That Old Familiar Feeling: I'm Taking Another Bar Exam, Episode 2

Published: Jan 07, 2015

 Job Search       Law       

Was that phone booth I stepped into for that “hilarious” Instagram photo really a time machine (life doesn’t seem particularly excellent right now) or is it just déjà vu? That old familiar bar exam feeling is back.

I’ve been studying for my second bar exam for about two weeks, I had to let my black market Barbri books mock me from the corner of my room for about a month before actually opening them to study, and I have to say, it feels like the summer of 2012 all over again—physically, mentally and emotionally.

Physically, just as before when during my summer of discontent I managed to overflow a shoebox with flashcards that I spent hours meticulously penning, my hand is killing me. I’ve already made about 200 flashcards and have about 76,815,972,349 more to go, and the bar exam writer’s cramp is in full effect. Also like when studying for the Virginia bar exam, studying for the New York bar exam has led me to inhale everything in sight, and, obviously, exercising is out of the question. So, on February 25, I won’t be able to blame my fat face on the mumps like I could last week (I possibly contracted the mumps last week because its 1945), I will have nothing to blame but my own poor health choices.       

Mentally, all the rules and exceptions are at least recognizable. This is the third time I’ve had to learn a lot of this information—first in law school, then for the Virginia bar exam, and now for New York—and it’s all just kind of bumping around in my brain. Even the sample MBE problems seem familiar. Unlike the hand dystonia and weight gain, I’m glad this bar exam feeling is back. Feeling comfortable with many of the bar exam concepts and even recalling some of the legal rules verbatim is easing the constant feeling that the bar exam is looming over me waiting for its moment to strike brought on by the mental frustration of reading the Barbri “model” answers.

Emotionally, I’ll admit, that just like when studying for my first bar exam, I am overwhelmed. Feeling comfortable with legal concepts is one thing, but spitting out the correct, precise rule and crafting a coherent essay in 40 minutes is quite another. The prospect of more or less memorizing 14 subjects (hence the one billion flashcards) and working a day job is daunting. While I’m certainly not as despondent as I felt the first time, I’m not exactly elated either.   

How is everyone else’s studying going? Any seasoned or newly minted attorneys have bar exam war stories to share? Sound off in the comments!

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Fool Me Twice: I’m Taking Another Bar Exam, Episode 1
Don't Fear the Reaper (i.e. the Bar Exam)
The Cold Truth about the Bar Exam
Maintaining Your Sanity During Law School Exams 
A Law Grad's Worst Nightmare Come True


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