What You Really Need To Do Leading Up To The Bar Exam

The following is a guest post by Roberto "R.C." Rondero de Mosier:

Hey, 3Ls! Who’s excited about the Bar Exam?...Anyone?

With finals just around the corner at every Texas law school, and July just a couple of months past that, it’s easy to hit that point in your law-school career when you just want to curl up into a ball. Let’s be honest, it’s a daunting time.

The bar exam is the final hurdle in your law student career, as it represents the big payoff from 3-5 years of continuous effort. It is no wonder that people put enormous amounts of pressure on themselves leading up to those big three days—July 29-31.

When confronted with this pressure, and for the month of April, I notice people deal with the pressure in on one of two ways:

Fight – They get on the ball, pick a review course, and get hardcore about studying for the bar.

Flight – They avoid talking about it, hang out at the bar, and put off choosing a review course.

Let’s be frank, regardless of which category you are in, until your first day of a bar review course, it’s a zero-sum game for everyone. While the bar exam is certainly overwhelming, and not easy, it can be beaten with a steady diet of consistent preparation. Give the bar exam two months of your respect and you are in a great place to succeed.

So let’s talk about what you really have coming at you. What is really worth thinking about before the exam:

1) Enjoy your friends: Law school will be over soon and the people you have bled with for the past three years will be going their separate ways. Your last semester grades won’t make or break you (don’t slack off, but be judicious with your time), but don’t forget to have that last dinner or coffee with the people you were in the trenches with. You may come across those folks again.

2) Enjoy your family: Once bar review starts, your family needs to know that they need to take a back seat to your study schedule. Prep them for it. Give them the love and attention they need now, and let them know you will have a very focused two months coming up and you won’t be able to be there as frequently. They’ll appreciate the heads up.

3) Find a bar review to suit your needs, then forget about it until after finals: Some people will not agree with me. They will want to gun it and look at materials even while in law school. Feel free if you must, but it will not make or break you. Content is equal in the bar review world (everyone uses the same set of laws), but delivery matters. What is the best delivery method for you? Find what works, pay for it, forget about it.

4) Plan a post-bar-exam trip: You will put a great deal of time into passing the bar. Reward yourself with a trip. Whether to the hill country for a weekend or Spain for a week, plan a trip, maybe with friends or family, and make up for some lost time. It will be a great event to look forward to, three days before the bar exam (believe me).

With that said, good luck. You’ll do fine. Have a plan and work hard to execute.

For more information on bar review courses, go to http://www.utexas.edu/law/sao/statebar/review.html.

Roberto "R.C." Rondero de Mosier is the managing partner at RAM Law Firm PLLC where he manages Business and Client Development. While in law school R.C. caught the eye of Thomson Reuters and became a regional director of BARBRI where he gained experience training students for bar exams. After resigning from BARBRI after they sold out to a private equity firm, R.C. entered the legal market, building a law practice through formulaic networking. He has sat for and passed bar exams in four states on the first attempt: Texas, California, New York and Illinois. He tutors law students part time and contracts with Themis Bar Review, advocating students take a critical look at what they do to prep for the bar exam.

AWA Houston announces award and scholarship recipients to honor trailblazing women attorneys, judges, and law students

On March 11, the Association of Women Attorneys – Houston will hold its third annual Premier Women in Law Luncheon to honor modern legal trailblazers. AWA Houston has announced the recipients of its Premier Women in Law Awards: Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman; 14th Court of Appeals Chief Justice Kem Frost; Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson; Ruthie White, managing partner in Jackson Lewis; Lauren Waddell, founder of Waddell Law Firm; and Susan Sanchez, corporate counsel and pro bono coordinator to Exxon Mobil Corporation.

At the luncheon, the AWA Houston Foundation also will give six scholarships to second- and third-year women law students attending one of the city’s three law schools, the University of Houston Law Center, South Texas College of Law, and the Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law. Second-year students will receive $2,500 while third-year students will receive $3,500 to help pay for expenses related to bar exam review courses.

The AWA Houston was founded in 1976 when a small group of women lawyers organized to increase opportunities for women attorneys and improve awareness of their capabilities throughout the legal community. Almost four decades later, the group has grown to 275 women who network, perform judicial candidate screening and provide judicial recommendations, mentor law students, and host CLE events. The AWA Houston luncheon will take place at the Downtown Hyatt at 11:30 in the morning. More information is available at awahouston.org.

Number of takers of the Law School Admission Test continues to bottom out

James L. Rosica
The Tampa Tribune

The number of takers of the Law School Admission Test continues to bottom out, with an 11 percent drop as of the October administration of the exam. Takers fell from 37,780 a year ago to 33,673 last month, according to the Law School Admission Council, which develops the test. The latest number is a 45 percent decline from October 2009, when law school fervor started to ebb. As of August, law school applications to American Bar Association-accredited schools nationwide were down nearly 18 percent from 2012, also according to the Law School Admission Council.

You may read the full article on The Tampa Tribune's website.

TBJ Board of Editors talk social media, blogging with SMU law students

Students in the Intellectual Property Association at SMU's Dedman School of Law had the opportunity to listen to members of the Texas Bar Journal Board of Editors talk about the quickly evolving area of social media, blogging and the law on Tuesday. The board of editors met that morning on the law school campus as guests of Prof. Xuan-Thao Nguyen, who arranged the panel discussion. Board of Editors Chair Michael Smith (second from left) of Marshall blogged about the experience at EDTexweblog.com. He was joined on the panel by (from left) Mitch Smith of Beaumont, John Browning of Dallas (who teaches on the topic at SMU), and Steve Fischer of Rockport. Discussion touched on the recent Troll Tracker litigation, the dos and don'ts of lawyers as bloggers, and ethical considerations of monitoring jurors' social media presence.

10 Minute Mentor Goes to Law School

Due to its popularity among practicing members of the bar, Ten Minute Mentor has been expanded to cover topics of interest to law school students interested in learning about the ins and outs of practicing law. Visit the 10 Minute Mentor Goes to Law School website.