Is it realistic to work a part-time job while prepping for the bar?

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PrayFor170

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Is it realistic to work a part-time job while prepping for the bar?

Postby PrayFor170 » Sat Dec 29, 2018 9:25 pm

Unfortunately, my parents don't have a basement for me to stay for my bar prep. Given the amount of my student loans, I don't really want to take bar loans from private banks. I do have an offer to a well-paid part-time gig, but I'm not sure how doable it is to study for the bar plus 20 hours' working per week. Most of the folks in my school opt to study full-time.

Has anyone passed the bar by studying AND working at the same time? For your reference, I am a first-time bar taker. T-14 grad with decent grades. I took almost all the courses during law school, but I'm not sure how much I can still remember.

sparty99

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Re: Is it realistic to work a part-time job while prepping for the bar?

Postby sparty99 » Sat Dec 29, 2018 9:58 pm

PrayFor170 wrote:Unfortunately, my parents don't have a basement for me to stay for my bar prep. Given the amount of my student loans, I don't really want to take bar loans from private banks. I do have an offer to a well-paid part-time gig, but I'm not sure how doable it is to study for the bar plus 20 hours' working per week. Most of the folks in my school opt to study full-time.

Has anyone passed the bar by studying AND working at the same time? For your reference, I am a first-time bar taker. T-14 grad with decent grades. I took almost all the courses during law school, but I'm not sure how much I can still remember.


Yes, but take the last 2 to 3 weeks off if possible.

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Wild Card

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Re: Is it realistic to work a part-time job while prepping for the bar?

Postby Wild Card » Sat Dec 29, 2018 10:01 pm

I was below median at at "T6" law school and tried to take on a part-time job during bar prep. I quit my job one month in after having done no work and having felt like shit that entire month because I wasn't improving at all.

In short, I let my bar prep company psyche me out.

(The problem with bar prep is that you'll consistently get only 50%-67% of the multiple choice questions correct at the beginning, and you'll be spending hours upon hours watching lectures at 2x speed, and it all feels useless, because it's grossly inefficient. That's how I got psyched out.)

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rcharter1978

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Re: Is it realistic to work a part-time job while prepping for the bar?

Postby rcharter1978 » Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:01 pm

I feel like there is a thread about people who worked (some full time) and successfully prepped for the bar exam.

It sounds really difficult to me. But maybe if you start studying some of the bar subjects early (like the ones you took your first year) you can get started early.

Imma see if I can find that thread

viewtopic.php?f=41&t=298554

It's not the thread I remember but it seems to give some pretty good strategies for working while studying for the bar.

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Vursz

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Re: Is it realistic to work a part-time job while prepping for the bar?

Postby Vursz » Sun Dec 30, 2018 12:40 am

I worked full-time while prepping for the bar (passed in VA). It’s definitely doable, if not ideal. Don’t get too psyched out by the TLS “take time off or you will faaaaail” line.

The biggest thing that helped me was starting much earlier (6+ weeks) than everyone else. I did pretty much everything in Barbri’s “early start” program before scratching the surface of the actual course. Ended up doing ~91% of the full program before game day, and I don’t think any of that time was wasted.

I spent most of my time with the Conviser Mini Review, the essay book, and as many MBE questions as I could lay my hands on (probably 30-50/day, all the way along). That was sufficient.

Cop2lawyerNYC

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Re: Is it realistic to work a part-time job while prepping for the bar?

Postby Cop2lawyerNYC » Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:16 am

I worked full-time and passed the July '18 UBE with +- 50 points to spare. When you're busy, you become more efficient--30 minutes here, 30 minutes there...by the end of the day it will add up to 6-8 hours of quality studying.

Npret

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Re: Is it realistic to work a part-time job while prepping for the bar?

Postby Npret » Sun Dec 30, 2018 5:07 pm

I worked full time until the last 3 weeks before the NY bar, but I didn’t work at all on weekends or evenings because of class. I also took a special class focused on the multi state.

