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!

Author: Sara J. Berman

Sara J. Berman, a graduate of the UCLA School of Law, is a Professor of Law and Assistant Dean at the Touro Law Center. She formerly served as a Director at the Washington DC-based Center for Legal Education Excellence.

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