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How to Organize Bar Materials

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Posted (edited)

(Not so) fun fact, someone from my school emailed the LSO long before the bar asking if we could have the binders donated to local schools after the exams and outlined a plan to make this happen without there being any integrity issues and the LSO very promptly said no :( 

Edited by CoffeeandLaw
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46 minutes ago, hermione said:

does anyone have any suggestions where to bind the matierals? 

Try the left side of the paper. Best for quick flipping.

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16 hours ago, hermione said:

does anyone have any suggestions where to bind the matierals? 

Staples. I bound my barrister materials to see how i'd like it before I went a second time to bind my solicitor material. Both times I dropped them off when the store opened and they were ready for pick up after lunch. 

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, FingersCr0ssed said:

Any suggestions on how to highlight? Or is highlighting a waste? Heard mixed reviews on here and elsewhere.

I think on the actual exam, the highlights aren't super helpful. The questions they ask are rarely the things you would have highlighted (I.e. they don't ask what year was x done). That being sad, I felt like having a strict highlighting regime prevented me from skimming. At least for me, when I read many dull pages in a row, sometimes I realize I didn't pay attention and can't even remember what I just read. I found highlighting kept me in more of an active state when reading.  

Edited by CoffeeandLaw
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it's very easy to gloss over stuff as the material is just so dense. Agree with above that highlighting keeps you honest with reading. 

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34 minutes ago, CoffeeandLaw said:

I think on the actual exam, the highlights aren't super helpful. The questions they ask are rarely the things you would have highlighted (I.e. they don't ask what year was x done). That being sad, I felt like having a strict highlighting regime prevented me from skimming. At least for me, when I read many dull pages in a row, sometimes I realize I didn't pay attention and can't even remember what I just read. I found highlighting kept me in more of an active state when reading.  

Thanks for the advice. Throughout school I've found myself to be the opposite. When I highlight I'm not actively reading just highlighting. I'll likely refrain for now and just write notes in the margin if necessary.

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3 minutes ago, FingersCr0ssed said:

Thanks for the advice. Throughout school I've found myself to be the opposite. When I highlight I'm not actively reading just highlighting. I'll likely refrain for now and just write notes in the margin if necessary.

I'll just add that I was not a "highlighter" through law school but found that highlighting bar materials was moderately helpful, both for keeping me focused while reading and for when I was furiously flipping pages during the bar exams. During the exam, I was often pretty confident that I knew an answer and "generally" where the information was located in the materials to confirm it, but I was able to find the specific information more quickly and with less effort thanks to my sparse highlighting.

I would advise you not to overdo it and while colour-coding can be helpful (e.g. time periods in blue, case names in green, etc.) I personally do not see value in more than 3 or 4 colours. I changed/streamlined my colour-coding strategy after the first 10-20 pages and I am very glad I did.

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50 minutes ago, FingersCr0ssed said:

Thanks for the advice. Throughout school I've found myself to be the opposite. When I highlight I'm not actively reading just highlighting. I'll likely refrain for now and just write notes in the margin if necessary.

Bar highlighting, at least how I did it, is very different from law school highlighting. When you are using 6, 7, even 8 colours, you have to focus because you have to decide which colour things fit in. It isn't like taking a yellow highlighter and highlighting anything you think is important. 

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From my recollection, there were no questions that required having to specify the name of a case.

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I started using a highlighter but stopped after a couple of sections. I found it most helpful to read for meaning and not for specific details. You need to know the subject matter a bit in a general sense so that you can answer the obvious questions without looking things up, and you need to know the lay of the land so that you know where to look when you don't know the answer. I did not find fine-tooth-comb highlighter reading to help me. Highlighted pages can also be distracting when you are trying to find an answer if you have a bunch of things highlighted that are not what you are looking for. Maybe it would help if you are using an index? I still think No Frills bags are the way to go

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Could someone please confirm whether the professional responsibility for the barrister and solicitor materials are the exact same (I.e. can I just photocopy my highlights on the barrister PR materials and put it in my solicitor PR materials)? 

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5 minutes ago, Positiveaffirmations said:

Could someone please confirm whether the professional responsibility for the barrister and solicitor materials are the exact same (I.e. can I just photocopy my highlights on the barrister PR materials and put it in my solicitor PR materials)? 

Can confirm! 

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Posted (edited)

I found it saved time since it helped me immediately see all of the statute law contained on a given page. Some questions did reference legislation.

Edited by Gandhi

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15 hours ago, Positiveaffirmations said:

Could someone please confirm whether the professional responsibility for the barrister and solicitor materials are the exact same (I.e. can I just photocopy my highlights on the barrister PR materials and put it in my solicitor PR materials)? 

Confirmed. But if there was a section to read twice, this would be it. I read it once and skimmed it a second time. 

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Any suggestions on the order to read the material? I've read that some people read some (almost all?) of the solicitor's material first, then barrister so that the barrister material is fresh for the the first exam. 

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5 hours ago, UnknownIdentity said:

Any suggestions on the order to read the material? I've read that some people read some (almost all?) of the solicitor's material first, then barrister so that the barrister material is fresh for the the first exam. 

So this one comes down to personal preference. I never liked studying for multiple exams as the same time. It's whatever works for you. I would focus on the Barrister exam, make sure you get through that completely at least once, with having read the PR section twice and practice problems. Try and then get through the Solicitor's at least half way, and then in the remaining two weeks finish the balance. You can skim through PR as you will have already read it twice (it's the same content for both exams). But whatever works for you. Just hit those books turn off your computer phone etc and prepare like your life literally depends on it. You don't want to be the person who has to repeat those 7+ hour exams. 

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I suggest eating the bar materials the morning of the exam to fully absorb the information.

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Regarding charts, I can see why for the barrister exam they would be helpful (timelines, appeal routes, etc.) However, for the solicitor exam were charts helpful? Or was it more efficient to simply use the index and find the answer in the materials? 

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