Bar Exam Awesomeness: Study Less, Study Smart

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.

  1. Study in chunks.  Take quick fun breaks.  Then, reward yourself at the end of the day!
  2. Study in a dedicated space, one where you are conditioned to study.
  3. 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.
  4. Keep notes during your bar lectures, and make sure you clarify and supplement after.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

New on the shelves – March 2015

coverOur list of new books is now updated.

In March, the Law Library received books on criminal law, international law, federalism, and legal careers, among many other topics.

One of our new books is Happiness & the Law, a University of Chicago Press title by Professors John Bronsteen, Christopher Buccafusco, and Jonathan S. Masur. From the publisher’s abstract:

“Drawing on new research in psychology, neuroscience, and economics, the authors. . . assess how the law affects people’s quality of life—and how it can do so in a better way. Taking readers through some of the common questions about and objections to the use of happiness research in law and policy, they consider two areas in depth: criminal punishment and civil lawsuits.”

Check it out downstairs in the Stacks at K 380 .B765 2015.

The Law Library’s collection is constantly growing as we purchase books and other resources to support the scholarly and clinical work of faculty and students. Please let us know if you have a suggestion for a new book.

Put the pieces together

library-puzzle Take a break from studying and work on the UCI Law Library community puzzle. Look for it downstairs, right at the bottom of the stairs.  (Next to the annotated and official United States Code volumes in print!)

Brought to you by the Law Library’s Access & Circulation department staff members.

Hours – Reading & Examination, Summer

library-hoursOur hours are different in late April and early May because of Reading & Exam period. After that, hours will change again for the summer. Check our up-to-date calendar: Law Library Hours.

Our visitor policy is also different during the Reading & Exam period so that our space is conducive to study. During that time — April 23 through May 8 — only UCI Law students and UCI faculty and staff can use the Law Library.

Related links: UCI Law Academic Calendar | Law Library Hours for UCI Law

nyt-mobileNew! New York Times digital subscriptions for members of the UCI Law community!

In case you missed the April 1 email from one of the law librarians, instructions for registration are available:

NYT @ UCI Law Q&A –

You’ll need to log in with your @lawnet account to view the instructions.

This subscription is limited to the Law School community. Contact the reference desk with questions.

California Legislature – Online Archives

cal-clerk-archiveScanned California legislative information, including journals and session laws, is now much easier to find. Some law students might recall a difficult-to-navigate site—one that didn’t work at all in some browsers. But that’s all in the past, thanks to the updated site for The California Assembly’s Office of the Chief Clerk!

For access to:
Chaptered bills 1850 – 2008
Assembly journals 1849 – 2010
Legislative histories (bill actions and dates) 1881 – 2010

Interested in more resources for California legislative history? Check the State Law section in our Guide to Legislative History.

Legal Research in Practice: Be Awesome this Summer

The UCI Law School Library wants you to succeed in your first summer legal experience!

Legal Research in Practice workshops will give you strategies for effectively tackling new projects, and efficiently navigating resources for quickly finding helpful information and relevant primary law.

Please join for any and all workshops. Fresh fruit and other nosh will be warmly provided!

Working for an Attorney
Monday, April 06
12:00 to 1:00 PM
EDU 1131

Quick tips for setting out the parameters of your assignment, and navigating resources for litigation and transactional law practice.

Working with Federal Law
Tuesday, April 07
12:00 to 1:00 PM
EDU 1131

Quick tips for navigating key secondary sources, and federal primary law. This will include a refresher on navigating agency websites, finding court rules, and using dockets.

Working for a Judge
Wednesday, April 08
12:00 to 1:00 PM
EDU 1131

Quick tips for navigating court libraries, asking good questions, and getting started with known citations in motions or briefs.

Working with California Law
Thursday, April 09
12:00 to 1:00 PM
MPAA 130

Quick tips on finding and using free and proprietary California-specific practice resources. This will include a refresher on navigating state government sites.

Working on Policy
Friday, April 10
12:00 to 1:00 PM
LAW 3750

Quick tips on finding policy papers, data sets, and creating your own studies, including conducting a multi-jurisdiction survey of laws.

For questions, contact Lisa at

New on the shelves – February 2015

appealing-to-justice-coverOur list of new books is now updated.

In February, the Law Library received books on legal history, international law, and legal practice, among many other topics.

One of our new books is by UC Irvine criminology scholars Kitty Calavita and Valerie Jenness: Appealing to Justice: Prisoner Grievances, Rights, and Carceral Logic. From the publisher’s abstract:

“Drawing on sometimes startlingly candid interviews with [California] prisoners and prison staff, as well as on official records, the authors walk us through the byzantine grievance process, which begins with prisoners filing claims and ends after four levels of review, with corrections officials usually denying requests for remedies. Appealing to Justice is both an unprecedented study of disputing in an extremely asymmetrical setting and a rare glimpse of daily life inside this most closed of institutions.”

Check it out downstairs—shelved with other titles about California criminal law—in the California Room at KFC 1181.5 C35 2015.

The Law Library’s collection is constantly growing as we purchase books and other resources to support the scholarly and clinical work of faculty and students. Please let us know if you have a suggestion for a new book.