Monday, October 30, 2023

July 2023 Bar Exam Recap

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On July 25 and 26, 2023 I took the Universal Bar Exam (UBE). On October 19, 2023, I received the results that I passed!

I am proud to announce that I have passed the New York State July 2023 bar exam with a score high enough to practice in any UBE jurisdiction. 


Breakdown of the exam:

Day 1: Six hours of essays. We had two MPTs or skilled based writing assignments and then a lunch break and then six short essays (MEE).

Day 2: Six hours of 200 multiple choice questions (MBE): 100 in the morning and 100 in the afternoon.



Before I graduated from law school in May, I started studying for the bar exam.

I studied for 10 weeks. I worked about 12-15 hours a day, with minimal time off on the weekends. I used Barbri as my bar prep provider. I liked them, but as with all commercial based test providers, one size doesn’t fit all. Barbri recommended that you treat studying like a full-time job, however, I studied and worked way more than 40 hours a week. Barbri also tells you to trust the process and their method, but it’s really hard to trust it. Some days I would, and some days I wouldn’t.

I had other friends that used Themis, who also passed.

Including Barbri, I also used flashcards and UBE multiple choice questions from past tests from AdaptiBar. Not all of Barbri’s questions were from past exams, most of them were made up by the bar prep provider. I also used Smart Bar Prep and JD Advising for summaries of the essay topics.

Through our school we also had a weekly essay writing course to continue to practice our writing.

It was a cruel summer, but I am thrilled it all paid off.


The bar exam was a true marathon. It’s an insanely long test with a lot of sitting and waiting in your seat before the test even begins. I’ve never ran a marathon before and younger Elizabeth wanted to, but after taking the exam, (and for the obvious fact that I don’t like to run) I think I’m good.

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It was a rollercoaster of emotions over 10 weeks. Some days I felt on top of the world and I felt like I was learning a lot and then other days I felt like an idiot and I couldn’t retain any information.

I cried a lot. Some days I jumped and danced for joy. Other days I was angry at the test for being difficult. Other days I was annoyed that I felt like law school hadn’t prepared me for the test at all. 

I tried to take one day at a time. It was really hard to only think this way, but it was the best way for me so I wouldn’t get too overwhelmed with how much I still had to study.



I lost a lot of hair. I couldn’t sleep. I had serious neck and shoulder pain throughout studying as that is where I carry my stress. I was so hunched over during the two days of sitting in an uncomfortable chair that I had to get a back massage. I highly recommend a heated shoulder/neck pad!

I worked out every day while studying and it really helped my mental health and it was the only thing that I looked forward to every morning at 7 am when I was at my desk grinding. I’ve always used exercise as an escape and a stress reliever but I never realized how much I really needed it until this summer.

As Peloton instructor, Ally Love taught me: “you can do tough things.”



Anxiety was the highest it has ever been. I felt so much pressure and anxiety about knowing all this information that I needed to know to pass. It was a long ten weeks. Right at the end, I felt really burnt out. I couldn’t retain any more information.

Barbri recommended that we do at least 80% of the scheduled course over our weeks of studying. I was determined to finish the course, and I did. In the beginning of my studies, I took Saturdays off and then spent the rest of the week chained to my desk. The last weekend of June was my last Saturday off until the last weekend in July, after the exam. 

Towards the end of my studying I was overthinking every multiple choice question. I learned that I knew the right answer in my gut, so I shouldn’t overthink and rather find the one issue in the question and match that issue to the answer. In each question, there is only ever one issue they are testing you per question. Unfortunately, in law school we learned to think and dissect every question. On this exam I had to remember to not analyze the question, just read it and answer it for what it is. I had to practice not talking myself out of the answer choice.

My school was semi supportive during the studying process. 

I had to remind myself that I knew what I had to do to pass. And that I knew how to take a test and how to study. I really had to block out the comparison game and suggestions from people about what you “should do” especially from my school, as the professor who taught the writing course, didn’t know me personally, and selfishly, they want people to pass so the school’s ranking/scores will go up.

