Bar prep while working full time

danieldeluis
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:57 pm

Bar prep while working full time

Postby danieldeluis » Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:01 pm

Hi all,

Apologies if this topic has already been discussed. If there are existing threads please let me know.

Looking for any advice and strategies for preparing for the bar exam while working full time. I took California in July and will be taking Illinois in February. I'm using Kaplan and they don't seem to have a different course for folks who are working. I'm quite sure I won't be able to complete the course 100%.

Have you prepped for the exam while working full time? What would you recommend?

Thanks!

maxmartin
Posts: 671
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:41 pm

Re: Bar prep while working full time

Postby maxmartin » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:24 pm

danieldeluis wrote:Hi all,

Apologies if this topic has already been discussed. If there are existing threads please let me know.

Looking for any advice and strategies for preparing for the bar exam while working full time. I took California in July and will be taking Illinois in February. I'm using Kaplan and they don't seem to have a different course for folks who are working. I'm quite sure I won't be able to complete the course 100%.

Have you prepped for the exam while working full time? What would you recommend?

Thanks!


Did you pass CA bar? If you passed CA, that means you have a pretty good foundation of MBE. I think you only have to spend some time on state subjects and go over MBE periodically to make sure you didn't forget things you already learned. A full course is not really necessary at all.

danieldeluis
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:57 pm

Re: Bar prep while working full time

Postby danieldeluis » Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:37 am

maxmartin wrote:
danieldeluis wrote:Hi all,

Apologies if this topic has already been discussed. If there are existing threads please let me know.

Looking for any advice and strategies for preparing for the bar exam while working full time. I took California in July and will be taking Illinois in February. I'm using Kaplan and they don't seem to have a different course for folks who are working. I'm quite sure I won't be able to complete the course 100%.

Have you prepped for the exam while working full time? What would you recommend?

Thanks!


Did you pass CA bar? If you passed CA, that means you have a pretty good foundation of MBE. I think you only have to spend some time on state subjects and go over MBE periodically to make sure you didn't forget things you already learned. A full course is not really necessary at all.


Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately I can claim membership in the 50% or so who did not pass CA. Haven’t received my packet yet so I don’t know how I did specifically.

unlvcrjchick
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:53 pm

Re: Bar prep while working full time

Postby unlvcrjchick » Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:52 am

I just passed this summer’s exam while working full time and taking essentially no time off: I don’t recommend not taking at least a week or two off before game day.

Anyway, I listened to the Kaplan lectures at 1.5/2x speed, which saved a lot of time. However, if I could do it over, I would say watching the lectures at all was a waste of time. While I felt the lectures were useful for my first, non-UBE bar exam 9 years ago, I found that this time around, I never went back and read my Bar notes after filling in the blanks from the lectures. Maybe it’s because unlike the first go round, where I didn’t have a job, this time was the exact opposite with my working 60+ hour weeks practicing law: yeah, I hated my very fucking existence for at least half of this year...

Instead, I would advise you focus on doing a shit-ton of MBE questions and read the answers to all of them: this will help you learn the law faster than studying Bar notes or even outlines.

As for the non-MBE subjects, I did use outlines, mostly free ones I found here and there online. While I did write essays to submit them for grading, I did only 9 of them and 1 MPT. Reading the model answers to recognize the format helped me significantly to learn the BLL in conjunction with the online outlines. Some people recommend outlining essay questions and then reading the model answers but I didn’t have the time or wherewithal to outline. However, keep in mind that I never outlined in law school because I found it to be a giant waste of time, mostly because I can learn the material just fine from consulting commercial outlines. Everyone is different and only you know how you best absorb new material.

Hope this helps.

maxmartin
Posts: 671
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:41 pm

Re: Bar prep while working full time

Postby maxmartin » Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:16 pm

danieldeluis wrote:
maxmartin wrote:
danieldeluis wrote:Hi all,

Apologies if this topic has already been discussed. If there are existing threads please let me know.

Looking for any advice and strategies for preparing for the bar exam while working full time. I took California in July and will be taking Illinois in February. I'm using Kaplan and they don't seem to have a different course for folks who are working. I'm quite sure I won't be able to complete the course 100%.

Have you prepped for the exam while working full time? What would you recommend?

Thanks!


Did you pass CA bar? If you passed CA, that means you have a pretty good foundation of MBE. I think you only have to spend some time on state subjects and go over MBE periodically to make sure you didn't forget things you already learned. A full course is not really necessary at all.


Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately I can claim membership in the 50% or so who did not pass CA. Haven’t received my packet yet so I don’t know how I did specifically.


Wait for the scorecard, if you scored 145 above in the MBE. I think the advice above still applies.

cavalier_36
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:11 am

Re: Bar prep while working full time

Postby cavalier_36 » Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:41 pm

I studied for the Virginia bar exam (and passed) while working full time this past summer, though I took the last 2.5 weeks before the exam completely off--no answering emails or anything. It was a bit frustrating to me that Barbri doesn't have a separate program for those who are working, since I constantly felt behind with all of their reminders, emails, etc., and I had to spend time weeding through the material to figure out what was important and what wasn't.

While I was working full time, I didn't want to study, so I would work 12+ hours a day to avoid it (oops). Good for work, bad for me. To combat this issue, I switched my work schedule--I woke up early and studied for the bar exam until noon, and would then work from noon to around 9:00 or so. That really helped me spend focused time studying before I became distracted by work. I highly recommend doing this if you're able to swing it with your work schedule.

In terms of what was important while studying, I skipped the full practice exams and focused instead on actually learning and retaining the information, and then practicing the state-specific topics to make sure I retained the information. I don't know anything about Illinois, but Virginia has a lot of different topics that they test, and I just barely made it through all of the lectures before the exam because there were just so many. I also listened to the lectures at 1.25x or 1.5x speed, depending on the speed of the lecturer. I'm pretty sure everyone does this, but it's especially important if your time is limited.

For Barbri, I was able to download the audio of the lectures and listen to them in my car while driving. Not sure if you're able to do that with Kaplan, but this was a great way to review the material. I had a 4+ hour drive down to the bar exam, and I chose my weakest two topics and listened to the lectures again while I was driving. Weirdly enough, both of those topics came up on the essay portion of the exam. Listen to the lectures while you're at the gym, commuting to work, doing dishes, anything passive. It feels like overload at the time, but for me, repetition was a good way to make the concepts stick.

Good luck!

hockeyman969
Posts: 260
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:17 pm

Re: Bar prep while working full time

Postby hockeyman969 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:26 pm

I worked full time while going to law school nights, but passed the UBE in NY studying full time. This past summer I clerked, studied for FL and passed with 4 days of full time studying.

I started a month early, did all the lectures and suffered without sleep condensing outlines, sacrificed lunch hours at work to do MBEs, and also had a child half time. It sucked but I managed to do so with time to have a social life.

It was more about discipline and keeping eye on the ball.




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