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The bar exam and the playoffs have a few common keys to success.

The NBA Playoffs, the Bar Exam, and You

For new law grads, early summer means bar exam preparation. For the NBA, it means playoffs. The bar exam and the playoffs have a few common keys to success:

1. Look ahead: Like the NBA regular season, law school really doesn’t matter at this point. The bar exam doesn’t care whether you were at the top or bottom of your class; it treats everyone the same. In these NBA playoffs, the team with the best record in the league, the San Antonio Spurs, didn’t make the Finals. Philadelphia, which barely qualified for the postseason, almost beat Atlantic Division-champion Boston in the second round.

2. Don’t panic: The Thunder reached the championship series after falling behind 2-0 in the Western Conference Finals to a Spurs team that hadn’t lost since April. Likewise, a rough start on exam day doesn’t have to doom your chances as long as you keep a cool head. When I took the exam, my computer decided to quit as I was finishing the first question. I started handwriting my answers. I passed.

3. Stay healthy:  The NBA playoffs last about two months. So does bar exam prep. During that time, you are (or should be) working very, very hard. But remember, the bar exam is both physically and mentally demanding. You have to keep yourself sharp by eating well, getting enough sleep and exercising. Take some time to have fun. Read a book. Go swimming. Watch some basketball.

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