If you’re a 3L who’s gearing up for the bar exam this summer, it might seem like obsessing and studying are one and the same.
Not so, writes Lee Burgess, in a post called “Four bar exam obsessions (you could do without)” at Solo Practice University (http://solopracticeuniversity.com/blog/). Burgess, a private bar exam tutor and cofounder of Bar Exam Toolbox says you don’t need to obsess over these four:
Practice test scores. It is important to take practice exams and to get as much feedback as you can regarding how well you did. Less important, though, is your score. Why? The written portion of the bar exam is graded by a person, Burgess says, which means it’s subjective. Use your practice scores as a guide and not as a prediction or your result.
Bar exam predictions. If you’re in a bar review course, Burgess writes, it’s likely that at least one person will share some guesses regarding what may be tested. More reliable are topics that your jurisdiction frequently tests. Those topics are likely to be on your exam.
Not knowing all the law. There’s no way you could know everything, Burgess says. So quit worrying about that, and instead find some past bar exam questions and look for patterns. Are there certain rules that are tested over and over again? They’ll probably be on your exam, too.
What will happen if you fail. “Obsessive thoughts about failure can be paralyzing,” Burgess says, “and can prevent you from doing your best work.” If you can’t study effectively because you’re worried about failing, she says, you should step back for a bit and focus on ways to dial back that anxiety.
The spring wind-down: What to do if you’re losing steam
As the school year wraps up and it’s hard to stay inside and study, maybe the title of this post at Law School Academic Support Blog (http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/academic_support/) fits your mood: “Grumble, grumble, sigh, sigh.”
Here are a few tips from Student Lawyer columnist Amy Jarmon to help you get your motivation back:
- Remember why you came to law school. “By reminding yourself of the end goal,” Jarmon writes, “you are better able to get through the process to get there.”
- Set artificial deadlines for final papers and projects. If you push toward a date that’s a couple of days before the real deadline, Jarmon explains, you’ll have a cushion in case of those almost inevitable last-minute problems.
- Avoid complainers and procrastinators. “If you hang out with other law students who are moaning and groaning and avoiding their work,” Jarmon says, “it will be contagious.”
Do the hustle
Whether you’re looking to make some great long-term connections at a summer associate job or are graduating without a job lined up yet, it’s never too early or too late to learn what San Francisco attorney Jeena Cho calls “the art of the hustle.”
In a post at The Girl’s Guide to Law School (http://thegirlsguidetolawschool.com/), Cho lists eight ways to punch up your networking or job seeking. Among them:
Get out of the house. Cho wrote many attorneys a personalized e-mail to introduce herself and ask them to meet for coffee. Some said no, but enough said yes that it led to her first job.
Offer help. It may seem like you don’t have help to offer, but as you network, listen carefully to the lawyers you meet. Do they need help setting up a blog or social media account? If there’s something you know how to do, or can learn, offering help can strengthen your connection.
Follow up. “I was at a networking event for law students where I gave out 35 business cards,” Cho writes. “Only one student followed up.” How should you keep up your new connections? LinkedIn, Twitter, e-mail, or a coffee invitation.