Because I get e-mails from old friends like this one.
Congratulations on graduation (it may not have happened yet, but soon I’m sure)!
I wanted to send along some unsolicited bar advice. It’s been 4 years since graduation but it’s still pretty fresh in my mind.
1. There is no need to take the extra Kaplan or other non-BARBRI courses that start before BARBRI or run over July 4 weekend. Relax at those times. If you already signed up, I’m sorry I’m too late. If you haven’t signed up, good for you. Don’t regret it, ever.
2. If you pay attention during all of the lectures and take your notes (either by doing the fill ins if they still do that, or by taking notes on your computer like I did to make outlining easier), and do most of the assigned practice questions (all becomes nearly impossible because they assign an amount that a human isn’t capable of completing in a normal day, even while working very, very hard), you will be absolutely fine. You will pass. And it doesn’t really matter by how much (except for waiving into DC you need a certain MBE score, but you’ll get that).
3. If you’re taking New Jersey: Don’t worry about it. It’ll be fine. It’s sooo much more open ended than New York, so a question could be a contracts question to one person and a torts question to another, and it doesn’t matter, neither of you are “right,” because as long as you make coherent arguments and show that you know things, you’ll pass.
Now some observations:
- You’ll work harder than you’ve ever worked before. Or maybe I just wasn’t such a hard worker or didn’t know how to work hard before this, but the fear set something off in me that turned me into a machine from about 8:30am until 7:30pm, and sometimes later as we neared the end.
- I found it helpful to study away from the law school after lectures. I went to the public library so I wasn’t surrounded by the same fear and anxiety that I was already feeling.
- Running kept me sane. If you like running, walking, biking, skateboarding, whatever – do it. Something that is (a) outside and (b) athletic is really important for you during this time to relieve stress, clear your head, and also of course give you some fresh air during one of the nicest times of the year. It’s good for you.
Good luck, and have some fun before stuff gets real (July I suppose).