Sunday, June 05, 2005


Nota bene: do NOT read this if you aren't studying for a Bar exam. It'll be hella boring and .... really, that's reason enough

I haven't found my BarBri groove yet. I'm trying to figure out what mix of strategies works for me. Right now, this is what I do:
  • Go to class and take notes on the BarBri outline provided. (I'm planning to bring my laptop to the Torts lectures, since there is no handout thingo.)
  • Review that evening by typing in the info I took down into the Word version of the outline. I find this helpful b/c I basically go over each of the "teaching hypotheticals" again and reason it out.
  • After the topic is over, condense into my own outline. (For example, K went from 71 pages to 10.)
  • When I take the multiple-choice questions, I check my answers after each group associated with a particular fact pattern. (I tried doing it at the end, but I have often forgotten WHY I went with a certain wrong answer.)
  • I note what I got wrong, and the rule or trick in the question that I missed
  • Flashcards from my condensed outline and what I got wrong.

How am I doing? What are you doing that's working for you? I am taking the 3-day PMBR course at the end, but haven't touched those books. I have some of the CDs as well, but realised that I need my (very short) commute to class to NOT be about Bar prep.

Update: I outlined my first essay, and I realize that having an approach for each topic is going to be a REALLY good idea. I know BarBri gives us checklists, and I'll definitely use them, but there's something to be said for coming up with your own system. Kind of like an "issue spotter" list - I used these in law school and found them very helpful. SO - when the lectures on a topic are over, in addition to the condensed outline - I will write an issue spotter checksheet.


jm said...

I'm liking your idea of condensing outlines to a reasonable length. Actually, I love it. Rock on, Maisnon!

Other than that, I'm fighting the urge to be an uber-geek on the flashcards. I'm going to try not making flashcards for contracts unless I really need to...I fear flashcards are only good for so many subjects.

Chai said...

I am writing the outline into flashcards. When I am in class, I am generally active listening while turning the words of the speaker into flashcard questions. I make it a game of T/F, m/c, fill in the blank, and questions. I am a very game orientented person and love to compete with myself. But, that's just me.

I'm doing the q/a and checking the answer immediately trick as well. enjoy it, but get frustrated as well. i touched PMBR yesterday for the first time and thought the questions were a lot harder, freaked out, and closed the book. i don't like to compete w/myself to the point where i feel dumb. lol.

i think starting pmbr questions is a good thing. more practice on M/C and pointing out weaknesses.

the pmbr cds are also good enforcement of each topic. so, i listened to a few of them before the barbri started. have to start that up again.

so, in a nutshell....this is my plan/suggestions...i think you are doing great...keep up the mental spirits..thats the key.

eve said...

Your process sounds similar to mine right now. I take notes by hand at BB lecture, then index them immediately after class. During study time, I transfer the main concepts to flashcards. Then I read the pertinent parts of the mini-outlines [helps me to read them AFTER lectures, rather than before]. Then on to the questions and all.

I'll probably save the outlines and checklists for the very end, since that's my usual process.

Good luck!! :)

Roonie said...

Let's see, my strategy thus far (which I'm kinda doubting) is such:

-Go to BAR/BRI and take notes
-Review the notes after class
-Do questions and make note cards of the law from all of them.

That's about it. I need to develop a strategy in attacking the essays, but I don't think I know enough law to competently answer one in as much detail as they seem to want.

I'm wondering if I should be doing a little more with my class notes like you guys are. The thing is, the notes aren't comprehensive. That worries me. If I've read the Conviser before class, I notice what's missing from the lecture. And I know they say don't spend too much time on it, but hell, you have to have at least SEEN it. But then again, I don't think I'm doing ENOUGH with my notes. And that is a problem, too, since the questions can't possibly hit all the points, either. Argh. I have such a problem INTEGRATING!

maisnon said...

Fayza: I noticed the same thing - that the class notes aren't comprehensive. BUT, you can't know it all.

I actually did my "preview" with Conviser yesterday and came to the same conclusion as eve, makes more sense to read AFTER the lecture. There are some helpful tips, CHARTS, etc. in there.

SO - I'm going to add going through the CMR right after making my condensed outline.

suitablegirl said...

wow, you were right...if one isn't studying for the bar, one should NOT read this. ;)

oh, and it's not boring-- nothing you write could be. it's just incomprehensible. for us mortals. y'know? :)

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to wish all of you luck through these months. As someone who passed two years ago I would only say that as important as it is to study and work through what they give you, its equally important to give yourself time to breathe. Take a night off once in a while, enjoy a movie, catch dinner with a friend. Trust me, this will help you keep your sanity more than anything else. Good luck!!

Anonymous said...

How the fuck did I not think of retyping my hand notes into the Barbri Word thingie?? HOW?? Am I really this stupid?? Maybe I shouldn't be a lawyer.

Not being sardonic - I really am mad I didn't figure this crap out sooner! ARGH, that Barbri.