Just when I thought that the Barbri schedule was busy, but do-able; we got into week two. I was kind of surprised last Sunday when I looked at the plan for the week and realized that even though the lectures dropped from full day to half-day; the work multiplied. I sort of got flash backs to my 1L and 2L years when I was so overbooked that some Sundays I’d wonder if I would make it to Friday. I reminded myself that I was eating the Elephant one bite at a time and decided that I could handle one day at a time and nothing more.
Me in Barbri Week 2!
So this last week we covered two days of Contracts lectures (approx. 6 hours total) and two days of Property lectures (approx. 9 hours). Can I just say that it borders on cruel and unusual punishment to have students sit through a 6 hour (Satur)day of Property. If someone had come in and offered to take me out of there if I agreed to a root canal, I would have given their offer some serious consideration. The lecturer was alright (although my Prop professor at Texas Wesleyan was WAY more entertaining ) it’s just the subject turns my brain to mush.
We also had one day of a video lecture on the Multistate Performance Test (MPT) which is basically the “lawyering skills” portion of the Texas Bar Exam (TBE) where we’re given a case file and the applicable law and told to do any number of writing exercises from drafting a memo, to a client letter, brief in support of a motion or even open or closing statements in a trial. The MPT is given on the first day of the TBE and accounts for 10% of your total bar exam grade.
What makes the MPT a challenge is that you never know exactly what assignment you’re gonna get (like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates but less fun) and you don’t know the law that will be involved. Instead, it’s all self-contained in the test booklet for you to read, understand, analyze, apply and draft…in 90 minutes…GO! Yep, it’s the time constraint on this one that is the most problematic.
So I watched the MPT lecture on Thursday, and again on Friday because I didn’t realize the handouts were online. I decided that I would go back and re-watch the video WITH the handouts and do the work that I couldn’t do on Thursday. It kind of de-railed my time this week to have to do that twice, but since writing is one of my strengths, the plan I’m working on is hitting the MPT and TBE essays really hard so that I can hopefully clean up on the points. If I can do that, any extras will help me out on day two of the TBE when I tackle the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE). (You gotta keep all these acronyms straight if you’re gonna follow me; the TBE has tons of acronyms!!) If all goes as planned, I’ll be doing lots of practice essays and MPTs over the next 7 weeks and getting my strategy perfected.
That being said, one of our Barbri assignments this week was to complete an MPT from our workbook and turn it in for grading. Since I was fresh from the MPT video (twice) I went ahead and did the MPT. I think I did a pretty good job, but we’ll see what the graders have to say. More on that next time….
I’m still tweaking my whole bar prep experience (BPE) but this week I added two things that I’m going to be monitoring to see if they help. First, vitamin B12 which is supposed to help with stress and help keep you from being overly tired. We’ll see how that works.
Harnessing my Brain Power!
Also, I started listening to some study music with binaural beats which is supposed to be helpful in calming anxiety, clearing your mind to focus and help with deep meditation and study; all things that would be really helpful to me in the next couple of months. One of the mp3s I have also has subliminal messages (or so they claim): “I am brilliant; I enjoy learning,” “I am relaxed, alert and aware;” “I absorb information effortlessly,”—well, you get the idea. I’m not normally one for hokey new-age stuff, but hey, I’ll take whatever help I can get to conquer this beast. I listened to one of the mp3s while writing my MPT and I was so in the zone I didn’t even know the library was closing on Friday!
Mostly though, I just pray. Today, I got up and went to church and thanked God for the opportunity to have a legal education, and for the gift of being in the position to study and sit for the TBE. I asked that he just grant me the physical and mental ability to do all I need to do, one day at a time. That’s all I can really ask for.
This week I logged 50.75 hours. And tomorrow’s the beginning of another week in paradise! Oil and Gas is on the schedule first thing in the morning. Whooohoooo!!!!