Taking the bar exam as an unemployed law student can be overwhelming when students are just trying to pass their test. In my years, I have spoken with hundreds of law students experiencing this same process.
Generally speaking, everybody has a different approach. Today, I want to share a quick outline of a more effective strategy.
Meet Mr. and Mrs. Bar Exam
First, I like the idea of framing the bar exam as an achievable goal that will help students turn into future lawyers. In other words, if passing the state law exam is my goal, I immediately create a wall, which will hurt if I run into it at full speed. If the only reason to retain information is to dump it onto an exam, that student and exam taker will lose.
Instead, I like the idea of framing the bar exam as an opportunity to prepare myself for future clients. The bar exam is no longer a thing, it is a person. As a result, allow me to introduce you to Mr. and Mrs. Bar Exam. They have children. They have a business. They owe taxes. They have a complex living arrangement. They fell on the ice. They are the victims of a crime. They entered into an unconscionable contract. And, they need your help.
If you study each law exam topic as if you will need it to advise future clients, then every detail matters and my hope for you is that you will retain every detail. The Bar Exam family need you, right now, to exhibit 100% effort so their legal issue can get resolved.
Bar Exam and Your Calendar
Second, the idea of circling the bar exam test dates on a calendar is an absolute joke. Serving Mr. and Mrs. Bar Exam is a process that requires methodical planning. The end date isn’t as important as the process of retaining information and serving the issues that get asked.
Own the present.
Historical Records Help You Serve Mr. and Mrs. Bar Exam
This next point is going to blow your mind. You live in an apartment down the road from your school, right? Do you recall the first time your toilet plugged and you were fearful of toilet water hitting the floor? For a brief second, that was scary, right?
Well, the second time it happened it wasn’t as scary because you quickly realized how to overcome the issue, after all, it wasn’t your fault the landlord hadn’t replaced your apartment’s toilet parts in over 15 years. In other words, your past experience helped you address a same or similar problem.
Practicing law is problem-solving. Past legal problems help lawyers serve present legal problems. There are many ways to gain experience. Two effective way include:
- Time, and
Luckily, you have time to read. I encourage all law students preparing themselves for a bar exam to read and work through practice problems. I like the idea of using practice multiple choice questions because a student can cover a lot of ground in a short period of time. One source of exam questions can come from here.
Thus, the more you practice problems you work through, the better prepared you will be when Mr. and Mrs. Bar Exam ask for your help.
Unemployed Law Student Taking the Bar Exam
Of course, all of this is only worth your time and effort if you pass the exam. Being unemployed is scary. Being unemployed and failing the Exam is even scarier. For me, the fear of failing was just as compelling as the strategy I addressed above.
If that doesn’t work, then perhaps the Chinese Bamboo Tree is your saving grace. Either way, I believe you are going to be successful at serving Mr. and Mrs. Bar Exam.