It’s that time of year again when law students graduate and find they have about one minute to take a breath before they turn their attention to the next (but thankfully, last!) step before they can qualify for admission to practice law: the bar exam.
But First, Congratulations!
Though it may seem like you don’t have any time to celebrate your graduation, be sure to acknowledge your impressive accomplishment. Getting accepted into law school isn’t easy and making it to graduation is even more of a challenge. Take this moment to recognize how much hard work, tenacity and dedication it took you to get here. Just think of all those Friday nights you spent at the law library instead of going out with your friends. As difficult as it was to make those decisions, every time you put your studies first, you got one step closer to becoming a law school graduate.
Don’t forget also to thank your friends for understanding, as well as all of your loved ones for supporting you and cheering you on these past three years.
Although graduation signifies the end of law school, you’re not quite done yet. The final phase of your journey is to pass the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) so you can officially become an attorney and start your career.
As you gear up for the bar, you have two contributing factors that you have total control over: your mindset and your UBE review course.
As much as you might like to throw all your legal textbooks out the window, you still have work to get done before taking the bar in July. It’s vital you resist the urge to ignore your responsibilities. Just remember how far you have come. Making poor study decisions now can jeopardize your chances of passing the bar. Don’t skip that practice exam or drift off during class. If you fail to pass the bar this summer, you will just have to go through this entire review process again to take the exam in February. So, plan to set aside about six to eight hours each day to complete your assignments, the reading material, and the practice tests, and gradually work your way up to ten to twelve hours (or more!) as the exam approaches.
A huge undertaking, yes. But undoubtedly worth it.
Besides your attitude, the other factor in your control is the bar review course that you sign up for. There are several courses you can choose from, so make sure you thoroughly examine each one. You may be tempted to study by yourself. But taking a review course enables you to seek guidance from UBE experts who know the exam best. Just think about when you were in law school. If you were having trouble understanding your course material, you had a professor you could turn to for help. This is the exact type of experience you can draw upon by taking a reputable review course. Rather than being left on your own to reteach yourself key topics that will make an appearance on the exam—you might even have to learn new material that you never covered in law school—you’ll be given all of the information, as well as tips on how to master the multiple-choice questions on the Multistate Bar Exam and the essays on the Multistate Essay Exam.
The Light at the End of the Tunnel
As you transition from law student to bar exam taker, bear in mind that you’re almost through. You may still be in the race, but the finish line is in sight. Keep your head up, stay focused, and be optimistic. Before you know it, you’ll be starting your career.