Headed into Bar Review Crunchtime, the BARBRI Simulated MBE is Crucial

BARBRI Simulated MBE

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

Okay, let me just be the first to thank BARBRI for the Simulated MBE. I know, that seems like an odd thing to say, but nothing could have better prepared me for the bar exam than to sit down for six hours and do 200 multiple-choice MBE questions.

Yes, it was awful. Yes, I was tired. However, now I know what to expect on the bar exam. We’re getting into the home stretch here, and I feel confident in my ability to perform well. Why? Because I’ve been practicing (and you have, too!).

SO HOW DID YOU DO?

I’ll be honest, there were some questions on the BARBRI Simulated MBE that I definitely should not have missed. I knew the answer to them and I could recite the correct answer now for you with the correct rule statement.

Why did I miss the question? Because of reading comprehension. I know that you’ve heard “reading comprehension is key” or something to that effect since Kindergarten and it seems redundant, but seriously, the majority of the questions that I missed were because I was rushing. I got in the heat of the moment, had a knee-jerk reaction and picked what I thought was right. Sometimes I even did that without looking at the other answer choices. DO NOT DO THAT.

BARBRI Simulated MBE

Regardless of how you did, even if you did really well (yay, go you!), your scores are going to go up if you put in the time to get them where you need them to be.

The best part about the BARBRI Simulated MBE is that you get a chance to not only see how you did and where you could improve, but you also see how you react under pressure for six hours. Tbh, I have test anxiety so I knew that it would come up. However, I didn’t expect myself to get so tired through the exam. Answering 200 questions is easier said than done.

It is difficult to sit and look at questions with intense focus for hours on end.

It is difficult to keep focused and ensure that you’re doing what you need to do to answer the questions on the page.

If you need some help staying focused, I’d like to offer some advice. To ensure that I’m reading and understanding all of the important parts of the question is to underline and circle the things that are important. I underline the topic of the call-of-the-question so I know exactly what to look for when I’m reading the question. Also, if you read the call-of-the-question and you don’t know what subject it’s referring to, skim the answer choices. It’s a waste of your valuable time to read the question without knowing to which subject it’s referring.

The bottom line is now you know what it’s going to be like to sit in a room while focusing intently in three-hour blocks. We can do this.

DID YOU WATCH THE REVIEW VIDEOS?

Let me just say this: you aren’t going to get better if you don’t know what you did wrong.

Let me repeat it: you aren’t going to get better if you don’t know what you did wrong. These videos are GOLD. Not only do you get the chance to review all of the material, but you also get some GREAT tips and tricks for approaching questions. You also get some incredibly helpful mnemonics to remember crazy rules and exceptions. You know that you need to watch the videos. If you haven’t yet, you need to.

DID YOU WATCH MIKE SIMS’S WEBINAR?

Y’all need to watch Mike Sims’s webinar. Here’s the link to the on-demand replay. I don’t care if you are one of the super impressive people who got 100% on the MBE (like, how…?). Even if you did, the webinar put me at ease and gave me some peace of mind going into my last couple weeks of bar prep. It’s worth your time. Maybe you didn’t do the best on the BARBRI Simulated MBE.

Maybe you’re a little lower than you would like and you’re slightly freaking out, etc. Okay, look, we have over two weeks until the bar exam. Your scores are going to go up if you put in the time to review what you did wrong. The webinar definitely helps with that.

Y’all, we are almost there. Now we’re in crunch time and need to do what we need to do. We got this! Put in the work and you’ll #OwnTheBar.

Buckle Down: It’s Time to Get Serious BARBRI Friends

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

Lol, like we haven’t already been serious about this, right? Welcome to July. Let’s do this. Go Team BARBRI!

I’m going to go more in-depth on the MBE after we’ve done the analysis, but now you know what it feels like to sit for 6 hours and do 200 questions. The bar exam is no joke. We know that, but now it somehow feels a little more real now that we’re in July and have done the MBE. So, what now?

