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The Marathon of Bar Prep

I’m graduating from law school in 30 days, and I’m tired.

Usually around this time of the semester, I’m gearing up for the sprint to the end of the semester.  There are many late nights of studying and writing papers and excessive caffeination.  Once finals are done, I’m exhausted, and usually get to collapse for a few days if not a few weeks.

At the end of my first semester of law school, I went to my parents’ house for Christmas and I literally did nothing but sit on the couch for two days.  One day, I literally watched courtroom dramas (People’s Court, Judge Judy, Divorce Court, etc.) from 9am until 5pm, with the exception of one hour.  At the end of my third semester of law school, I drove for over 12 hours to my parents’ house and I was so exhausted that I have no memory of the trip.

I don’t have the luxury of burning myself out at the end of this semester.  Three days after I graduate I will start BarBri, the class that teaches you how to pass the Bar Exam.  For this semester, once I finish the sprint to finish finals, I have to turn around and line up for the marathon of studying for the Bar.

From what I’ve heard from other lawyers, all I have to do is follow the BarBri program and study schedule and I’ll pass the Bar.  My classmate looked at our study schedule and reported that we’re expected to study and/or go to class 8 hours a day, 7 days a week.  I did the math and considering study time, sleep, and everyday activities, I’m going to have maybe 4 hours a day for myself.  I suspect that my life is going to get really simple.

My friends and I have been formulating our plan of attack.  We will have a focused study group in the morning followed by class in the afternoon.  Everyone will be banned from my house unless a specific invitation is extended.  All stressful people, places, and events will be avoided at all costs.  I contemplated having someone change my Facebook and Twitter passwords, but I decided I needed the ability to see what’s going on the real world on occasion.  My phone is usually on or near my person; however, when I’m studying, it will be in a place where I can’t see or hear it except when I’m not studying.

I will still have scheduled relaxation and fun.  There are select fun events on my calendar during the weeks leading up to the Bar.  I’m hoping to keep a regular workout schedule – walking, hiking, biking, and/or yoga – to maintain my health and sanity.  I have great friends who will remind me how normal people live.  They are also on notice that when I finish the Bar Exam, one of them better be waiting outside the testing center with a strawberry milkshake and a hug.

There’s a saying in the Carter family: “You can do anything for 6 months.”  I only have to make it through the next 105 days.

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  1. I think about this a lot. I have no idea how to not collapse with exhaustion right after graduation. But I graduate on May 21st. And BARBRI starts on May 23rd. And I have to move across the country in 2 days just to be there to study for the 1st day. The bright side? I won’t have time to stress about saying goodbye to people. The downsides? Well, are obvious.

    1. Ruth Carter says:

      Just take it one thing at a time. Good luck!

  2. Darv DeShazer says:

    Ruth – We are wishing you all the best; we know you can do it!

    1. Ruth Carter says:

      Thanks Mr. D!

  3. Laura says:

    I can’t wait to watch your progress. I’m just finishing my second year and have thus begun thinking about what bar exam prep will be like. Good luck!

    1. Ruth Carter says:

      Thanks Laura! So far, I’ve been thinking about what type of schedule will work for me and what rules should be in place fro the duration of of studying. Good luck & congratulations on finishing your 2nd year!