By Jacqueline Leung • February 03, 2017•Writers in Residence, Features, Advice on Passing the Bar Exam
The past month has been a period of transition. As I continue adjusting to life as a mother of three children, I balance a (mostly) flexible schedule. My partner returned to work full time two weeks ago. While there have been occasional challenges, especially when dealing with the needs of an infant and toddler, it has been an amazing experience.
In early January, I registered for the March MPRE. I registered for it before, but did not take the exam due to being sick with pneumonia. One of the joys of living where I do is I am often ill during the winter months due to the cold, wet weather. I hope I do not get pneumonia again.
I am preparing my bar application and have a ‘draft’ complete. I will complete and submit the bar application next month. I also plan to apply for a state bar exam grant offered through the State Bar. The grant would reimburse me for the bar exam fee, and provide a free MBE mini preparation course.
For bar preparation, I am beginning to review my study materials. I have several prep materials including Critical Pass notecards, which were highly recommended by a colleague who passed the bar. My colleague is a single mother and passed on the first attempt. She credited utilizing Critical Pass as a crucial part of her success since she balanced childcare with bar preparation. Further, I am reviewing the resources I already have available online through my bar prep account.
My current game plan is to begin reviewing the Critical Pass Notecards and when the children are sleeping, begin watching the course lectures. I also have a few practice workbooks recommended by faculty/staff, and will work on those on the days my partner is off. My study plan will change once more as we get closer to the bar exam. But until then, I understand I need to begin earlier than most and learn what works best for me. What worked for me during law school will not work so well now.
Since my two youngest will not be in childcare, it comes down to carving time into my schedule to do quality NOT quantity studying, as the quality of study I do will become more important than the amount of time I spend studying. As someone who passed the bar told me before, it is NOT the amount of time put into studying for the bar that dictates success. It is the quality of bar preparation that matters. One person could waste a whole day studying yet not understand or grasp the material or the same person could study smart: spending time throughout the day, for no more than four hours total, and have a quality study session.
First thing first though. It is nearly 3:00 a.m., and I need to get some sleep. Let’s see if I can arrange some time for reviewing one chapter for the MPRE. J