Congrats on getting through it. Like I said, the easiest part is taking the exam. Here comes another round of sleepless nights and anxiety. That comes in a few months. For tonight, drink a beer and have some fun!

Day After MBE, Prepping Day 3

I oddly always found the MBE day to be more tiring. With essays you're reading, writing and typing. With the MBE you're staring at a pieces of paper for 6 hours.

This is where you need to find a way to keep going. Day two is where a lot of people hit the wall. Day three scores are significantly lower than any other day. If you can have a strong day 3, you can make up some significant points based soley on people being tired.

You're 66% done. Lets do it.

Preparing For Day Two

Overall, I'm told the first day wasn't terrible. A torts essay, professional responsibility and CA evidence with a crimes twist. Hopefully things went okay. If it didn't, you have two days to make things up. Even if you completely bombed one essay, you're right on track!

Get a nice dinner and a good night's sleep. Keep it together!

The Exam: Day One

However unlikely, I hope everyone got some sleep. Oddly, the best thing you can hear right now is "you may begin" from the proctor. At that moment anxiety disappears for everyone. This is what you've studied. You're ready. Except for maybe the girl you see shooting up the aisle toward the bathroom while holding her mouth. Theres one in every group. At least you know you have her beat.

Remember to upload immediately after the exam.

If anyone would like to email me the topics, I'd appreciate it. My email is

Day Before The Exam

Congrats on finishing up your studying. Today is travel day. All of you should be preparing, relaxing and giving yourself a mental break. Keep in mind, no one is going to have perfect circumstances for the bar exam. You may have a loud breather sitting next to you, a fan blowing on you or not get enough sleep the night before. Control the things that you can control. Put the things you can't control out of mind and keep moving forward. 

Good luck to everyone!

Hello World!

I'm currently in New Orleans for my fraternity's conference. Its a great time for me to reconnect with some old faces and meet some new ones.  I get made fun of by non-fraternity members for my continued participation in these events, but I'm starting a practice and need to network as much as I can. 

In any case, we are two short days away from the bar exam. I want you all to think about how far you've come.  You've taken the LSAT, studied 14 hours in a law library, had your thinking challenged and put forth your best efforts.  Come November, win or lose, your personal growth has come a long way.  Stay strong, relax and take the next two days to do an outdoor activity you enjoy.

In The Zone On Test Day

While all the studying you're doing may not add to your confidence now, you'll quickly find that a lot of the rules, elements and analysis will flow right out of you. Don't over think the exam, just write what you know. You'll be amazed how much information is in your head. 

This is why reading essays is so important. The bar examiners like to test the same topics over and over again. When you see the actual test question, it will remind you of a past test question that you read. From there, the answer will just flow out.

While stupid to say and virtually uncontrollable, don't panic. If you're reading my blog, you have just about every "insider tip" that I can think of. If you have put in the time, you're ready. Don't let panic cloud what you know!

Bar Exam: I Got To Pee!

Lets talk bathrooms. Most of you will be taking exams in convention centers. They're big and have lots of bathrooms. However, there will still be a line before the exam. You're best going to the bathroom before you enter the test room. Once in there, you'll have to stick it out in line.

Another thing about bathrooms. Immediately after the exam, you will not be allowed to use the bathrooms in the convention center. As soon as they call the 5 minute warning, the bathrooms are closed. You will have to wait out the five minutes for the test to end, 10 minutes for the exams to be collected, and likely another 10 to 20 minutes in line outside. So plan accordingly. 

Keep reading those outlines. I know they get more and more difficult to read each day, but you're almost done. One time and never again.

Run Of Show: Dry Run

After you have all your supplies from Target, you need to make a run over to the test location. Any way you decide to get there, make sure you time it. For the real thing, you're going to want to add 30 minutes for traffic. There will be car traffic and traffic in the elevators.

In addition, try to find one alternate route, just in case. For those of you that decide to drive, make sure you find the entrance into the parking lot. Don't just find the building, find the the parking lot booth. Determine if this lot is cash only and how much it costs to park your car.  Finally, look for a place to upload your exam. Hotel lobbys, coffee shops and Mcdonalds are good locations to look for. 

Its the final week. Congrats! You should be tightening up loose ends and making sure you're comfortable with all the major topics.  Don't freak out. Even if you fail, you're a good person!

Run Of Show: Target

You've checked over your room and every thing looks good. Its time to find the nearest Target or Wal-mart and get some supplies. This is no time to boycott Wal-mart for its employment/labor transgressions. You can boycott them all you want after the bar exam. Right now, get what you need and get to back to your room to rest up. 

For most of you, you won't have a refrigerator. How are you going to keep your lunch cold for the next couple days? Here is a checklist to make sure you have everything.

