How to overcome the fear of Barphobia

Barphobia -the fear of bar finals

By Tobi Amoo.

This article is only for a set of people. If you’re not concerned you may not bother reading. This is for those who are scared out of their wits about bar finals; those that have given up or about to give up on the bar final exams. So if you’re very confident about your preparation and capability to ace the bar finals, you may exit your browser now.

Let me lay a very important foundation here: There is no person who has gone through the NLS that was never scared at one point or the other. Just ask around. So if you’re scared, you’re not weird. But you can overcome it!

Here are some tips I believe will help you win the war against that monster called ‘Fear’.

  1. Be interested

I know some of you were coerced, pressurized or enticed to study Law. I know some of you can’t wait to finish Law school and do something ‘more meaningful’ with your life. But let’s forget all that for now please. The fact is you’re here already and what is worth doing, is worth doing excellently.

If you want to overcome the fear, you’ve got love reading the texts. Don’t make reading a chore. Making learning fun so in the the process it doesn’t look difficult. For guys, you know how you read up on the football leagues, the rankings, transfers, managers/coaches and all. How you keenly follow Goals.com and know everything happening in the English and European leagues. For ladies, you know how you follow up on channel E and the kardashians or for some others Bellanaija.com.

I could go on and on but I’m sure you get the drift. Can you analyse Interlocutory injunctions like you would the English league? Do you know Corporate Law procedures like you know all the members of the Kardashian family and how many times they’ve divorced and re-married?

In short, develop interest for the course outline and you will no longer fear it.

  1. Use the elevator over and over again.

Okay that’s only a metaphor. You know how you were scared the first time you entered an elevator. How your heart was beating faster than a jet. And then the second time, you were still scared but not like the first. Then the more times you used it, the less you got scared.

If you’re scared of (or having issues with) a topic, read it again and again and again. If you scared of (or having issues with) a draft, practice it again and again and again.

The more you have contact with it, the more it gets de-mystified. Surround yourself with Law school stuffs – notes, texts, drafts, pasts questions and all. The trick is that your body will get more relaxed around them.

  1. Run Flee from negative people.

If you have reading pals or roommates who are always talking about how impossible it is to have a First Class or how miraculous it is to ‘just have a pass and go’, please flee from them. Honestly, these people will sap your energy. Avoid having such conversations with them.

They tell you stories of people that ‘read for Africa’ and still failed but they won’t talk about guys that ‘read for Nigeria’ and had a 1st or a 2:1. They tell you nobody can learn all the RPC rules and all those fable tales.

I don’t blame them actually, because they most likely have been infected by some other negative people either from previous sets or otherwise. But if your friend (even your brother) has a flu, you don’t have a duty to contact same from the person. So, run…no FLEE from them.

  1. The end justifies the means

The most important thing is that you deliver in the exams hall. Don’t let anybody despise your study method.

Whether you have to sing it like a nursery rhyme or you have to write it over and over again. Whether you have to learn it in bits or you have to explain the principle to yourself in your local language. Whether you have to highlight your text like a lady applying eye shadow pencil or you have to learn it in a systematic way. Once it works for you, that’s all that matters.

Don’t allow somebody tell you that’s not a good way to work. By the way, Excuse me! That person hasn’t passed the bar finals yet. So if he has another method. Fine. But he can’t breathe it down your throat.

In short, be comfortable with your style.

  1. Talk to lawyers

They were once in Law school. They had the fears you have (some even worse). Talk to them about your fears. They will encourage you and share their testimonies with you. They can also help with any principles you are having issues with.

However, if you come in contact with a lawyer that tells you it’s very okay to ‘just have a PASS and go’ please apply no. 3 above.

  1. Look around. Look everywhere.

All over the nooks and crannies of this country, from North to south and from East to West, there are lawyers everywhere. Lawyers that passed through the same Nigerian Law School (there’s only one in Nigeria).

If everyone of them could pass, then why not you?

To the best of my knowledge, there is no Law school set that has ever recorded as much as a 50% fail record. In other words, in every set, at least half (and usually more) always record a pass degree (1st, 2:1, 2:2, Pass). So if you’re scared, just look around – from your village, neighborhood, church, family et al – all the lawyers you see and tell yourself “If they could pass, I can too”.

Look at people that went through Law school in more difficult circumstances (married women, pregnant woman, aged people, business men et al) and still passed. Let that encourage you.

Don’t look at people that failed. Look at folks that passed.

  1. Pray

This is res ipsa. I need not say more on it. PRAY!

I believe you can make it. Yes YOU! You can ace the exams.

(Additional notes by ayo)

  1. Please and please read very well during this externship (at least try and cover the 14 weeks previously taught) trust me it will go a long way, devote at least 4 hours a day. failure to do that will leave you overwhelmed during the third term in school.
  2. Also play a little, all work and no play they say makes jack a dull boy, however in law school it will make Jack go mad.
  3. Know yourself and your strengths, just because Tamedu  reads 24 hours per day does not mean you have that grace, don’t deceive yourself.
  4. Don’t let those ‘i too know’ intimidate you, most of the time you know more.
  5. Rest, Sleep and eat it will help you in the end.

One more thing before i forget, attend revision classes its very very IMPORTANT it will help you know how to answer questions, don’t mind those that skip it and view it as a complete waste of time.

 Authors Note: in case you didn’t know or you were wondering what gives him the right to dole out advice; Tobi Amoo graduated with a first class in the Nigerian Law School in 2015. Yup! that certifies him, don’t you think ?

