Time Management

I keep reading and hearing about how you’re supposed to take at least 10 weeks off from EVERYTHING and treat your bar prep like a full-time job; that it’s impossible to pass the bar while working full-time or part-time, et cetera. I think that’s a load of crap. It also smacks of scare tactics employed by bar prep providers to keep the bucks rolling in. I really hate coming across “advice” and stuff like that where they’re so convinced that you have to study nonstop for the bar from dawn to dusk, and give up everything else, including jobs and family. That’s crazy and completely unrealistic.

Granted, you should probably scale back extracurricular activities. I wanted to join an adult soccer league here but I’m waiting until after the bar. In the meanwhile, I’m sticking with swimming at least 3 times a week. I’m going home in a couple of weeks to visit my family for a few days, but that’s it. I plan to take my S&T book with me so I can work on the practice questions. I figure the S&T book alone should be sufficient for my trip with its 550-plus practice MBE questions.

I will be taking the week before the bar exam off from work, but I doubt I’ll take the 2 weeks off that I did last summer because I had quit my old job early to take those 2 weeks, and I also am not sure I’ll have enough leave from my current job to do that anyway. But I’m not worried about it. I managed to study for and pass the CO bar while working full-time so I know it can be done. I also know of at least one repeater who worked full-time right up to the bar exam, and he passed. Many other people have worked full-time and weren’t able to study full-time, but they passed.

That’s not to say that you should take as little time off before the bar as possible, though. Some people, myself included don’t really have much choice. I’m just saying that it can be done if absolutely and unavoidably necessary. Otherwise, the more time you can take off before the bar exam, the more likely it is to benefit you.


5 thoughts on “Time Management

  1. I agree with this completely. I won’t be able to dedicate full-time study to this, despite what the crazy BarBri paced program suggests!
    My firm is giving me three weeks off (paid) to study, which I think will work just fine for me. January is going to be busy, though, as I work during the day and hit class at night to learn the new essay topics that differ from my July bar.
    Here’s to not letting the rookies that are freaked out by the bar study companies get to you 🙂

  2. I agree as well….when I did not pass the first time, I was completely DEVOTED to it, and burned out, which ironicallydid not leave time for practice and MBEs.

    I find that now that I am doing it on my own terms and not putting my life on hold, it is much more productive.

    love your blog!

  3. I think you are right, that the full time study thing is a scare tactic! I keep wondering if I am putting in enough time, but I can only do so much. And as my supervisor likes to remind me, being immersed in the law every day at work has its advantages in that you are thinking about the subjects on the bar exam, anyway.

  4. Dear F: (May I call you F?)

    Your right of course. In many cases it’s impossible to take 10 weeks off. In my case, when I was studying for the California Bar (the time I passed…ah hum), I was in the middle of five major business negotiations. It was so intense that I gave up on going to the live BarBri classes in West L.A. and had to switch to going and reviewing the tapes. Oddly, that worked far better for me since I could recover from zone-outs by replaying the missed sections.

    Anyway, long story short, everyone finds their own way…and time to study for the bar. It’s one of the most personal things connected with the bar exam.

    Good luck in State #2.

    Jonathan L. Kramer, Esq.
    (No selling there)

  5. Funny…I play soccer too…..although, I keep thinking I may finally be too old to play anymore….last season, which ended several weeks ago, I fell and cracked a couple ribs and I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO DIE. I have never been in so much pain. And then I sneezed and I thought my sternum was going to crack open! But I digress……I totally agree with you….the people who pass the bar are the ones who are at peace with themselves and their lives and are confident they are going to pass…..you will kick ass again, I know it…;-)

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