Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My experience studying for the bar: working and studying


This summer, I worked during the month of June while studying for the bar. While my job was flexible, I did not really feel that I could take off two months to study, so I worked part-time during June (my work had to sacrifice to let me do this, and I am still thankful that the other attorneys picked up my slack).

First of all, take off the month of July. No amount of money is worth your sanity. You will go crazy during that month and you need time to study.

Generally, during the month of June, I worked four days a week for three-four hours a day. Now, this does not seem to be very long until I factored in my commute time (45 minutes or so each way). Basically, my schedule was to wake up, study from 7:00-8:00, get ready for work, go to Barbri, hope that the lecturers would not try to make TOO many goofus jokes so that I could get out on time, leave, get to work at around 1:30 or so, leave there at around 5, get home, and study again during the evenings. I called my parents when I ran in the morning, and other than that, they and David were the only people with whom I consistently communicated in the outside world.

Since I did work, the best thing I did all summer was to download the Barbri App for my IPhone and then pay extra for the lectures. Yes, I hated paying MORE to Barbri for the lectures, but this was well-worth it for me because while I was running, driving, etc., I could snap the IPhone in my speakers or in my ears and have the lectures playing for me again. I think this truly helped me retain the information I needed.

Finally, I also stayed on track. I did not get behind in my Barbri lectures because I made it a priority to stay on track. If I missed a live lecture, I watched the video at home. I did not skip one. This is essential if you are planning on missing quite a few Barbri lectures. I have to admit that I missed quite a few but I think that it worked out for me because I watched the videos at home. Don't miss them if you think that you will have issues with actually watching the videos.

Really, working while studying is not that big of a deal if you can keep yourself focused and pretty much resign yourself to the fact that you will be working or studying all day long (i.e. no time for friends or family really). You will play mental games with yourself, wondering if you are studying as much as your friends. Sure, you won't have time to have margaritas by the pool while studying like some people can, but if you want a job sometimes you have to make sacrifices. Honestly, some days I was glad I worked because it scared me enough to study during the evening hours and during every weekend...whereas if I did not have the work structure to my day, I may have goofed around more.

Did you work while you studied?

1 comment:

Kathy said...

Well, I can see why you couldn't come to the lake vacation with us the week before your bar exam!