This is a great and common question! The answer… it strictly depends on you. It is nearly impossible to give a straight, generic answer to this question because we all think and study differently. It will depend on 1) the skills and knowledge you’ve already gained in law school, 2) what form of bar prep you are using, and 3) your own energy levels.
People ask this question because they want to feel comforted by having an idea of how much time they should put to studying, which is perfectly natural. However, rather than focusing on the amount of time you should spend; instead focus on what you are spending your time doing (a post on how to best spend your study time is coming soon).
You will probably be a lot more driven, focused, and effective if your daily schedule reads, “Do 35 Criminal law multiple choice questions and review answers” as opposed to “spend two hours studying criminal law.”
I’m certain at one point or another during law school, we have all stared into the dark mist of our case book for hours upon hours. Although we technically spent time studying, we didn’t accomplish anything. Or we have all probably read the wrong case assignment and showed up to class, eventually realizing we were completely unprepared. These are examples of spending time but not doing anything or doing something that was ineffective.
That being said, you’re probably still itching for a magical number as to how many hours a day you should study. Although, I can’t give you a specific figure, I can probably give you some minimum and maximum thresholds to balance yourself in between.
If I had to add up the total time I spent preparing for my bar exam, it would probably average about five or six hours per day outside of my four-hour barbri lectures. Some days I spent ten hours. Some days I spent zero.
I would advise you don’t spend any less than four hours a day on average and no more than eight. Remember, this is an average amount. If you can handle the eight hour plus days, more power to you. Personally, I didn’t think it was necessary, and I certainly wasn’t a law school genius. Don’t slack off and not put the time, but also make sure you don’t burn out by putting in too much time.
Remember the quote, “The time it takes is the time you have.” Sometimes you can get more done in less time.
We wish you success in passing your bar exam!
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