What Worked for You in Law School?

I’ve heard this so much recently. Now that we’re in July (the homestretch, dare I say?) we need to prep as we did in law school. This isn’t to say that you should divert from your BARBRI Personal Study Plan (see supra), but you need to start incorporating study methods that have worked for you in the past if you haven’t done so already. Are you a visual learner? Start making those graphs, flow charts, or whatever else it is that you may need! Maybe you’re an auditory learner? Start reading your outline to yourself, out loud. You know yourself best. You know what worked for you and what didn’t work for you while you were in law school. Don’t start something new. Use BARBRI’s tried and true plans and supplement with how you need to learn and we’ll get there.

For example, I’m a visual learner. The walls in my house are literally covered with different flow charts for each subject. I take a little tour of my house each day and look at each subject. Yes, it’s a bit much. Am I allowed to be a bit much when there’s less than a month left before the bar exam? Yes. Do I remind myself of the meme below a little bit? Also, yes. It’s fine. Moving on…

The Conviser Mini Review

We love it, we hate it, we can’t live without it: the Conviser Mini Review. I’ll be the first to admit that reviewing the Conviser Mini Review is one of my least favorite things to do. It’s dense and it contains a lot of information. I find myself asking wondering if I am going to be able to remember all of this material…no. Not the point and not what you should be focused on. NO ONE is going to remember everything! The bar exam is a minimum competency exam. You need to know, understand, and be able to comprehend what the Conviser Mini Review is offering you. The Conviser Mini Review is the HOLY GRAIL of your bar prep from here on out.

This is what you need to be looking at and going over constantly (the number of tabs that I have in mine is hilarious). This is what’s going to get you through until the end. It’s what you should be referencing (obviously if you need to go further in-depth then consult the full outline, but we should be mainly using the Conviser Mini Review in July).

DO NOT Freak Out and Stop Following BARBRI!!!

I’ve heard horror stories (and I’m sure that you have to) from people who didn’t pass the bar exam. There are varying reasons why one doesn’t pass, but without fail the most consistent reason that I’ve heard is that it was because that person stopped following their BARBRI plan. NO. Don’t do that! If you’re feeling like you need to supplement with something else or maybe focus more time on a different subject then do that AFTER you’ve finished what your Personal Study Plan has set out for you for the day!

BARBRI is a proven way to help you pass. You’ve been using your Personal Study Plan since May. Why are you going to stop now? Do not do that! Don’t let your anxiety or fear of failing the bar exam take you into a direction where you’re lost and don’t know what to do. Relax. Follow your plan. We’ve got this.

Beware of Burnout

My last thing: you have to beware of burnout. I’m sure that we’re all experienced varying levels of burnout during law school, I know that I have. With the bar exam looming, it can be tempting to start pulling some pretty crazy hours to try and get down everything that you need to know. Don’t start pulling all-nighters. Don’t lose your sleep! If you need to take a half-day to relax then do it! If you’re not studying when you’re at your best then you won’t process the information as well and you won’t remember it as well on test day. You know yourself best—if you need a break then take it. Follow your plan. Know yourself. If you do, then you’ll be able to #PassTheBar.

Tips and tricks when dealing with family members and friends during bar prep

bar prep

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

Guest insight: What they think about bar prep and Tips and tricks when dealing with family members and friends

Hey, everyone! Today I met with my friend Scott to discuss his experience with bar prep and his tips and tricks. I wanted to pass along some of his advice and give you some more insight on the ~bar prep experience~


Me: “Scott, what has your experience with the course been like?”


Scott: “The course has given me the opportunity to review in ways that I didn’t think that I needed. I’ve grown a lot, not only as a bar taker but as a problem solver. BARBRI gives me what I need and nothing more. This might sound negative, but it definitely isn’t. Because BARBRI gives me the tools that I need when I need them, I don’t feel overwhelmed or that I need to do more than what is given to me…although I do end up doing more because stress, anxiety, you name it, BARBRI hasn’t been overwhelming and that has been key to my success in studying so far. I feel as if I know what I need to do and have the tools to do just that.


