Bar Exam Survival Tips, Because You Need All The Help You Can Get


Throughout most of the country right now it is graduation season. Across thousands of colleges and high schools, scores of new graduates are celebrating remarkable academic accomplishments with their families, all while planning for a future full of hope and possibility. YOU on the other hand went to law school, so your graduation felt either like (at best) a giant waste of time, or (more likely) a forced party designed to temporarily distract you from the inevitable horror show abyss that awaits you. That’s because (duh) the bar exam is coming, and if you aren’t freaking the fuck out now you should be.

Now obviously every individual’s method of handling the bar exam is different, especially given the wide range of difficulty that the exam itself presents. Some states like California make the test as onerous and terrible as they possibly can in an effort to discourage more Orly Taitzs from having bar cards. (However, I passed the first time, so obviously the system is flawed.)  Other states try to avoid California’s precedent of creating a test that arguably breaches the Geneva Convention, and you probably won’t have a nervous breakdown studying for it. Probably.

Nevertheless, there are some tips that are more or less universal to this terrible hazing experience that we force law school graduates to endure, and as such we here at Bitter Lawyer have a duty to present them to you:

[Trinidad James voice] Disposable Everything


You’ve probably heard that using plastic utensils and paper plates is a good way to save time during the three months that you’re supposedly studying day and night for this test, and indeed this is good advice. However I suggest taking it a bit further. If you really want to maximize the amount of time you have to study for the test, don’t even consider irrelevant things like “the environment” or a “cost benefit analysis” (because that shit’s not on the bar). Instead invest in disposable everything.

For example instead of washing your clothes, order three months worth of plain t-shirts and sweatpants. Then wear each item of clothing until it literally rots off your body. This is how Genghis Khan and his followers conquered half the world and it will work great for practicing PT exams.



Wasn’t ConLaw way easier to understand in its entirety when you read the cases on weed? Well, the time for understanding is over and now you have to figure out how to pack an ungodly amount of law learnin’ into that irreparably damaged noggin of yours. As such it’s time to switch out the weed for good old pharmaceutical grade amphetamines. Do you have a prescription for law steroids? GREAT! Are you buying it from your dipshit cousin who needs rent money? EVEN BETTER AND MORE FELONIOUS!

Lawyers and Nazis on the Western Front swear by the glorious god of Adderall, and for good reason. This drug turns you into an unfeeling machine of accomplishment for the most mundane shit in the world (e.g. practicing MBE’s or invading Paris). Your weed stash, on the other hand, represents unnecessary things like happiness and relaxation that could sabotage your goal of passing this goddamn test. So listen to me, the Cannabarrister, and put a loved one in charge of your weed and with strict instructions to only give it to you when you’re doing essay outlines in your head instead of sleeping (this will happen by the way).

Personify the enemy

paul ryan

I used the above meme as my motivation to keep doing awful shit like re-learning the rule against perpetuities when I’d rather do something more worthwhile like slamming my balls in a dresser drawer. Something about Paul Ryan’s awful, smirking dork face reminded me why I went to law school in the first place (making rich people miserable) and it kept me on task. Find your Paul Ryan  and give him the finger everyday before you crack open the Barbri book.

Plan the celebration


When you’re spending 8-10 hours a day pounding your brain with an inhumane mass of information (50% of which won’t even be on the exam), it can get a bit…ummm overwhelming. Do yourself a favor and take about 5 minutes a day to craft a small vacation for yourself and a few dozen loved ones. Make planning this demure, modest, reasonably safe party (that in no way should feature illicit drugs and sex acts that push the bounds of Lawrence v. Texas) something to look forward to every day.

Study, you idiot

Yeah, this test is going to suck hard. Your relationships are going to suffer even more than they already have since you made this ridiculous decision to go to law school. Three months of the “protein bars and diet coke” diet is going to ruin your health for the next year. More than likely you still don’t have a job and passing this test only means that you’re licensed to provided legal advice to the other hobos in the soup kitchen line this Thanksgiving. But with all that said, the worst part about the bar is taking it twice, so do everything short of murder (unless you are sure you can get away with it) to guarantee that you pass this motherfucker.


[Featured post image via Shutterstock]

Originally posted May 2015.

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