Law Schools & Students

A Visual Study Guide for the New York Bar Exam

My understanding is that people are already studying for this summer’s New York bar exam. It surprised me a little to hear that, but I guess that’s because I personally nailed the NY bar after just deciding to take it on a whim one day and the only “preparation” I did was to change out of my footie pajamas. (None of that is true.) But if you are immersed in the fun of NY bar studies, or someone you know is, you might consider the New York Bar Picture Book by Wela Quan.

She describes the idea this way:

While I was studying for the bar, I struggled with trying to memorize dry legal textbooks. In order to get through the material, I drew big poster sized notes because I am a visual learner and doodled in the margins out of boredom. After a few years of practicing law, I turned back to these old notes, rewrote them, and added more cartoons in hopes that they could help others. This was how The New York Bar Picture Book was born.

In short, you can get the study notes (rewritten and reorganized) of somebody who took and passed the NY bar, laid out in picture-book form. It’s a 100-page hardback about a foot square. There are a lot more words than pictures, of course—these are bar-exam study notes—but the cartoons liven it up quite a bit.

First page of the Con Law section

Stuff that is specific to NY law is in red text to set it apart, which I thought was a nice touch.

The book is $35, but it’s a good-quality hardback, and if the different approach ends up helping you retain even a few of the random things that always show up on bar exams, then it’d end up having been a great investment, wouldn’t it have? Also a great gift for NY bar-takers you may know (or may once have known during the human phase of their existence). Especially if you packaged it with a bottle of vodka (or whatever), but you’d have to buy that separately.

You can order the book from Wela’s website or Amazon. (Disclosure: I got a free review copy but would not profit from either of these links.) If you use the discount code LOWERINGTHEBAR17 at her site you get free shipping within the US, so that might be better, unless maybe you have Amazon Prime like a civilized person.

Not that I’m civilized, but I do have Prime. Actually, I got it last year just so I could watch The Man in the High Castle, which I think is a great Amazon series (based on a great book) about an alternate history in which most of America is ruled by a fascist who lives in a New York skyscraper.

Chilling!

Anyway, if you, too, live in New York, or if you are studying for the bar exam or know someone who is, consider the New York Bar Picture BookAnd good luck. To all of us.