The Final Stretch

So, first of all, I’m weird. Ask anyone who knows me. I liked law school, I thought finals were fun, and I’m really short. With that said what works for me may not work for you, but here is my story.

I did Barbri fairly consistently for the majority of the time and honestly didn’t feel all that confident. Just as an example, I had done well in Property I and Property II, but I couldn’t get above 50% on any of the Barbri property questions. I just didn’t get it. Like at all. And, property was not the only subject that I was feeling less than confident in.

On July 4th I took the day off and drank beer in a pool underneath the hot sun. I know it sucks, that isn’t really an option for you this year, but I had a great time. The point (aside from me rubbing that in your face) is that I took a day off and tried to recharge myself some for the final stretch of studying.

When I got back to studying on the fifth I was determined to complete Barbri and walk into the test knowing that I had done what everyone said I should do and hoped that that would give me the confidence to pass. I pushed on doing essay after essay and continued to fail at multiple choice questions. I started to feel a little twinge of real concern. Not the feeling you have been feeling all summer of simply being overwhelmed, but that feeling combined with the thought that maybe I was out of time to accomplish what I had left to accomplish and that at this point my failure was simply a ticking time bomb waiting to come to fruition.

I don’t really remember at what point in time I made the decision, but about two weeks before the bar exam I looked at my Barbri books and said “You don’t know me! You don’t know my life!” and perhaps more importantly, you don’t know how I study. I used Barbri to cover the general ground that the test was over, but to really get that information into my head I needed to study the way I study.

I dropped Barbri at just over 70% complete and went back to my outlines that I had studied from throughout law school. All of a sudden property made a lot more sense to me again. I studied all of my outlines which I had condensed down into 10-ish page mini-outlines throughout law school (which you can find on this website). I reviewed them just like I had always done through law school and I felt much better.

When I got to a subject that I hadn’t taken (family law, marital property, etc… ya know, like half of the essays) I would go through the Barbri materials and make my own outline out of those. They may not have been the best but I felt like I was accomlishing things which made me feel better.

I did that for the final two weeks before the bar. I knew I had tried about as hard as I could have but I was still tense just because its a freaking three day test. That’s so dumb.

Either way, I got to the night before the bar and I needed to find a way to relax so I could get a good night sleep (and wake up on time). So, I went to my happy place. I poured myself a glass of scotch and popped in the single greatest movie of all time: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. ( ). I went to bed early-ish for me and went and took the first day of the test. (As a quick aside – if you drive your car to the location you can eat lunch in your car without having to talk to everyone about the test which helped with my stress level a lot). At the end of the day guess what I did. I poured myself a glass of scotch and watched the single greatest movie of all time: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. At the end of the next day guess what I did. I poured myself a glass of scotch and watched the single greatest movie of all time: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.

My point is I figured out what my happy place was and I made it part of my routine which was really comforting. Whatever that may be for you, do that.

Best of luck,

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melinda haynes

Love this!! Terrific advice!! Find your happy place!