There are currently close to 1.2 million lawyers in the United States, but there’s still a need for many more.
If you’ve considered pursuing a law degree, there’s probably something that’s worrying you more than the LSAT. Even after your rigorous study, you’ll still have to take the bar exam to become a lawyer.
So, the big question is how to pass the bar exam. Will intensive bar exam preparation ensure you pass it successfully?
Here’s what you need to know about the bar exam:
Table of Contents
Bar Exam Preparation: The Basics
There’s no way to escape the fact that the bar exam is notoriously difficult and you might not pass it on the first go.
Regardless of the outcome, you want to pass it as fast as possible. We want to ensure you get a great score so you can become a qualified lawyer immediately.
You have to start studying for the bar exam while you’re still in law school. You shouldn’t wait until after you graduate.
You can click for more materials to help you study for the bar exam.
Now let’s look at how you can succeed at bar exam preparation.
What Is the Bar Exam?
First, you want to understand how the bar exam works. The bar exam takes place over two rather long days.
The first day consists of multiple-choice questions. The second day will have essay questions. On the first day, you’ll realize that multiple options could be the correct answer.
As a result, you really have to take time with each question to determine the correct outcome. The essay questions will get judged on how well you think of a case study. Your writing skills also have to be in tip-top shape. Even the most minor grammar or spelling errors can cause you to fail the bar exam.
Each section in the bar exam will be timed. You aren’t given a second chance to go back and complete any unanswered questions. As a result, any unanswered questions are considered “wrong.”
Now let’s look at some of the crucial skills you’ll need to pass the bar exam successfully.
Time Management for the Bar Exam
You’ll need to work on your time management skills before you take the bar exam. You want to make sure you complete each section within the allotted time.
This is where bar exam prep trials are crucial. They’ll help you understand how the bar exam works and how to complete it with time to spare.
Writing Skills for the Bar Exam
As a lawyer, you’ll have to have superb writing skills and your first hurdle to cross will be the bar exam.
If your writing on the bar exam isn’t great, then you certainly aren’t ready to write legal briefs. The bar exam will ask you to write an answer to present a case.
But your answer alone isn’t enough. You also have to include a detailed written explanation as part of your answer. You have to defend why you came to a particular conclusion.
In other words, the bar exam asks you to write a defense that you’ll one day, hopefully, give in a courtroom or in a negotiation room.
Make sure you take extra care to practice your writing skills. You’ll have to write essay-length answers within a set duration. You should aim to write at least one essay question per day for the month before the bar exam.
This should be the bare minimum as you prepare for the bar exam. The more writing experience you’ll get, the better. Make sure you always time yourself to see how fast you can write.
As a side note, you want to ensure you give your hands and arms a rest before the bar exam. The length of the exam can be exhausting and even give you carpal tunnel. It’s best not to do any intense physical activity before your bar exam.
Bar Exam Subjects
The bar exam will contain many questions regarding different aspects of American law.
These can range from Constitutional Law to Civil Law to Criminal Law. Sometimes, you’ll be asked about a specific area of law that you might not have studied in law school.
As a result, a huge portion of bar exam preparation involves you having to self-study. Your focus might be on immigration law, but you might have to answer a few questions about personal injury law, for example.
Make sure you spend some time renting different law books. You want to have a basic understanding of different fields of law before going in for the exam.
Bar Exam Best Practices
Now let’s end by looking at the best practices you’ll need to succeed at taking the bar exam.
The first is to create a study schedule. While you want to study every day, you also need to rest and balance the rest of your life. Set a time period each day when you’ll only focus on studying for the bar exam.
Make sure you also have at least one weekly study session with other law students. This can help you compare notes and advice on how to prepare for the bar exam.
You also want to take as many practice tests as you can. This will help you time yourself and understand the scoring process.
It’s important that you schedule your bar exam dates ahead of time. The bar exam is only offered twice per year. Always book yourself for both dates just to be on the safe side.
If you follow these tips, you’ll be better prepared for when you finally have to face the bar exam!
Your Journey to Law
Now you know how to pass the bar exam and the challenge you’ll face once you confront it!
Make sure you improve your time management and writing skills. You’ll even have to sharpen your analysis for the multiple-choice questions.
Book your bar exam dates well in advance. Make sure you always study each day for at least a month. It’s also great to take mock bar exams and have a weekly study group.
As you explore loopholes in the law, you’ll also want to investigate our other articles with great legal tips.