Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Bar Exam will not kill you

The following is in no way meant to condone alcoholism.

Recently someone asked me about how I prepared for the bar and the following is how I responded. I will flesh out the response below.

My strategy for studying: a) look at BarBri schedule...turn the paper over b/c surely I am looking at that upside down..that can't be right?!....b) realize how ridiculously heavy those books are and dump them in my trunk...c) Attend BarBri lectures and fill in outlines (hey I paid for it after all)....d) leave lecture and travel directly to the study room..aka Oscar's Pub, drink heavily in an attempt to kill any brain cells that weren't smart enough to retain the lecture. e) Go home and sleep till noon....f) Watch an hour of mindless tv....g)shower eat etc....h) read outline for next lecture....i) Go to BarBri lecture.

Now that seemed to work for me. Keep in mind however the week before the bar, I lugged the books out of my trunk and spent a week on my study buddy's couch while his girlfriend fed us food and booze and we studied everything that we should have been doing all summer. But I passed (and so did he) on the first try.

Now, to add some more advice: Stop freaking out! Just stop. That asshole who keeps telling you he has been following the study schedule step by step and completing all the practice question--anal retentive asshole. That's all I'm saying. It does not, I repeat DOES NOT mean he is going to pass. He just doesn't have a life.

Find an outlet, a movie, golf, bottle of vodka, whatever. Don't make yourself feel guilty for doing it.



Ummm did I mention shower? (personal hygiene should not be put on hold while studying).

Make sure you read the instructions about what you can and can't wear/bring to the bar exam. (No hoodies for example when I took it. No Rolaids or tums either)

Do NOT stay up the night before cramming...or if that is your style do but remember that this is a marathon and not a sprint.

Remember that the armed men at the door checking your ID and ticket will not shoot you if you fail. (Do other jurisdictions do this? When I took it the state branch of the FBI manned all the entrances complete with shoulder holsters?) My friend's reaction upon seeing this: Ohmygod, I really am gonna die if I don't pass. They have people waiting to shoot me at the door.

Don't stress about neglecting people or things right now. They have plenty of time to remind you and make you feel guilty afterwards.

After the bar exam, you and a few of your friends (but not the friends who want to rehash every single question, better yet, a bunch of strangers from the corner who will sit in silence) go to a bar and proceed to get smashed. If anyone mentions the Bar Exam dump your drink on them or throw things at them. It acts as a deterrent to the next person and provides greatly needed comic relief.

Oh yeah, if you failed to take my advice about showering while studying, remember SHOWER before the exam. Everyone else around will appreciate it.

In closing, calm down and have a drink!

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