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My NLS Experience

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by Oluwatobi Amoo

Truth is the Nigerian law school is better experienced than imagined.

The Wait

I didn’t really celebrate my LL.B that much, because I was waiting for the dear Law school. I kept telling everybody that wanted me to ‘wash’ the convocation for them “Don’t worry. We’ll do correct washing at call to bar”. I was excited about Law School not because i’m bookish or like school, but because I wanted to get it over with as quick as possible. The best way to achieve that was for the law school programme to come and go sharp-sharp. Looking back with hindsight, I should have enjoyed the waiting period while it lasted, for there were times at NLS when I wished I could go back to that waiting period.

Posting.

I wanted Abuja campus by all means. I had prayed and prayed and prayed, with fasting and I was so confident i’ll be posted to the headquarters. I chose Abuja, Enugu, Lagos & Yenegoa in that order. My mental, emotional and all kinda preparation was for Abuja campus.

Waiting for the posting was like a politician waiting for an Election result. We were to resume on Monday and as at Saturday afternoon we hadn’t known where we going to spend the next one year. Cut-Long-Story-Short I was posted to Kano campus. What???!!!! Ka-what??? I didn’t choose it. How on earth. I didn’t believe my eyes. I refreshed the page and zoomed in to be sure I wasn’t checking someone else’s. Anyways, the son of man went to the Bagauda, Kano campus.

Resumption.

After all the registration procedures that entailed a lot of queues and photocopies and all, we had orientation and got the almighty code of conduct.

Fast-forward to second week in class. Giants of intimidation began to arise. Is it guys that had read half the syllabus before we resumed? Is it men who had worked years as court clerks? Or people that could read 7 hours at a stretch without blinking? Or First Class degree holders? All of them were in the same class with me. *Sighs*. Thankfully, the intimidation didn’t last long. At least for yours truly.

Initially, the classes were interesting…felt like a real Post-Graduate class and all…but by week 5 it wasn’t funny anymore. the avalanche of new knowledge to chop was just too much. It was like exposing someone who was under a shower to the furious highly pressurized water coming out of the fireman’s hose.

Classes became really demanding, especially for those of us who wanted to keep up. At a point, I decided to move at my pace – not comparing myself with any other person – and it made so much sense. I also had great roomies and intellectual friends that helped make learning fun.

Chapel of Favour (chaplain & members) helped in no small measure. It was a shedding point of some sort. Anytime I was overwhelmed with the work volume, and I always was, the chapel was a place of solace, encouragement and receiving spiritual strength. Of course, I was very active in church here and there upandan.

Externship

It felt like getting freedom from a prison sentence. I knew I still had to read and all, but at least it’ll be from home. Free from the substandard maami food. Plus I got to see in practice all the theoretical stuff we had been doing in class which made reading and assimilation easier. I also got to (re) interact with other colleagues from other campuses and share notes and all. And got to watch movies on weekends. (Don’t Try it at Home if your faith doesn’t carry you o. LOL!).

Exams.

Almighty bar finals came and went. YaaaY we passed.

*whispers* The bar finals is kinda overrated jor. *Don’t tell anyone I said so*

get-excited-i-m-done-law-school

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Choices

By Oluwaseun I have just started to realise that life is all about choices. Even when we fail to make a choice, we are still choosing something. For a long while i have been hiding in the shadows, been walking on the side lines never choosing to live because i was scared. I was scared […]

I’m Sorry (2)

**Incase you missed it, read I’m Sorry (1)  here  **

I should stop here and say what I really want. I should say why I’m really scared.

It’s because I remember what the anonymous writer said in the book; that it will be difficult- i’m pretty sure he used the word “impossible”-for those who have been saved and know the truth, who then fall away, to be saved again.

You see it right? That sounds just like me. I knew too much to give it all up.

But something deep within me says it’s still possible. That I’m not completely lost. What I don’t know is, ‘how?’ How do I retrace my steps?

With this emptiness I’ve felt for so long, how do I know I’m not just playing religion and only going through the motions? And then become the fulfillment of the verse that talks about the “gift of God” which is given without repentance; how do I know all my talk and actions isn’t just the gift of God given without repentance but I’m empty on the inside just like Saul?

So this is what I’m asking:

Please forgive me.

Please don’t take that assurance from me.

Don’t take away your grace; I know I’m undeserving of it.

Don’t take any of it away. Help me to feel you again, and see you.

To know you like I used to and even beyond that.

And help me to love you above everything else.

I may have to do the chasing this time, but of course, you will do the catching because it’s what you do and it’s the only way I could ever reach you.

I don’t know how, I really don’t. I’m really helpless and clueless but I know I don’t want to draw back to perdition. Not ever again.

I know I don’t need to work for Grace (it won’t be Grace if we had to).

I just feel I need to show you I mean what I say. But these words are only empty except you help me or I may just find myself going in circles again. I tried, and it took me a while to figure this out but I can’t save myself.

So I’m letting go.

I’ve stopped struggling.

Please reach your hands into this tiny space I’ve wedged myself in and save me… from myself.

I still don’t feel the peace flooding my soul. Not yet.

But I think I feel the release. Or maybe I don’t.

Then, I don’t expect anything dramatic.

But it’s okay. It’s okay if I don’t feel anything now, as long as the assurance comes eventually.

And it doesn’t matter how long, I’m going to keep chasing till it’s done.