@import url('http:// I Passed....but The Bar Exam is Still a Bitch: Spanking the Monkey
I Passed....but The Bar Exam is Still a Bitch
I took the Bar Exam more than once, several times actually, and lived to tell the tale....retakers take heart...the bar is a bitch...but not impossible...
Friday, December 15, 2006
Spanking the Monkey
So what is the most important thing to be doing while you're studying for the Bar....again? I don't know if enough info is out on that topic, since most bar reviews are aimed at first time takers....and the few reviews that do cater to re-takers are heinously overpriced.....but I know that all of us deal with that question every day.....what should I be doing to make sure I pass next time?

I've read one good book on the subject....found it on Amazon....it's called "If I don't pass the Bar I'll Die.....the thing I like about it most is that it addresses more than the substantive material....because if I've learned only one thing through this insane re-taking experience it is that you can totally shoot yourself in the foot when it comes to a test of this magnitude....

We are all incredibly nervous heading in to take that exam the first time.....but if the impossible happens and you find yourself taking it again....I think not only are you dealing with a huge test but with a little-giant monkey on your back who continually whispers in your ear .....you know the monkey.....he says loving little things like, "You failed it already, you are going to fail again."..... or "Why is this time any different?"....or my personal monkey, who says,"You're a dumb ass, bitch."....

I do think it's harder to pass after the first shot....in large part because of what we inflict on ourselves during the months leading up to the re-test.....once you've failed.....well, you feel like a failure.....you will probably question yourself, your life, your desire to practice law and maybe your entire study approach, and desperately wonder why for the love of god, WHY!!!!!? Which is the culprit?.....

It's probably good to question your approach....you do have to figure out if it was effective or not...and then you have to create new plan that gives you confidence....I know that is easy for me to write and by no means easy to implement.....it's monumental though.....it is simply no damn good to be trying to adequately prepare while second-guessing every move you make and simultaneously telling yourself you suck more than life itself.....

I say a plan that gives you confidence because it is counter-productive to create a marathon study plan you can't fulfill....( like I will do 5000 MBE's before February).....your goal should be along the lines of a solid review of testable material...quality MBE review.....good knowledge of black letter....and confidence in essay writing along with memorized approaches for essays.....if you aren't able to stick to your plan...you'll make a mess for yourself....what with the guilt and self-loathing.....so make it a do-able thing.....but comprehensive.....

What I think is paramount though, even beyond your new and improved fight plan, is that damn monkey....to succeed as a retaker I am convinced you have to spank that monkey.....and as is true in so many other areas of life....sometimes to really get good at it, you may have to spank it often....you control the monkey, he does not control you.....and if the monkey is telling you daily that you can't, you won't, or that you have good reason to believe you'll never make it....you have got to manhandle the damn thing.....seriously, beat it into submission.....

And then try something new, experiment if you need too....you can, you will, and nothing will stop you from succeeding....whatever does it for you.....just get the monkey off your back......
posted by Bar Bitch @ 12:57 PM  
6 Comments:
  • At 8:47 AM, December 19, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have a monkey like that too, BB. It's been there ever since I logged in and couldn't find my name on the pass list. The things in my head make me feel stressed and anxious ALL the time. I stay up at night worrying about what will happen if I can't do this thing. I want to believe that I'll make it, but sometimes I dunno.

     
  • At 12:19 PM, December 21, 2006, Blogger pink letter law said…

    As part of my study plan, I have decided to send my monkey to relaxation therapy. I have a solid set of goals tied to practice questions and reading outlines, but seriously....i know my stuff - c'mon, a HALF POINT away, twice??? there must be more to it than simple lack of knowledge in one subject area or another. So...as part of my plan, i chill out to the sound of the ocean on my ipod a couple of times a week, release tension from my mind and body, and send the monkey packing!!!!!

     
  • At 11:39 PM, December 31, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    My friends,

    ...and I call you that because only you know the pain and misgivings I have feltsince October. I am set to suffer through a Feb 2007 retake prep gauntlet, as well.
    My plan is simple: BarBri Ipod, Essay advantage , MLER and a tutor who charges $100 per hour--for maybe 4 visits.
    I hate the fact I failed. (I failed in the essay portion.) All the pieces were there and they were the right ones; however, I added a lot of unneccessary crap and did not CIRAC.I think I tried to sound smart or something. Great plan. Forget it!
    I am taking Jan 5-Feb 28 off work. I have to use all my 2007 vacation time and they revoked all the holiday vacation an personal time I had left in 2006 in order to allow me to take the time off. I look at things much like you do, however. This is an all or nothing --balls out fight to the finish--and I intend to win.
    My confidence was shattered the last time because I got intimidated by the day students(I went at night, had a full time job, kids and I'm older) and I started to study too late. Confidence is everything in this game. That's one reason I chose not to go to BarBri class again. The Ipod has all the lectures. I will not be subject to the intimidation I felt each time I had to show up at BarBri in front of those day folks AND I no longer need to sit in a cold auditorium for 3-6 hours at a crack. Hey--I know me. This time, I'm listening to what my heart says I need. I am so much happier with the plan I now have.

    I wish you, and all who are taking the exam again, the best of luck. We are only going to succeed if we believe it's possible. I guess that means we need look at what we need --individually--and pursue the things we personally feel will give us the highest level of confidence.

    Happy new year!!!We Will Be Victorious in 2007!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Your pal and supporter--Bar_icuda07

     
  • At 1:15 PM, January 12, 2007, Blogger Bar Bitch said…

    Hey Bar-icuda....

    Oh my gosh, I absolutely love that name, what a way to head into the test!!!!

    What you say makes such good sense....especially that none of us will pass unless we believe its possible...I think it is so true...

    It sounds like you have a great plan set up!!! All the luck to you too!

     
  • At 6:55 PM, January 23, 2007, Blogger yazzy said…

    Oh my god, you're my new favorite blog!

    Damn, can I relate.

    I'm doing the relaxation thing this time, and it seems to be working since my anxiety is such a buzzkill. I'm also trying not to overdose on multiple choice questions. They key is not to panic...yet.

     
  • At 11:32 AM, January 26, 2007, Blogger Bar Bitch said…

    Thanks Yazzy---pretty fricking cool you like the blog...

    Funny...I get to the point in review where I like the multiple choice....I only do two sittings a day....when you do enough of them, and start getting them right....it can be very soothing....

     
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