Paris Strachan – Class of 2016 – Self Care

Published on: Author: Bar Passage Support

Take Advantage of Free Resources

During law school I developed stress management techniques that I feel reduced my anxiety and enhanced my test taking abilities.  Attending the meditation group and free yoga classes at school helped me to develop the stress management techniques.

Do What Feels Right

Because law school is so expensive, taking the courses I was interested in and focusing on clinical practice were more valuable to me than taking bar classes, so I only took two.  In the end, what I loved learning helped me tremendously in the exam. For example, writing for different types of clients in clinical practice was incredibly useful on performance tests.  I paid attention to the study methods that resulted in success for me during school and applied those to my bar exam preparation.


Right after graduation I celebrated with all my friends and family.  It was important for me to take a day to acknowledge the accomplishment of finishing law school and be proud of myself before turning towards the bar.  This gave me a burst of enthusiasm that I needed to move forward.

Make a Schedule (with breaks!) and Stick to it

I planned my study schedule around my bar review course and planned one day off each month.  This way I got to look forward to socializing and connecting with friends during those special days, and I could say no to everything else.  I followed the bar review course rigorously.  I stayed on track with and completed every assignment, and attended the in-person lectures even when they were recorded.  I did every practice essay provided and reviewed the sample answers to identify where I could be more concise, clear, and correct.

Simulate the Exam

The week before the exam I pretended it was the bar every day.  I woke up and ate breakfast, started at 9am, sat with earplugs and number two pencils and filled in a scantron, selected essay questions at random and wrote timed essays, and stopped at 12pm, etc.  Nothing will feel exactly like exam day does, but practicing the actual schedule made it feel more familiar and comfortable when I got to the real thing.

Take Care of Yourself

I continued taking free yoga classes at school – yes they still have them during bar prep!  I asked my partner for support and he made food for me and gave me space when I needed it.  I took breaks and walked in nature to be reminded that the world is much larger than one exam, so if I didn’t pass, everything would be as it should be.  If you build healthy stress management techniques while studying, they will become habit and support you through the exam.  Breathe.  You got this.

If you have questions, please email