Benefits of Early Bar Prep For LLM Students
LLM students are usually foreign-trained lawyers who want to be able to practice law in the United States. In order to accomplish this, these LLM students must take and pass a bar examination in an eligible jurisdiction. Many LLM students struggle with studying for and passing a bar exam in a United States jurisdiction. Some unique challenges these LLM students face include a potential language barrier, a different level of legal coursework completed during the LLM program, and inadequate ability to prepare for the bar exam due to employment and other life obligations. In this post, we cover the benefits of early bar prep for LLM students. Likewise, we also discuss how LLM students can make the most of an extended bar prep schedule.
Benefits of Early Bar Prep For LLM Students
More Time to Cover More Topics
LLM students often take fewer classes than students pursuing a Juris Doctor degree. This is largely due to the structure of the LLM program. Unlike a JD program, an LLM program is usually one year (full-time) or two years (part-time). As such, it is inevitably harder for LLM students to enter bar prep with the same amount of background and knowledge of the American legal system compared with students who have obtained a JD.
One benefit of early bar preparation for LLM students is it provides students time to study bar exam subjects. This includes subjects that might be unfamiliar to an LLM student, either because they did not have the opportunity or merely did not choose to take a class on the subject. Choosing to begin prepping earlier than Juris Doctor students offers LLM students more time to delve deeper into these topics.
Many LLM students also tend to be employed during their LLM program, including being employed in a full-time capacity. This leaves less time per day to study for the bar exam. Students should not have to choose between working to support themselves and their families or passing the bar exam. Making the decision to study early and designing a plan for studying that fits the student’s life circumstances and responsibilities are crucial steps in the early bar prep process to set oneself up for success.
For a one-year LLM program, studying could begin as soon as a few months into coursework. A crucial part of early bar preparation for LLM students is planning ahead. This may include purchasing a bar prep program that they can complete on their own schedule. JD Advising offers premium on-demand instruction for bar prep students.
English as a Second Language
Many LLM students face the unique challenge of not having a native proficiency in the English language. We would argue that the bar exam can be difficult enough even with native English proficiency—it’s the legalese that can be overwhelming. An additional benefit of early bar preparation for LLM students is that the student will have more time to get comfortable with the verbiage of the bar exam. This is key to ensuring full competency of the questions being asked and preparing answers to those questions.
One of the most difficult tasks for LLM students without native English proficiency is the written parts of the bar examination. While we seek to inform, and not just tell you about our valuable products, JD Advising has multiple free resources to help students calibrate their legal essay writing for the MEE and MPT.
Reduce Anxiety, Increase Confidence
Making a dedicated effort to early bar preparation as an LLM student –-or any student, for that matter—is the benefit of feeling reduced anxiety and a corresponding increase in confidence. Yes—it is absolutely normal to have some anxiety surrounding your bar exam preparation! However, LLM students tend to have higher rates of anxiety for some of the reasons already detailed in this blog: shorter legal education, a potential language barrier, the need to adjust bar preparation to many different life circumstances, and so on. However, early bar preparation can make LLM students feel more in control and thus curbing some anxiety.
This feeling of control over bar exam preparation, in conjunction with maintaining a solid plan to follow, can lead to a boost in confidence. Early bar exam preparation for LLM students is about leveraging time to gain more legal knowledge, ensuring English competency, managing bar prep with real-life obligations, and mitigating the negative mental effects of stress and bar prep anxiety.
In all, LLM students can best poise themselves to succeed on a United States jurisdiction bar exam with early preparation. Sign up for our early bar prep email campaign! We send you a tip once a week from January 1 through the July bar exam!