For Law Students

Bar Exam Prep: Introduction

Taking the bar exam can be an overwhelming event. Preparing for it will be. Having a plan in place before you begin to study for the bar exam not only increases your chances of passing it the first time, it will keep you sane when your law school friends are losing their minds worrying about whether they are doing too much, too little, or whether they will actually finish studying by exam day.

I had a plan and followed it with all the discipline I could muster. I did not enjoy one second of it, but I passed the Rhode Island and Massachusetts bar exams the first time I took them. I’ve shared my simple strategy for preparing for the bar exam with other law students and those test-takers passed. I decided to share this simple but effective approach with anyone who comes to this website and wants a suggestion for preparing for a bar exam for one reason – because other test-takers before me were generous with their experiences and now it’s my turn to pass it on.

BE CAUTIOUS! What I have posted in the pages that follow is merely a suggestion. It worked for me. It worked for others. It might work for you. Like everything in the law, the facts of the case dictate. In other words, you cannot rely on what worked for one law student to work for you. You will have to massage this plan to fit the facts in your case. However, if you appreciate the discipline that is the foundation of this approach and build your plan of attacking the bar exam on it, you have a much greater chance of passing the first time you take it. I am not responsible if this plan doesn’t work for you nor do I expect any credit if it does. If you choose to follow it and you pass, I do have one request – share what you did with a future struggling law student as I am sharing what I did with you. After all, it’s only fair.

The plan laid out in the following pages is nothing more than my daily routine for every day between graduating law school and taking the bar exam. Beyond those pages are all my outlines from those days in the Summer of 2006. Yes, I am giving you every page of every outline I created in preparation for the Rhode Island and Massachusetts bar exams. I have not updated those outlines. I will not. Nevertheless, I suspect most of the law is still good. Some of it, however, might not be good. These outlines are here to help you craft your own outlines. If you rely on my pages as anything more than I intend them to be, you will be making a fool’s mistake. Remember, the only real benefit of outlining comes from the process of preparing them. By suffering as I sifted through volumes of information to find the balance between too little and too much, I learned enough of it to pass.

I hope what I offer in these pages helps you maintain the level of equanimity that you must maintain in order to have some quality of life while you study for this test. I hope you pass. Most of all, I hope you become a good lawyer after you pass and that you help other aspiring lawyers get to the same place that you are after today.

Bar Exam Prep: The Plan

What follows is my plan for preparing to pass the bar exam(s). It worked for me. It even worked for a few other test-takers who tried it on blind faith – and stuck with it even when they had doubt. I offer it here with the hope that it helps you navigate through what might be an overwhelming few months. I cannot make any promises that you will pass the bar if you do everything I suggest. Nevertheless, I will promise two things. First, if you put it in place and follow it closely, you will have more confidence during those moments when you might otherwise doubt what you are doing and how you are doing it. Second, that confidence alone will improve your quality of life during the months that preceed the exam(s).