Me: “Exactly! I’ve been so pleased with BARBRI’s study plan. I love how it adjusts to me and my schedule and it doesn’t give me too much to do so that I feel overwhelmed. Scott, let’s talk about something that I had a little bit of trouble with during the first few weeks of bar prep–tips and tricks when dealing with family members or close friends. It was so hard for me to set proper boundaries to ensure my success. A few folks had some issues with me not being available, but the bottom line is that this takes priority. It was hard to digest for some people who are close to me.”


Scott: “I completely understand. I had to sit my family down and explain to them what was going on. I’m taking a huge test that determines my future at the end of July. The test is three days long—I think that by giving them stats and an ability to appreciate the magnitude of what this is, they were better able to understand why all of my time had to be given to myself and bar prep. Anything outside of that comes secondarily. You know, I also had to appreciate the fact that my friends and family aren’t experts on the bar exam or what it takes, so I can’t expect them to appreciate what it is. I had to let them know that I need my space, but I’ll reach out if something is needed.”


Me: “Okay. I know that some people have had problems when friends and family don’t get it even after they had a conversation. What happens if those who are close to you keep bugging you or demanding your attention?”


Scott: “You have to remind them that this is part of your growth as a person. If they love you and support you then they will back off and do what it takes to support you during this time, and that includes backing off if they need to. Taking this time for you will help you reach your goals and as a result, they should respect that. You’re still going to have some folks that just don’t get it. That’s okay! If that’s the case, the most important thing that you can do for yourself is to remember that it’s okay to be selfish right now. You need to be. The most important thing in your life at this point in time is studying for this exam. You have to put your well-being first for two months, well one month now. It’s a short time. You can do it and they will be fine in the long run.”


Me: “That’s a great point, Scott. What if they’re just trying to help? What are some different ways in which they can help you?”


Scott: “They can be there for you during those non-bar exam moments. It’s critical to take some time away and the best way you can get your mind off of the stress of the exam is to spend time with those who aren’t engulfed in studying. It’s important to have those friends and family during this time because you’re so immersed in bar prep that you have to remind yourself that you’re still a human. You still need time away to decompress and they can help you with that.”


Me: “Exactly. It’s so nice to be able to ‘get away’ sometimes. Do you have any specific examples of ways in which your friends and family can help?”


Scott: “By bringing you food and help you maintain a healthy lifestyle through bar exam prep. One of the most important things is to keep a healthy body and mind. You aren’t going to have that if you’re eating like crap every day–you won’t feel like studying and you won’t do your best because of it. I also know that some of my friends who took the exam last year had their friends and family do their laundry when their time was limited. That’s another great way to assist with chores that need to get done, but they take so much time.”


That’s it!

Keep these tips in the back of your mind and you’ll be able to #OwnTheBar!

 

5 Self-Help Tips … Before You Have That Dreaded Bar Prep Meltdown

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

Stay calm! We got this.

We’re approaching that notorious time in bar prep, when all of your lawyer friends say, “Oh, I had a meltdown, you’ll have one, too. It’ll be fine.”

… PARDON ME?

This is probably true. We’re close to July and that’s supposedly when the meltdown happens (although, let’s be real, who hasn’t already had some bad days? I’m looking at you, Commercial Paper).

I want to help give you the proper tools so that when the time comes (or doesn’t, if you’re lucky and are staying calm throughout this whole process — go you!), you know what to do.

This week, we’ll focus on mental health and the importance of staying calm, cool and collected.

1) GET SOME REST

I get it. We’re all stressed out and feel as if we’re not doing enough when we’re not studying. However, getting good sleep is so important. You’re not going to be able to focus throughout your bar prep if you’re not getting good sleep. Make sure that you’re getting at least seven hours of sleep per night. It may seem unreasonable, but it’s going to make the difference.

