Today’s postcard is from freshly minted lawyer, Lené Alley DeRudder, who runs Lawyers in Training. She recently made a post on her website in regards to the Bar exam, which I feature as a postcard today.

As a recent Texas Bar survivor, I can honestly say it is not that bad.

After the July 2009 Texas Bar I asked several of my peers “how was it?”  I heard everything from “it was worst than I expected” to “I rather have been run over by a Mack truck.”  Big mistake – I was mentally psyched out six months before I began studying for the Bar (I almost feel it should be referred to as “the test that shall not be named.”)  This did not serve me well.

During my Bar studying, a dear friend that had passed the Bar kept saying “it’s a mental game.”  He was right.  Once I mentally and emotionally settled down I was able to focus and study more effectively.  At that point I was in the zone, and it was great.  I know that sounds odd, but it was great – I enjoyed seeing my progress and the more I progressed, the more I was motivated.

I am sharing this story with you because I want you to know it is not that bad.  What I discovered going through the process was preparing for the Bar does require a lot of time, energy, and focus, BUT the Bar is not this horrible monstrous thing.  It is manageable.

So, here’s my advice: (1) trust yourself – you know how you learn best; (2) pace yourself – it is a mental marathon and a steady pace will serve you best; and (3) take “mental health” breaks – you cannot neglect your entire life, schedule time with family, friends, fitness, or whatever you enjoy; that time only makes your study time more productive.

Good luck all and remember, it is not that bad.

Mrs. DeRudder offers some very solid advice. The Bar is built up over the course of a law student’s time in school as a frightening and insurmountable monster – and it is difficult. However, you’ve spent the past three years of your life learning about the law and, ideally, at least two to three on bar prep exclusively. This should be about as prepared for something as you will ever be in your life, and you chose to be there. Embrace it.

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