Ohio Bar Exam Application

If you plan on taking the July 2017 OHIO bar exam, then continue reading.

Ohio has a two-step application process: (1)  Application to Register as a Candidate for Admission (C&F Application) by mid-November of 2L year; and (2)  Bar Exam Application by April 3, 2017.

The C&F Application results in provisional approval and is valid for four years. The Bar Exam Application is your intent to sit for a specific exam and is valid only for that specific exam. The Ohio Office of Bar Admissions does not process Bar Exam Applications until the previous bar exam has been administered. The February 2017 exam was last week so the submission window is now open.

Items YOU must submit by April 3rd:

  • Supplemental Character Questionnaire*
    • update information provided in C&F application, including three additional character references.
  • Exam Application
  • Applicant Affidavit*
  • Law School Character Certificate
    • the law school must certify it has no knowledge of anything that would cause doubt regarding your character, fitness, or moral qualifications to practice law.
  • Non-Refundable Payments
    • bar exam fee and MPT fee. Must be certified checks or money orders.

*These items must be notarized.

Items your LAW SCHOOL must submit at least 30 days before the exam:

  • Final Law School Certificate
  • If applicable– Substance Abuse Instruction Certification
    • You do not need this if you received substance abuse instruction through a law school Professional Responsibility course. 

If you have questions about either the C&F Application or the Bar Exam Application, contact your law school’s bar support person or the Ohio Office of Bar Admissions.

-KSK

The Bar Exam: It’s Finally Over

It’s finally over. All those years of school, the weeks of studying, the stress, the uncertainty. The bar exam is now behind you. Yes, you’ve got to wait a few months for results but it’s out of your hands. You did all you could to prepare, you did your very best during the exam. Worrying won’t help anything and it won’t change the results. Thinking about all your perceived mistakes accomplishes nothing. It’s time to move forward and get back to real life.

dontlookback

– KSK

The Day Before the Bar Exam

Bar Exam Etiquette 

It’s been all about you for the past two months. There is no denying that you’ve been *slightly*selfish or that your friends and family waived the rules of etiquette so you could focus on bar exam prep.  Lucky for all of us, this is about to end. The bar exam starts tomorrow and you are not the only person taking it. There will be hundreds of other people in the testing center including examinees, proctors, computer techs, and bar examiners. If you are in a multi-use facility, there might even be other events going on at the same time. Let this sink in…

goofus

If your first reaction was to be ticked off, think again. It’s not about you anymore. You can be focused but you may not be self-centered or rude. There is a difference between the two and it involves social norms or expectations about how people should act. Since you’ve been out of the loop for a few months, here is a short refresher on the unwritten rules of appropriate social behavior:

  • Be patient. On your way to the test center, don’t honk or yell at other people who aren’t driving exactly how you think they should. Don’t get angry at the person reading the instructions. Listen and use the time to center yourself.
  • Be kind. This isn’t a social gathering but it isn’t a gang fight. I’m not saying you actually have to interact with anyone but at the very least you can make eye contact and smile at your table mate.
  • Be practical. Don’t over-react when something doesn’t go exactly as you think it should. No one is perfect so expect a few minor glitches and take them in stride.

When you find yourself getting irritated by the slightest perceived inconvenience (i.e., your table mate’s presence) and when you are tempted to act like rules don’t apply to you,consider doing some meditation. For example, if you just rolled your eyes at the very thought of meditating, you need to meditate.

Quick and Easy Meditation: Breathe in for 4 seconds. Hold it for 7 seconds. Exhale for 8 seconds. Repeat 2-3x as needed.

Yes, the bar exam is a high stakes test but that doesn’t give you license ignore the rules governing socially acceptable behavior.

-KSK

The Bar Exam Taper

Time to Taper

In law school you studied right up until it was time to take the exam. Those were the good old days of mere 3 hour tests, unlimited use of highlighters, pens, and pencils; you could wear a hat, drink coffee, eat snacks.

The bar exam is not a law school exam. Endurance is important. You’ve been studying for 10 weeks and you are tired. You’ve probably had trouble focusing this week, each day getting worse than the one before. This is totally normal. Your body and brain sending you a signal so listen and get some rest between now and Tuesday so you can be focused and energized. It’s time to taper.


Do:check-marks-in-sticker-style_23-2147514126

  • Study in moderation
  • Sleep, relax, watch tv, go out to dinner, interact with other people
  • Go easy on the alcohol, soda, coffee, and energy drinks. Eat a vegetable. Drink some water.

Don’t:

  • Cram. You can’t learn all the law and you don’t need to.
  • Obsess over your MBE scores. It won’t help and you’ll be fine.
  • Expect to get a perfect score on every essay. It won’t happen and it’s not necessary.
  • Doubt yourself and your abilities. You are ready for this.

It’s time to start listening to the people who’ve been saying you can do this. They are not saying it to be nice. They know how hard you’ve worked and how capable you are. Don’t insult them by not believing in yourself.

-KSK

 

Bar Exam: One. More. Week

The good news is that you only have one more week until you get to take the bar exam. There is no bad news. Two things to focus on:

Family & Friends: You might think you’ve done a great job holding things together and acting like you’re fine. You have not. Your friends and family are not dumb but they do love you so they’ve gone along with the charade. Now is the time to get in the shower, put on some clean clothes, and remind these folks how much they mean to you. Don’t wait until after the bar exam. Making the time now means a lot more than when it’s convenient for you. It’s been about you for awhile.


Get into the Bar Exam Zone: 9-10 weeks ago you started the final leg of a lifelong journey. You have crammed thousands of pieces of material into your brain. You haven’t learned everything but you have learned enough. I’ve been telling you that you can do it, telling you to trust yourself and your abilities. Now is the time for you to start believing it. It’s time to get into the the zone.  Check out this blog post for some tips on how to stay in the zone. Don’t have five minutes for that? Check out the 30 second video version.

-KSK

Bar Exam: 2 Week Action Plan

Bar Exam Action Plan

  • Make sure you know where the exam site is, how you’ll get there and commute time.
  • Assemble what you need to take with you to the exam:
    • Laptop and cord
    • Ziploc bag with: photo id, admission ticket, pens, approved water bottle
    • Lunch money (if you choose to purchase)
  • Double-check list of permitted and prohibited items and make sure you adhere to it.
  • Plan what you’ll wear:
    • Pro tip: dress in comfortable layers so you can adjust for warm/cool.
  • Continue to review subjects:
    • Read through outlines or flashcards and identify confusing areas of law.
    • Paraphrase rules from memory, write an example and a non-example.
    • Create a one page outlines and test to see if you can write it from memory.
  • Practice for performance (test conditions):
    • no outlines
    • mixed MBE, randomized essays
    • follow time limits
    • stay within character limits
  • Get your body and brain on bar exam time:
    • Go to bed at a reasonable hour (before midnight) and get up at 7 or 8am.
    • Be at your study place by 9am and work for a solid 3-4 hours, take a 1 hour lunch break, then get back to studying for another 3-4 hours.
    • Take 30 minutes each evening to review your daily progress and plan what you’ll do the next day.
  • Develop a “panic plan” for how you will manage stress during the exam (e.g., take deep breaths, count to 10, recite your confidence mantra, get a drink of water, etc.).
  • Plan how you will celebrate the end of all your hard work after the exam is over.
  • Write down at least three reasons why you believe you’ll pass the bar exam. Hang it up on the fridge and look at it every day- remind yourself you can do this.

-KSK