2) MEDITATE

Patrick is on to something, okay? I struggle with anxiety and I cannot begin to tell y’all how much meditating has helped me throughout law school and certainly throughout bar prep. Taking a few minutes a day to calm your mind and give yourself some time to process and ~chill~ can lower your stress and help you feel more prepared. I enjoy using Headspace (find it here), but there are also plenty of free guided meditations that you can find on YouTube. Reach out to me if you want to talk more about it.

3) GO OUTSIDE

This is cliché, I know. So many people have told me to just go outside and take some time away from my studies and I’ll feel better … they were right. After sitting inside all day and staring at my computer screen and books, I get lethargic! I’ve started to take some time in the evenings to walk around a local park and it has done wonders for my stress (also, an added benefit, petting doggos!). Granted, there are times when I take my study aids with me, but that’s okay. If you can get some time outside and away from time in front of your screen, you’ll be much better off.

4) COLOR

Taking some time out of your day to color has been proven to reduce anxiety levels. Yes, it may seem juvenile and, yes, you may think that it’s a waste of time but trust me. Focusing on coloring inside of the lines as opposed to whether you can introduce character evidence is helpful in reducing stress and anxiety. Next time that you want to treat yourself, pick up a coloring book.

5) SPEND TIME WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS

I know that your friends and family can be stressful sometimes, especially if they don’t understand the gravitas of what you’re going through. You need to give them the chance to help. Your friends and family love you. Although they may not quite understand the magnitude of what the bar exam entails, they do know that you’re stressed and you’re going through a lot. They want to help! How are they going to be able to help you if you don’t tell them how?

The perfect time to reach out to your support network is when you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed out. They’ll be able to get your mind off things and even make you laugh (what’s that?). Not to mention, they may even offer to help you do things that you need assistance with, but didn’t want to ask — maybe they’ll offer to cook you a few meals, or maybe they’ll offer to do your laundry for you or clean your place. We know how much time these chores can take away from studying.

If you give your friends and family a chance to help, I’m sure that they will. Spending time with them and away from your studies will help you calm down, recharge and get to a good headspace so that you’ll be at your best when you’re studying. Rely on your support group and stay calm. We’ll be able to #PassTheBar.

Bar Prep Assigned Essays: Don’t Miss Easy Ways to Pick Up Points

Practice Essays

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

Assigned Essays for Grading, Anyone?

How many weeks are we in now? What day is it? Should I wear a hoodie or shirt today? Tbh, I’m at the point where I don’t know what day it is, but I can rattle off the Criminal Law distinctions in Ohio. Isn’t that what’s important?

LET’S TALK ABOUT ESSAYS

Y’all, I cannot tell you how thankful I am that BARBRI spends so much time working with us on essays. Not only did we start out at the beginning of the bar prep course with an in-depth “how-to” on writing essays, but now we have completed numerous assigned essays and should be getting the hang of what to do, right?

Okay, so maybe we don’t have perfect bar exam essays at this point, but we’re not aiming for perfection. If your essays aren’t perfect, BARBRI will help.

This past week, I had the opportunity to submit a an essay and receive personalized feedback from BARBRI essay experts.

WHAT YOU CAN DO BETTER

The more that you practice writing bar exam essays, the better that you are going to be at them. Obvi.

But, what are we actually getting out of the essay sample answer in the book? Maybe a lot, maybe a little. But I can think of a few times when I may have read them a little too quickly and didn’t put in as much effort in reviewing what I could have done better on the essays (the days are long, okay? Let me live).

So, that’s why I was absolutely thrilled to see the opportunity to write out and submit essays to BARBRI.

Our first essay was an open book essay. What? Why? How does that help!?

Let me tell you: the first essay that you submit should not be about what you can recall in terms of a rule statement. It should be about how you craft your essay and how you can improve. You can’t assess how good you are at crafting essays if you’re hindered because of a bad rule statement or unfamiliarity with the rules.

