Note to future bar takers: DON'T OVER STUDY! I didn't, and I still passed.

October 15th, 2009

As someone who just passed the Virginia Bar, I will take a moment to stand on a soap box and rant.

If you are taking the Bar next year, DO NOT OVER STUDY!

This past summer I worked 30 hours a week at DoD General Counsel.  I took Bar/Bri every morning for 4 hours or so. That’s it. I just paid attention in class, and skimmed the conviser at night. I did not do any of the practice questions, practice essays, or any of the other garbage Bar/Bri told me to do. If you do everything Bar/Bri tells you to do, you will be stuck doing 12-14 hours of work a day. Totally uncessary.

The last 10 days I crammed 18 hours a day and did all 20 topics, starting with the topics most frequently tested. Every day I did 20 mulitple choice, and 1-2 essays per topic.  Here was my schedule.

My Study Plan. Goal? No Fail!

My Study Plan

[/caption]My Goal? No Fail! Mission Accomplished. I keep this schedule taped to my bookshelf as a reminder of the purgatory I went through.

Bar/Bri’s job is to scare you to death so you study so much you can’t possibly fail. The more people pass, the better Bar/Bri looks, and the more they can charge. Those essays they grade? They are graded much tougher than the actual Bar. They do it to scare you. Just do the absolute minimum and you’ll be fine.

Now I know you will all ignore my advice and work yourself to deaths. And I’m sure some commenters will say you have to study. But if you did marginally well in law school, and can follow and memorize a few basic concepts, you’re fine.

Update: On the advice of a friend who recently pass the Virginia Bar, I issue the follow disclaimer. WARNING! Do not try this at home. If you take my advice, and do not study, and fail the bar, that’s your problem. Don’t sue me.  There I said it. If you are worried about passing, study hard.