1. Foam cooler. For food and drinks.
2. Toiletries. Anything may have forgotten or forced to throw away at the airport.
3. Food for lunch. I highly recommend trail mix to keep energy and sugar levels up.
4. Drinks. Water. Also something with caffeine if you need a boost.
5. Swimsuit. Your hotel has a hot tub right? Good place to unwind.
6. Pencils/Pens. I'm going to rant about this for a moment. A really obnoxious sound is hearing someone try to sharpen their pencil mid-exam. The little handheld pencil sharpeners don't work very well, so it takes people forever just to get it so the lead isn't falling out.  For my sake, and everyone around you, buy a box of 10 pre-sharpened pencils. Just pull out a new pencil when the one your using runs dull. 
7. Eraser. Get the good, white, plastic eraser. They erase cleaner and leave less markings than the pink erasers. No point in leaving behind markings that could be misread by the computer.

Run Of Show: Hotel Room Walk Through

Your hotel room is your home for the next three days. Its your sanctuary away from thousands of stressed out law students chattering about how stressed they are. Upon arrival do a walk through of your room to make sure its in working order. If you don't do the walk through now, chances are you won't be able to change rooms later if something is seriously wrong. At the very least, you can catch the small annoyances before you are in full exam mode.  This is my list of things to look for.

1. Turn on all lights, make sure all light bulbs work.
2. Check the shower and make sure it gets hot water.
3. Flush the toilet to make sure its not backed up.
4. Use the sink to make sure it drains
4. Scan floor for insects, make sure its clean.
5. Turn on TV make sure it works.
6. Use the remote to make sure batteries are working. 
7. Listen for airplanes, trains, automobiles and elevator noises. Make sure its bearable.
8. Set the alarm clock to see if its in working order, the volume is loud enough and the time is correct. 
9. Adjust the thermostat to make sure its working and you can find a comfortable temperature.
10. Find the nearest working ice machine.

Run Of Show: Hotel Rooms

Let's get down to business. I realized I have a lot I want to talk about before you all take the exam. I will be a posting machine over the next week and a half. Come back and come back often.

So you've arrived early and ready for check-in. What type of room should you ask for? Ask for a room on the lowest level possible.  Otherwise, not only will you have to wait for multiple cars to go by before you find one with space, do you really want to ride 15 floors with crazy stressed out students? If you are at the top floor, I guarantee you will stop at every single floor on the way down.  What should be a 30 second elevator ride will turn into 10 minutes.

I also recommend a room facing east. I like to think of the sun beaming into my window in the morning as an extra alarm clock. Get there early and get your eastern facing second floor room!

Run of Show: Check-In

I got another really good email from a Amy over the all-star break. 

"I wanted to ask if sometime soon you could post something about sort of practical Game Day suggestions. Sort of like a schedule of what you did starting the Monday before the exam, and each day during the exam, what to expect, and any little tips that you would have liked to know beforehand."

My sister is an event planner. Before any of her events go live, she gives all set-up personel a run of show document.  The run of show gives a timeline and order for things to be done. Here is my "ROS" for the bar exam. 

Edit: I started writing this post and it ended up being excessively long. No one in their right mind would of read the entire post. Which now that I think about it, you all are freaked out bar examinees so I probably would of been able to get away with it. In any case, I am going to post this as a series.

Lets talk about check-in on Monday.  For those of you staying at hotels, call ahead and see what time they allow check-in. Then arrive at 1 pm no matter what they say. Most hotels have check-out at 11 am, so they should have some rooms available around 1 pm. If they let you check-in early, great. If not, have them hold your luggage behind the counter or in their locked room.

The earlier you are able to check-in the better. The hotel will try to accomodate your requests, but they can only do so much. Imagine arriving and finding out the only room they have left for the next three days is a smoking room. Get their early and if you end up having a problem with your hotel room, its a lot easier to change before other people arrive.

Time Peices: Clarified

A question from Wendi seeking clarification on time pieces:

"I am taking the bar this month, and I was reading your blog. I can bring a digital timer into the exam? It doesn't beep, it's a tiny travel clock basically. I don't even own a watch! My admissions ticket is confusing because it says timer smaller than 4x4 but then nothing digital."

The admission ticket is a little confusing, but I wouldn't leave anything to chance. The ticket says nothing digital, so I wouldn't bring any time piece that doesn't have hands on its face. You'll likely get your digital time piece taken away whether it beeps or not. The benefits gained by having a time peice during the exam is well worth $10. 

All Star Weekend

Sorry I haven't posted in a few days. I spent the entire weekend without internet watching the home run derby, the all-star game and taking pictures of people seated in my section such as Bud Selig, Rex Ryan, Mark Sanchez, Jamie Lynn-Siegler, Hank Aaron and Tommy Lasorta.  Hate me yet? My boy Joe Mauer had a bad game though. I almost wish he would of sat out of the all-star game so he could heal up for the stretch run. Go Twins!

I got a few emails over the weekend with some good questions. I'll be posting replies to the emails so don't fret if I haven't replied yet.

Tricky Similar MBE Questions: Beat Them!

I received an email from a reader about tricky MBE questions. She specifically cited contracts questions that include sub-contracting and bids.

These type of questions you have get down cold. Its difficult to understand the correct answer unless you have them sitting next to you side by side, but you will come to see the common sense of it all.