Okay, picture it, (Sicily, 1922 … if you get this reference, then we’re friends) … I’m sitting here, with an open book and my rule statements ready to go. I craft a great essay, in my opinion. I submit it. The turnaround time is less than 24 hours. Turns out, I had some work to do. I had missed some easy ways to pick up some easy points. Here’s the thing: it’s not that I didn’t know the applicable facts to the essay, it’s just that I didn’t think that they were necessary to include.

MINOR DETAILS CAN LEAD TO EXTRA POINTS

Although I had everything that I needed in front of me, I didn’t craft the best possible essay because I was missing out on what I thought to be minor details that were irrelevant. Nope! Turns out that by adding a couple of sentences here and there (with information that I already knew, but chose not to include), I was able to add another point to my essay score.

Had I not submitted my essay to BARBRI and had someone with more experience review it, I wouldn’t have known to include the additional information that captured me some added points.

THINK SMARTER, WRITER STRONGER ESSAYS

This led me to a seemingly obvious conclusion: if there is some extra relevant law that you can throw in, do it!

Don’t get too far outside of the scope though. How do you know what’s outside of the scope? Keep writing essays! Keep working on your essays and make sure that you’re dedicating time to review your essays. Just make sure that you’re taking the time to go over what you got right and what you got wrong. If you do this, you’ll be more inclined to add relevant law that can help you pick up points.

We don’t need to be perfect on the bar exam, we just need to pass. What better way to do that then to add easy points to essays? Keep practicing so we can all #PassTheBar.

My favorite part of BARBRI Bar Prep: the Personal Study Plan (and ISAAC!)

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

Okay, everyone! How’s it going? We’re well into week 3 of bar prep, the bar exam is next month … we’re fine, right? Good.

I want to talk to you all about my absolute favorite part of BARBRI Bar Review so far: the Personalized Study Plan, or “PSP” for short. It’s supported by some smart technology they call ISAAC (you’ll want to check out this short video). My PSP has been incredibly helpful in so many ways. Let me highlight the parts I really like, and have benefited from the most:

1) It Adjusts as you Go

Okay, I have to admit, there have been some days where I didn’t get everything done that my PSP has asked me to do. If you’re like me, don’t make a habit of this! However, if you need a break or feel as if you’ve hit a point in the day where trying to study more would be more detrimental than beneficial, it’s better to stop for the day and take a break as opposed to forcing yourself to do a task that you wouldn’t get much out of. When I hit points like that, I leave it up to my PSP to help me out.

My PSP re-calibrates each time that I complete a task. So, let’s say, hypothetically, that I might not have finished all of my assignments yesterday Image result for side eye emoji and I felt as if I was hitting a wall after reviewing commercial paper (okay, seriously, who likes Commercial Paper? Literally no one, which is why it isn’t on the UBE and I’m only a little pressed about it, but it’s fine).

This morning, when I went into my PSP, it had automatically reorganized all of my assignments. The PSP is your best tool for keeping you on track. The only thing that you have to accomplish is what’s on your PSP. Trust the process, do the work, that’s it!

As long as you stick to your personalized study plan, you’ll be right on track to pass the bar exam. It’s so reassuring to have a program tell me what to do every day so I don’t feel as if I need to figure out what to do. This is just one less thing that I have to worry about or take time to accomplish. It has been such a tremendous help.

2) It Assesses Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Okay, in addition to your PSP adapting to you missing an assignment or two, it’s SMART.

What do I mean by that? I mean that your PSP assesses your strengths and weaknesses and delivers what you need most when you need it. So, let’s say that I’m not doing the best in criminal law (yes, I have been watching Law & Order SVU for help, no worries). My PSP has adapted so that I’m doing more practice in Criminal Law. It’s giving me more essays and quizzes so that I’ll be able to see more of what I need to see and less of what I don’t need in subjects like Evidence (thank you, mock trial).

Essentially, the PSP is a way to work smarter and not harder. It knows what I need to see when I need to see it, so that when it comes time to take the bar exam I’ll have built up the areas where I’m weaker.

