Studying for the bar exam is challenging. Balancing work and studying is brutal.
Reminder: Rob-tastic and IÂ teamed up with BarbriÂ to document and share our stories from studying for the July 2017 California Bar Exam.
Ruth is Stressed
This is what I posted on Facebook at 8am yesterday morning:
They say you don’t give us more than we can handle. Thank you for your faith in me to handle:
1. A high-stress job,
2. The California Bar Exam,
3. A car accident,
4. Questioning everything about my gender, and
5. A maternal figure [childhood gymnastics coach] with terminal cancer.
My hair was already turning gray without your help. Now, there are times I want to tear it out. [And I’ve shaved my head before.]
If you do anything to Rosie in the next year, I will fucking kill you.
Needless to say, it’s pretty stressful in the Land of Ruth, and that was before the opposition filed an unexpected memo in one of my litigation cases. So, I spent the day writing our objection to that instead of working on the client work I currently have on my plate: drafting a motion for summary judgment, reviewing a client’s contract, drafting a custom contract for a professional creative, and submitting a demand for arbitration.
My day was hijacked. I planned to leave the office by 1pm to keep up on studying, but I didn’t settle in to watch the lecture on civil procedure until 4:45pm. This week will be the first time I’m officially behind on the Barbri schedule. I had to submit an answer for a performance test question (like writing a legal memo) for grading and I took way more than the recommended 90 minutes to do it. I hope I can catch up this weekend.
One of the challenges of bar prep is there are no days off. I can’t â€œpush throughâ€ and do a late night tonight because I’ll set myself up to be too tired to work and study effectively tomorrow. There are no days off, so it’s best to be mindful of diet, exercise, sleep, and avoiding distractions each day.
Speaking of exercise, I miss it. For me, not exercising is not an option, except for times like now when I’m recovering from a car accident that messed up my neck and back. Running gives me the outlet I need to keep my stress in check. During my last bar prep, I ran, rode my bike, or did yoga every day. Thankfully, I’m finally feeling like my body is healing from this accident. I hope my doctor releases me to start jogging again soon.
Rob says Hello from Russia with Love
Rob-tastic is still across the pond, in St. Petersburg, Russia for the last week of his trip. He’s dealing with his own type of stress over there, as he said he hasn’t slept much in a few days because one of his roommates at the hostel, â€œsnored like he was laying down suppressing fire.â€ He â€œcoffee-zombiedâ€ through some studying, but mostly went sightseeing.
One thing Rob and I both noticed this week is that having experience doing litigation makes it easier to understand this subject â€“ especially for Rob because he has experience in both Arizona and Federal Civil Procedure. (I only have experience litigating in state court.) It’s easier for him to differentiate between the two rule sets and understand the corresponding vocabulary.
Civil procedure was challenging for both of us in law school. Having real-life experience to draw from makes studying for this portion of the test less challenging than when we studied for the Arizona Bar Exam.
That’s all for this week. If you have any questions about what we’re doing or how we’re doing, leave it as a comment below. If you want to send us good vibes via snail mail, that’s always welcome â€“ especially as our stress kicks up. Send us postcards atÂ Ruth and Rob, c/o Venjuris P.C., 1938 E. Osborn Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85016.Â (If you have a friend taking a bar exam this summer, send them one too. They’ll appreciate the love.)