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In nearly 40 years of mentoring law students and others to pass the bar, one of the most compelling factors to produce success should be the candidate’s resolution to begin the bar preparation sooner than later.

Generally, the culture of bar prep runs counter to this proposition, with most delaying the main thrust of their preparation until at or near graduation. Even repeat applicants often wait longer than they probably should – unwilling to prepare until negative bar results signal the need to do so (or, understandably, just due to fatigue).

The message: If this picture sounds familiar, think outside the box: Have a sense of urgency in avoiding this most costly mistake of others – prepare for the bar on your terms in taking advantage of more time to get ready. In this, don’t let the bar course dictate when you start. Think about your individual needs that may require more time due to family or work or just the assimilation of having to learn so much material. Put another way: Think of the “usual” 10 or 12 weeks of time just before the bar as the final stage of your preparation – not the starting point – where instead you work to “perfect and polish” your test-taking skills for each of the three sections of the bar.

Acting on your sense of urgency to prepare for the bar can be the starting point for your successful performance in passing it.


Paul Pfau © 2015 All Rights Reserved

Paul Pfau is a retired Los Angeles County deputy district attorney and the owner of Cal Bar Tutorial Review, which has been customizing bar review programs for 40 years. For more information about Cal Bar Tutorial Review, call (800) 348-2401 or (800) 783-6168. Web site: