Should I take the bar early or take it while working?

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Should I take the bar early or take it while working?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jul 06, 2020 11:08 am

I'm a rising 3L with a clerkship that will begin in June of 2021. I'm trying to figure out when would be the best time to take the bar to minimize the likelihood of failing/stress.

The option I'm leaning towards is doing a program my school has where you don't take any classes spring 3L, take the February Bar, and then do pro bono for the rest of the semester. The problems with this option are 1) I was looking forward to a chill 3L and this will require an overloaded fall semester (Fed courts, major writing requirement, externship etc etc) /giving up my last semester of school ever and 2) I plan on becoming a public defender and while I plan to take the bar in the market I hope to get a job, it is very possible I will end up in some other state.

The second option is to just take the bar in July 2021 ( my judge says I can have the ~week~ of the bar off to prepare) so that would entail studying pre-moving across the country, starting my clerkship for a few weeks then taking the bar. (This option still has the- don't know which jurisdiction I will for sure be in- problem)

The third option is waiting and taking the 2022 bar in July which will also require working and studying but it will be while my clerkship is winding down/ I'll be settled in this new location + I'll know which jurisdiction I'll have my PD job in. But it feels weird to wait a year to take the bar.

The application for the early bar program is due soon which is why I'm weighing my options now. I am very worried about failing the bar even though almost everyone at my law school passes and I consider myself to be a good test taker, but I was curious if anyone had any opinion on which option is best?

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Re: Should I take the bar early or take it while working?

Post by SilvermanBarPrep » Wed Jul 08, 2020 11:02 am

All of those options come with some burdens but I think if at all possible taking the earliest one would be best. Get it out of the way if you can. It also seems like though you'll be busy in school at the time, that'll provide you with the best opportunity to prepare for it. Employers seem to think that a week off to study is enough but it usually isn't!

Sean (Silverman Bar Exam Tutoring)

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Re: Should I take the bar early or take it while working?

Post by Sls17 » Fri Jul 10, 2020 11:25 am

Do you have any reliable information on the rigor of your clerkship? If you’re working 12+ hour days in a district court with a judge who calls you late at night and on weekends, it is just not going to be possible to swing this. If you’re working 9-5 for a senior judge with a friendly coclerk who can cover anything emergent for a few weeks, then taking the bar should go really smoothly. Talk to former clerks and get a sense of what this might be like for you before making any decisions.
Also, I wouldn’t assume the end of a clerkship is a “winding down” period. In both of my clerkships, the last couple months were the absolute busiest as it became a priority to resolve anything and everything that could be resolved before a new clerk took over the case load.

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