ready and eager to absorb the concepts.  This is not about some far off “maybe you’ll need this one day.”  This learning is part of the toolbox that you need to go in and ace the bar exam this July!

3) Most concepts are easier to grasp once you have been exposed to them.  This is Bar Review not Bar Learning.

So, stay confident and optimistic!  To the extent you can, enjoy this opportunity to review. Study hard enough and seriously enough to feel like not only do you understand all the rules but you could explain them yourself to a lay person.  When you can clearly and easily explain a concept to someone with no legal background, that is when you know it’s crystal clear –or at least clear enough to walk in and PASS the Bar Exam!

Stay strong, eat well and a get a good night’s sleep every night, and let you mind be a sponge.  Bar review can feel a bit like a picture finally coming into focus after having been blurry for years. This summer is about clarity, and mastery; that is exciting.  It is empowering. And, I hope it may even be, dare I say, at least a little bit fun!

Good Luck Starting Bar Review!

Here is the talk I gave my students yesterday when they began bar review:

You are competing in the July 2015 Olympic Games, your Olympic Games.  You qualified to compete. We watched you, this Saturday at Graduation.  You proved yourselves these past three or four years.

Now, what do Olympians in training need after qualifying?

1) The ability, which you have!

2) A great coach, and we and your bar review are here for you.  And,

3) Time focused on hard work. Hard work —every day, sweating, falling down and getting hurt but getting back up and trying again, every day all day until game time.

This is your two months. It is all about you.  You have everything you need.  Now bring it.

Bring your grit, your commitment, your stubborn need to learn as much as you can and get as competent as possible in taking Essays, MBEs and PTs. Those are the three events you are competing in!  Just as the athlete in your shoes is now ready to give it her all, you too must give this your all.

You must need to pass.  Don’t just want it. Don’t just try. Need this. Hunger for it. Push for it. Do everything in your power to make it happen.

You qualified to compete. We are your coaches. We are here for you.

Now take a moment and picture yourself at the Swearing In ceremony after you pass the exam. That is our Medal Ceremony. Imagine yourself raising your right hand and taking the attorney’s oath.

Keep that image concrete in your mind, then stop your mind from thinking about what is next. Just get licensed.  Have that power tool in your arsenal. Then, decide what to do with it later. If you have a job, great; don’t think about it. If you don’t have a job, don’t think about it, and certainly don’t worry about it until August.  Everything is on hold until August. Whatever you decide to do, you will be better served because of the effort you put in now.

Everything is about, this summer.  Get as much as you can out of every minute of every lecture; read, study, and practice, practice, practice.  

Remember, you CAN do this!  You can pass this bar exam!!!