My secrets in passing the bar…(Part 2.1)

At last! Part 2.1 of my “bar passing” secrets! I think I have recovered enough (thanks to the “Filipino-Chinese Names” Joke in The Dubai Chronicles) to write this blog…

The most logical way to tackle the possible solutions to passing the bar is the match it with part 1. So here goes…

1. To lack of stock (or stack knowledge…can someone at least tag me what is the correct term?)

To some, this is a question of raw talent or ability. Some people have photographic memories. To others, it is a question of determination.

Since there are only a few people with such memory prowess, I have to push for determination. So how do you do it?

Simple. Treat your whole law school years as one big review. You know your abilities and take extra efforts to “savor” each case, each provision of law your teacher assigns. When the teacher assigns five sections, study ten. Then go back to the five assigned. Same goes for those in review. Extra effort.

You may be saying, “I don’t have the time,” and/or “I don’t want to do the extra effort in school.” Then, I will say to you, “It’s time to question your determination to become a lawyer.” If you don’t have time, make time.

Sometimes, it helps to write notes while studying, or even copy in your notes important phrases or provisions. The act of copying such provisions makes sure that such have “passed through” or “processed by” the brain. And once processed, it’s already there, hence contributing to your stock knowledge.

Now this portion will be very harmful to marker or dermatograph manufacturers. I suggest you discard that completely. During my review, I just read the books without marking them.

This may be very hard to do but consider the following:

a. Marking takes time. Sure it takes merely seconds to mark. But consider if you add all those seconds how many hours would you save in a six-month period? You could have used that for sleep. You could have used this period to improve your handwriting. You could have used this extra time to deal with your excess baggage. See what I mean?

Try reading some speed reading books, they’ll often advise you to trash marking…

b. Marking is useless. If you mark like all of us, you’ll notice that you need to mark all of them. Hence, your marking will just be reduced to the simple mechanical task of CHANGING THE COLOR OF THE PAGE. One of my professors (who I owe so much) once remarked: “You better just mark the ones that are NOT important.”

So if you’re going to mark them all, why mark at all? (That’s sounds so much like the late Johnny Cochran…If the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit…)

c. Marking is a mere psychological crutch. It’s a safety blanket. It’s just something to show yourself and the whole world (or at least your world) that you read the book or the case. But through it all, marking just reduces you to a mechanical act without the intellectual act of “savoring” what you read. So you marked it. That does not mean you even read it at all. Or even understood it. It didn’t even go through your brain. No processing, no stock knowledge.

d. Marking is extra expense. Need I say more? The could have gone to additional xeroxed review materials. Or extra food. An additional movie. An iPod perhaps? (That would be A LOT of markers…)

Trust me. Let go of that marking habit and you’ll be better for it.

Next blog…Improving your English. (I’m sleepy already…)

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