May 26, 2019

Bar Prep Schedule

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Surprise bitch, I bet you'd seen the last of me. Okay for real though, being a lawyer is just as time consuming as everyone tells you it is so sorry for the hiatus. But I knew it was time for another blog post when I got flooded with DMs and emails about the Bar. I meant to make these posts a long time ago but hey, no time like the last minute, right? Today I'm giving you an example of what my bar prep schedule was like. Oh and if you're wondering, I did Barbri. 

If you want to see a play-by-play of what it's like, go to my Instagram stories!

Month 1 - June

May is a transition month so to keep things tidy, let's just start with June. June will be one of the busiest months of your life. Remember when you thought college was busy and then law school slapped you in the face? Yep, Bar prep makes law school sound calm.  

First off, a lot of people have been asking me about planner suggestions for the Bar. The truth is that I didn't use a planner and if I were you I would hold off on getting a planner until you are about a week into Bar prep (actual Bar prep, not the early start) to see if you feel like you need one. You'll see why.

7:00 - 8:00 am

Workout: Workout before you Bar prep. By the time you get a butt in a chair to study, you didn't just roll out of bed 10 minutes ago. You've woken your body up much better than coffee ever can. You've counteracted the junk food you'll snack on throughout the day as you study. You've given yourself a little confidence boost because you already accomplished something. And most importantly, you're too dang tired to get antsy in your seat while you watch the lecture videos.

9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Bar prep class: I highly suggest taking the in-person class if you can. You can always later drop out and do it on your own, but I'm proud to say that I only ever missed one day of class and stuck through it all semester. It's nice to lean over and ask "what was the answer?" to your neighbor if you missed something that was said because you were still taking notes on another section. Heck, it's just really nice to not be by yourself all day every day while studying. And it holds you accountable to study for the 3 hours straight.

12:00 - 1:00 pm

Lunch: Take a full hour for yourself. I meal prepped and I suggest you do too so you are eating semi healthy food and don't have to stress about cooking in the middle of the day. Completely tune out the Bar. I would go home and watch The Mindy Project on Hulu because I needed something lighthearted to distract me. Trust me, if you try to study during lunch you're going to burn out really quickly.

1:00 - 6:00 pm

Review/assignments: Yeah so this is similar to law school where you have homework every single day. Every day you'll get assignments and are expected to finish them that same day. Avoid getting behind at all costs because slowly every day you get more and more assignments. 

I would aim to get a few assignments ahead but I avoided getting days ahead because at that point you're flying through the assignments too quickly to be learning effectively. This is why I don't think you need a planner because you go to your study area and the website says "do x, y, z" and it marks it off as you do it, so really your Bar prep will be your planner for you.

Try to make yourself stay at least until either 6 or when you finish all the assignments for that day, whichever was later (not earlier... try to get 1-2 extra assignments done a day and you'll thank me in July).

6:00 - 10:00 pm

Unwind: Trust me that by this time you're going to want to take several hours to shower, eat, watch TV, drinks lots of wine, and put Bar prep behind you. Just like how law school is way more mentally exhausting than college, Bar prep is way more mentally exhausting than law school.


Yeah that's right, your Bar prep schedule will assume that you study every single day of your life. i think that's what makes it so hard, is that you never really get a break. I actually didn't realize this until the second week of Bar prep I came in after classes and looked at my schedule and realized that I was way behind. Oh and a heads up, both Barbri and Themis share your progress with your school so like when I got behind I got a little "Hey how's Bar prep?" email from one of the professors.

Anyways, yeah on the weekends I would try to work 9-5 or if I let myself sleep in I'd try to make myself work 10-6. But remember that the Bar exam is at 8 am every morning so you should be spending this summer working on going to bed and waking up early so that it's easier when it comes time for the Bar. I'd take a lunch and try to work through lunch just for those days. On Sundays I'd leave a little early use Walmart grocery pickup (HIGHLY recommend) and then meal prep lunches & dinners for the week.

Usually if I had an MPT practice essay that week I would save it for the weekends just because those take like 2 hours each and you don't really want to do them after going to a class in the morning. And remember, always use the weekend to make sure you're caught up and if you can get just a little ahead to give you some cushion for those days when you're just mentally exhausted.

Month 2 - July

July is a whole 'nother beast of Bar prep. After the 4th of July, things pick up a LOT and you have a lot more scheduled to do each day. So yeah, enjoy the 4th. 

For the first 2ish weeks of July you'll still have Bar prep classes every day. The last 2ish weeks are for "review" so you'll be on your own all day just like how last month you were on your own from 1-6 last month. 

One of my professors gave me some really great advice about the review weeks. This is the time when it's okay to leave the Barbri/Themis schedule and do your own thing. I know it's scary to leave what was pre-planned for you by the pros, but that's just a general plan and now is the time to make your schedule personal and focus on strengthening your weaknesses. 

If you're not sure where to start on your own schedule, she suggested to me that I break my studying down to be proportional to how the test is. So for example, in Texas it's like 40% MBE, 40% Texas, 10% MPT, 10% Texas procedure & evidence. So I'd spend 40% of my time doing MBE, 40% Texas... you get it. 

7 - 8

Really focus on being up and ready to go well before 8 so that you have your schedule really down by the time the Bar comes.

8 - 12

I spend these 4 hours doing pure MBE practice problems, reviewing the right and wrong choices, and doing flashcards. One of my favorite ways that I studied was a classmate and I would walk around our law school's parameter quizzing each other over flashcards that she had made.

12 - 1

Don't fall into the trap and stress yourself into working through lunch. It's not good for your mental health. Take a full hour break every day to allow your brain a chance to recharge.

1 - 5

During this time, I would just go through the Barbri Texas parts and did so many practice essays and reviewed through the summary books.

5 - 7

Doing both practice MPT's and Texas crim/civ pro & evidence would be way too much, so my professor suggested I alternated days and would do a practice MPT one night and then P&E the next day. I found that this really helped me because a lot of people forget to do practice MPT's but I'm glad that I did almost every practice one in our book.

And that's about it! Like I said, it's pretty straight-forward and almost an auto-pilot schedule, but I just wanted to share with all of y'all what I did!