Pass or FailCome bar results day, how will you take the news? Will you be victoriously screaming, “I passed, I passed!” or, will you be crippled by the devastating news that you failed. Well, it doesn’t have to be quite so dramatic, if you can visualize each scenario in advance and plan for whichever takes place. That’s how I came up with my Plan A and Plan B for bar results day.

I was inspired by the blog post from Bar Exam Mind: Fear of Bar Exam Failure where I learned about Tim Ferriss’ technique for defining your worst case scenario by listing all the things you could possibly do to keep it from happening and then define how you will recover if the worst case scenario actually comes true. In my case, having already written the bar exam, I certainly couldn’t do anything to change my results now, but I could use this method to face my own fears of what if…. Read More →

flowers on deskLets face it, studying for the bar exam is incredibly monotonous and boring. You can’t be creative, there is no opportunity for self-expression, and there’s no need for research. Basically just the same mundane rules of law over and over again. So, how do you stay motivated and interested? Some will tell you that fear of failing is the motivating factor! Perhaps this works to some degree, but I found that to be the most productive and keep up the bar prep pace, I needed some inspiring techniques during this arduous process.

Here are the 6 best tips that helped me stay focused and productive. Read More →

online learning in parkFor some of us, getting a higher education through an online university may be the only way to achieve our goals. But can you really juggle work, family and learning all at the same time?

Beware that it won’t be easy, however, finally getting that JD or Masters that you always wanted can be extremely rewarding and best of all, very affordable. On the other hand, it could be a total waste of time and money if you realize half-way through that you are just not cut out for this and decide to quit. Read More →

Blacks Law Dictionary AppWhat’s one of the first books that law students are told to buy? If you guessed Black’s Law Dictionary, then you are correct! The editor of Black’s Law Dictionary, Bryan Garner, calls it “the most widely cited lawbook in the world” and for law students, it’s definitely one of the most important books in the world. Knowing that you are going to be using this book each year of school and knowing that this book is available as an app, why any law student would consider purchasing the paper version, I will never know.

Back in 1L when I was issued my first law school book list, I figured that a law dictionary would be essential. I admit that I first bought the paperback version, not having discovered all of the wonderful technology apps that existed for law students until 2L. Plus, in 2009 I was a fairly new iPhone user myself. But once I discovered that I could have all of the legal terms at the touch of my finger, including hyper-linked cross references and even audio pronunciations, I was sold. I delegated my paperback Black’s to the shelf and sprung for the $55 to buy Black’s Law Dictionary as my first legal app.

Since then, any new edition update has been free and with each new iPhone or iPad I acquired, my Black’s law dictionary was always available. And for those non-iPhone users, the app is also available for Windows and Android phones.

Check out the complete review of this app by the popular blogger, iPhone J.D. who similarly bought the paper book in 1990 while in law school but soon found that he hardly used it. He now uses the iPhone app a few times a month.

Black’s Law Dictionary may be one of the most expensive apps you will ever buy for your phone, but you sure will get your money’s worth during law school and beyond!

Hand writing on the Bar ExamWho remembers using a typewriter? Well, I do! When I was growing up, having a typewriter in your home to use for school was a big deal and I was one of the lucky kids who had one. In typing class I was usually the first student to finish my speed-writing assignment – the teacher made us jump up out of our seat when we were done with the paragraph. It was the only race that I ever won (not being the athletic type), and to this day I would much rather type than hand-write anything at all.

So, when one of my fellow law students told me she was handwriting her essays on the California First Year Law School Exam (“Baby Bar”), I was totally shocked and somewhat perplexed that she would even consider this.

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Student biting pencil by imagerymajestic Bar Exam results for July 2014 bar takers will come out on Fri. Nov. 21, 2014 at 6:00 pm PST. It really is agony that bar takers have to wait so long to find out if they passed, so, the big question is: should you do any studying during that long waiting time just in case? The answer to this question will depend upon how confident you are that you did well. It really is so hard to know, especially when you consider that the pass rate for California bar takers is generally below 50%. How do you know if what you did was good enough?

15 Weeks to Review 15 Subjects

There are 15 subjects tested on the California bar exam: Civil Procedure, Community Property, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Corporations, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Partnerships, Professional Responsibility, Real Property, Remedies, Torts, Trusts, and Wills. (See our FAQ on how we categorize the bar tested subject of Business Associations.) With 15 weeks to go until results day, why not stay up to date on your rules of law? If you have any doubts at all on whether you passed, set up a 15 week plan right now so that you allocate one week to each subject. Your “studying” for each weekly subject can be as light as reviewing your outlines or as heavy as doing some practice MBE’s and writing a few essays. You are the best judge of what you think you need to do.

Results Day Will Be Here Before You Know It!

Then, when you do hit that button on your computer on results day to find out if you passed, if the news is not good, your preparation will have paid off knowing that you can do it the next time around. Or, if the news is good, then the extra review you did could never be a waste of time as you will be well prepared to enter into your field of law with “the law” fresh in your mind. Good luck on November 21st!

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic/

Flashcards 2 by Stuart Miles-FreeDigitalPhotos.netIt seems inevitable that at some point during your law school studies you will need to prepare some flashcards, or perhaps I should say, it’s “foreseeable” – a favorite word among law students, second only to “reasonable.” So, let’s have a look at the best possible method to make your flashcard creation a success. Perhaps you just might recognize yourself in one of these types and be inspired to try out a new method that could give you that boost you’ve been looking for, taking the dreariness out of a mundane task that law students just can’t seem to avoid. Read More →