I barely passed bar school and as much as I have no regrets I cannot help but feel like maybe I should have done better. I decided to do this post because I spent my Sunday with a friend who is going to take the dreaded bar finals in a couple of months. We talked about a lot of things and most of it was about passing bar finals. That conversation birthed this blog post.
I laughed at people who had exam pens, exam underwear and items specially prayed on for their success at the Nigerian bar exam. Some even attended spiritual call to bar but could not make it to the actual call to the Nigerian bar. Of course one must pray concerning any given Endeavour (My belief; I am Christian) but do not give significance to things don’t matter. Faith without works the good book says is dead.
I am going to give 6 tips on how to do better than I have done in Law school.
Focus on the goal: Take your eyes off the environment. Water situation, horrible living situation (Lagos Campus mostly) epileptic electricity and mosquitoes, take your eyes off the rude tutors and seemingly insane uniform compliance people. Just take your mind off detractors, boys, girl drama etc and make your life goal acing the bar finals. Dream it, eat it, sleep it, live it. Empty your mind and fill it with Bar final thoughts.
Read Everything you are given: Read everything, study everything from class notes, to Blue books to textbooks. Do not leave anything behind, take no prisoners demolish and destroy totally this Amalekite. Remember what happened to Saul (King of Israel) in the bible where he spared people he should have destroyed? He lost favour with God. Do not loose favour with law school, read everything.
Master issue spotting: There is no choice on this, you must master issue spotting, you must be able to determine what is wrong, you must be able to see every situation as a potential law suit and you must bring up issues for determination, defenses and supporting arguments. Well this point is dependent on the next tip below.
Know the law: Master the law study and digest the law. I am not saying cram it like some idiots did back then in law school. I knew a guy who knew every statutes and case law by heart but totally sucked at application. Don’t be blind, approach law school intelligently. Do not cram information, study till you have a smooth understanding of the subject matter in question. Apply practical wisdom; don’t just know the law be able to apply it to your knowledge of issue spotting.
Reduce past question dependency: I cannot over emphasize this point, I really cannot. This was my major pitfall in my bar finals Endeavour. I was simply obeying the incessant voice on the stage. [Osamolu] He said study your past questions like a million times and I did, I studied it religiously. As much as I cannot say past questions weren’t helpful at all, it wasn’t great either. What it did was cage me. Even though I had studied all things I could humanly cover, past questions gave me false expectations. It caged my imaginations and I couldn’t think as deeply or as wide as I should have. So I think you should study keeping an open mind and just uses past questions minimally.
Intelligently answer exam questions: It’s common to hear lecturers in the Nigerian law school say don’t write too much, don’t do this do that. I think you can write as much as you want but you must answer the questions intelligently. Don’t just have the
understanding of the law and master issue spotting, you must have wisdom (Practical application of knowledge) I call it fluid understanding because you must be able to flow freely, you must be able to attack from whatever direction the questions come from. Keep an open mind. There is no particular way or direction, be ready from all directions.
I feel like I have wrapped up a million little things into these 6 points. These are not random things I cooked up. I coined them right out of all the mistakes I made while in law school. Learn from my mistakes. I wish everyone about to take the bar finals the very best of luck.