On Friday night at 1AM, I ran into one of my classmates at Sigara, which is a hookah lounge in Wicker Park. I’m pretty sure this guy was at the very top of our graduating class. Here’s the story he recounted to me:
“My cousin took the bar last year. He said he did barely any studying in June. He constantly left the BarBri review lectures early, and got wasted every night. A week before the exam, reality hit; he got serious and spent every single hour studying. And guess what? He passed. He told me this: “If you just study for one hour every day, you’ll be fine.”
And now, a somewhat related statistic: Last year, of all the students in the upper-half of DePaul’s graduating class (of 220 or so), all but six passed the bar.
So what the hell am I supposed to do with this anecdote and statistic? Using them as an excuse to study less? Probably not. Any suggestions?
There’s an old saying that goes like this: “I once complained that I had no shoes, but then I met a man who had no feet.”
My classmates are doing a lot of complaining about how much studying they’re doing for the bar exam. And yes, I myself occasionally indulge in the art of complaining on this blog. But maybe I have no right; I spent the night hanging out with my friend Samir, a recent med school graduate who’s about to begin his residency…working 80-hour weeks. Plus, he’s going into plastic surgery, which means he won’t get a paycheck until he’s like 34 or something.
I’m moving into week three of my bar exam studies, and today I learned about secured transactions…which was good because as of yesterday, I HAD NO CLUE WHAT A SECURED TRANSACTION WAS. Swear to God. I thought it was some sort of bank transfer that was carefully monitored.
I’m excited to learn what a “commercial paper” is next week. Do any non-lawyers have any guesses? Is it a memorandum regarding a television advertisement? Is it a sheet of paper for sale? Who knows?! (Well, all my classmates, for starters. And most of the people who are reading this blog, I suspect. And these guys: MichiganLawyerBlog, CooleyLawBlog, NYLawBlog.)
The oracle said that Socrates was the smartest man in Greece because he acknowledged and appreciated his own ignorance. I must be the smartest law school graduate in Chicago because I’m painfully aware of how much I don’t know.
I just took a diagnostic test on the multi-state multiple choice section of the bar exam…and scored a 35%.
Now, the good news is that each question had four options, meaning I did better than a monkey would have done on the exam.
But I’m pretty sure that if you gave the 50-qustion exam to a bunch of monkeys, one of them would have beat 35%. Damn, back in high school, I probably could have told you exactly how many monkeys (who answer exam questions randomly) would need to take a 50-question multiple-choice exam (in which each question has four answer choices) to make it more likely than not that one of them would score at or above the 35% mark.
Tell you what, anybody who can figure out the answer to that question gets a free copy of LAWYER BOY.
Whenever somebody contracts some awful disease or undergoes some awful family tragedy and gets interviewed by the local news about it, they always say the same thing: “You see this in the news all the time, but you never think it can happen to you. And then one day it does…”
I think failing the bar exam is the opposite. Everybody thinks it will happen to them, but it only really happens to a select few. I realized that early on, that the math says I’ll likely pass the bar exam, so I haven‘t been too worried about it. Well, yesterday I found out that one of my friends took the bar exam six months ago…and failed it.
Sure, she took it during the school year, so she probably didn’t have enough time to study. But still, she’s a smart girl and she failed. Took a prep class and everything. Now it’s starting to hit home. Some people really fail this thing.
Tomorrow I’m going to figure out how to get my hands on review books. And then, beginning Monday, I’m going to start studying. I’m going to try to study all day, every day. Oh, and I’m going to work all day, every day to promote Lawyer Boy.
It's done. Law school is done. Away from the bookstores and libraries, and off to the bars and clubs for me. Time to reconnect with old friends and maybe make some new ones…because law school is done.
Kinda. See, I just took my last test. (It went okay; I'm thinking B or B-). And I'm already starting to get my grades in. Got an A in Negotiations. It was originally a B, but I argued my way up to an A.
…kidding…that would have been cool, though…
So now I'm done…except for this one paper. It's a one-credit, un-graded paper, and it has no official due date, but it needs to be done and it needs to be good. (I really like the professor I'm writing it for and don't want to let him down).
The topic is there; the motivation isn't. Any words of encouragement?
My last-ever law school exam goes down in 17 hours. Law school exams are typically three hours long…and I swear, they’re the fastest three hours of your life. Before every exam, I go through the same mental ritual: I think, Three hours is so long… like watching 6 back-to-back sitcoms; I’m going to be so bored. And then the exam starts, and then I answer a few questions, and then the proctor calls “Time” after what feels like eight minutes. How are exams for you? Does the time fly by…or do you feel every minute of it?
I’ve got my Wills, Trusts, and Estate final on Monday…and the studying isn’t going well. Rather, it is going well, but there’s not much of it. In the past week, I’ve had to make one 9-1-1 call, file one Missing Person Report, speak to two police officers (one at length), and two detectives.
Long story short: I got involved with somebody who had gotten involved with the wrong people.
And I’m supposed to focus on studying…how?
Just finished my Copyright take-home final. I worked on it for nine days. The thing is, I know if I had been given just two days to do it, I could have gotten it done in two.
Now I’ve got a Wills, Trusts, and Estates in-class exam and a 14-page paper, both due on May 12th. So now I’m debating whether I should take a day or two to clear my mind or whether I should just keep plowing ‘til the 12th. Hmmm….