Monday, July 16, 2007

Open Letter to Bar Examenees,

So, the July Bar Exam is coming up, eh? Sucks for you guys.

But seriously, passing the Bar Exam, like doing well on the LSAT, has little or nothing to do with how smart you are or whether you'll make a good lawyer. You know this. The Bar Exam is more of a rite of passage than anything.

Well, it's a rite of passage, and a great way for BAR/BRI to make a ton of money of people desperate to pass the bar.

Anyway, from someone who's been there, I'd like to offer the following advice:

a.) Right now, you should feel like you're going to fail. If you don't feel like that, you're being stupidly overconfident. Learning 3 years of law school any meaningful or comprehensive way in all the "very important subjects you're supposed to know" in a month and a half isn't normal or possible.

For instance, during the multiple choice portion, you may be able to confidently say you know the correct answer to 1 out of every 10 or so questions. Just shrug and keep going. You're probably doing better than you think. Unless you're a dumbass.

b.) You may not want to hear this, but taking the Bar Exam could possibly be among the most stressful 2 days of your academic life. Take care of yourself. For example, after the first arduous 8-hour exam day, go immediately to a bar and begin drinking. After 4 drinks, go to Jimmy Johns and get a sandwich. After you eat, have a couple more drinks. Then, find the nearest market and get chips, candy, soda, and more cigarettes. Because, you know, the Bar Exam turns non-smokers into relapsed smokers, I-only-smoke-when-I-drink smokers into chain smokers, and chain smokers into alcoholics.

Needless to say, pre, during, and immediately-post Bar Exam is no time to quit smoking. You must chain smoke at all times. Especially right before you go into the exam room, and during all breaks. You can quit a few months after the exam. When you're fully recovered.

c.) During the exam, don't be the douchebag who constantly taps your pen or pencil against the desk. Keep you feet still. And, after answering certain questions don't excitedly whisper "yesss!" about the questions you think you got right. And for real, don't even bring your cell phone into the classroom.

d.) After the final day, walk yourself to the nearest bar and begin drinking to forget the pain of the past couple months. When you wake up the next morning, you won't remember the rule against perpetuities and the holder in due course doctrine. And it doesn't matter. You won't ever need to know these rules nor most of the others you have so studied with such dedication anyway. And, if you ever need to know these rules, you can go look them up. Like lawyers do in real life.

e.) At the bar afterwards don't act like an asshole 1L and talk about the exam and compare answers with other test-takers. Relish the fact that it's over and now all you have to do is wait a few months to get your results. And then another couple months to either get sworn in or repeat the entire process.

And remember, you probably passed. Even though you're convinced you didn't.

Break a leg.

Very Truly Yours,
Fannie, Esq.


Grace said...

Thanks, Fannie. Love you!! And I am totally going to fail the bar.

Fannie said...

like i said, that's a great attitude to have, pre-bar exam :-)

Rebecca said...

I have lucid intervals of confidence but then go right back into my lack of mental capacity which is that I might do okay on the essays within reason, but the MBE is a crap shoot and I'm lucky if I will be able to read the question. Thanks for the advice!