So Thankful I Started BARBRI Early. Let’s do this.

GUEST BLOG by Sara Valentine, Graduate of Capital University Law School

Hey, everyone! This is Sara Valentine, your new BARBRI social blogger.

A little about me:

I’m a recent graduate of Capital University Law School, where I graduated cum laude with Pro Bono Legal Honors (pro bono work is great!). As a student at Capital Law, I served as the Web Editor for the Capital University Law School Law Review, was a member of the Capital University Law School National Mock Trial team and President of the Women’s Law Association. I also have a Bachelor of Arts from The Ohio State University (Go Bucks!). When I’m not studying, I enjoy doing yoga, playing softball and scouring Columbus for the next new band.

I hope everyone is off to a good start. I am going full force today.  That’s because I had friends and family in town last weekend when I graduated from law school.

Take a second and pat yourself on the back — you’ve made it through part one! Only the bar exam stands between you and being the next *insert lawyer’s name who inspires you here.*

I’ll be honest — I am a little nervous (but if Carisi from Law & Order SVU can pass the New York bar exam while working as a cop full-time, then we can too!).

The next couple months are going to be rough, but we have to take it one day at a time. As long as we look at the immediate goal, making it through another day of successful studying, we will be able to get through this and pass the bar together.

Speaking of passing the bar, keep in mind that friends and family who say, “Oh, you’ll be fine,” mean well. However, if you are a friend or family member of someone who is taking the bar, please don’t tell us this. It’s unhelpful and honestly more stressful than anything. Don’t say it!

Okay, so I do want to give one shout out to BARBRI.

I was able to take the past couple of days off because of their Early Start Bar Review. It gave me the opportunity to begin my bar studies in October … October! Because I had this early exposure to what I would be doing, I was able to get a little bit of a later start this week.

In addition to me having a flexible schedule, I feel so much better about going into full-time bar prep.

I have already been exposed to everything that I need to learn. It’s like I hit *refresh* on everything that I’ve learned over the past four years. Not only that, but my last year in law school was a lot easier. Granted, that’s partly because I already had the hang of things at that point. Also, I was able to pull up a lot of information from BARBRI Early Start Bar Review. Yes, I still used the Hornbooks that I needed, but having an electronic way to immediately search for things was so great. Again, it was just like everything has been refreshed.

For those of you taking the bar next year, I would highly recommend grabbing BARBRI now.

You’ll have early access to everything that you need to know and learn for the bar exam. I know that you don’t want to start thinking about all of the fun that the bar exam entails right now, but I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am that I did.

This isn’t a situation where you’re going to need to start studying every day at this point in time, but you will be able to get a refresh of everything that you’ve learned. I am so thankful that I started looking into BARBRI Early Start when I did. It was incredibly helpful during my last year of law school. Now, I’m coming at all of this material with a fresh point-of-view. Start early with BARBRI!

TLDR: Because I was able to get bar review exposure starting in October, I was able to take off time before I started studying.

It feels really nice going into bar prep knowing that I’ve already been exposed to everything that I’m going to see on the bar exam.

I know that I’m going to be just as thankful in a couple of months!

To sum it all up: We’ve got this. Let’s do this. One day at a time. #PassTheBar

 

 

WE MADE IT!!

Guest blog by Courtney Boykin, 3L at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law

We endured the fiery darts of the first year of contracts, criminal procedure, and property. We successfully tore down the walls of second-year con law, business orgs, and sales. Then, we soared through the obstacles of third-year externships and clinics.

We’ve stood the test of time and completed a journey that many fail to even attempt or only wish to accomplish.

I’m so proud of us!

As our law school journey comes to an end and we embark on this new adventure of preparing for the bar exam, I hope you take the time to reflect on all of your accomplishments. I hope you take the time to take in all of the congratulatory remarks and the love you’ll receive. I hope you take the time to remember why you started this incredibly difficult journey. I hope you take the time to be present in every remaining moment.

Moving forward, I hope you take a small break before taking on bar prep. Additionally, I hope you find that bar prep is endurable. Study hard, but remember to take mental and physical breaks when needed.

I have thoroughly enjoyed our blogging journey and I don’t consider this a goodbye. We’ll see each other again on the other side of the bar.