3) It’s Completely Attainable

Tbh, one of the first things that really drew me to BARBRI Bar Review was the progress bar. The progress bar lets you know how much you’ve accomplished and where you should be.

So, let’s say that you’ve skipped a few things that you probably shouldn’t have skipped or maybe you are just a couple of days behind and feel as if you need to catch up. The progress bar lets you know exactly where you’re at and where you should be.

In addition to the PSP, you have an overall goal to meet that is completely obtainable! But, DO NOT LET THE PROGRESS BAR OVERWHELM YOU! I’ve heard from past bar takers that the progress bar seemed unobtainable when they were trying to catch up if they were behind. NO. Your PSP is there for a reason! The progress bar is just there to let you know that maybe you should add in a couple more hours, don’t kill yourself trying to reach the end of the progress bar. What you should be doing is following your PSP.

So, let’s stick to our PSP. Take it one day at a time! If we do, we’ll be able to #OwnTheBar.

The “Keys” to Studying Well? Tap The Right App.

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

Let’s talk about a super helpful bar exam prep tool that I’ve been able to take with me on-the-go. If you’re like me, I get a little anxious when I have to leave bar studying for a while or want to interrupt the monotony of sitting at my desk (yes, I know it’s good to take breaks but hear me out). The BARBRI LawMaster Study Keys have been an incredible resource for these situations.

The BARBRI LawMaster Study Keys App! *ba dum tss*

The best part is that the BARBRI LawMaster Study Key App is portable. So, if I need a change of scenery, but still want to get some review in, I can. These tools boil down the bar exam topic so that I can get an overview of exactly what I need. The big picture is perfectly set out.

Also, you have to get a look at how pretty this app is! I love it when apps are aesthetically pleasing and BARBRI has done this one well. It’s seriously so helpful. I’m able to get all the bar review I need while on-the-go. It’s like I always have the ability to get some quick review in and we all know how important that is at this point in time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve already used this handy app. (Most notably, when I was waiting for the Columbus Clippers game to start and got in some great review. Go Tribe!)

So how did everyone’s first week go?

Tbh, studying for the bar has been exactly what I expected it to be up to this point. Yes, I know that we’re only one week in, but it is the gut-wrenching, soul-sucking, joyous work that I thought it would be. It’s grueling, but as long as we are able to keep up with our PSPs (Personalized Study Plans) then I know that we’ll make it.

Also, don’t freak out (or do freak out and cry it out then get back to it)! If you’re a little behind, that’s okay.

It isn’t the end of the world. The best thing is that you’ll be able to make it up soon, just make sure that you carve out enough time to make up the work.

You also need to make sure that you carve out enough time for yourself too! Just like our videos said, this is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t burn yourself out now. We’re only one week in. Keep at it – slow and steady wins the race!

Behind? Start Now!

For those folks who are more behind than they should be: it’s okay! Start now. Start today. Literally, stop procrastinating.

This isn’t your typical law school class where you think that you’ll be fine. This isn’t something that you can put off until the last minute and wing it. Start now!

You don’t want it to be the middle of June and you’ve barely touched BARBRI Bar Review. Also, you don’t want to be in a situation where you haven’t put your best foot forward, it’s July, and you’re starting to freak out. Don’t let that be you!

If you start now with the LawMaster Study Keys App, you’ll have an excellent overview of everything that you need to learn. Who doesn’t need a good refresher since your law school classes? I know that I did. Get started now and while you’re at it, download the LawMaster Study Keys App to help you out. It’s helped me and it’ll help you, too.

Stay strong, comrades, and let’s do more than #PassTheBar – let’s #OwnTheBar.

