Work During Bar Exam?

by Dustin on

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The question often comes up with some bar exam students who are currently working, “Should I work and study for the bar exam at the same time?”

Answer… It depends on you.

The benefits of NOT working and studying simultaneously may be:

1) You can give the bar exam the full time and attention it’s due.

2) You can feel less overburdened and stressed, without having a job and bar exam on your plate.

3) You are available during the day to attend lectures for a bar prep program.

Benefits FOR working and studying may be:

1) You can keep your job.

2) You continue to make money for two months to support yourself and family if you have one.

3) You have something to take your mind off bar studying.

4) Working, then studying makes your mind more sharp and you become more efficient.


Here are few questions to consider:

1) Can you financially afford not to work?

2) Can you manage your energy working 8 hours a day, then another 3 to 4 hours at night and on the weekends?

3) What would be the worst that happened if you stopped working?

4) What would be the worst that happened if you continued working?

5) Will you be able to study if you were working?

6) Are you one of those people who just ‘gets it’ when studying and needs to put in less time than others when preparing for exams?

Ask yourself these questions and really be honest with yourself.

The bar exam does take a certain amount of time, effort, and energy to do well and pass.  Make sure you take it seriously and give it that attention and energy.  There’s no point in going for it, if you’re only going to do a half-baked job on it.

That being said, many people are perfectly comfortable with studying nights and weekends for their bar exam.  If this is you, go for it!

I would recommend people do not work during their bar exam prep, but I believe even stronger than it’s a matter of personal preference.

If you can, find a compromise with your employer.  Any of these following are potential options:

1) Take one day off per week.

2) Take a couple weeks off before the bar exam so you can really focus.

3) Work from home.

4) Work less hours per day.

If your employer is in the legal field, it’s probably safe to assume they WANT you to pass the bar exam.  Hopefully, they can empathize, be understanding of your situation, and be accommodating to allow you to have the time to study you require for passing.

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