How to Prepare for the Bar Exam in 2L … and Why?

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

No, I’m not suggesting you purchase a bar prep course during your first semester of 2L and hit the books.

But as a 2L the bar exam should be on your mind.

As a 2L you should pay special attention to not only your school course requirements but also to your state bar examination requirements. You’ll want to pay special attention to the topics covered on your bar exam so you can begin to plan your course schedule(s). For instance, if you’re headed to a state that practices a lot of specialized estate law, make it a priority to take a few courses in that area.

Likewise, it’s a good idea to consider the timing of your courses. While it’s true, we have three more semesters of law school, we all know conflicts are a part of life and can prevent us from enrolling in the courses we want/need. If you start considering the courses that you’ll want to take for the bar exam now, you can begin to factor them into your registration process; thereby reducing the likelihood that you’ll graduate without having taken the courses you wanted. If you want to take your ‘2L bar prep’ a step further, you can also weigh when to take certain courses based on how prevalent they will be on the bar exam. For instance, if you’re especially worried about acing the property section of your bar exam, consider taking a property course during your last semester of 3L so it’s fresh in your mind during bar prep.

Finally, 2L is the perfect time to begin thinking about any potential problems you may encounter on the character and fitness section of the bar. If you’re aware of something that you think may pose a problem, do not wait until 3L to deal with it. Get ahead of the game and talk to your academic advisor now so you can rest assured that when the time comes, you’ll know how to best handle the situation. Similarly, if you’re not sure if there’s something out there that may cause a problem for you, a good place to start is by searching yourself with Lexis and/or Westlaw’s people finder tools.

To re-emphasize, as a 2L you should not be spending hours upon hours stressing yourself out about the bar exam – after all, we are only 2L’s. But at the same time, 2L will undoubtedly fly by in the blink of an eye, so keeping the bar exam on the back burner this year will help you avoid overburdening yourself in 3L, when bar prep is really underway.