#BarPrepLife: Deep into bar prep

GUEST BLOG by Lauren Thedford,
SMU Law School graduate and BARBRI bar review student


I’m officially deep into bar prep. Here are my thoughts:

Fill in the blank learning is wonderful

I learn by writing what I’m studying, so the fill in the blank method is great for me. Also, colorful pens are clutch in these situations. Not only do the pretty colors make me happy (yes, it’s that simple), it helps the words to stand out so I can see if I’ve missed anything.

Fill in the blank also keeps me pretty attentive. The only time it becomes an issue is crim law (because there are so many elements to fill in for common law crimes we don’t even pay attention to anymore), but I think that’s just because it’s crim law…

The crazier the example, the better my retention

The BARBRI lecturers are basically stand-up comedians, thank God. I’m not saying you would pay to see them talk about torts if you didn’t have to pass the bar, but they try to keep it interesting. Thus far we’ve experienced all sorts of violence with the Family Guy™ crew. If you really want to get the point across that improper sexual touching constitutes an offensive contact for battery, Quagmire is the key.

Unfortunately, the combination of fill in the blank learning, colorful pens, and funny characters leads me to doodle in my lecture book. I remember a martini is a part of Brian’s person for purposes of Stewie’s battery, but after that I began drawing a nice little martini picture and missed a few fill ins.

My brain has already begun to turn into bar prep mush

Even the most basic of math skills are falling out of my head and I misplace things almost immediately after someone hands me something. However, I still run through elements in my head whenever someone looks like they might fall (Negligence? Did I cause this? Am I in a pure comparative negligence jurisdiction? Joint and Several liability applies unless I’m told it doesn’t. Do I have a duty to aid!?! You get the picture. Also, they never actually fall and I’m just over here making up my own MBE question). So, basically my brain is doing something, it’s just not very useful in society.

I love the reward system

I already knew this about myself, but to incentivize getting bar prep done and catching that little arrow (oh yes, I did it), I force myself to complete things before I get to do something fun. Graduation gift card? That looks like fun, but you have to finish your BARBRI AMP, first. You want to eat ice cream? Too bad, that CMR is not going to read itself. Mom calls me disciplined, but whatever you want to call it it’s a bit weird and it works for me. Worth a try if you’re motivated by food and leaving your study spot. 🙂

Twitter is a great place to find other bar prep commiserates

It makes me feel a little bit better when I see other tweeters going through the same struggle. I mean, we are all in this together, although I do hope someone helps with the curve…

If you haven’t already, check out:

  • #BarPrepJams for study music
  • #BarPrepLife for general thoughts and funny stories
  • BarPrepProblems for those problems that, but for bar prep, you wouldn’t have (disclaimer: I have no idea if that even makes sense, but it sounded cool)

For more articles written by law students during bar prep, check out:

See you on twitter at @barpreplife,