Until next time, friend…

Summer Bucket List for 2L’s

GUEST BLOG Makenzie Way, 2L at the University of Pennsylvania Law School

We did it! 2L is under our belts, we are officially 1 year away from graduating and entering the legal profession. But before we enter 3L we have ten weeks of summer employment, and a month of vacation.

Now that we’re incoming 3L’s, how should we spend our summers compared to 1L?

  1. Establish at least one mentorship relationship with someone from your firm, or in your target location.
  2. Work on a case, or in an area of law, that really reminds you of why you went to law school in the first place (even if it’s pro bono).
  3. Branch out and visit a law school friend in another city.
  4. Escape the office for a weekend and go to the beach; work on that summer tan!
  5. If you’re located in your target city, explore your soon to-be-home: find a favorite diner, an ideal neighborhood, and a great after-work bar.
  6. Plan some form of post-employment trip, even if it’s just a road trip.
  7. Make at least one solid friendship with an incoming associate at your firm.
  8. If you worked in big law this summer, splurge and buy yourself something you’ve always wanted (though keep in mind you still have one year of school left).
  9. Make at least one friend in your city who isn’t involved in the legal profession.
  10. Set aside an afternoon, or ideally a weekend, to just reconnect with old friends or family and relax.

Without a doubt, 2L has been a whirlwind. Try not to forget all you’ve accomplished this summer. Embrace the opportunities that are thrown your way, and remember, this is our last summer before Bar prep and true career responsibilities take effect. Make the most of it while you can! And don’t forget, when you’re spending hours in the office this summer, it’s your friends and family who will get you through it all, so send them a little love, and find time to see them.

Reflecting on the 1L life

GUEST BLOG Stephanie Baldwin, 1L at the University of Arizona

It’s hard to believe that I take my last final tomorrow and by the time you read this I will be done with my 1L, and likely so will you!

In addition to the thousands of pages I read, the notes I’ve taken, and papers written, I have learned so much more this past year than just about the law, but about myself and the way, I view the world. So, while this may be a tad cliché, here are the biggest takeaways from my life as a 1L.

I made the right choice.

It took forever for me to decide which school I was going to go to. I was caught up in rankings, prestige, and conflicted about where I wanted to practice. In May I still had multiple seat deposits down, and it wasn’t until I decided that I wanted to stay in Arizona to practice that my choice became clear.  Even though I was closer to a different law school, U of A made the most sense and I was pretty confident I would fit in well there. I am so grateful that I came to this school. It is 100% where I needed to be.

So 0Ls, if you’re stressing, worried about rankings my best advice is to visit schools, sit in on classes and talk to judges and lawyers in the area you want to practice. Their advice is what helped me decide to stay in Arizona and chose my school. If you’re in a similar position or just starting the process, get out there and speak to people in your legal community.

Friends Make Law School 1000 times better…

I honestly don’t know what I would have done this year without my group of friends at school. School is stressful, and sometimes, you can’t avoid outside life spilling over, and my friends have been there through excessive laughter and tears. I can’t thank them enough. Throughout the year I’ve become closer with different groups, ranging from my micro group, the “Fantastic 4”,  to my small section, “the couch crew,” and with others in classes this semester. Special shout out Kevhilanie and to my fellow Watchers of the Law… yep, we have a group that meets to watch the final season of GoT. Yep, I have turned into that person who uses nicknames for friend groups. This is what law school does to you.

I understand that some people approach law school like a lone wolf, and I get it. Law school is as competitive, and you can make it even more competitive if you want to. But law school is also a community. Not only are my classmates my friends, but they are also going to be my colleagues, and just like we support each other now, I am confident we will continue to do that throughout our careers.  At our orientation a Professor said, “Make friends, not enemies” and that advice guided me the entire year and will continue to guide me into my legal career.

I have embraced “It depends”…

Before starting school, I had always prided myself on being able to see “both sides” on most issues, or so I thought. Law school taught me that I was more closed minded than I realized. This has been perhaps the most significant way law school has changed me. I listen better. Through cases, class discussions, and lunchtime events, I have been exposed to more viewpoints than ever. Instead of being closed minded and holding my ground on issues I held dear, law school has taught me to be an even better listener, to see the other side of an issue and try to understand it through discussion. Sure, some of my core ideas haven’t changed, but I feel much more understanding of the views of others and why they have them. So now when someone asks my opinion on something, I realize… it depends.