I’m so glad I didn’t give up my self-care routine just for the test.



Half way through studying, Barbri gave us a 200 multiple choice midterm (or 50% of the real exam). Unfortunately for me, I failed the test, and it felt like the end of the world. Based on Barbri’s statistics, I shouldn’t have passed the bar exam, because I failed this stupid midterm. I’m glad I proved the statistics wrong. Lucky for me, with the help of a really good friend I figured out what was going wrong. When you use a bar prep provider, they try to make one size fit all, and unfortunately, not all students fit into the mold that they want you to. I had to realize that studying for the bar exam was just like studying for any other law school exam, just a much bigger one. I shouldn’t have changed my studying methods just for this exam. All of law school I studied by outlining my notes and memorizing them. Barbri didn’t stress memorization. They only stressed absorbing the information. Well clearly that wasn’t working for me, so I realized half way through that I needed to actually sit down and memorize everything that I was learning. And clearly that worked for me. As my friend said, “if it worked for you then, it will work for you now, why change?”


Support system:

I feel so thankful for my support system. 

Thank you for everyone that helped me. My family, friends, boyfriend, mentors and everyone else who prayed for me, texted me, and messaged me. I felt the love, support and the prayers.

Thank you to my mentor, who sent me encouraging words, flowers, and messages every week as I struggled through everything.

To my family, boyfriend and non-legal friends who didn’t really understand what I was going through but tried to understand the amount of pressure I was in, thank you. 

Honestly, my friends from law school were the only ones who really understood what I was going through because we were all going through it together. Having friends with the same work ethic as you is so important, in any aspect of life, but especially while studying for the bar. During the summer my friends and I would text each other and ask when we were finishing for the day and when we were taking breaks so we could stay accountable for taking breaks. I know it sounds silly, but the amount of guilt I felt for taking time off, even just to see my friends one night, felt horrible, because I felt like I should’ve been studying. So having friends that were able to keep me in check with these things was really helpful. 



The reality is all I had to do was pass. NY requires a 266 for passing, which is equivalent to a D. While studying, it seemed like that was close to impossible, but clearly I did it! 

Quite frankly, this test felt like the hardest thing I’ve ever done: mentally, physically, and emotionally. To be honest, this test was traumatizing. 


While I was waiting almost four months for the results, I expected the worst and hoped for the best. I also told myself that regardless of what happens, I’m was proud of myself for studying and working so hard and for taking the test. It was no easy feat and if I did have to take it again, I would now know what to expect.



To my peers that did not pass, I am so sorry. It is an extremely tough exam mentally, physically, emotionally. I believe in you! You graduated law school, so if you did that, you can pass this test! I promise! 

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Friday, October 27, 2023

Five Friday Favorites | 56 | Easy Breakfast Idea, Faux Leather Pants, Cable Knit Cardigans, Merry People Rain Boots & More

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 1.          Eggs in a muffin tin recipe- I found this easy breakfast idea and I wanted to share! I made mine with mozzarella cheese and spinach.

2.          J.Crew Kate faux leather pants- These are the perfect fall pants! I love the Kate pants. I have them in navy, black and white. They are super high waisted, stretchy and comfortable. I recently purchased the faux leather pair in the chestnut brown color. I got them in my regular size, 6 Tall. They are absolutely gorgeous (pictured above).

3.          Cable knit cardigans- Cardigans are on the rise this season. Linking my favorites here: 1 (seen above), 2, and 3.

4.          Merry People boots- I was gifted a pair of rain boots from Merry People. I shared them on my Instagram HERE. I love them. The sole is very cushioned and supportive. They are heavy but not as heavy as my tall Hunter boots. I think they look really chic for the city too because they don’t scream “rain boots.”