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

 

 

The Types of Bar-Preppers to Avoid on Social Media

GUEST BLOG by Ifeoma Ukwubiwe
Assistant District Attorney at Bronx Country District (New York City)
Rutgers School of Law-Newark, Class of 2015

I’m a big proponent of Social Media

If you’re anything like me and choose to keep your social media account active during bar prep, you’ll want to avoid these following Bar-Preppers:

“The Pessimist”
Misery loves company. So if you come across a Pessimist Bar-Prepper, “Unfollow” or “Unfriend.” The Pessimist Bar-Preppers are easy to come across. They are scared they will not pass the bar exam, and want you to be scared with them. They post things such as: “I’m going to fail the Bar Exam,” “I can’t do this,” and “I’m freaking out.” You do not need to subject yourself to their social media rants. You should just avoid them like the plague. Of course, we all have doubts about our abilities, but keep positive. You can do this as so many before us have.

“The Play-by-Player”
You know the excessive poster — you can’t miss them. They. post. all. the. time. And tell you every frickin’ thing they do or are not doing. Let me tell you this, there’s nothing worse than an excessive Bar-Preppers. They will tell you that they woke up and did 50 MBE Torts questions followed by a run in the park followed by 50 more torts questions followed by a contracts essay followed by… I’m sure you get the point. No moment of their Bar Prep life is too mundane for them to broadcast. “Unfollow” or “Unfriend.” Do you really have time to keep up with their daily schedules?

The Self-Promoter”
OK, so we’ve probably all posted at least once about some Bar Prep achievement. And sure, maybe your friends really do want to know that you got 21/25 correct on a Contracts Questions set. But when almost EVERY post is about how well you are doing in Bar Prep, you sound like a bragger. “Unfollow” or “Unfriend.” These Bar Preppers will have you doubting your own abilities and you will soon compare their success to your shortcomings. “Don’t compare your progress with that of others. We all need our own time to travel our own distance.” So if your only getting 15/25 correct, then work smarter to get your score up but do not compete with other students.

“The Complainer”
The Complainer is pretty self-explanatory: they are a pessimist through and through, complaining about every little thing about Bar Prep. Many of these people are passive aggressive sorts. Don’t let this person’s complaining get to you. Whether it be on social media or in person. “Unfollow” or “Unfriend.”

“The Cool One
I’m sure your wondering who “The Cool Bar-Prepper” is! Well, they are the folks who post pictures of themselves doing some fun activity with a hashtag or a caption describing the activity as their #BarPrep. You’ve seen them before, during final exam season posting about all the wine they’re drinking when they have 3 finals and a paper coming up. “Unfollow” or “Unfriend”

Hopefully this little rundown has opened your eyes to the various types of Bar Prep Social Media posters. Maybe this even brought you to an immense realization that YOU ARE one of these types of posters. If you had an epiphany, consider journaling them away!

5 Facts All Graduating Law Students Should Know About BARBRI

By Matt Mundo,
BARBRI Director of Legal Education

In my job as a Director of Legal Education for BARBRI, I get the pleasure of working with thousands of law students each year.

My job, every day, is to help students achieve the dreams for which they have worked so hard by succeeding in law school and on the bar exam.

Recently, I spoke with some students who had received some misinformation as part of their bar preparation research, so it prompted me to put into writing “5 THINGS ALL GRADUATING LAW STUDENTS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT BARBRI”.

As the nation’s #1 bar review course, there are so many things to talk about so often some of these features are overlooked; however, with the bar exam being the only thing between you and the career of your dreams, we want to ensure you have all of the information so you can choose the very best partner for your needs on this life changing exam.

FACT 1: BARBRI does not charge extra to grade extra essays.

During bar study, your goal is to write the best bar exam essays possible, as fast as possible. BARBRI knows from experience that a purely “unlimited” essay grading system does not provide the best results. Think about it. Writing and submitting dozens of essays a week for grading simply reinforces bad habits rather than correcting them.  Unlimited graded essays leads to spending a lot of time on many poor essays.

BARBRI has a better answer. It starts with Essay Architect, our exclusive powerful online platform that takes you through a series of steps to learn to critically read bar exam questions, enhance the speed of your essay writing and construct strong, winning answers. Then we assign a carefully selected series of specific essays for grading as well as many more essays for practice and self-grading.

