Studying for the Bar

Clearly, he is trying to send me into diabetic shock or something…

I kid, I kid. He is very sweet (PUN!)* Although it will take me at least a month to eat all of this.


*You can probably mark this as the point where I officially lost it.

So as you’ve noticed, my posting has really fallen off over the last week or so. As I am now in super-intense, the Bar is my LIFE (and it sucks), I dream of the law, etc. mode now, I am officially going into blackout mode from now until the whole damn thing is over. You really should stick around until then because when I am normal (and can have alcohol!), I am really much more fun and less completely insane bitchy. There will be a post this week because I am participating in the 20sb blog exchange (click on the link on the right for more info about 20sb), I will be on twitter, and there may be a post here or there, but otherwise, this is GO TIME people.

I will try and post after the Bar, but as I plan on consuming ridiculous amounts of alcohol after day 2 and the boyfriend and I are going away on our top-secret post-bar (and, as it turns out, post-CFA results) trip (FYI, if you are not following me on twitter, I have a passport again! US DOS ROCKS), that may not happen. Or it may happen and it may be completely incoherent. We shall see. Otherwise, I will see you all on the flip side right around August 3rd.



PS I probs. will twitter Top Chef again, but we all know those are cheater posts and don’t really count.


In theory, I should feel like I am slowly but surely inching my way towards having this whole NY Bar thing under some semblance of control (See all those qualifiers right there? That would be because I am INSANELY superstitious about these things and am terrified of jinxing myself). And it seems like, in theory, some things are clicking (You need physical injury for negligent infliction of emotional harm! Every dog gets one bite! etc. etc.).

Today I did a big chunk of practice questions. The thing about Bar.Bri/the bar is that they tell you to aim for being mediocre because that’s all you really need to pass. Which, fair enough. Each set for each subject area was 36 questions (the multi.state exam tests on six subject areas: Con. Law, Contracts, Crim. Law, Evidence, Real Property, and Torts) and Bar.Bri is happy if you get between 16 and 18 right in each section. My breakdown was: Con. Law: 20 right, Contracts: 14 rights, Crim. Law: 14 rights, Evidence: 23 right, Real Property: 26 right, and Torts: 22 right. Which is all very well and good, except normally Contracts and Crim. Law are my strongest (everything is relative here) subjects and that, coupled with the fact that I feel like I’m just kind of guessing/going with my gut about 90% of the time, leads me to believe that everything thus far is just a fluke and in no way reflects how I’m going to do on the real thing.

And I HAVE to pass the real thing. If you are not up on the legal hiring market these days, let me tell you that it is essentially the same as the job market everywhere, meaning, it sucks due to the economy. So I am very lucky because I have a job, but that job seems rather tenuous these days. And I HAVE to keep my job because I have six figures of debt from law school. It’s ugly.

Some thoughts/words of wisdom for the night before I retreat back into studying: I benefited a lot in going to school where I went to school. Although it gets bashed a lot of ATL (likely for this very reason), the name does carry weight. And that weight translates into (at least in the past – not sure how it is working for current interviewing rising 2L) job opportunities. Maybe is not going to get you the best clerkship in the world, but in the BigLaw world it gets a lot of respect that other schools don’t. I had 11 job offers from really good firms (not the BEST, but close) when I did EIW. One of the boyfriend’s friends went to American. He was my year. He was Law Review, top 5% of his class (I was not either one of those things). He had no offers. Did comparatively deserve my offers? Probably not. Life is not fair.

That said, was worth it? I have a RIDICULOUS amount of debt – debt that will take me at least 5 years to pay off (I am very lucky in that I have no undergrad debt – thanks mom and dad!). What’s frustrating about the amount of debt that I have is that there is really nothing I could have done to make it less. I worked my first year of law school and went to school at night. Certainly I could have kept doing that, but in the long run, I decided that it would be more practical to graduate in three years instead of four. Because I worked for, I did get a tuition break, (although I was taxed at 40% on that tuition break, so it’s not as good of a deal as it sounds), and my living expenses were pretty much covered. I lived very reasonably throughout law school and definitely stayed on a budget.* And still I have six figures of debt, the bulk of which is tuition costs. So while going to definitely helped me get a job, it also ensured that I would need that Big.Law job in order to pay back. Perfect circle right there folks.

