The Bar Exam: It's Not Time to Freak Out (Yet)

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The bar exam is a little over a month away. All the folks in your bar prep class have been clear: after July 4th is when it’s time to freak out. That’s when you up your caffeine and/or cocaine1 intake by at least fifty percent. It’s when you cut all ties with reality and begin mumbling to yourself about various acronyms that are harder to remember than the rule itself. That is when you see your relationships, friendships, and hygiene crumble around you. That day will come. But it is not this day.

There’s Still Time to Learn

Now it’s still time to learn. It’s time to listen attentively in class to a professor, or possibly some guy on a DVD. You have time to digest the material. Let it sink in. Then do the practice problems like you’re supposed to. The work you put in now will pay off later. Get a solid understanding of the material. Take good notes so later you can worry about memorizing every note you ever took.

Worry About Your Own Progress

Don’t let the folks you see in class or status updates on Facebook throw you off. Everyone is lying. Talking to a JD about bar prep is like talking to a college guy about sex: all lying, all the time. Just like in law school, your peers are lying about how much time they spend studying. They’re lying about scores on practice exams. And they’re lying about how far along they are on that godforsaken BarBri progress bar.2.


Remember to relax. Especially during July 4th. It will be the last time for a while. If that means some hot yoga or prowling the local college bar, go for it. Spend some time reading about the future you have as a lawyer. Take in a movie once in a while. Whatever you have to do to get the bar exam off your mind, go for it.

While you can.

1. You listened to the professor when he said that if you do drugs now, bar prep isn’t the time to stop. Right?
2. Seriously. Is the sole purpose of that bar to make people go crazy a little bit at a time?

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