According to Urban Dictionary, the bar is:
A typical right of passage, a cliche event that all would be lawyers must go through. Involves two months of unbelievably boring lectures, followed by spending the rest of the day studying in a law library or other similarly isolated and secluded environment. . . .
According to psychology professor Marty Lobdell, there are six strategies for studying smart.
- Study in chunks. Take quick fun breaks. Then, reward yourself at the end of the day!
- Study in a dedicated space, one where you are conditioned to study.
- Study actively. Don’t worry about facts first. Focus on internalizing concepts. Put them into your own words, and actively quiz yourself along the way. Make sure you are able to recall concepts beyond just gaining recognition.
- Keep notes during your bar lectures, and make sure you clarify and supplement after.
- Summarize and teach what you learn. Whenever possible, tell a friend or family member about key concepts. I call this: Tell a family friend something about the law.
- Survey, question, read, recite, review. Engage with your readings by getting an overview of the materials, ask yourself questions, read, and find ways to reiterate.
- Use mnemonic devices to remember facts for better recall. Use acronyms, common sayings, and image associations.
Other advice for your summer of study. Sleep. Eat. Get outside. Socialize. Sleep some more.
Finally, if it helps, remember that not everyone passes the bar on the first try. Many people have failed before, including First Lady Michelle Obama, presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, California Governor Jerry Brown, and Kathleen Sullivan, former Dean of Stanford Law School.