Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Top Five Things To Do Before Bar Prep:

5.            Clean your house/apartment/living space.  Create a positive and productive work environment.  Think about where you will study and how you can ensure that it suits your needs for bar review.  Also, this may be the last time you have time to clean until August, so think about doing a deep clean and clear the clutter. Having a tidy work and living space will positively impact your studying.

4.            Calendar!  Print a blank summer calendar. (I like to see it on paper, but you can also use an online program.)  Put all essential items on your calendar: bar review classes, exercise, child /elder care responsibilities, etc…  Try to structure each day in order to create a realistic routine.  Free time should also be on your calendar: meals, sleep, downtime, recharging activities, etc… Fill each hour of the day with either bar study/practice or a free-time activity.  Doing this will help you to avoid procrastination and will help you use your time effectively during bar prep.

3.            Talk to your family and friends.  Show them your summer plan (and calendar).  Better yet, send them copies of your calendar.  Offer ways for them to provide you support (dinner, encouraging emails, childcare).  Informing your significant others will keep them from hindering your success this summer and will provide you with a strong support system.  You will need it!

2.            Do something fun, spontaneous, and slightly wacky.  Why?  Since you will not have the luxury of being spontaneous this summer during your bar prep, having a madcap adventure can help satiate that desire until August.  Nothing too crazy…but something memorable!  (Seattle ideas:  ride the wheel at sunset; go kayaking on Lake Union; stay out really late and then sleep in until noon; take a day hike with friends; ride the train to Portland to see the Rose Festival firework show; or check out a local concert, art show, or museum.)  Take pictures and post them near your study space or on your fridge.  These memories will help get through the long monotonous days of summer bar study.

1.            Take time to reflect.  Celebrate the end of your law school journey and reflect on how far you have come in the last three years.  Write down your many successes and what you have learned about yourself and your learning style.  Understanding what worked for you in law school and what challenged you will benefit you during your bar prep.  And, reflecting on your past will help you transition to bar prep with a renewed sense of purpose and inner strength.  You can pass the bar exam- believing in yourself is the first step!

Lisa Young

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