Going abroad for bar prep: bad idea?

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yayeurope

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Going abroad for bar prep: bad idea?

Postby yayeurope » Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:54 pm

I already have a trip booked to a beach city in Europe for the first month or so after graduation, but I'm wondering if it's absolutely necessary to come back home to study for the month leading up to the exam.

I've kind of taken 2L and 3L off, and am a tad skeptical I will be able to get into a seriously productive mindset in my law school city, and think it would be especially helpful to be isolated from my friend groups. The plan for the first month is to work like 5-6 hours a day in the morning and have my afternoons free to beach/explore/etc. I would anticipate ramping up to like 8 hours a day for July, and would probably go to a more isolated, remote city. And with my current arrangement, I would actually save money by staying in Europe the second month, though I would come home probably a week before the exam to get acclimated/fight off jet lag. My firm doesn't seem to care much if you fail, if that factors into the calculus (though that obviously is not the plan).

Most people I've talked to are supportive of this plan, but I'm wondering if the hivemind has other thoughts. Please don't quote, either--Thanks!

maztastic247

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Re: Going abroad for bar prep: bad idea?

Postby maztastic247 » Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:09 pm

I think it is mostly about knowing yourself. If you know you will be able to dedicate 5-6 hours a day in a new/foreign place and you will save money then go for it. If you are someone like myself who absolutely hates studying and will find any reason you can to put studying off then I say maybe rethink staying there. If you know you will buckle down and study what is required regardless of how much you want to go exploring or to the beach and so on, then where you are when you study will not really factor in to the equation. If you think it will be hard being around your friends becuase they offer distractions from studying, do you really tgink you will be able to say no to new and exciting experiences whilst traveling abroad? Again I stress it is about knowing yourself. If you do go have fun! Good luck!

anon3030

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Re: Going abroad for bar prep: bad idea?

Postby anon3030 » Mon Jan 30, 2017 6:20 pm

What beach city? I agree with the last post if you are booking a single private room in a hotel or studio apartment. However, if you are staying in a hostel or a shared room, then I disagree, who knows what type of people you will stay with and you might get really distracted. Also, try and book a place that has a small kitchen, so you don't get too unhealthy. Also, I would fly back at least 10 days before the bar exam just in case you run into any significant travel delays. If your bar exam is on the west coast of the US then maybe two weeks before to really acclimate.

Npret

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Re: Going abroad for bar prep: bad idea?

Postby Npret » Mon Jan 30, 2017 6:32 pm

Every firm cares if you fail. Everyone at the firm knows who failed. If you have to take the bar again while working it will be much harder. At biglaw firms if you fail twice you are out.

If you do this, come back more than a week in advance. You don't know what can happen with delays and flights being cancelled, etc. You will need time to acclimate and not just jump into a test marathon.

You don't sound like you are taking the bar exam that seriously to be honest.

LockBox

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Re: Going abroad for bar prep: bad idea?

Postby LockBox » Mon Jan 30, 2017 6:45 pm

Not to sound judgmental, but someone who can just choose to stay in a European beach city for bar prep, and who has kind of taken 2L and 3L off can likely afford to take the bar multiple times.

It's hard to say without knowing what type of student you are. If you are well above 50% in your class, I think this is a good idea and can make bar prep enjoyable. At 50%, it would be a gamble but likely doable if you buckle down in the first few weeks (rather than the last). Below or well below 50% you're looking at taking it again (which I don't believe is a worry of yours).

If I could chime in on anything, people feel as though the first few weeks are warm ups (likely because of all the lecture viewing and outlining) and you "ramp up" towards the end. My belief is the opposite - by weeks 6-8 of 10, you're going to be getting fatigued. If you've taken practice tests, done a great deal of MBE's and studied diligently the first 4 weeks, this will put you in the best position to reinforce the latter half. I don't think it really matters where you do that work, as long as you put in the work. Good luck.

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rcharter1978

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Re: Going abroad for bar prep: bad idea?

Postby rcharter1978 » Tue Jan 31, 2017 5:27 am

This sounds like a terrible plan. Why in the world would you want to spend time in a beautiful paradise studying some of the most boring shit ever? And do you really think you're gonna do it? You don't have enough discipline to avoid your friends at home, but you think you'll have enough discipline to stick to a hard study schedule when the beaches, beautiful locations and excitement are around?

This would be the last thing I would do with any free time/money. I can't even begin to understand why you planned this in the first place, are you taking a less challenging bar exam? I mean, if your firm doesn't really care, why not just take in July and avoid having to study at all?

I would save European travel for after the exam, or after results.

CanadianWolf

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Re: Going abroad for bar prep: bad idea?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:57 am

Go abroad & study for the bar exam in a comfortable & relaxed environment so long as you have current bar exam prep books.

P.S. But I agree with the above posters who wrote that every law firm cares about whether or not you pass the bar.

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Johann

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Re: Going abroad for bar prep: bad idea?

Postby Johann » Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:22 am

It's a fine plan. Most people I know who went to TTT started studying around July 4 and passed. 5 hours in the morning 5 days a week until July 4 followed by 2 40 hour weeks will get the job done 99.5% of the time.

yayeurope

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Re: Going abroad for bar prep: bad idea?

Postby yayeurope » Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:42 pm

I really appreciate all the feedback! I think I'm gonna do it then.

