VII. The Home Stretch (Or, What one does the last two weeks of bar review)

If everything is going to plan, via your study schedule, then the last two weeks of your bar review should be spent utilizing your reference system, as discussed above, to memorize materials and practicing MBE questions, essays, and performance tests. Many commercial bar reviews set you free for the last couple of weeks of your bar review. Unfortunately, it is at this time that many bar examinees decide they need to formulate a study schedule. Remember, your study schedule should be your constant companion for the entirety of your bar review.

For memorization of the materials, there are no shortcuts. It is long, tiring work. Of course, there are memorization techniques that you will become familiar with and most likely utilize (e.g., mnemonics, etc…). However, even with such memorization techniques, the memorization process is still a daunting challenge. You know better than anyone else what learning methods and memorization techniques work best for you. Use those methods that have worked in the past (e.g., during law school), eliminate ineffective methods. Avoid sticking with something that is not working, even if it is working for your friend.

It is at this time that many individuals will begin condensing their reference system to create condensed/synthesized outlines. If you followed this method in law school, then you will be very familiar with it. If not, condensing your outlines is akin to whittling the wheat from the shaft. Comprehensive outlines will often state the why and the how of a legal issue or topic. Condensed outlines simply state the what, i.e., the rule statement or elements of a testable issue. Keep in mind, condensed/synthesized outlines are a very effective tool if YOU are the one doing the condensing and synthesizing. We believe utilizing someone else’s condensed outlines eliminates almost all of the benefit received in creating condensed versions of materials. Of course, we have all heard the tale of an individual only studying with someone else’s condensed outlines and passing the bar exam. However, we never hear of the many more tales of those individuals that used such condensed outlines and failed. Don’t let an exception to a rule guide your own bar exam preparation.

Please note, you can obtain the free, full version in pdf format via digital download here.