Seasoned San Francisco Attorney Revolutionizes Bar Prep With Mind Over Bar

Groundbreaking interactive online course is designed to help law students tackle the psychological and emotional stress often associated with preparing for the bar exam.

San Francisco attorney Lauren Firestein today launched the Mind Over Bar Course, the first bar prep course focused entirely on mitigating the mental challenges of taking the bar exam.  The innovative course uses psychology, mindfulness and technology to help prospective bar students improve study productivity and test taking – skills often overlooked when preparing for the bar.

Studying for the bar exam can be like walking blindfolded through a never-ending maze.  Fear of failure – already a prevalent mindset among law students – can trigger thoughts and emotions that dominate students’ psyches, distracting them from studying effectively and leading to anxiety, blanking and panic on test day.  Traditional bar prep courses teach the law, but they fail to address the mind games that can dramatically influence a student’s success.   Many students also study alone, with little opportunity to share their anxieties and receive support from other bar students.

Mind Over Bar is the first course to address the mental stresses of taking the bar exam. Students start by learning how the human memory works and how emotions can affect memory and retention.  The course then teaches students practical in-the-moment tools they can use when studying or taking a test to clear their mind and focus on the exam. Mind Over Bar focuses solely on the psychological and emotional considerations of taking the bar exam and is intended to supplement the substantive law and writing skills taught by traditional bar prep courses and tutoring.

Mind Over Bar is also designed to appeal to bar students in the digital age. Leveraging technology and social media to accommodate students’ busy schedules, the course offers “anytime, anywhere” access to material through streaming lectures available on-demand as well as a community-focused portal that connects them with Firestein and other bar takers to share issues and insights through blogs and forums.  The course also includes a workbook of exercises and a CD designed to integrate the course material.

“I know from personal experience how difficult the bar exam can be – not just the academic preparation and commitment, but also the psychological warfare your own mind wages on you throughout the process,” said Firestein, founder of Mind Over Bar. “Mind Over Bar is designed to educate bar takers on how to handle the experience of preparing for the exam in order to overcome the mental hurdles that often make or break a student’s attempt.”

Firestein created Mind Over Bar by combining her seasoned legal skills with her passion for psychology.  She has studied psychology and mindfulness for more than 10 years, including coursework at the Spirit Rock Meditation Center and the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine.  In 2010 Lauren completed more than 500 course and coaching hours to graduate from the Transformational Coaching and Leadership Training program (TCLT) in San Francisco.  Before designing Mind Over Bar, Firestein practiced finance law and compliance in both law firm and in-house environments.

During her years in law school and in practice, Firestein learned first hand how unmanaged stress, thoughts and emotions can dramatically affect mental clarity and productivity.  She combined her knowledge and passion to develop the tools taught by Mind Over Bar to help clear the mind and reduce the effects of stress on the body.