It’s been great sharing the @The1LLife with you, and I look forward to seeing you all @The2LLife next Fall!

Quotes to get you Through Finals

quotes

GUEST BLOG Makenzie Way, 2L at the University of Pennsylvania Law School

Motivational Quotes

My Littleton fellow in 1L (a type of student teacher and mentor at my school) began our first class by having each of us say one motivational quote. When 1L exams came around our “class mom” printed the quotes and gave one to each of us as motivation to make it through finals. Since 1L I’ve learned that sometimes you really do just need that little extra motivation to get you through.

With that in mind, here are some motivational quotes to get you through finals! Write them on your mirror as a reminder, text them to a friend in law school as a pick me up, or use them as a catchy caption for your finals Instagram posts.

“Don’t let what you cannot do interfere 
with what you can do”
—John Wooden
“There’s a light at the end of every tunnel”
—Ada Adams
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. 
The most certain way to succeed is always 
to try just one more time”
—Thomas A. Edison
“You’ve got to get up every morning with determination 
if you’re going to go to  bed with satisfaction”
—George Lorimer
“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. 
You have exactly the same number of hours per day 
that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, 
Michelangelo, Mother Teresea, Leonardo da Vinci, 
Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein”
—H. Jackson Brown Jr.
“Your positive action combined with 
positive thinking results in success”
—Shiv Khera
“The best way to finish an unpleasant
task is to get started”
—Anonymous
“School is tough, but so are you”
—Anonymous
“Don’t stress, do your best and forget the rest”
—Tony Horton
“You are so close to the victory, don’t you 
dare give up now”
—Anonymous
“If you believe in yourself anything is possible”
—Miley C

Tips to tackle different Law School Exam types for 1Ls

Student taking exam

GUEST BLOG Stephanie Baldwin, 1L at the University of Arizona

I just took my 6th law school exam and my second one for this semester, and so far all of them have been slightly different. Here is an explanation of the different types and some tips to help you prepare.

Closed Book, with maybe an Open Code Book

Essay 3-4 hours

For this type of exam, still create an outline, but memorize it. You might get to use your code book so integrate that into your outline. Also, tabs are your best friend here. You don’t want to waste time flipping through a codebook when you just could have tabbed it. Also check with your professor about what, if any notes you can have in the codebook. The key here is to take a lot of practice exams. If your teacher doesn’t provide them, go online to find some and check out the 1L Mastery  Course from BarBri.

Open Book, Open Notes

Essay 3-4 hours

Here, you can use your book, but it’s unlikely you will ever use it, unlike the codebook in the previous example. Your notes and outline are the most useful thing here. If your school allows it, try to pre-write the rules like you might on the exam and have them in your outline. Double check with your professor if this is ok. All of mine were fine with this, just no copy and pasting into Exam4, which is our test-taking software. The thing is here, make sure you have gone through your outline a lot. As a general note, you want all of your outlines done a few weeks before finals, and if you update them weekly, you can get there. Doing this will also help you create an attack or checklist outline.

Open Universe

Essay and/or Multiple Choice 3-4 hours

These types of tests can be dangerous. I say this because of their “open nature” first because its “open” the professors usually require a more developed answer, because of all of the tools available to you, including the internet. It is also “dangerous” because it can provide a false sense of security, as you may feel like if you’re not 100% on something “you can just look it up.” Let me be the first to tell you this is a TRAP. Sure, looking something up can be helpful, but it can also be a time suck! Beware and prepare like you would for a typical open book/note exam. Anything out in the universe is just a bonus.

Open Universe, Take Home

8 hours within a 24 hour

WOW… I liked this exam type. I felt like I did well because of the time given and my level of preparation. Oddly because I had so much information available, I seemed to have reviewed everything more carefully while preparing for the exam. During the exam, I actually had time to look at my full outline and confirm questions or ambiguities in my notes with the textbook. It was a luxury, that 2Ls seem to know well and then I realized… if I feel this way, so must everyone else…. Oh no…  who knows where I will land on the curve because of this.  My tips for taking this type of exam? Think of all of the resources you have like one big very comprehensive outline and figure out the best way for you to use them to create the most well-developed answer properly. Plus practice using everything together. If you don’t have a good planned, you might get overwhelmed and distracted during the test, and then those 8 hours just became 4. Also, think about when the best time for you to take the exam. Some people think better in the morning, others in the evening. Also consider when you’ll want food and any breaks you need., 8 hours is a long time to be hungry…

Best of luck on finals my fellow #1Ls! As always, if you have any tips reach out over @The1LLife on Twitter or Instagram.

