Many times this week I had thoughts that I immediately wanted to stop and blog about, but I had to resist the urge. Instead, I worked really hard at remaining diligent and focused on the task at hand which is to study like crazy for the upcoming July bar exam. Looking back over the last week, I’m pretty happy with where I am. I have in total, 9 weeks until the exam…well, actually today begins week 8 so this entry is obviously retrospective. Here’s what I’ve learned to this point:
I am pleased with the amount of direction I’ve received from Barbri thus far. Initially I was worried when I saw the bare bones schedule they posted online. I fretted for a few days wondering if they were going to give me any more specific directions, but once the Interactive Pace Program went live I got much more information that told me what I was supposed to do before, during and after class. Whew.
One thing I wish I knew before hand was that we had work to do prior to the first day of registration. I guess since that was the norm in law school, I should have expected as much, but I didn’t. Barbri has this really cool online program called Accelerated Memory Performance (AMP) that I have found to be really useful. I highly recommend it. Apparently though we were supposed to have done the majority of the AMP modules BEFORE bar prep even started. Who knew?
We were told back about March that AMP was live and we could use it, which at that time meant nothing to me. Once I got my detailed Barbri schedule and saw that AMP assignments were on there for the first day (when all we really did that day was register), I realized that according to the schedule I was technically already behind. Luckily, I’d gotten anxious that week before prep class started and ventured into AMP on my own. I did several modules, so on day one I had some of it checked off the list, but I’ve spent a good chunk of this last week fitting the rest in as much as I can.
I’ve finished all of the Torts, Evidence and Constitutional Law modules which is nearly 400 multiple choice questions. According to Barbri their studies have shown that folks that do all the AMP questions average 9 points higher on their MBE score, which is HUGE. Needless to say, I’m doing the AMP.
I decided as I did these questions that for each one I got wrong I would write it up on a note card hoping that this would help me retain it better. Um, yeah… will probably be needing more note cards here soon. I’ve gone through a stack and am not even done. Yes, it makes answering the questions go way slower, but I go through all the answers more carefully as well and hopefully this helps it to stick in my head.
We took a simulated half day MBE (Multi-state Bar–the 2nd day of Texas’s bar exam consisting of 200 multiple choice questions over all manner of law not specific to Texas) on Friday and out of the 100 questions I got 57 correct. I know, that sounds like it sucks, but really, for only having one week of lectures it’s pretty good considering I’ve not touched some of these areas of law in four years. It gives me a good reference point as to where I started and the AMP questions really did help me recall some of these long-forgotten concepts. I’ve also been listening to bar review CDs in my car at every opportunity. I think it’s been working because I’ve been dreaming of law all this week. It’s so weird. I wake up in the night and the first thought in my mind is some random rule of law.
I need to buy this shirt…in several colors.
It’s like my mind was processing all the day’s information and filing it away in my mental file cabinet and when I wake, the last document that was getting filed is what is in my mind. If this is going on after only one week of Barbri, I can only imagine how strange it’s going to be as more and more law gets shoved into my brain. God help me.
Also, I can’t help but “see” issues of law everywhere. Over dinner the family and I watched a show on TV where these guys were trying to capture someone’s pet anaconda snake that had gotten loose. One of the guys got bit by the snake and several others tried to pry its mouth off the man’s arm. My family was “oohing” and “ahhing” about the incident, and I volunteered my unsolicited legal opinion that the snake’s owner was liable in strict liability because the snake was a wild animal and any injury caused to a third party from either getting scratched or bitten was attributable to him. (Also, if a person is running from a wild animal and gets hurt, that also is strict liability.) My family was not impressed, they were just watching the show and I was sucking the fun out of it. Oh well!
I guess that’s all I can fit in for the 30 minutes I gave myself to blog. This last week I logged in 44.75 hours of studying and it promises to get more intense before it gets better. Wish me luck!