The answer is a resounding no. You do not need to, nor should you, spend 10,000 hours studying for the California Bar Exam 2015.
Recently, we have all been hearing about the idea, written by Malcolm Gladwells in his book Outliners that in order to be successful at any activity, one needs to spend 10,000 hours on it.
This has caused law students, LL.M. Bar Exam takers, and Out-of-State Attorney’s seeking admission to the California Bar needless concern and anxiety.
No law student or attorney spent 10,000 hours studying for the California bar exam. And if they did, it’s a terrible idea. It causes burn out, stress, and general bar madness. A male student, normally vibrant and buff, came up to me in the Café at Loyola Law School. I barely recognized him. He has lost 20 pounds of muscle, exhausted, dark circle under his eyes, and on the verge of tears. When I asked him what’s wrong, he replied: “ I’m in a low cost online bar review course, I’ve been trying to spend 10,000 hours studying, but I’m getting nowhere. I’m sitting behind my computer 12 hours a day. The course has provided almost no feedback, except on 3 essays. I’m self-grading my performance tests, and practice essays. I’m writing and re-writing, and I’m trying to memorize everything. I’m putting in my thousands of hours, but to no avail.”
He is trying to reach the 10,000 hours in an effort to guarantee passing the California Bar. The magic number that Gladwell has come up for “greatness” is 10,000 hours. However, to pass the California Bar Exam, you do not need to achieve greatness, only “minimal competency.”
You can never achieve “greatness” on a standardized test, over a three-day period. It’s like trying to drive for 10,000 hours so you can pass your driver’s exam.
Here’s the true California Bar exam magic on how to pass the California Bar Exam. Quality time over quantity time. Spend less time mindlessly trying to memorize thousands of pages of big bar review materials, and do what’s effective.
Take a smaller or local personal, live bar review (or online) that gives you Simulated Exams every weekend, detailed, personal, grading and feedback for the Essays and Performance Tests. Attend class where you can ask questions live, or e-mail questions to mentors, graders, and tutors. Make sure those tutors, mentors, professors, actually took and passed the California Bar Exam and are intimately familiar with it. For 28 years, BarWinners has had overwhelming long-terms success helping students pass the California Bar Exam. It is due to the quality of instruction, materials, and simulated exams with feedback, personal attention, and help.
Courtesy of BarWinners