Watch One, Do One, Teach One | Expert Bar Exam Study Tips

by Mike Sims,
BARBRI President

TAKE ANOTHER LOOK AT THE HEADLINE.

Now repeat that mantra: “Watch one, do one, teach one” and then go find a study partner to use it on during your bar exam prep. If you’re by yourself, on a computer or tablet or smartphone, sitting at the local coffee shop or in your room toiling away, working through the vast amount of bar review questions – I encourage you to try this interactive education model.

“Watch one, do one, teach one” originated in medical school and can effectively be applied to law school and bar exam studies. The idea is that seeing someone do something, then doing it yourself and being able to show someone else how it’s done leads to greater understanding and confidence. You just need to partner up with a fellow law student or someone to listen as you explain the rules and elements of the law.

Inherently, bar review starts out as an individualized experience. It’s you one-on-one with the BARBRI Personal Study Plan that guides you through the daily assignments and recommended homework. What you need to be keenly aware of is that you may, at first, be alone to focus on your studies but that can morph into being lonely. A study partner will keep you energized and motivated and, most of all, provide the dialogue and discussion necessary to comprehend the law.

If you have a bar exam study partner (and you really should at some point), learn a rule and teach it to that person. If you know a rule well enough to teach it to someone else, you know it well enough to pass the bar exam.

Plus it goes both ways. Your study partner can explain legal components to you, as well. Listen closely. There may be a nuance or even broader topic of the law you are grasping for the first time – after all, you’re taking three years of law school subjects and condensing it all into about 10 weeks of bar prep. Meet daily or weekly, at least, and discuss aloud – this will help with your understanding, retention and, ultimately, application when answering those multiple-choice MBE questions and essays.

Say it one more time: “Watch one, do one, teach one!”

ABOUT BARBRI BAR REVIEW

BARBRI pioneered bar review and proudly celebrates 50-plus years of helping more than 1.3 million students pass the bar exam. BARBRI’s constant innovation, leadership and depth of experience based on 100-plus bar exams going back to 1967 influences all aspects of bar review – where it’s been, where it is today and the vast possibilities of where BARBRI will lead it next. Every year, the overwhelming majority of law students across the nation choose BARBRI Bar Review to prepare for the bar exam – and pass it the first time. Learn more about the nation’s #1 bar review at BARBRI.com.

You’ll Play Like You Practice | Expert Bar Exam Study Tips

by Everett Chambers,
Vice President of Institutional Programs

INCORRECT ANSWERS ARE INVALUABLE OPPORTUNITIES.

In sports, those athletes who can recognize where and how they are falling short in execution, and then focus relentlessly to build upon the necessary skills, most often rise to an elite level of performance. Like the old saying says, “practice makes perfect.” Yet what happens when you practice the same way without adapting your approach to learn from your mistakes? Well, in the case of the bar exam, you could fall short of passing.

It’s human nature to study for an exam with the goal of correctly answering as many practice questions as possible. A high percentage correct affirms your grasp of the material. This way of preparing for a major test is ingrained in our psyche ever since elementary school. Step back from that mindset for a moment and reverse it – look to embrace the practice questions you got wrong instead. These moments are not judgments on you. Rather, they are opportunities to dig deep into learning what you don’t know.

After three years of law school, unless you have a photographic memory, you aren’t likely to quickly recall many specific 1L rules and elements. And you probably didn’t take every subject that will show up on the bar exam. No matter, you still need to learn all the subjects tested on the bar exam. Working practice questions and learning from the explanatory answers, regardless of whether you got the questions right or wrong, will help build a solid foundation of knowledge.

If you are not confident in one area of the bar exam, don’t hesitate to dive into practice questions from that area. Sometimes you can learn as much or more from the explanatory answers as you would from a lecture. Therefore, start bar review as early as possible, answer practice questions, and be persistent in taking the time to focus on any problem areas. Study this way, repeat this approach and you’ll increase your scores on the bar exam.

Here’s the bottom line: If you practice right, on game day, you will play like you practiced!

