The Bar Passage Success Stories and Strategies blog provides recent alumni with a forum for sharing what helped them prepare for and pass the bar exam.
“UC Hastings students who are thinking about how to prepare for the bar exam are not alone,” said Associate Dean for Academic and Professional Success Morris Ratner. “Recent alumni are eager to share their experiences and talk 1:1 with students who have questions about bar study strategies.”
The graduates who contributed blog posts were asked to reflect on the choices they made in law school or while studying for the bar exam after graduation that most contributed to their success. “Each blog post includes a picture of the successful graduate and his or her contact information,” said Academic and Professional Success Lecturer Margaret Greer. “This isn’t just an advice column,” she said. “It’s a way to connect.”
The bloggers identify a range of practices that helped them succeed on the bar exam. For example, Christine Doelling ‘16 focused on eliminating distractions. “I wrote a letter to my family and loved ones explaining that I wouldn’t be available very often, and then I went to a cabin on the coast for a few weeks to start studying.”
On the other hand, Patrick Andrews ’15 attributes his success to his reliance on the outlining techniques he used in both law school and while studying for the bar exam. “Outlining forced me to actively engage in the material and find my problem areas. In turn, when it came time for bar prep, I had an idea of where I struggled and where I excelled.”
Despite these differences among the UC Hastings graduates who passed the bar, Dean Ratner suggests that some clear patterns emerge, including the importance of bar subject classes, learning legal analysis while in law school, creating one's own course and bar outlines, and minimizing distractions while studying for the bar exam. “The blog posts contain mostly common-sense advice,” Dean Ratner said. “What makes the advice powerful is that it's embedded in our graduates' own stories and shared experiences.”
“The blog is one generation of UC Hastings graduates reaching out a helping hand to the next,” Ratner said. “That is UC Hastings at its best.”