So we now end where we started: with a fifi freakout. I have a feeling there are going to be many more of these over the next 2 weeks.

*You may be wondering about scholarships. That is where going to somewhere like UVA would have been a better choice. First off, does not offer any grants (scholarships) based on merit, everything is need-based. In order to apply for this aid, no matter what your living situation (you could be married and have your own kids), you have to submit your parents’ (including stepparents and non-custodial parents, as per the website) financial information and that information is then factored into the calculations. So even though I was completely independent/supporting myself when I applied to law school, my parents make enough money that I was closed out of being eligible for any grants. Second, these grants are not available to part-time students.

In contrast, the boyfriend got over $10,000 a year from UVA just for being smart and doing well on the LSATs. Cost of living was also much cheaper in Charlottesville and UVA tuition was less as well. I decided to stay at mostly because I thought I wanted to keep working, but in retrospect, going to another school or  even transferring probably would have been a better choice financially.

Peeps, I am feeling overwhelmed. VERY overwhelmed. Maybe this is the normal pre-Bar freakout, but I just feel like there is SO much to know and there is no way to know it all.

We had the simulated MBE on Monday and I did well in theory. I finished with an hour to spare on both sections (that’s just how I work on these things. It’s not ideal, but I find that if I go back and check my answers, I end up going away from my gut and bad things happen. On the practice, I did that on a couple of questions I wasn’t sure about and on all of them ended up changing from the right answer to a wrong answer). Anyway, the average score on the simulated test was a 105 and they say if you are at least in the 90s you’ll be fine. I got a 114, so that’s decent, but here’s the thing: I feel like it’s a complete fluke. I can’t explain it any better than that.

I am worried.

So those of you who float around in the legal blog have probs. already read about this. I thought that perhaps it was just me and my utter lack of interest in the federal court system, but as it turns out, no, she’s just a really crappy Bar.Bri instructor. (I love it when it’s not me!) I hesitate to say she’s a crappy prof. in general, because perhaps she’s great in the regular classroom setting, but I will say that she has crazy deer-in-the-headlights eyes and perhaps that if she does indeed fear public speaking, Bar.Bri was not an ideal way to make a few extra bucks over the summer? Anyway, I clearly didn’t have the reaction of others (i.e. I did not feel the need to storm out in an effort to send a message to my classmates and the VIDEO FEED about my sense of self-importance) – basically, she was just not particularly articulate, she was clearly not prepared/was incredibly nervous (which, if that was the case, see note above), and I think her outline is organized very poorly.

This is just typical law school student posturing (seriously, people, if you are considering law school take a second and think about the people you will be surrounding yourself with – law students are CRAZY). My second year of law school in January we all got an email saying that a computer that had the SS numbers and other identifying information of everyone who attended any branch of dating back to 1998 had been stolen from the Office of Student Affairs and that, well, you know, we don’t think your info is being used improperly, but just to be safe, we’re going to give you a year of free credit monitoring, so let’s all just put this little incident behind us, shall we?¬†Note that this happening was, for me having worked at G-town, a HUGE shocker (let’s just say, not so much). Anyway, email goes out and I don’t know how it was on other campuses, but the law students were running around like chickens with their heads cut off. They were divided into two camps: those looking like they were going to pass out as they cried things like: “My identity’s been stolen! My identity’s been stolen!” and those looking all pissed off, growling things like: “I’m going to sue” (I know, shocker right? Also, there was a reason that G-town didn’t send that email out when the incident happened and instead waited three weeks – they were already running everything through legal. So good luck there). But anyway, my point is that this Con Law fuss today is very similar to the big identity theft scare of 2007 – ultimately a nonissue and people just need to calm the f. down already.

All that said, clearly Bar.Bri should just break down and hire a certain Crim. Law/Evidence prof. and Paula (say what you will about the songs, but the woman makes a good outline) to teach everything. They are clearly smart people and know enough to teach us things like Torts and Con Law.

Update: As I am typing this, Bar.Bri sent out an email with corrections. Good times.