I happen to do extremely well on standardized tests. So I was very confident.

I was also a driven workaholic so I didn’t mind studying while working as a full time clerk.

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Re: Is it realistic to work a part-time job while prepping for the bar?

Postby Goldie » Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:40 am

I worked full time for most of my bar summer, and then took two weeks off before the bar. I'd taken classes in maybe 2/3 of the bar subjects. I started bar prep as soon as classes ended (11 weeks before the bar exam), studied nights and weekends, and passed with a huge margin. (I graduated approximately in the top 15% of my HYS school, for reference.)

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SilvermanBarPrep

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Re: Is it realistic to work a part-time job while prepping for the bar?

Postby SilvermanBarPrep » Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:03 pm

It's certainly realistic, and for many it's less realistic not to. But if possible try to take at the least 2 weeks off from work entirely so that in the final stretch you can focus your efforts entirely on the exam.

Sean (Silverman Bar Exam Tutoring)

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Re: Is it realistic to work a part-time job while prepping for the bar?

Postby pfunkera » Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:46 am

I took the patent bar and the regular bar exam exactly 2 months apart while working full time. I had some flexibility and ALOT of understanding at work so I wasn't exactly working every hour while I was at work. However, I still had to physically be at work all day while getting anything done that had to be done. Having to respond to emails all day really made studying hard, but I did my best and things worked out. I planned about 6 months before by hammering out work and pushing things off until after the bar exam to have the lowest amount of work that I could control during that time. Plus, I put most of my social and family life on hold during that time. Remember, it is a pass/fail test but those were absolutely miserable months for me. Good luck.

b290

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Re: Is it realistic to work a part-time job while prepping for the bar?

Postby b290 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:52 am

Echoing what everybody's said.

Also, get everything else in order (bills, hold mail, travel arrangements, accommodations, test site recon) no later than a week before. The last thing you'd want is for your hard work to be derailed by something sudden coming up.

My $.02

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anon sequitur

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Re: Is it realistic to work a part-time job while prepping for the bar?

Postby anon sequitur » Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:30 pm

I don't think most people can effectively study more than about 40 hours per week, most people even less. I did 6 hours a day, 6 days a week, which would have left me time to work if I wasn't an inveterate slacker. If you're disciplined and efficient you should be fine. Frankly, if you graduated t-14 with good grades you are good enough at test-taking that you'll probably be fine. And if you really don't have the option to crash with your parents, then you don't really have a choice, so best not to worry and start making the best of your situation.

gaddockteeg

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Re: Is it realistic to work a part-time job while prepping for the bar?

Postby gaddockteeg » Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:06 pm

FWIW, I passed California Bar (full exam) while working full time as a midlevel associate in DC big law. Took 1 single day off (monday before the exam)

It was my second bar though so I knew what to expect and had a better idea of how much I really needed to know.

mathandthelaw

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Re: Is it realistic to work a part-time job while prepping for the bar?

Postby mathandthelaw » Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:31 pm

I chose not to work and took the California BX and passed on the first try.

Looking back, I could have managed a part-time job (20 hours) and passed, if I had started studying a few weeks earlier. I was following everything Barbri told me until I realized that 50% of what I was doing was wasting my time. I realize that the Barbi lectures are not actually very helpful (in the beginning they are but after a few subjects it wasn't helpful). The Conviser and doing practice questions was helpful. And then memorization strategies of course. Also I stopped doing the work Barbri was assigning because it was overwhelming and you need to follow your own schedule anyway. Barbri (or another prep course) should only be a guide not your whole schedule, need to tailor it to you. So I think it is doable for the simple fact that I spent way more time studying than I needed to, and a lot of time was wasted thanks to Barbi. I did like 8-10 hours every day to try to out work everyone but man I was over-worked by the end. I took the last 1.5 days off. But I passed with Barbri so I can't really complain that much.



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