Antonio de la Esperanza
LLM #1 - 8 early recommendations for passing the Bar
As some of you may know, I am a Spanish trained lawyer that, after 3 years of practice decided to move to the US and enroll in an LLM at Georgetown University (here is my CV)
I will do some more posts about my experience in the LLM, my recommendations to any non-US lawyers (specially to Spanish ones because I know the market there) and how I think I managed to get a job offer in the US.
However, to me, the LLM was just the means to reach my ultimate goal of becoming a US lawyer and this implied passing the Bar (I chose the NY Bar), which I did. So here are a small number of things that may help you face the Bar a little bit more prepared:
1. The training takes about 2 and a half months, and those months are nothing like any previous you have gone through during the LLM;
2. You need to enroll in one of the bar courses (Kaplan, BARBRI, LLM BAR, etc.). They include barely 80% of the total syllabus, but they include all you need to know for passing;
3. Once you get a bar course, follow the schedule, no matter how demanding it is. This will allow you to know if you are on the right track;
4. Memorizing is key to success. You have to understand the concept, but memorization is required for some parts of the test;
5. Don't give up if during the first month you feel it is impossible to study/memorize. It is normal. You haven't had to memorize for the entire LLM plus any previous experience and getting back on shape takes time;
6. Prepare for the exam both mentally and physically. The exam is a 2-day, 6-hour/day challenge;
7. You need some off-time during the studying. The pressure is huge (both personally and from your peers) and studying for 12-14 hours a day over the summer is tough on the mind, so find time to have some fun, do some sport and enjoy a "cheat day"; and
8. The process is hard, but the materials aren't "that" hard (maybe evidence). It is just a lot to learn in a little time, but totally feasible. If you are qualified to sit for the bar, you are capable of passing.
So...to those of you thinking about taking the bar, good luck and let me know if I can help in any manner.
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