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Alan Paperny - five tips for law students preparing for the bar exam

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Alan Paperny, an alumnus of Boston University School of Law, empathizes with recent law school graduates. Following graduation, law students around the United States experience a mix of emotions. Students are overwhelmed with the euphoria of finishing school.

Simultaneously, with their schooling finished, these students must also start to worry about the bar exam. It is the next big hurdle for students who are used to jumping hurdles, yet it can be very stressful for some. Alan Paperny suggest a few things students can do to ensure they are not among the small number of people each year who will fail the exam.

1. Alan Paperny Suggests Taking a Review Course

Many students wonder whether they really need to expend the additional money to take a bar review course. Alan Paperny gives a definitive yes. Law school is very instructive; students learn many things. Often times, though, it does not teach students the substantive black letter law that they will need to know in order to pass a state bar exam. Many schools offer classes geared toward the bar, but they are not enough to guarantee success. A bar review course will give students the knowledge base that they need in order to succeed.

2. Practice Tests are Key

Many law students learned to take practice tests while preparing for the LSAT. The bar exam is another test that requires practice. There is no better way to familiarize yourself with the material than by engaging it in a test format. If you take the bar review course, then you will have the practice tests that you need. If not, you will need to purchase practice tests online.

3. Develop a Study Routine

Law students often have a tendency to overdo things. It can be very easy to study too much for the bar in the early going, and when you do this, burnout can be a major issue. The key is to get yourself into a good study routine, putting in two to three hours per day in addition to the time you spend in your bar review course. Find a time that works well, and don’t feel the need to constantly hit the books. If you study for a small amount of time each day, you will be prepared when the test rolls around.

4. Focus Areas Most in Need of Improvement

With the bar exam, you simply need to know a little bit about a large number of subjects. It tests basic knowledge, so you are better off focusing on those areas of law that you have not seen before. You shouldn’t try to become an expert in any one area. Once you have the basics down, you should move on to other subjects. It can be difficult to know when you have studied enough for one area, and this is where practice exams truly come in handy.

5. Take a Break Before the Bar

Smart law students will give themselves a short break before the exam. They will take one week off to decompress. This is essential for those students who want to absorb the information after taking a review course. This may seem difficult or counterintuitive when every other student is stressed, but a smart student will benefit from this period of time.


There is no question that preparing for the bar exam is stressful. Fear of failure looms large in the mind of recent grads. However, students who put in the work should have no problem passing, though. By following these preparation tips, Alan Paperny is confident students will walk into the bar exam feeling prepared and empowered.


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