And, if after all of that, you want additional essays graded, you can simply work with a BARBRI Director, like me, to get personal, 1:1 help, all free of charge!

FACT 2: You can do 100% of the BARBRI course online… but we won’t force you.

Actually, BARBRI Bar Review offers you the best possible learning experience by blending online, mobile and in-class study options. Each day you can choose whether to view the lectures on your computer, use the BARBRI Mobile App on-the-go or attend a bar review classroom location to watch a lecture in a structured environment with fellow students.

No matter which option you choose, you get the same great lectures. BARBRI lets you mix and match what works best for you – go to a classroom setting for your most challenging subjects, revisit specific topics and subtopics online afterward or speed through your best subjects online only at 1.5x speed.

It’s your time, your preference and your choice as to what works best for you to reinforce and recall the material you need to know to Own the Bar.

FACT 3: BARBRI is the only bar preparation course that will truly allow you to see where you sit on the bar exam curve

If you look at the MBE National Score Distribution from the National Conference of Bar Examiners, you will see the score distribution of the 2015 scaled scores. Results of the MBE fall in a pattern that look like a bell curve. This is why you often hear of people who fail the bar exam by just a few points. A large number of examinees are clustered right around the top of the curve – right around the score you need to pass the bar exam.

During the BARBRI course, you’ll have the chance to sit down and do a full simulated multistate bar exam. The simulated MBE has exam-like questions and we treat it just like the bar so you’ll know exactly how it feels to survive the multistate bar exam.

We also take your results and provide you your percentile ranking, by subject, so you know exactly where you are sitting on the curve in comparison to every other BARBRI student and where you need to focus your efforts between that time and the actual bar exam.

Since the vast majority of students sitting for the bar exam choose to partner with BARBRI, this will be your best predictor of bar exam success by far.

FACT 4: BARBRI makes it easy to take lecture notes by hand or on a laptop.

In order to provide the structure necessary to be organized as well as the flexibility that best fits your learning style, BARBRI provides lecture handouts in hardcopy AND as fillable PDF’s each day.

If you prefer to hand write your notes, then the pre-printed handout volume is there for you. If you prefer to use your laptop, download the fillable PDF’s so that you can type as much as you’d like for each blank, highlight text and use “sticky notes” for the occasional sidebar that you want to make a note of during class.

FACT 5:  BARBRI’s Personal Study Plan organizes your study time from Day 1 straight through to the day of your bar exam.

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The BARBRI lectures conclude two weeks prior to your exam but your Personal Study Plan does not. Once you’ve been taught all of the law that you need, your Personal Study Plan continues with homework, personal assignments, and practice exams to make sure that you are applying the law and memorizing the material during those critical final weeks and that you are focused on your personal areas of opportunity.

And, of course, my BARBRI Director of Legal Education peers and I will be there to support you right up to and during the exam. BARBRI’s study schedule and practice exams are the result of a dedicated academic team combined with the experience of training over 1.3M attorneys for the bar exam.

When it comes to your bar preparation and this critical decision, we want you to have all of the facts. Thousands of students have already chosen to prepare with BARBRI in 2017 – we can’t wait to welcome you to that group and help you Own the Bar.

About BARBRI Bar Review:

BARBRI pioneered bar exam preparation 50 years ago and our gold standard reputation continues to attract the overwhelming majority of law school students each year. BARBRI has helped more than 1.3 million students pass the bar – more than all other courses combined.

BARBRI focuses on you the entire way, using innovative new learning technologies that personalize your bar study. Add to all this our elite faculty of highly-respected law professors and top legal minds that know the law and especially how to teach it for you to Own The Bar.

Also, with the BARBRI Guarantee, if you take a BARBRI Bar Review course for the first time for a particular state and you do not sit for or do not pass that state’s bar exam, you may repeat the same course online once for the same state, the next time a course is offered, without paying additional tuition.

We have the longest history of pass rate success, going back 80-plus bar exams. No other bar prep program comes close.

Enroll now