5.          4 Piece Suit from Ann Taylor- I bought this skirt, pants, dress and blazer set from Ann Taylor at the beginning of fall. I am still very impressed. Everything is just so stretchy and comfortable! 


Wednesday, October 25, 2023

T&P's Top 10 of the Week | No. 72 | Wedding Guest Dresses Under $100, Semi-Formal Dresses, Cocktail Dresses, Winter Wedding Guest Dresses

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Sunday, October 22, 2023 / Champagne, France

Day Trip from Paris to Champagne, France for Champagne Tastings

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We took two-day trips from Paris on our recent time in France. One to Dijon, France to visit our old home away from home and another to the Champagne region of France.


We took a TGV (fast train) from Paris Gare de l’Est to Champagne-Ardenne. It was a 45-minute ride. We went early in the morning (7:06 AM departure from Paris) and then took a 30-minute cab ride to the town of Epernay, which is where most of the famous champagne houses are. We grabbed breakfast and then walked around until our first tasting at Moët. 

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Moët & Chandon

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We went to the Moët house first. It was incredibly beautiful and located on avenue de Champagne.

I booked the Imperial Moment tour which was 40 Euros and included an hour and a half English-speaking tour of the caves and a tasting with two glasses of champagne. Our tour started at 10 am (there is no such thing as it being too early for bubbles).

This tour and tasting were our favorite of the two. Our guide was so knowledgeable and genuine. She made the experience so lovely. 

The caves were beautiful to see especially because Napoleon used to hang out down there. These caves are still where the Moët champagne is made. 

We met the sommelier in the tasting room in the caves. She was lovely as well. Alex and I thanked our sommelier in French, even though it was an English speaking tour, and she was shocked that we both spoke French so well. That was the sentiment of the trip. Everyone we spoke to was so surprised that we, as Americans, spoke well in French. It was a lovely compliment and made the experience even better.

After our tasting, we asked the front desk to call us a cab and take us to Reims which was about a 30-minute ride from Epernay (or a 10-minute cab ride from the train station).


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In Reims, Alex and I re-enacted our first photo ever, five years before, see above. Click HERE for my post from Reims from 2018. We went inside the cathedral and remembered how this church survived the bombings of WWII. This church might have the prettiest stained glass in all of France.

We grabbed lunch at Paul. If you have never had Paul, you must. It is a French “chain” sandwich store (but not “chain” like you think Subway in the US.) Paul was actually ranked the best “fast food” (again, not fast food like in the US) in all of France.

Veuve Clicquot:

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We then took a 10-minute Uber to Veuve Clicquot, which is on the edge of Reims. You could walk from town if you wanted. 

At 1:30 pm we had our hour and a half English speaking tour and tasting. I booked the “Only One Quality, The Finest” tour for 75 Euros which included four tasting glasses.

Like Moët, we had a guided tour of the caves. We again learned all about how champagne is made. But to be honest, this tour felt more gimmicky. It was more of a show. There were videos and a projection screen. The bottles around the caves were definitely set up for display, as opposed to Moët, where the caves were actually in-use.

It was fascinating to learn that Madame Clicquot actually ran the champagne house without a husband. She was quite remarkable for a woman in her generation. 

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After the tour and tasting, we went and sat on the patio in the sun for a couple glasses of champagne. Alex liked the classic Yellow Label and I preferred the Extra Brut. 


Overall, Alex and I definitely preferred Moët to Veuve, both the actual taste of the champagne, but also the overall experiences.


We probably could have squeezed in another tasting, but two was good for us.


We took the 5:08 pm TGV from Champagne-Ardenne to Paris Gare de l’Est and we were back in Paris in under an hour.


In sum:

I highly recommend this day trip from Paris. Everyone we met on the tours were all actually staying in Reims for a couple of days to do the champagne tastings. That definitely is an option. I prefer what we did by staying in Paris and taking a quick train ride.

