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Barrister - 20 Day Study Plan


Ribbons

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Ribbons
  • Law Student

Hey folks, I am taking the Ontario bar exams for the first time in June and realize that building a study plan can be overwhelming for some folks. So, I just thought I would share my study approach in case there is someone who is finding the idea of breaking this down very overwhelming. I am starting with PR to give myself an easy win and figure out highlighting/tabbing, but I know some folks recommend doing it last. The following plan is based entirely on how much I know my brain can do in a day (~50 pages of reading; some folks may be able to do way more or way less) and my availability. This plan aims for <5 hours of studying every day for 6 days a week. I haven't mapped out my Solicitor plan in detail but I can post that once I do if it is helpful for people. I am a few days into this study plan and have found it is working really well, but I am sure I will have to adjust it as life happens. 

Day 1 - Chapter 1-6 PR

Day 2 - Chapter 7-13 PR 

Day 3 - Chapter 14-15 and PR Practice Questions

Day 4 - Chapter 16-25 Civil

Day 5 - Chapter 26-29 Civil

Day 6 - Chapter 30-33 Civil

Day 7 - Chapter 34-35 Civil and Civil Practice Questions 

Day 8 - Chapter 36-41 Crim

Day 9 - Chapter 42-46 Crim

Day 10 - Chapter 47-49 Crim and Criminal Practice Questions

Day 11 - Chapter 50-56 Family

Day 12 - Chapter 57-61 Family

Day 13 - Chapter 62-65 Family and Family Law Practice Questions

Day 14 - Chapter 66-71 Public 

Day 15 - Chapter 72-74 Public and Public Practice Questions 

Day 16-20 - Practice Exam (I don't have it written out yet but I have a particular approach to practice exams that I found online which I plan to follow). 

If you have any questions about this approach please let me know. I am no expert in this, I just know it took quite some time to map out a plan and I imagine some folks could use a reference point 🙂 feedback/ideas are welcome.

Edited by Ribbons
clarity/grammar
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mewtwo101
  • Law Student

This is really helpful, thank you so much! I'm writing this cycle as well and I like your idea of doing the practice questions for each section throughout. Would you mind sharing which provider you're getting the section-specific practice questions from? 🙂

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secunda
  • Articling Student

Will you study for the solicitor after you complete reading the materials for the bar? I planned to do that approach, but wasn't sure if it's a good idea or the right approach!

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Ribbons
  • Law Student
5 hours ago, mewtwo101 said:

This is really helpful, thank you so much! I'm writing this cycle as well and I like your idea of doing the practice questions for each section throughout. Would you mind sharing which provider you're getting the section-specific practice questions from? 🙂

Amazing 🙂 I am so glad it's useful!! Honestly, right now I am just googling stuff and finding random stuff. My goal is mostly to practice navigating the materials and getting familiar with using the DToC so the questions don't necessarily have to reflect the exam right away. I plan to purchase a few full practice exams but I am currently on the hunt so if you find good sources please let me know!

3 hours ago, secunda said:

Will you study for the solicitor after you complete reading the materials for the bar? I planned to do that approach, but wasn't sure if it's a good idea or the right approach!

I had this question too! So, my plan right now is that I will do day 1-16 (1 practice exam) and then stop and study the solicitor materials until around May 28th after which I will return to practice exams for the Barrister (day 17-20). Because of the timelines, I don't feel like I have much of a choice but to study both in somewhat of an overlapping way. So, right now I plan to make it through reading the Barrister materials by May 13 and then I will re-evaluate my study schedule to see how I feel about actually doing exams and such!

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BlockedQuebecois
  • Lawyer

I don’t know what the timelines are for the exams nowadays, but for what it’s worth everyone I know who studied for the second exam in advance of the first exam felt it was, at best, a waste of time (and at worst, harmful). 

Keep in mind the PR section is identical, and so won’t need to be re-read as part of your second exam prep. 

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Ribbons
  • Law Student
7 hours ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

I don’t know what the timelines are for the exams nowadays, but for what it’s worth everyone I know who studied for the second exam in advance of the first exam felt it was, at best, a waste of time (and at worst, harmful). 

Keep in mind the PR section is identical, and so won’t need to be re-read as part of your second exam prep. 

Hmm, that is good to know.

I thought about avoiding stacking the material as well, but I don't quite know how I would review more material in less time (yay, Ontario, for making this suck). The way they have it structured, the Barrister is on June 4, and the Solicitor is on June 18 and the Solicitor has more materials (by a few hundred pages). Once I reach the end of reading through the Barrister materials, I might re-evaluate with this in mind, though. 

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Ribbons
  • Law Student
17 hours ago, Ribbons said:

Amazing 🙂 I am so glad it's useful!! Honestly, right now I am just googling stuff and finding random stuff. My goal is mostly to practice navigating the materials and getting familiar with using the DToC so the questions don't necessarily have to reflect the exam right away. I plan to purchase a few full practice exams but I am currently on the hunt so if you find good sources please let me know!

I had this question too! So, my plan right now is that I will do day 1-16 (1 practice exam) and then stop and study the solicitor materials until around May 28th after which I will return to practice exams for the Barrister (day 17-20). Because of the timelines, I don't feel like I have much of a choice but to study both in somewhat of an overlapping way. So, right now I plan to make it through reading the Barrister materials by May 13 and then I will re-evaluate my study schedule to see how I feel about actually doing exams and such!

