| What’s so important about accountability when you study for the bar exam?
Plenty. In fact, it can be THE difference maker for many applicants and a key determinant for a successful bar exam result.
Keep reading to find out why…
One of things that I’ve learned is that bar takers tend to be naturally isolated. Even if you’re sitting in the big box bar review, elbow to elbow with the people that you despised for three years in law school, it still feels like a pretty individual, isolated experience.
|The reality is that when you’re isolated, when you feel like nobody really knows what you’re doing or not doing, it is very easy to become distracted. Let’s face it, hardly anyone gets up in the morning, (other than me perhaps!), and says,”I get to study for the bar exam today, how cool is that!”
It’s just something that you have to do, and because it’s not fun, and it’s a grind and a hard task, the reality is that your Facebook feed looks pretty interesting, and your Instagram account needs some updating, and oh look, there’s a cute video on YouTube of a cat or a dog doing some ridiculous thing, or maybe a small child just being adorable. The reality of all of this is that before you know it you’ve really blown up your study time and now you’re behind.
|When you’re not accountable to someone, or some other group of people, the reality is that you’re going to end up not using your time wisely, or perhaps not doing all the work that you need to do.
So what’s the answer?
What I’ve discovered over the years is that successful bar takers generally have some sort of an accountability group, or typically more then one individual that they report to and check in with on a regular weekly basis.
I heard a great example of this the other day in a podcast. The host was talking about accountability and said, “It’s much easier to be accountable if you’re in charge of a big company than a solo entrepreneur (or lawyer). So, if you’re Mark Zuckerburg, you’re accountable to your share holders and to your board of directors, and when you come to work if you’re the head of a large organization, that’s who you’re accountable to.”
It’s easy to get a lot of work done when you’re accountable to other people. But if you are a solo lawyer or a law student and you’re studying on your own, who are you accountable to? I think the answer for a lot of people is really no one. Being accountable to myself is a good start, but it’s usually not enough.
|An Action Step You Can Take Right Now
I want you to reach out and make a list of three to five people that you think you need to be accountable to when it come to your bar study. This might include your bar review mentor. (If you’re in our course, I absolutely want to be on that list!) If your bar review doesn’t know who you are and doesn’t care, okay, I don’t think they’re good to put on that list. I would look at close family members. mentors, teachers, people that you worked with, people who know you’re taking the bar, people who’s opinions matter to you.
Once you’ve identified these individuals, send each of them a note, or give them a call and just say, “I’m going to be studying for the bar exam coming up here in a few months and I really believe that I need to have just some accountability partners on this. Would you mind if once a week I just checked in with you by phone, or email, or some other way to just let you know what’s happening in my studies and how it’s going. I promise not to bore you with the details of the rule against perpetuities and so on, but I just want to let you know what I’m doing and if I’m not keeping up with the goals I’ve set I’d like you to hold me accountable for that.”
|If you do that you’re going to find that it really does spur you on. When you get up in the morning, instead of wasting away the time, now you think, “I’ve got to really say something to my spouse, or to my boss at a work, or to a professor, or a teacher, a mentor, a friend, someone who is a member of the bar, my bar review mentor, and I really have to do this work.” Being accountable will drive you in a way that I think otherwise is almost impossible to do.
|Joining a Private Group on Facebook for Accountability
I also want to suggest that another way to be accountable is to join a Facebook group. I admit that I said Facebook could be a time waste, however, there are some good uses for this social platform. One of them is our private Facebook group called The Extra Mile for Bar Exam Takers. If you’re in the Celebration Bar Review course you’re automatically entitled to membership in this group, but if you’re not a member of our course you can join the group for only $77 a month paid as a monthly subscription. Part of the reason there’s a fee is because we want you to participate and be an active part of the community.
|Our Facebook Group is a type of accountability group for those who may not be comfortable asking friends and family to do this task. It’s a place where you can post privately, (and your post will not show up anywhere else on Facebook) about what’s happening; your challenges, your successes, what your goals are that you’re setting,and how you’re doing with those. Within the group are current bar takers, past successful bar takers, as well as my staff and myself. In short, it’s designed for you to have a built-in accountability group.
So, that’s the first of 3 important habits you need to develop for success on the bar.
In the next couple of posts I’ll be talking about the other 2 habits for success: Scheduling and Measurement.
If you’d like to know more about these topics, check out our Podcast here or join us for our Free Master Class: “How to Make the NEXT Bar Exam Your Last Bar Exam.” Just click on the box below to reserve your Seat.