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?
A few days ago I hosted a “win a free copy of Lawyer Boy” contest in which readers were encouraged to test out their lawyering skills/powers of persuasion and email me and make a compelling case as to why they should get a free copy of the book. I haven’t yet picked a winner, but it’s become clear to me that many RickLax.com readers are way funnier than me, which is humbling, flattering, and annoying.
Here’s one of the entries I received:
“Let me tell you why I should get a copy. Frankly, because I don't have anything to read. I went into the hospital right before reading period this past semester, because I was s#%!!ing around 8 times an hour. No joke. I ended up with some internal bleeding and a bad colon problem that, though it got fixed up, ends up with me taking a s#!* at least 4 times a day. Apparently the doctors say that's normal. With all that s#%*ing, I go through pleasure reading, well lets just say I go through it faster than the food goes through me. I need something to read.”
I was walking north on Michigan Avenue yesterday and I saw a boy, about ten, smack another boy, also about ten, on his butt. He hit the kid hard.
I assumed these two kids were friends—that they were just roughhousing. But then the mother of the boy who was hit cried out, “That kid just hit my son!” and the other boy just walked away with his two older friends.
It was probably a dare. Something stupid like that. And the kid who got hit was fine. He told me that much. But even if the kid was fine with what happened, I wasn’t; I was pissed.
Part of me wanted to chase the second kid down and reprimand him (I’ve done this on the streets of downtown Chicago before, after a cell phone theft). But part of me realized that this wasn’t my fight.
What would you have done in that situation?
Last night I went out to dinner with my friend Alicja. I ordered the fish sandwich, which, the menu told me, cost $15. I asked the waitress whether I could substitute the fries that came with it for a baked potato, and she told me that I could.
The sandwich was fair. The taste was there, only the fish piece was long and skinny, so half of it hung over the bun and half the bun bites had no fish in them.
The bill came:
Fish Sandwich: $17.50
“Excuse me, but I thought the menu said the fish sandwich was fifteen dollars.”
This wasn’t a date, I should mention. If Alicja and I were on a date, I would have let it slide, of course.
“Hmm…I think that’s because you substituted the fries for the baked potato.”
“I wouldn’t have made the substitute if I had known it’d cost extra.”
“Let me see what I can do.”
I assumed the waitress was going to try to take the $2.50 off the bill.
I was wrong. She sent the manager over, and his opening line was this:
“I understand there’s a problem.”
“I wouldn’t call it a problem, I just-”
“Julie here tells me that you’re not willing to pay for your bill.”
Well that pissed me off.
“Actually, I didn’t say that. What I said was that I wouldn’t have substituted my fries for the baked potato if I had known it’d cost me extra. Julie, I guess her name is, didn’t tell me that it’d cost extra, so I don’t see why I should have to pay.”
The manager got a menu, shoved it in my face, and pointed to the line that said, “All side-order substitutions: $2.50”
“Well,” I said, “that’s fine. But I didn’t see it at the time.”
“It’s right there!”
“It’s hardly clear and conspicuous, and the truth is, I wasn’t on notice, so I-”
“It’s right in the menu! Right there for you to see!”
I was making Alecja uncomfortable, so I said, “Fine, I’ll pay it.”
IMMEDIATELY the manager said, “No, no, it’s no big deal, we’ll take care of it.”
And so I didn’t pay the $2.50.
But you be the lawyer. Who was right??
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.
(Critics from the New York Times Book Review and the New York Review of Books fight over a copy of Lawyer Boy)
This is the first official Lawyer Boy review. Hopefully it will set the tone for the rest. Hmm…maybe I shouldn't put the cart before the horse….let me try again: hopefully there will be other reviews, and hopefully they will be similar.
First-time author Lax delivers an entertaining and sometimes zany look at the first year of law school. Although he dreams of being a professional magician, Lax realizes after college that being a lawyer—like his father and most of his relatives (he provides a family tree showing the remarkable number of lawyers who are relatives)—is inevitable. After being accepted into the DePaul School of Law in Chicago, where passenger trains "screamed past the classroom every ten minutes," he finds that the world of torts and criminal law is both like and unlike everything he had imagined. The workload is still brutal—as a professor tells him, "For the next year, the American legal system will be your girlfriend." But Lax's discoveries of what he didn't expect offer fascinating up-to-date insights such as the inevitability of the depression he develops (lawyers "are about four times more likely to experience clinical depression than the general population") and the hard fact that "[l]aw schools don't fail students like they used to. They need the tuition dollars to stay competitive."
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?
I turned 26 last week. That means I’m just 24 years away from AARP membership!