The ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (CoLAP) and ABA Law Student Division are here to support you while you study for the bar exam. During this challenging time, we want to encourage you to take care of yourselves and continue to focus on all aspects of your well-being. Your physical and emotional health are critical to your success in life…and on the bar exam.
Here are some essential wellness resources for bar exam prep:
Lawyer Assistance Programs
The ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (CoLAP) offers a list of mental health resources for the legal profession to assist in understanding and prioritizing our mental health, well-being and recovery in these challenging times. View the special dedicated mental health resources for the legal profession.
Each state has a Lawyer Assistance Program (LAP) that is dedicated to confidential counseling for law students, lawyers and judges around issues of substance use and mental health. You can locate the LAP in your area with this Lawyer Assistance Program (LAP) directory.
Bar Exam and Wellness Podcasts
The ABA CoLAP has produced a podcast series for law students available on the CoLAP website or most podcast platforms called Path to Law Student Well-Being. We highly recommend the following relevant podcasts:
- The Practice and Benefits of Mindfulness
- Adopting a Growth Mindset
- Dealing with Stress While Studying for the Bar Exam
- Practice Makes Passing
Enjoy these and other inspirational podcasts to keep you positive and focused on your mission for this summer.
The ABA Section of Litigation produced a podcast about staying calm during bar exam prep. It focuses on learning how to suppress your fight-or-flight response in times of extreme stress – like the bar exam.
You can also listen to these wellness episodes of the Law Student Podcast:
- Maintaining Mental Health at Law School
- Law School and Depression
- Mental Health and Well-Being: How Law Students Can Get Help and Help Others
- Examining Stress and Offering Hope to Law Students
Physical Fitness While Studying for the Bar Exam
Now more than ever, physical activity is an important step you can take to maintain your health and wellness. We encourage daily socially-distanced exercise as an essential part of your bar study routine, whether you run, walk, or participate in online classes for yoga.
If you’re nose-deep in studying and are finding it difficult to carve out time to work out, staying physically active in shorter windows of time is certainly possible as well. There are a number of mobile apps designed to help you train from the comfort of your home, such as Nike’s Training Club app; or stay physically active next to your desk with short-burst, “HIIT” (High Intensity Interval Training) activities using mobile apps like Tabata. The trick is to just keep moving. Science tells us that physical and mental health are closely interconnected.
Even walking will benefit you during this time. Take advantage of the many health benefits walking has to offer and to use it to build mental endurance as you progress toward your next goal.
Mental Fitness While Studying for the Bar Exam
There are many helpful apps designed to provide you with tools to cultivate greater emotional well-being and improve academic performance. These include Headspace, 10% Happier, Waking Up, and Calm, which is offering a free two-month trial. WellTrack includes relaxation exercises, simulated situations to deal with specific anxieties (including public speaking), and a course on resilience specifically designed to help manage and gain perspective on COVID-related emotions (membership required).
You can learn about 14 more apps for meditation, well-being, and mindfulness in this article by Jeena Cho.
Student Health Insurance
Recent graduates are encouraged to seek alternative coverage well before the termination of their current plan. You should confirm when your current coverage through your law school (or other source) ends. You may want to consult with your alumni association or state bar for local referrals for short term insurance coverage.
The ABA Law Student Division and ABA Insurance Program have created an excellent guide to health insurance for law students and recent grads.
Additional resources are available at:
Students are encouraged to have a financial plan through the time that they sit for the bar, including a safe and affordable place to live. Many law schools have shared information about bar study loans and COVID-related emergency loans. AccessLex has provided emergency funds to law schools across the country and also offers many valuable COVID-related resources including webinars and one-on-one coaching for students and graduates.
More Wellness Tips from Student Lawyer
- This one weird trick could improve your performance: Sleep
- Why reading a novel can help while studying for the bar exam
- Ten tips for preparing for the bar exam
- Student Success 101: Reduce distractions and increase focus
- How to alleviate bar exam stress
- How to get better at handling stress in law school (and beyond)