Can you work part time while studying for bar?

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Can you work part time while studying for bar?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:43 pm

So I got a really nice law clerkship, and I might want to stay with the firm. I'll also like the steady income. Is it possible to study for the bar and work 16-20 hours per week? Espeically if im signed up for barbri course?

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Re: Can you work part time while studying for bar?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:07 pm

It sucks, and probably depends on your state and your level of discipline, but if you're looking for anecdotal evidence, then yes. I worked 40-60/week biglaw until July 4th then took time off. It wasn't much of a last hurrah summer, but I passed comfortably.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Can you work part time while studying for bar?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:36 am

I didn't, but definitely could have.

Try to take off like the week or preferably two before the bar and you'll be fine.

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JenDarby
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Re: Can you work part time while studying for bar?

Postby JenDarby » Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:52 pm

It's 100% possible. Bar prep does not take all day everyday, even if you do everything on the bar prep syllabus (which you probably won't).

I am very glad I worked and made money rather than sitting around marathoning shows on netflix. I studied no less than I would have if I hadn't of worked 15-30 hours a week. Working probably helped me study more since I couldn't just sleep in until whenever everyday.

Here are a couple threads discussing working while preparing for the bar:

viewtopic.php?f=41&t=234521

viewtopic.php?f=41&t=230358

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Re: Can you work part time while studying for bar?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:13 pm

Thanks. my thing is, im enormously lucky to be in the firm i landed in, because my grades are bad, like bottom 30% at a ~T60. I failed the MPRE on my first try by one question, but I studied for maybe 3 hours (82 in an 85 state). So I'm not so confident about passing the bar without cramming maybe harder than for a normal final, but on the other hand as I said, considering my credentials, I really scored big with the firm I'm in and want to keep my hooks in. Thanks guys.

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Re: Can you work part time while studying for bar?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 04, 2015 3:49 pm

ugh I think it would be helpful for OP if those who commented above say which state bar they are talking about -- as we all know, all bars are not created equal lol But I think this really depends on your personality and discipline level. It is doable and in fact it may help to keep you focus as you know you have no time to screw around. But if you go this route, I advise you to eat right, exercise and stay away from any people/situation that might add to your stress during this period of time. But it is definitely doable and I think most of us over prepare for the bar.

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Re: Can you work part time while studying for bar?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:02 pm

I think it's doable, you'd have to be disciplined and efficient. To me, the bigger question would be whether you'll be mentally focused on both producing quality work at your job and studying. Even though most people pass in most jurisdictions, it's still a very stressful thing to study for and take the bar, especially that last 2-3 weeks before the exam date. If you go the part-time route, I'd say take the last 2-3 weeks before the bar completely off to focus.

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JenDarby
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Re: Can you work part time while studying for bar?

Postby JenDarby » Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:05 pm

I took the NY bar and got a 161 on the MBE. It's very doable, but it probably helps if you aren't the highly neurotic type.

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Re: Can you work part time while studying for bar?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:20 pm

It's definitely doable. Assuming you did reasonably well during your first-year of law school, you probably already have a decent amount of knowledge on most of the MBE topics and it will not take you very much time to get pass the exam. The first time I took the IL bar, I only watched half the barbri torts lecture video and quite literally did nothing else and only failed by 4 points on a 400 points exam. (I was kind of shocked by this, because the only reason I even took the bar was because it was shitload cheaper to retake with a failing exam than it was if you had withdrew from the exam -- I had a clerkship lined up for the following year and it was a mistake signing up for that bar exam). I honestly think I might have passed if the MBE section was given before any of the essays (I was planning to fail, so I just wrote like 2 sentences on the essays and put my head down for the rest of the time lol, but then was kind of floored by how ridiculous and easy many of the MBE questions were, so I definitely could have done better on the essays if I had seen the MBE questions first).

The second time I took the IL bar, I had about 50 hours a week tied to working at my clerkship (with commuting), so I quite literally spent just the 2-3 days before the exam studying and passed (IL doesn't give scores to passing exams, so I have no idea how close I was, but I assume I did better than the I did the first time since I actually reviewed IL topics that I had known nothing about the first time around, such as family law).

I then signed up for the following CA bar, and I, again, was working full-time, so I only spent the 5-6 days before the exam studying for it. I also watched "A lawyer walks into a bar" before the exam, just so that I could get an idea of what it was like to study for the CA bar :lol: But, more seriously, I was a little concerned, knowing that the previous February bar exam pass rate was something like 33%, meaning I essentially needed to do better than the person sitting to my left AND the person sitting to my right. The guy who sat to the right of me just happened to be a former SCOTUS clerk, so I thought, "fuck, I'm definitely failing this." I discussed basically every essay with the former SCOTUS clerk (during breaks and after the exam), and it seemed like we had very similar answers on every question, but one, which we both concluded he answered incorrectly based on a rule he hadn't remembered. (In his defense, he had been working in biglaw, and his firm only gave him a month off to study for and to take the bar exam.) In any event, we both wound up passing the CA bar. After this I realized barbri's scare tactics are bullshit and you really don't need to study anywhere near as much as most people do for the bar exam. The bar exam is more about studying smarter than about studying harder (see the TLS topic re: strong MBE equals auto-pass).

TL; DR: Yes, you can easily pass the bar even with working part-time while studying for the bar.

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Re: Can you work part time while studying for bar?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:30 pm

JenDarby wrote:I took the NY bar and got a 161 on the MBE. It's very doable, but it probably helps if you aren't the highly neurotic type.


This. It is not a matter of difficulty generally; it is a matter of how well you manage your time, how disciplined you are, and how well you manage your nerves.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Can you work part time while studying for bar?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:28 pm

Honestly if you almost failed the MPRE then maybe you should just focus on the bar. not saying that to be an asshole, but the bar is much more difficult.

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Re: Can you work part time while studying for bar?

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:32 pm

Yes (especially if it's as a bar exam grader).

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Re: Can you work part time while studying for bar?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 05, 2015 12:25 am

OP here. To be fair and honest, on the one hand, i was so busy with networking, interviewing, and cramming for classes that I really did only study for the MPRE for 2-4 hours before i took the test.

On the other hand, I bombed 1L and it is easily why my grades are so bad. I've dragged my GPA out of the mud, and have received testing accomodations that I was too proud to ask for in 1L. I will probably also get extended time on the bar exam as well, if they aren't stricter than law school. My disability is a physical one affecting typing speed/accuracy. That doesn't explain all of my grades, but I think that I would be around median with accomodations the whole time.

I guess if my bosses are cool enough, they'll let me take off time no foul and come back after the exam.




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