Glass half full says this is a difficult but doable challenge. I am ready. I can do this! All bar takers out there, know that you are supported!! Give yourself these two months to do the best you can. We need you as tomorrow’s lawyers.
It’s easy to get discouraged when studying. Mountains of materials make it all overwhelming. But please remember that education is a treasure; it is an endless gift to be able to spend time learning. Confront challenges and problem solve to dissipate road blocks. And, try hard to put a smile on your face when you are working. It is amazing how inner positivity can have a productive ripple effect.
You will find reliable information in The Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements. According to the NCBE, “The Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements, published in collaboration with the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, provides information on bar admission requirements in all US jurisdictions, including a directory of state bar admission agencies.”
Start with the Comprehensive Guide, then go on to study the website of the bar examiners in the jurisdiction where you plan to take the bar .
If you are preparing to PASS the upcoming bar exam, calendar your simulated bar exam next week so you have time to learn from -and improve from- the experience. Take the exam under as close as possible to simulated exam conditions. And, study the sample answers to any questions you got wrong or guessed on as soon as possible after the simulated exam.
#barexam, #simulatedbar, #barreview
How tense are you right now? How much learning is blocked from coming into and staying in your brain because of nerves.
My constant refrain that I ask bar takers and other students getting ready for exam to tell yourselves is: “Turn Panic into Power and not Paralysis.” That power phrase appears in my books and articles and in most every talk I give to students preparing for high stakes exams.
There are many steps for turning panic into power. Step one is always to breathe. We’ll talk about next steps in future blog posts.
Many students share that as midterms and finals approach, and during bar prep, they find themselves unusually eager to clean their homes, review and delete old emails, clip their toenails. You get the idea – anything other than studying!
Here are tips if this is your situation:
- Know that procrastination is normal. Lose the self-criticism.
- See some procrastinating as a positive. Sometimes, it does serve a useful purpose – helping re-charge your batteries so that you are all-in when you are studying.
- If your procrastination is paralyzing, rather than positive, seek help from reliable, expert resources.
- Think of an academic goal as a series of finite projects. It is more tempting to avoid something that feels like a huge challenge. Identifying tasks as doable parts of a project makes them more approachable.
- Once you identify the various tasks, ask yourself if any of them feel overwhelming, and see if you can get some help with those pieces of the puzzle.
- List what you tend to do when you procrastinate and schedule specific, limited time slots for those things. Don’t make them guilty pleasures. Make them a controlled part of your day. For example, if you procrastinate with social media, you may find yourself losing many hours. If you know that every day, you have social media “office hours,” you will be less apt to use that as an escape.
- Study first, then take your time “off.”
- Adopt a routine. Being on a schedule will help your body and brain “accept” that you just do particular tasks at certain times. You just do.
- Talk to yourself about how good you feel when you accomplish what you set out to do. And, if it’s helpful, remind yourself how icky it feels when you don’t. Simple example: many people have a habit of never going to sleep with dirty dishes in the sink. No matter how tired they are, they just don’t procrastinate on that one. Why? They find it pleasant to wake to a clean sink and very unpleasant to wake to dirt. They also realize that the task gets more difficult the longer food sticks to dishes. And, they know that a sink for of dirty dishes attracts bugs.
- Articulate why your big goals are important and valuable. And give yourself props for all the hard work you are doing.
#studysuccess, #academicsuccess, #lawschool, #lawstudent, #ASP, #barsuccess
It is easy to feel stuck in pandemania, but there will be a future, and the time is now to prepare yourself for it. The time is now to push through the challenges, to seek and receive assistance if you need it, and to follow your vision – one step at a time.
To all, may the year bring hope, happiness, and health!
To upcoming bar takers, and all facing great challenges, may you embrace that which is difficult knowing that your effort is worthwhile, your courage is great, and your persistence will be rewarded.
AALS 2016, after CALI’s early morning breakfast meeting, I found myself in the elevator with Deb Quentel. CALI’s newly released set of skills lessons trace back to that elevator! Deb and I talked then and then at length when I returned to South Florida. I shared how excited I was about the lessons, tracking and assessment opportunities. I incorporated CALI lessons right away into 2L and 3L courses in the ASP department I directed at NSU, and I spoke with Deb about ideas to create skills lessons –for all law students including 1Ls. I did not have the bandwidth then to develop them, but I held on tightly to the ideas.
Fast forward to the CALI annual conference in 2018. I sat with John Mayer and we talked at length. I suggested CALI consider developing law school ASP skills lessons, and encouraged CALI to apply for an AccessLex Grant to fund the effort. The rest, as they say, is history. The Law School Academic and Skills Lessons are live! Thank you, CALI. And, thank you, AccessLex!
These lessons will allow ASPers nationwide to expand their reach and their offerings to students. As all of us who are or have been in the ASP trenches know just how important it is to have quality resources for our students. These are also all online so perfectly adaptable to the shift to online learning that the pandemic forced on us and that you all have embraced heroically. And, as if all of that were not enough, what I am most proud of is that these are not only the highest quality (and editable by faculty who use them), they are free to law students in CALI member schools. This project thus serves the invaluable purpose of democratizing reliable supplements. Already stretched financially to intolerable levels, with the negative economic ripple of this pandemic, the importance of free quality study and skills resources simply cannot be overstated.
So again, thank you John, Deb, Sara, and everyone at CALI. Thank you Allie, Laura, Nicole, Courtney, Renee, Melissa, and Steven — the faculty authors. Thank you to all the peer reviewers. And, thank you AccessLex for supporting this project.
And, thanks to legal educators across the country. Our collective support of law students is vital, now more than ever, to maintain our nation as one governed by the rule of law.