I would love to go back and explore more of the champagne houses in Epernay. I think if you want a true French experience, I would recommend going straight to Epernay and doing the tastings there. Veuve, although very famous for the iconic gold label, was a bit too showy for me and I wouldn’t go back.


Friday, October 20, 2023

Five Friday Favorites | 55 | Muffin Recipe, Holiday Dresses, Cape, Binge Worthy TV & My Favorite Planner

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1.          Blueberry muffin recipe- I was on a baking kick the other day, and I made these delicious blueberry muffins. They were a fan favorite! Click HERE for the recipe I found on Pinterest.

2.          Hill House Home holiday drop- I can’t pass up an opportunity to share about one of my favorite brands and their newest collection. Check out my favorite picks from Hill House’s newest holiday collection featuring plaids, sequins and tulle HERE.

3.          Marta Scarampi cape- I was gifted a beautiful navy cape from the Italian house Marta Scarampi and I could not be more in love. The fabric is beautiful. Wearing this cape makes me feel like a vintage movie star.

4.          Golden Bachelor- I never really got into the Bachelor franchise until I was in college when it was a fun thing to watch with my friends. But this season is the first version of the Golden Bachelor, a 70-year-old man, looking for another chance at love. My mom and I are watching it together. It is really sweet. The contestants are all beautiful middle-aged women who are less caddy than the 20-something-year-olds on the regular version of the show. This version seems to be really sweet.

5.          Day Designer planner- My favorite planner in the whole world. I have been using this planner for eight years now. It is expensive, but worth every penny. It is the only thing that keeps me highly organized and allows me to do everything I need/want to do every week. I wrote all my thoughts and opinions about the planner brand HERE if you would like to read. 


Wednesday, October 18, 2023

T&P's Top 10 of the Week | No. 71 | Wedding Guest Dresses, Fall & Winter Formal Dresses, Long Gown, Midi Dress

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Tuesday, October 17, 2023 / Chicago, IL, USA

2023 Chicago Marathon

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The best fall weekend in the Windy City! Alex and I flew into town Thursday night to visit Alex’s family and for the Chicago Marathon over Columbus Day Weekend.

He ran, and I spectated.

Alex is modest and humble and did not think he ran that fast, but it was his first marathon and he placed in the top 5,000 people… that’s pretty incredible. He finished his first marathon in 3 hours and 5 minutes. Talk about FAST! I’m so proud of him. 

We also got to cheer on other friends from college. One Demon Deacon is even going to the Olympic trials! 

Absolutely incredible.

I’ll be lucky if the next time I run will be at the Turkey Trot… and I will be pulling up the rear! 

It was a great weekend with great memories. Highly recommend spectating (or running- I can’t give my recommendation as I have never run one) a marathon. The energy is amazing!



We visited the marathon expo. The boys picked up their race bibs, shirts and swag. There were thousands of people. It was completely overwhelming.

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We explored Chicago. We walked around South Loop and saw the Bean. We grabbed lunch and ate on Lake Michigan. We had pre-race drinks on the LondonHouse rooftop. We walked up Michigan Avenue and visited the Nike store which had been transformed into marathon central. We carb loaded (even me because spectating takes a lot of energy) at Bar Siena- West Loop. Really delicious pasta and don’t forget the donuts for dessert.


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We were up bright and early for the race! We spectated from the five-mile marker which then enabled us to walk a couple of blocks and cheer on the runners from the eleventh-mile marker. We got to see the wheel chair division, the elite runners (the man that came in first place actually broke a world record) and saw all our friends from both vantage points. It was so incredibly fun. We met up with everyone afterwards at Sully’s House for celebratory brews. Afterwards, our crew headed to the South Side for some tacos. 



We flew home Monday night. Half of our flight consisted of runners. We knew this because either they were wearing their medals and t-shirts or because of how hard it was for them to walk or stand boarding and deplaning. 


I give the marathoners huge kudos for their hard work. Running is such a hard sport and finishing a marathon is no easy feat. Round of applause runners!

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