ABOUT BARBRI BAR REVIEW

BARBRI pioneered bar review and proudly celebrates 50-plus years of helping more than 1.3 million students pass the bar exam. BARBRI’s constant innovation, leadership and depth of experience based on 100-plus bar exams going back to 1967 influences all aspects of bar review – where it’s been, where it is today and the vast possibilities of where BARBRI will lead it next. Every year, the overwhelming majority of law students across the nation choose BARBRI Bar Review to prepare for the bar exam – and pass it the first time. Learn more about the nation’s #1 bar review at BARBRI.com.

Final 3L Exams: The Ultimate Roadblock to Graduation

Guest blog by Courtney Boykin, 3L at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law

We’re down to our final 3L exams!!

3 weeks till graduation!!!

Anybody else counting?

I’m so ready to walk across the stage, get hooded, take a few pics with my family and friends and then…go home to take a nap. Ha!

Classes are starting to become a REAL “drag.” Sometimes I literally have to get up and leave the classroom for a second. It’s almost as if I get restless or anxious, especially during my evening classes…particularly the evening class that ends at 5:15. *facepalm*

Nonetheless, we’re so close, yet so far away. The only thing that’s blocking us from that monumental day is… our final EXAMS!

It’s our last hurrah with final exams and, as much as we may want to, we just can’t slack up. We have to go at these exams with the same tenacious spirit that we attacked all of the other exams that got us to this point. We have to dot every “i” and cross every “t.” How terrible would it be to get this close to the finish line and trip up on something as “small” as a final exam?

That being said, FINISH STRONG! Keep going, graduation is just around the river bend!! Then it’ll be the big kahuna…the bar exam, but we’ll just cross that bridge when we get there!

Leave The Heavy Lifting To Us | Expert Bar Exam Study Tips

by Stephanie Goetz,
BARBRI Director of Publishing and Online Course Creation

TRUST THE PROCESS. IT WORKS.

Throughout the year, the BARBRI learning and innovation team that I’m a part of adapts and enhances the BARBRI bar review course. We track the trends of what’s been tested and the frequency. We pay close attention to the latest exam updates that range from scaled scoring changes to the ongoing adoption of the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) in more states and jurisdictions. We rely on our bar review history in combination with the latest advancements in learning science to develop new innovations for a “study smarter, not harder” methodology that eliminates some stress during the intense bar prep time-frame.

We diligently analyze every bar exam in the country. We also commission our most discerning BARBRI subject matter experts to carefully critique BARBRI Bar Review substantive content to make sure it’s comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date. And we remain keenly aware of trends and current issues.

During BARBRI Bar Review, everything assigned in your online Personal Study Plan (or “PSP”) is carefully curated by an engine we call ISAAC, your Intuitive Study Assistant And Coach. ISAAC combines proprietary algorithms with our 50+ years of bar exam data and expertise to drive your BARBRI course. ISAAC keeps you on track, effectively scaffolding your knowledge and skills. It’s meant to motivate and keep you accountable.

ISAAC and the PSP incorporates learning science and the latest learning technology to best prepare students for their state bar exam. It also provides information each individual student needs to know in real time regarding personal strengths and weaknesses in understanding the law.

Ultimately, you benefit from the confidence of knowing you can keep moving forward during bar preparation without worrying about creating a schedule or wondering if you are doing enough of various types of assignments. Do the work, one assignment and one day at a time. Follow your adaptive BARBRI Personal Study Plan. It knows what you need to focus on most to improve your weaker areas. You don’t have to waste one ounce of energy thinking about whether or not you’re studying the right subject areas, at the right time, and in the proper sequence.

You feel empowered to lean in, learn the law and how to apply it. While you lean in and trust the process, you can leave the heavy lifting to us.

ABOUT BARBRI BAR REVIEW

BARBRI pioneered bar review and proudly celebrates 50-plus years of helping more than 1.3 million students pass the bar exam. BARBRI’s constant innovation, leadership and depth of experience based on 100-plus bar exams going back to 1967 influences all aspects of bar review – where it’s been, where it is today and the vast possibilities of where BARBRI will lead it next. Every year, the overwhelming majority of law students across the nation choose BARBRI Bar Review to prepare for the bar exam – and pass it the first time. Learn more about the nation’s #1 bar review at BARBRI.com.