As an update on this, I decided to purchase questions from the Beat the Bar page. It has lots of questions and is forcing me to navigate the material. Some of the questions cover content outside of PR, but it was useful in helping me identify whether I knew where information was and how well I knew it. I will probably purchase more in the future but thus far, for $100, I am happy with this.

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mewtwo101
  • Law Student
6 hours ago, Ribbons said:

Hmm, that is good to know.

I thought about avoiding stacking the material as well, but I don't quite know how I would review more material in less time (yay, Ontario, for making this suck). The way they have it structured, the Barrister is on June 4, and the Solicitor is on June 18 and the Solicitor has more materials (by a few hundred pages). Once I reach the end of reading through the Barrister materials, I might re-evaluate with this in mind, though. 

Hmm, yes, I think I'm going to plan to read at least one solicitors' section before the barristers exam, possibly before starting on the barristers materials so those will be fresher in my head going into the first exam. Totally possible that this will end up backfiring, but it does seem like it would be really tough to get through all the solicitors materials between the two exams.

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Ribbons
  • Law Student
On 4/28/2024 at 3:53 PM, mewtwo101 said:

Hmm, yes, I think I'm going to plan to read at least one solicitors' section before the barristers exam, possibly before starting on the barristers materials so those will be fresher in my head going into the first exam. Totally possible that this will end up backfiring, but it does seem like it would be really tough to get through all the solicitors materials between the two exams.

Truly, there is so much material. It is potentially a smart idea to read it first and then perhaps review or something later. My tentative plan is to work on the Solicitor materials from May 19-28 and then June 6-17. I have loosely mapped that out as the necessary timeline to read at ~50 page/day rate, but I need to go through and confirm that it is reasonable. With the barrister materials I literally set out every day goals and, a few days in, it is truly the best decision I could have made because I do not stress at all about 'needing to do more' which was always an issue for me during law school. 

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Ribbons
  • Law Student
On 4/27/2024 at 12:57 PM, Ribbons said:

Hey folks, I am taking the Ontario bar exams for the first time in June and realize that building a study plan can be overwhelming for some folks. So, I just thought I would share my study approach in case there is someone who is finding the idea of breaking this down very overwhelming. I am starting with PR to give myself an easy win and figure out highlighting/tabbing, but I know some folks recommend doing it last. The following plan is based entirely on how much I know my brain can do in a day (~50 pages of reading; some folks may be able to do way more or way less) and my availability. This plan aims for <5 hours of studying every day for 6 days a week. I haven't mapped out my Solicitor plan in detail but I can post that once I do if it is helpful for people. I am a few days into this study plan and have found it is working really well, but I am sure I will have to adjust it as life happens. 

Day 1 - Chapter 1-6 PR

Day 2 - Chapter 7-13 PR 

Day 3 - Chapter 14-15 and PR Practice Questions

Day 4 - Chapter 16-25 Civil

Day 5 - Chapter 26-29 Civil

Day 6 - Chapter 30-33 Civil

Day 7 - Chapter 34-35 Civil and Civil Practice Questions 

Day 8 - Chapter 36-41 Crim

Day 9 - Chapter 42-46 Crim

Day 10 - Chapter 47-49 Crim and Criminal Practice Questions

Day 11 - Chapter 50-56 Family

Day 12 - Chapter 57-61 Family

Day 13 - Chapter 62-65 Family and Family Law Practice Questions

Day 14 - Chapter 66-71 Public 

Day 15 - Chapter 72-74 Public and Public Practice Questions 

Day 16-20 - Practice Exam (I don't have it written out yet but I have a particular approach to practice exams that I found online which I plan to follow). 

If you have any questions about this approach please let me know. I am no expert in this, I just know it took quite some time to map out a plan and I imagine some folks could use a reference point 🙂 feedback/ideas are welcome.

I’m now into criminal law, but, upon reflection, would encourage folks to take extra time for the initial civil litigation practice. This section is long and one day of practice was not enough for me to be as familiar with the materials as I had hoped. 

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secunda
  • Articling Student
2 hours ago, Ribbons said:

I’m now into criminal law, but, upon reflection, would encourage folks to take extra time for the initial civil litigation practice. This section is long and one day of practice was not enough for me to be as familiar with the materials as I had hoped. 

Are you using the Beat the Bar questions for practice here? I wasn't sure if there's other companies that have practice questions for this section as well that you may recommend! So far I found civil litigation to be the most dense so far (I'm also into the criminal law section now, and I'm finding crim to be less stressful/dense).

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Ribbons
  • Law Student
6 hours ago, secunda said:

Are you using the Beat the Bar questions for practice here? I wasn't sure if there's other companies that have practice questions for this section as well that you may recommend! So far I found civil litigation to be the most dense so far (I'm also into the criminal law section now, and I'm finding crim to be less stressful/dense).

Yes I am! And I’ve found the same. Civ lit was a lotttt of material. I’m making it through crim with much more ease (especially as I’ve worked in crim so it’s more familiar - civil stuff is frankly a mystery to me lol). 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Ribbons
  • Law Student

UPDATE: Beat the Bar questions are atrocious (tons of errors/typos/incomplete answers), so I turned to Access Bar, which is substantially better AND explains why your answers were wrong which is much better. I will be posting my solicitor plan soon. 

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