Congratulations to the class of 2019. Here are some pointers to guide you as you transition from law school to bar study:
1. Don't compare yourself to others. No two successful bar takers are alike, so a tool that works for one student, may not work for another. Take peer recommendations with a grain of salt, and trust your instincts. Attorneys at your firm, your mentors, and your professors may have taken an earlier version of a bar exam that does not match the subject content or the complexity of your bar exam, so their advice may not be fully helpful.
2. Utilize the bar prep resources at your law school. Find out if your school provides tutoring, essay grading, or workshops for alumni. If you are taking a bar exam in a state where you did not attend law school, ask your academic support director to introduce you to the academic support team at a law school where you are studying. Many schools share resources and offer reciprocity.
3. Use critique and corrective feedback to better you. When you receive poor scores on a practice exam or have seemingly endless written comments on a practice essay, don't be deterred. Find value in the opportunity to see your mistakes before the actual bar exam, and take correct steps to correct the deficiencies identified.
4. Admit that you are powerless to prepare for the bar alone. Comments that you "study best alone" "don't need support" or "know what [you] need to do to pass" are typically uttered by a candidate at risk of failure, who does not recognize his or her own risk factors. Step outside of your comfort zone and strengthen your knowledge and ability to memorize by engaging other bar takers in your study routine.
5. Don't let naivety cloud your common sense. Bar study myths that any one outline, bar course, etc. is what you need to pass . . . or that doing 100 questions per day, or a practice test per week, are exactly as reliable as every product ad that promises to deliver weight loss and allow you to eat all you want and not exercise. There are no shortcuts to passing the bar exam.
6. Invest in your success. Your standard commercial course may not be enough to help you pass. Investigate supplemental programs like Adaptibar or Critical Pass. Hire an experienced bar tutor to help in your areas of weakness. There is no stigma to seeking extra help. Convince yourself and your financial benefactors (if you are luck enough to have them) that you are worth the investment.