#barpreplife: Lie To Get Through The Day

GUEST BLOG By Jennifer Varteressian,
Graduating from The University of Tulsa College of Law, December 2014


So I am not normally someone who is going to preach, or provide a sermon on life problems, but I am a firm believer that there are times in life when we all need a little pep talk. As my mother always said, everything is good in moderation.

Having said that I wanted to share something I experienced this Monday. First I have to give a little back-story for context. When I was a 1L I had a professor that literally scared the crap out of me. He made Professor Charles Kingsfield look like an angel. The first day of class he called on me and screamed “you’re never going to be a lawyer if you don’t speak up! Why are you even in law school if you can’t speak loud enough for me to hear what you’re saying?!” Of course, after hearing this I was MORTIFIED. Going to his class everyday literally made me sick to my stomach. Regardless I continued to go, and thank god for that, because he ended up being one of the best professors I ever had.

One of the things I loved about this particular professor is that he would sometimes look at us and see us for what we really were: sleep deprived, beat down 1L’s. On days like this he would cease with the material we were covering and give testimonials about how to overcome adversity, and maintain your sanity when you are too stressed to go on. I called them his sermons. Throughout law school I made every effort to take as many classes as possible with this professor because I credited the maintenance of my sanity to him during my 1L year.

On more than one occasion I have felt that I have too many things to do to even begin. Sometimes I am immobilized by all my obligations. I am beginning to feel that way now with finals, graduation, and bar prep looming.

 I was feeling particularly immobilized this Monday on my way to insurance law.

It was snowing, I was tired, and my responsibilities seemed to be overcoming me. Lucky for me, when I walked into class I evidently wasn’t the only student to appear this way. My professor took the liberty of providing us with another testimonial. The theme: Lie to get through the day.

His message was that getting into law school is not where we pass the buck, we have to continue to push ourselves, and when you feel like you can’t, lie to yourself until you can. He told us that everyone suffers from depression, life is going to rain on you; the important thing is how you handle that rain. When you feel overwhelmed its ok to take pity on yourself, as long as you don’t let that pity run your life, because life will run over you. Although some could have taken this message to be a bit heavy for 9 am, I could not have been more grateful. My professor is right, in the upcoming months we are going to feel overwhelmed, like life is raining on us, like we cannot study any more, but the reality is we can. We have come this far already, and that proves that we are resilient. Sometimes the best way to get through the day is that old saying fake it till you make it. The way I see it, all of our hard work is a mere few months away from coming to fruition. We can manage anything for a few months right!?

On another note next week is Thanksgiving so if you don’t hear from me, it’s because I’m in a food coma! Happy Thanksgiving, and remember, just keep swimming! We’re almost there and were all in this together!

Until Next Time,

#barpreplife: Stuck Somewhere in Bar Exam Limbo

GUEST BLOG By Jennifer Varteressian,
Graduating from The University of Tulsa College of Law, December 2014

 And the Books have arrived.

barbooks I am finally in receipt of my Texas Bar Prep books, Happy Monday to me!

I feel like we have a week or two left in the semester where it’s still possible to remain positive about our impending doom before it all becomes entirely too overwhelming.

Speaking of owning the bar, congrats again to those who passed the Texas Bar Exam!

The wait is finally over and all of your hard work has paid off. December graduates, we’re next!

Regardless, I can’t help but feel like I’m in limbo still. I want to be done with law school because I am tired of all the work, but that means its time to begin bar prep, which I assume I will also grow tired of.

I finished up work last week and feel grateful for the free time that I’m supposed to be using for productivity. (What do people who don’t work in law school do with all of this time?!) I’ve decided that since December bar takers get no break I will be using some of this time to do things for myself. You know like online shopping, getting my nails done, Sunday Funday. Seems productive to me! Besides if you don’t take at least some time out for yourself the upcoming months are going to be unbearable. The last thing you want is to burn out and throw your hands up during bar prep. I mean lets be real, we’ve gotten the hang of law school by now, right?


As the holidays are approaching I want to leave you with one final thought. This is the LAST time that the holiday season will be ruined by impending exams and standardized tests! Soon we will be able to enjoy stuffing our faces with turkey and pie without having to worry about the exams we have not yet prepped for. Black Friday will be an event that can return to our calendars. Children may stop hating us for being Grinches. Hell, next year I’ll be so full of holiday cheer, I may start listening to Christmas music in June. (that is if I pass the bar exam seeing as how that’s when we will finally find out!). All I have to say is AMEN to that!

Happy last few weeks of “freedom”,

#The3Llife: Being a BARBRI Rep

GUEST BLOG By Shaun Sanders,
3L at Chapman University’s Dale E. Fowler School of Law

When I started law school, there weren’t too many things I was aware of out of the gate.

Realistically, law school is unlike just about any experience people may endure. It wasn’t until the first week in when I stumbled across a term I was familiar with: BARBRI. My older brother, currently a patent attorney, used BARBRI while studying for the bar. Likewise, the handful of other lawyer friends I have were also BARBRI students. Needless to say, when the opportunity arose to join the BARBRI team, I was eager to accept.

As I’ve said in previous blog posts, I am somewhat of an information broker on my campus. All notes, outlines, and supplements find their way through me and, at one point, I had a few thousand dollars worth of supplements that had been donated to me by various alumni. Based on their value, I assumed they were the best tools to give me an edge, so I set aside free supplements, including BARBRI’s. It wasn’t until about a month before finals when I realized my error. BARBRI’s supplements and outlines were the most concise, straightforward way to study for exams. It felt silly to have amassed so many resources when, the whole time, I had the best outlines at my fingers.

Luxuries aside, being a BARBRI rep is great simply because I don’t feel like I am a salesperson. Other bar prep courses need to sell — I just need to be there to remind students who we are. I can look at the entire student body at my school and know with confidence that a vast majority of them will end up successfully using BARBRI. I don’t look at myself as a sales rep as much as I consider myself an advocate for the BARBRI brand. It makes it much easier to straddle the line between “rep” and “fellow classmate.”