For those of you who don’t know, I didn’t follow the traditional path to taking the bar. I chose to skip the July bar and took it for the first time in February. I was able to avoid a lot of the distractions that come with beautiful weather, but instead found myself studying while also working 40 hours a week. It is certainly not an ideal study situation, but it can be done. For those of you in a similar situation, I have provided some insight from my experience below.
- Create a study schedule: I think this can be helpful for everyone, but is especially important when you have more things on your plate. My normal schedule was to wake up at 5:00, study until 7:00, work until 4:30, break until 6:00, and then study until 11:00. I had flexibility depending on whether or not I was able to get any studying done while I was at work, but sticking to my routine helped to give me normalcy.
- Track your hours: It was really helpful for me to track my hours studied and hours worked to make sure that I was devoting enough to bar prep. Professor Kelly can help you to set a minimum or maximum amount of hours that you should target when studying.
- Quit working 4 (3 at the very least) weeks out: Communicate with your work early on that you will be leaving a month out to focus entirely on the bar. You need this time to mentally prepare and finish mastering the material. At the end of the day, they want you to pass the exam, so it’s in their best interest to give you this time.
- Learn to say “no”: This was one of the tougher things for me to master. Whether it is saying no to friends or a supervisor who is asking you to do an extra project, sometimes it has to be done. You won’t have time to do everything, and you need to make studying for the bar exam a priority. FOMO is temporary- bar admission is forever.
- Listen to Professor Kelly: This is the golden rule of bar prep. If she says to do something, you do it. There’s a reason she’s the Bar Wizard.
Good luck to all of you; I have every confidence in your abilities. Trust yourself, your feelings, and the journey, and I look forward to congratulating you on the other side.