I am beginning to wonder if I am doing this whole bar studying thing, the right way. I asked my study buddy if halfway through the bar exam cram I should be feeling alright with where I am, because truth be told, I am feeling pretty good. My percentage scores on the MBE (Barbri tracks these for you online and compares your scores with other Barbri takers so you can see where you fall in the rank) are, on the whole, good.
According to Barbri’s statistics, I’m in the “pass zone” on Evidence and Criminal Law/Procedure. Torts and Property are on the cusp of the zone and Contracts (Ks) is my weakest area. I have gained a new respect for my K professor, because those questions trip me up EVERY TIME!!! He must be some kind of genius. *Sigh* I decided I’m going to take one of those subjects every day and do extra practice questions until I get those scores up. I will not be denied. It’s just not going to happen.
I have heard the horror stories of people that were so freaked out about how much there was to learn and how there was so little time that they were in a constant state of panic. I personally know someone who claims to have studied from 8 am – midnight the whole time, never taking a day off, even Sundays AND the 4th of July. Hmmmm….
Before I got to this point I was kind of in awe of that kind of commitment, but now that I’m in the midst of this myself, I am beginning to think it was all a load of hogwash. (Sort of like the stories that mothers with kids tell expecting mothers: “Oh I was in labor 72 hours before the doctor got there and then it was too late for an epidural, so I just had to bite on a stick while giving birth. It was excruciating!!!”–as she walks away with her 5 kids.) I don’t want to say there’s “no way” someone could maintain that kind of schedule, I’m sure it’s humanly possible, but whether it’s smart and whether it yields positive results in the end…well, that’s a totally different question.
Part of me thinks that these scare-tactics are urban legends passed down to give bar-preppers a healthy fear of the TBE–I mean, you shouldn’t take it lightly…you CANNOT pass this exam without a diligent amount of study, I haven’t even taken it, and I know that. But as one of my law professors is fond of saying: This is a minimum competency exam; it IS passable. You have to score a 675/1000 points to pass; that’s a D-minus. That’s lower than the lowest grade I got in ALL of law school!! I guess my take on this experience is that there has to be a balance between study and everything else, otherwise 9-weeks of bar prep is nothing short of horrible.
Ironically, one of this last week’s lecturers confirmed something that I already suspected. He said that the bar exam has nothing to do with being a lawyer or the practice of law. It’s more like a rite of passage . He compared it to cavemen sending their young warriors out and telling them to go kill a bear. They’d kill the bear, bring it back and they were welcomed back into the tribe having completed the task. The bar exam is the bear. (I knew it!!!)
Well, whatever you want to call it, the BEAR is now 5 weeks away (as in, that 5th week I will be killing the bear). I got my admission ticket on Saturday and when I opened it, I actually got lightheaded and had to sit down. It’s official: I got my invitation to the party. The Board of Law Examiners has affirmed I am fit, morally, ethically, legally and educationally to sit for the Texas Bar Exam. Wow. It’s really gonna happen. AND, I got my first choice testing location so I’ll be taking the exam on my home turf. Sweet!
I, of course, read EVERYTHING they sent in the packet…do this, don’t do that, don’t do that, don’t do that, don’t do that, and be on time. Really, there were WAY more “don’t do this” instructions than anything else. I get the sense they are a little militant about how they run this rodeo. Alrighty! Good to know.
That’s fine, because I’m getting used to “militant” in the sense that I’ve been militant about my studying. I’ve knocked out another three sets of P&E and now I’m up to the 2008 bar exam. I’m self-grading and am doing better as the answers are starting to repeat and I’m finding that I’m remembering them the more sets I do. Three more are on the schedule this week.
I also did my Sunday MPT and will forward that to my professor for review. I’ve now done 6 and plan to keep to my Sunday schedule the next 4 weeks. Practice makes perfect! This week I’ve logged in 51.75 hours.
I will say one last thing about studying for the bar that IS true and that’s the fact that it’s a marathon and not a sprint. So, I’ve kept that in mind when planning my daily schedule. I have treated it like my full-time job these last five weeks and I think that’s why I’m feeling good about where I am and what I’ve done thus far. In the end, I can only do my best and hope that it’s good enough…for a D minus. 🙂