Students in their 3L year may feel like they overcame most obstacles. They finally learned how to take an exam, or at least, how to get an average performance, good enough to not be expelled from law school. By now they may not care about grades and they may feel like they just want to graduate so that can get out of school. However, there is some wrapping-up that must be done before they graduate. Here are some helpful tips for 3Ls, so that they can have a smooth year:

1. Take bar-tested classes.

We tutor for these classes! Although during your 3L year it may be tempting to take only electives that interest you, or easy classes, you want to make sure that you are taking some bar electives. Leaving yourself with a lot of studying to do last minute, especially for classes you have never even taken, is disastrous. Imagine this – your professor usually takes 4 months to teach you something. But you may only have 3-7 days to learn an entire subject during your bar prep course.

2. Understand graduation requirements.

Visit your law school registrar’s office. You do not want a requirement to sneak up on you during your last semester. Imagine having to take a writing requirement class or having to meet a point or credit-based criteria, when you were planning to focus on bar-tested courses alone.

3. Decide where you will take the bar.

Taking the bar exam in a certain state may cause you to make certain decisions in life. Some of them will be simple – what bar prep program to select, what testing accommodations to select, what deadlines you must meet for that state bar. More importantly, taking the bar in a certain state means you are licensed to practice in that state. If you plan to move in the future, you may want to consider taking the bar in that other state.

4. Find out your state’s admission requirements.

If you know where you are going to sit for the bar exam, look up your state’s admission requirements. The National Conference of Bar Examiners has compiled a PDF with admission information for all jurisdictions available for download. Typically, states include multiple administrative requirements, such as filling out an application or moral character determination, as well as exam requirements, such as the bar exam and likely the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE). You don’t want to be surprised by anything. Do your research and make sure you get everything done in a timely manner.

5. Take the MPRE in November.

If you didn’t take the August MPRE, please sign up for the November exam. It is critical that you get this exam out of the way. You want to give yourself the opportunity to take it again, if necessary, without risking your admission timeline.

6. Start your admission paperwork.

Most states have an application for bar admission. Some are called “moral character” or an application for admission. Regardless, the application typically requires you to compile massive amounts of information about your life. These forms are incredibly important and time-consuming. But you must make sure they are accurate and truthful. The last thing you want is for your application to be flagged by the state bar to delay your admission. In addition, if you have anything of concern in your past that you are going to need to report, it may be wise to seek advice on how to report it to the state bar (i.e. issues with a past arrest or even issues with credit or debts). If you have any doubts, you should seek guidance from an expert on reporting such issues. Do not wait until the last minute to fill this paperwork out! You do not want it to distract from your bar study or delay your bar admission.

7. Select a bar review provider.

We tutor for the bar exam! In fact, you may have heard about us at TBT – The Bar Tutor. And contrary to what some bar exam providers may tell you, you do not need to sign up for a bar review course in your first year. It is in the third year that you have the information you need to select a bar review provider that will be right for you. So do your research. There are more options out there than you think. And when you research different providers, look into how the lectures are delivered, how flexible the study schedule is, and what your own individual needs might be. Do not forget to consider costs. Technology has allowed some providers to offer products at a discount if classes are taken all online. With a little thought and some research, you can make the best decision for you as you go into your bar prep.

8. Do some sort of exercise or activity on a regular basis.

Your 3L year can be stressful as will the bar exam prep period. However, you want to make sure you are taking care of yourself and creating good habits for coping with stress that will stay with you during the bar prep season. For many, this is making sure you incorporate some sort of exercise into your schedule.

9. Do something fun daily at 2:00 in the afternoon.

One of the things lawyers miss most about going to work after their 3L year was the loss of flexibility in their schedule. No more running errands in the middle of the day or taking a 2:00 p.m. jog through the park. So make sure you enjoy this while you can! Sure, 3L year is stressful, but this, for most of us, will be the last time we will be in school. So make the most of it!

LST – Law School Tutor assists students in achieving high grades, in order to ensure that they have better academic opportunities during law school and better job opportunities after law school.

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