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.