Bar Exams, Ohio State - Moritz College of Law

Bar Review Diaries: Advice from Strangers, Imaginationland, and Trying to Stay Focused

Are we there yet? Is it almost time to take the test yet? NO. There are still several week to go, and our Bar Review columnists are simultaneously working hard to stay motivated, and also straining to not get frustrated with the ridiculousness that the studying entails.

Let’s check in with Nathan, Jeanette, and Andrew, who are getting advice from strangers, navigating a never-ending parade of graduation parties, and starting to see hallucinations of bar exam questions in real life….

Let’s start off with Jeanette, who is spending some time in Chicago right now. She is staying busy, cooling off in museums, and getting all kinds of studying advice from random lawyers in Starbucks. What’s crackin’, Jeanette?

I’ve been in Chicago for the past week now. The first weekend was rough (100 degree weather + sister’s apartment with no air conditioning), but it got me out of the apartment and into some museums. I did some sightseeing, but I also made sure to squeeze in some time for studying. It’s actually been a great exercise in time management, which I figure will come in handy in the future.

While waiting for my sister to come home from work, I sat and did some practice problems at a Starbucks right outside the Belmont stop on the El. Two people, both lawyers, in a two-hour span approached me to give some advice about taking the bar. The first one sat at a table next to me and said, “it’s too early in the game to sit in a Starbucks during Pride Parade week. Put that away.”

Just to clarify: are you sure this gentleman was actually an attorney, and not a reveler at the parade? Like, was he in business attire, or was he wearing a dress and carrying a flask? Either way, woo, party!

The second one said, “man, the summer after law school was the most taxing two months of my life. Good luck and hope you make it out alive.” I don’t know which one of them to trust, but it was reassuring to learn that studying for the bar isn’t necessarily grueling for everyone.

Next we have Nathan, who is seriously trying to bunker down, dive in, and find his groove with the material. As you might expect, it’s tricky:

I broke all sorts of personal records and goals this week as my Themis progress percentage doubled from 9% and 18%. I think I’ll be ambitious and try to double that again this week, but we’ll see how that goes, considering I have a big graduation party on Saturday to celebrate my sister’s graduation from high school, my brother’s graduation from college, and my own graduation. That should be fun times (it also happens to be my birthday), but after that, it’s bar review 24/7 for me.

Haaappy birthday to youuuu. (Although I shudder to think of what you have unleashed upon yourself by letting the commentariat know that your birthday is this weekend.)

I really enjoyed the professors from this week’s lectures in particular. Sherman J. Clark’s Evidence lectures were very thorough, which I appreciated because I never got around to taking Evidence in law school. He also had the rather bizarre habit of looking straight into the camera and just saying, “Good” at the end of each lecture. The earring in his left ear also made this week of bar studying a little “edgier” than usual. Professor Zachary Kramer was also slightly edgier than most of the Themis lecturers, as he sported the same beard style as fellow Arizona State-product James Harden.

Unfortunately, he looks more like Moby on his official page for the ASU website. Trust me, though, he has a solid beard for the Illinois Wills and Trusts lectures if you ever get a chance to watch those. I guess these are just the most interesting things about studying for the bar right now.

These are fascinating times. Fascinating. Times.

So now I’m faced with 82 percent of the coursework and four weeks left. I’ll likely start employing some new strategies to speed through the work a little more quickly. At this point, it’s probably as important for me to get a handle on the breadth of the material as it is to actually learn the material. Once I figure out the best ways to actually learn the information, I’ll start feeling liking I’m accomplishing more and the work will seem more urgent.

Click through to see Andrew’s translation of bar exam questions into real life situations. Or, as he might prefer to say, let’s take a journey to Imaginationland. Imaaaaaaaagineaaaaation….

(hidden for your protection)

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