We start panicking when we start looking too closely at the leaves. Take a step back and look at the forest. What is a good general guiding principle for sub-contracting and bids? Mine was "if one bid is so far off from the others, that bid has to be double checked." Thats it. Thats the forest.  Every thing else is just a small variation of that guiding principle. By using that guiding principle, you should be able to eliminate a few choices.

Just as an aside, I do really enjoy getting emails from you readers. It lets me know that what I write about is worthwhile. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email me at

Get Your Binoculars, We're Going Hunting

The goofy thing about walking out of the convention center after each day is that you are not done. You still have to upload your exam. Most of the hotels that are recommended by the bar examiners are upscale 4 star hotels who charge additional for internet service. Each 24 hours can run you over $15. Who has that type of money?

When you arrive the day before the exam, make sure you make a dry run over to the test location.  On the way, look for places with wi-fi. Coffee shops, McDonalds and bagel shops are good places to try. 

Make sure you upload your exam immediately after the exam. While you are given several hours to upload your exam, life happens. Your computer could get dropped, lost at the airport, stolen or any other strange life happenings. The graders can't grade what they don't have, so get it done immediately after the exam.

Thank you all for the great emails about the site.  Please "like" this below.

Three Weeks of Memorizing

I got this question from a reader:

When I look back at all the subjects, it's overwhelming to see how much I have to memorize. When do you suggest that I start to memorize the rules?

The amount of material to memorize is overwhelming. Which is why you need to start memorizing now.  I cant stress the importance of active memorization instead of passive memorization. Flashcards and reading outlines are all passive studying.

Active studying is opening up the essay book and writing an essay to the best of your ability. When you fail to correctly state the rule, you write the rule out 10 times or until you have it memorized. Then you write the same essay again.

You'll quickly find that you will be putting the rules into your own words. Which is what you want to happen. This modified rule has a better "stickiness" factor and you'll have it ready for the exam.  Save passive studying for the last 3 days. Right now, you have to be active.

Where You Should Be In Your Study Process

I hope everyone had a good holiday. Thats likely the last time you all will be having an extended relaxation period.  For most of you, you've finished the BarBri simulated bar exam. Eye opening, right? Lets examine the results.

For the MBE you scored somewhere around 50% mark or 100/200. Good job! Even if you scored a little under, you're on track. If your under 90/200, you really need to start doing more multiple choice questions. Early in the study process, most people would rather do multiple choice questions than essays. If you scored under 90, I'm hoping you have put some time into practicing essays.  More importantly, how was your timing? Did you run out of time? Finish with time leftover? Which types of questions did you have to spend more time on?

For the essays, there is no real good way to score it other than what BarBri gives you. The tendency is to argue that BarBri gives everyone low scores to scare people into studying harder. More likely, its because you don't have anything memorized yet. You likely sat there trying to make up rules, wrote some weak analysis based on the made up rule, and finished the essay with more than half of the time remaining.  Congrats! You're right on track! 

Over the next three weeks, memorization is going to be huge. You need to clean up your rule statements. Not only for the essays, but for making sure you can identify the correct multiple choice answer.  Keep it together, don't freak out, you're doing just fine!

Fish And Chips? David Beckham? Bono? Beatles?

Whats the only good thing to come from England? 


Shopping For Clothes Is Necessary For The Bar Exam

July 4th weekend means sales at clothing stores!  This is a good time to prepare your attire for the bar exam. Your clothing for the bar exam should be comfortable, fitted and versatile.

1. Comfortable. Nothings worse than trying to concentrate in a itchy sweater.  I know you're tight on money, but if there is anytime to splurge on fabric softener, this is as good as any. Make sure to test the fabric softener before the exam to make sure you're not allergic.

2. Fitted. I was in a coffee shop and saw a girl wearing an over-sized sweatshirt.  She was trying to study and type, but any time she moved her arms the sleeves would knock her papers all over the floor. She barely dodged knocking over her own coffee and had to keep adjusting her sleeves so she could type. You're going to have your test booklet, pens, pencils, highlighters, watches and all sorts of other stuff.  Do you want to chase it all over the floor?

3. Versatile. When you walk into an empty concrete convention hall in the morning, its going to be chilly.  After almost 4 hours with over a thousand people in one room, it gets warm. With the mid-day heat, the afternoon session only gets warmer. Unless they turn on the air conditioning, which might be blowing directly at you. In that case, you'll be freezing. Dress in lots of layers. You have absolutely no idea what the temperature of the convention center is going to be.

National Bar Examinee Freak Out Day

I now dub every July 1st "National Bar Examinee Freak Out Day." Panic attacks and waves of overwhelming anxiety for everyone! Yay!

When the calendar turns to July, every bar examinee knows the bar exam is less than a month away. On June 30th, we talk ourselves into thinking that the bar exam is "next month" despite the exam being held on July 27.  The delusions disappear on July 1st when we get smacked in the face with the imminentness of the exam.

Have comfort that every bar examinee gets nervous on this date. Go get a steak, fire up the grill and enjoy the weekend. If you've been diligent thus far, your doing just fine.