“You were made to do difficult things, so believe in yourself.”
This week, bar preparation has officially begun. To most, that brings feelings of doom, stress, and anxiety. Although those feelings are normal and shared, you should feel not only a sense of accomplishment for graduating law school, but you should feel excited. The one thing standing in between you and being an attorney is a test. I have some good news: you are all capable of beating this test.
To begin, think of bar preparation as three steps each day and throughout your journey:
- Learning the law. The first step when studying for the bar exam is to learn and understand the law you are going to need to apply to questions. You will be learning the law through lectures, outlines, and other resources you may have. This is a critical step. If you don’t understand something, or have never heard of a particular legal concept, take a step back and spend some time on it. Your understanding of the law is critical to your bar exam success.
- Memorize the law. When you’re going through your bar preparation course, the memorization is already beginning – you just do not realize it right away. Then, in the latter half of your bar study, you’re going to be actively spending time memorizing rules and legal concepts. Utilize the strategies that you’ve always used in school to memorize, whether it be flashcards, speaking out loud, or listening to an audio recording. The techniques you have used to memorize in the past will work for you now. A later post on memorizing will specifically lay out ways in which many students memorize for the bar exam!
- Practice, practice, practice. The bar exam is a test of application. You need to take the law you understand, and take the law you memorized, and apply it to different factual scenarios. This is true for both the MBE and the MEE. Practice questions not only help you with application, but they help you learn the law. These questions allow you to see the concepts in practice, and help you retain law better. With the performance test – practice simply makes perfect. The more performance tests you complete, the better you will be with timing, and the more comfortable you will feel walking into that exam!
So – this blog serves as a guide to help you through your bar exam study. Check here every couple of days for new posts on what you might be wondering about. Chances are – everyone is wondering the same things as you: (1) what do I do if I’m falling behind; (2) what do I do if my MBE scores are low; or (3) what do I do if I still feel like I don’t have enough memorized to write an essay? This is a one-stop-shop for bar exam tips, tricks, advice and support!
Remember to start off strong – starting with great momentum follows you throughout your study. Good luck!