You only want to do it once—take the bar exam that is. So make sure you get it right the first time. Here are five reasons why studying for the bar in the summer could result in a do-over.
1 You Just Finished School . Bar exam review courses begin a week or two after graduation. You have been working furiously for three years–preparing for class and running clubs and editing journal articles and applying for jobs and outlining for finals–and you are exhausted. You manage to get through the last semester without burning out entirely, only to be greeted with the task of studying for the most difficult exam of your life. The studying starts when all you want is a break.
2 You’ve Never Studied During the Summer Before. If you have graduated from law school, then you are probably not the type that had to go to summer school. Maybe you took a language immersion class in college, or maybe you satisfied your physical education requirement during the summer, but you have never been required to study at this intensity level during the summer. The summer is a different setting for studying, and you either love it or hate it. Maybe the heat and the bugs and the hay fever elicit a rage in you and make you even more upset that you are studying. Or maybe you love the summer, and not being able to go to BBQs or the beach or go running while it’s light at 8PM is something you really miss.
3 No New Television or Media to Follow. If you like to relieve stress by indulging in something like television, then the summer is the worst time to be under a lot of stress. Television and most other media function on the school calendar, releasing new material when the kids are in school and taking a break for the summer. Normally, you are taking a break for the summer as well, so you have never noticed the dearth of new entertainment available during the summer. This summer, you find yourself watching So You Think You Can Dance, The Bachelorette, or The Glee Project, even though you hate reality television. It’s just all you have.
4 Ruins Your Routine . You have spent the last three years studying in the same library, attending class in the same classrooms, and grabbing lunch at the same café. That routine is ruined in one of two ways.
You could be in a completely different city. Maybe you are living at home or with a significant other or living wherever you will practice. In that case, you find yourself doing something familiar–studying–in a completely unfamiliar setting, which makes it feel like you have maybe never studied before in your life.
Or, you could be exactly where you spent your law school days, living in the same apartment, going to class in the same classrooms, studying in the same library, eating at the same cafés. You made this choice, at least in part, because it seemed like the best idea to keep everything the same. The problem is that you are going about your life in a ghost town. Your law school life exists as it did, but those classrooms and cafés are inhabited only by your peers studying for the bar, which makes you reminded every day that this is just a little bit different from law school.
5 You Feel Alone. All that is to say that, even if you are studying with a group of people, you will at some point feel very alone. Studying for the bar can be all-consuming, and it feels like no one in the world understands what you are going through, even the lawyers who have been through the process. It’s hard, but you’ll get through it. You’re not actually alone, and when you end up in a room with a thousand other people taking the exam, just remember everyone there was miserable at some point this summer, too.
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