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It’s not the end of the world. Trust me on this. And yes, I know you’ve all heard stories about successful attorneys that failed the bar the first time around. Hey, If JFK jr couldn’t pass………but it doesn’t make you feel any better. I know. So, take a day or two to wallow. You have my permission. Turn on silly movies, grab the Ben and Jerry’s, and curl up on the couch.

But then stop.

And realize this is not the worst thing that could ever happen to you. And realize that there are PLENTY of people in the same boat as you, and ALL of you will do just fine.

I know this because most of the students that come to me for private tutoring are repeat takers. And those students end up passing the bar. And they end up getting jobs, and then no one cares that they failed, or how many times they failed. You just have to pull yourself up by your bootstraps, realize that you need to do something differently, and try again. I had a student take the bar 13 times, come to me for the 14th, and finally pass. Talk about dedication! If he can tough it out, so can you!

So, why did you fail and what can you do differently?

1) Didn’t put in enough time. This is rarely why students fail. Trust me. Most of my students put in PLENTY of time the first time, and I’m sure you did as well. But, on the off chance that you feel you just didn’t work hard enough, work a bit harder next time. (but please trust me when I say this is RARELY the case).
2) Did not study effectively. You might have put in HOURS and HOURS and HOURS in the library, on your couch, and everywhere else, but perhaps you were doing the wrong thing. I had a student who literally spent 12 hours a day in the library reviewing outlines her first time. Didn’t pass. Why? She was JUST reviewing outlines. Nothing else. This is not effective studying. You need to be doing something active, and merely reviewing outlines time and time again won’t cut it.
3) Your bar review didn’t work for you. Everyone learns differently. There is no “right” way to learn, and thus, no one size fits all bar review. Maybe you need more hands on, one on one help. Maybe you need live lectures instead of a video, or vice versa – maybe you need a video or DVD you can rewind. Maybe you need to spend more time doing questions and less time listening to lectures.

Don’t Just Pass the Bar… Raise It!

Those are the common themes I see, and most often it’s #2 and #3 that are the problem. How to change?

1) Capitalize on what has worked for you in the past. No, that doesn’t mean that studying for the bar exam is exactly the same as studying in law school. But you know yourself well enough to know what works.
2) Find our how you study best. Are you a visual learner? Audio? Do you need to draw lots of charts and graphs? Figure this out and then run with it. If you’re not sure, then seek out a private tutor (they can also help you figuring out where you went wrong – one read of my student’s essays, and I can figure out how to direct them)
3) Most importantly – DO SOMETHING DIFFERENTLY. The definition of insanity is repeating the same behavior and expecting different results. No one needs insane lawyers, so do something different! Shake it up – find a new bar review, find a tutor, find a new place to study, find new books, try to do more practice questions and less reviewing of your outline.

Whatever you decide, the important thing is to not give up. You can and will succeed.

How can we help? Check out our Bar Review Services. We will customize the package that is right for you.

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