Re: knowing myself, the few times I've meaningfully traveled alone were the most productive reading stints I've probably ever had. I do get some kind of social restlessness/anxiety when I'm in the same city as friends/girls and am sitting home doing work, and I don't experience that when I travel; I may be just trying to manufacture reasons to justify this plan, but I do feel like I'll be as or more productive.

I will definitely be staying in a private room; absolutely could not make this work out of a hostel or some kind of situation like that. I've been to the June city before, too (and have passable language skills), so it's not like there will be a big adjustment. I'm thinking for July I'd do something legitimately small and isolated with no distractions but the beach. Ten days early does probably sound like a better idea.

LockBox wrote:Not to sound judgmental, but someone who can just choose to stay in a European beach city for bar prep, and who has kind of taken 2L and 3L off can likely afford to take the bar multiple times.

It's hard to say without knowing what type of student you are. If you are well above 50% in your class, I think this is a good idea and can make bar prep enjoyable. At 50%, it would be a gamble but likely doable if you buckle down in the first few weeks (rather than the last). Below or well below 50% you're looking at taking it again (which I don't believe is a worry of yours).

If I could chime in on anything, people feel as though the first few weeks are warm ups (likely because of all the lecture viewing and outlining) and you "ramp up" towards the end. My belief is the opposite - by weeks 6-8 of 10, you're going to be getting fatigued. If you've taken practice tests, done a great deal of MBE's and studied diligently the first 4 weeks, this will put you in the best position to reinforce the latter half. I don't think it really matters where you do that work, as long as you put in the work. Good luck.

I don't know what you're getting at by the first line (maybe that I have family money? I don't, sadly), but, largely because of TLS's advice, I went to a good school for very little money, crushed 1L and nailed down a great SA at a 100% firm, and didn't see the point in not enjoying myself for a few years. I hadn't heard of bar prep playing out like that, either; will def take that into consideration! Thanks!

rcharter1978 wrote:This sounds like a terrible plan. Why in the world would you want to spend time in a beautiful paradise studying some of the most boring shit ever? And do you really think you're gonna do it? You don't have enough discipline to avoid your friends at home, but you think you'll have enough discipline to stick to a hard study schedule when the beaches, beautiful locations and excitement are around?

This would be the last thing I would do with any free time/money. I can't even begin to understand why you planned this in the first place, are you taking a less challenging bar exam? I mean, if your firm doesn't really care, why not just take in July and avoid having to study at all?

I would save European travel for after the exam, or after results.

Well, I'm certainly traveling after the bar, too :P . Honestly, I think so? I also live in a really fun, beautiful city--being in one that I don't a bunch of friends in to do shit with will plausibly help me be more productive. Re: money, I can get out of my lease whenever I want, and have a ton of credit card points that are just going to sit there once I'm an SA. Airbnbs with monthly discounts are cheap as fuck. I'd definitely save money (not considering credit card points).

hlsperson1111

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Re: Going abroad for bar prep: bad idea?

Postby hlsperson1111 » Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:47 pm

If you are a good student, have a good work ethic, and are not taking a hard bar exam (CA, DE, maybe NY) then I think it's a fine idea. I have a friend from SLS who spent 1.5 months sitting on a beach in the Carribean and doing this, and he passed the bar and said it was a great experience. But you need to be really honest with yourself about whether this is going to work for you, and you need to be willing to pull the plug if you do this and get 2 weeks into studying and find that you are not getting anything done.

CanadianWolf

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Re: Going abroad for bar prep: bad idea?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jan 31, 2017 4:48 pm

New York now uses the Uniform Bar Exam & has a moderate passing score requirement. Delaware & California, however, are quite a bit more demanding. Regardless, study where you are comfortable & relaxed.

mvp99

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Re: Going abroad for bar prep: bad idea?

Postby mvp99 » Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:48 pm

I was abroad and i passed

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heythatslife

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Re: Going abroad for bar prep: bad idea?

Postby heythatslife » Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:16 pm

I would totes do it. Aside from self-discipline, the only thing that I would really concerned about is that studying by yourself for 2 months in a city where you don't know anyone and don't speak the local language very well can be more isolating and weary than one might expect (I can speak from experience).

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nunumaster

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Re: Going abroad for bar prep: bad idea?

Postby nunumaster » Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:21 pm

I'm going to do the same and go to a cheaper COL place than NY to study. It should be easy to wake up at 8am and study until 2 pm. There's nothing good to do that early anyway. Trying to figure out what beachy country I should go to.

ETA: I'm going to try to take another law school buddy with me, so we can keep each other honest.

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jchiles

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Re: Going abroad for bar prep: bad idea?

Postby jchiles » Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:21 pm

Sounds like a great plan if you are getting 4-5 hours a day 5 days a week in and doing well with MBE questions you'll be fine. Do some essays to so you feel better about how it goes when you take the test too.

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anon sequitur

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Re: Going abroad for bar prep: bad idea?

Postby anon sequitur » Wed Feb 01, 2017 4:27 pm

As long as you come home with plenty of time to get over jetlag, and as long as you know you're going to be somewhere with enough physical comfort to allow you to concentrate for 5-6 hours a day this sounds great. I don't think most people are really able to study productively for more than 6 honest hours a day. Many people force themselves to do more, but I'm sure the marginal value of those extra hours is low. Spending the other 10 waking hours a day having fun and relaxing sounds like a great idea, so long as it's not distracting or mentally/physically taxing (i.e., I wouldn't go anywhere that involved a lot of culture shock for me, or that required much or any planning). Also, I was bottom 25% of my class, passed easily.



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