Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Studying for the bar while working full-time...need advice.

Hi folks! I'm registered for the July 2017 PA bar exam, and dharamsala06/27/17
totally possible Work all day, study all evening. I wor lawyer206/27/17
When you say "flashcards" are you referring to Critical Pass dharamsala06/27/17
Yup, Critical Pass. I recorded myself using VoiceNotes goi lawyer206/27/17
I don't think it's possible to do both well. I passed NJ isthisit06/27/17
I am also concerned that the pass rate in February is MUCH l dharamsala06/27/17
I would think it's mainly because many Feb. takers failed th flharfh06/27/17
February is "known" mostly for retakers so that explains the isthisit06/27/17
I took (and passed) the Feb bar while working biglaw full ti jdtrash06/27/17
I studied for the bar while working full time. Luckily my e inho2solo06/27/17
If you pass the first bar exam, you'll be halfway there. You joecoder06/28/17
dharamsala (Jun 27, 2017 - 5:22 pm)

Hi folks! I'm registered for the July 2017 PA bar exam, and I just locked down a fellowship sponsor in south Jersey for fall 2018, so it looks like I'll have to take the February 2018 NJ bar. Starting September 2017, I'll be working full-time as a Judicial Law Clerk. I haven't asked the Judge or HR about hours, but it's a state trial court clerkship, so I'm assuming like 8-6?

Any tips or tricks for passing the bar while working full-time? What should my study schedule be like? I have no idea how much time off from work I'm allowed to request. I registered for Themis for the NJ February 2018 bar, and the earliest I can start the online course is November 6, 2017.

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lawyer2 (Jun 27, 2017 - 5:31 pm)

totally possible
Work all day, study all evening.

I worked while studying for the bar. Fortunately, my job had downtime and I was able to listen to videos, takes notes, and complete the worksheets while at work. I'd then go home and do MBE's and go over my flash cards.

*ETA* I had an hour commute each way. I'd get two hours of lectures in just driving. Later in the study process, I recorded myself going through the flash cards and listened to myself studying aloud.

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dharamsala (Jun 27, 2017 - 5:37 pm)

When you say "flashcards" are you referring to Critical Pass? Or homemade flashcards?

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lawyer2 (Jun 27, 2017 - 5:40 pm)

Yup, Critical Pass.
I recorded myself using VoiceNotes going through each subject and got it down to 45m-1hr for each subject. Converted to Mp3 and loaded them into iTunes. Hell, I listened to them on repeat during my sleep.

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isthisit (Jun 27, 2017 - 5:25 pm)

I don't think it's possible to do both well.

I passed NJ/NY, studying full time. I didn't work during that time and I remember feeling completely drained after 6-10 hours of daily studying. I wouldn't have been able to work.

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dharamsala (Jun 27, 2017 - 5:31 pm)

I am also concerned that the pass rate in February is MUCH lower than July. Why is this? Is it because most Feb takers are working while studying?

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flharfh (Jun 27, 2017 - 5:36 pm)

I would think it's mainly because many Feb. takers failed the July bar and if you've failed once you're more likely to fail again.

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isthisit (Jun 27, 2017 - 6:54 pm)

February is "known" mostly for retakers so that explains the lower pass #s.

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jdtrash (Jun 27, 2017 - 5:43 pm)

I took (and passed) the Feb bar while working biglaw full time (8-6:30 PM). IMO, the key is to put in 2-3 hours every day. I put in 3-4 hours on weekends. I started studying right after Christmas for the February bar. I didn't get any time off from work (as my job didn't know I was taking the exam).

The key is to work smart. You don't need a ton of hours if you can work smart. What I did was I bought some barbri books and self studied and read the conviser outline. Then I bought the essay package from smartbarprep. Smartbarprep shows you how often various topics were tested so you can plan to hit those subjects harder. http://www.smartbarprep.com/

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inho2solo (Jun 27, 2017 - 8:37 pm)

I studied for the bar while working full time. Luckily my employer paid for the barbri books (and the lectures, but I wasn't able to attend most of the lectures due to workload). I was also married with a working wife and two babies in the house at the time (1 and 2.5 years old), and the wife sick as a dog all the time pregnant with #3.

It wasn't really much problem from my viewpoint. But I tend to punch a bit above my weight class when it comes to tests, and have used that as a rationale for slacking off. Also, I don't sleep much.

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joecoder (Jun 28, 2017 - 1:11 am)

If you pass the first bar exam, you'll be halfway there. You'll have learned about bar study and what works for you.

I passed a second state while working 45+ hours a week.

I did practice multiple choice and bought used barbri materials for the second state.

I mostly reviewed the person's lecture notes because that is what I felt helped me the most on my first state's exam.

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