Saturday, June 02, 2007

Here are some of the things that I have learned so far in preparing for the Bar:

  • Prodigious feats of memory do not correlate with charisma. Professor Erwin Chemerinsky, the pre-eminent Constitutional law scholar at least among law students who believe in study aids, gave the Con Law lecture in a very impressive fashion--two days, eight hours, no notes, following his outline to perfection. He was also as boring as shit. The professors with notes have been much more entertaining.
  • Professor Whitebread, for instance, rocks. The highlights of his two-day Crimes lecture were (a) finishing in three hours on the nose both days (some profs go up to 4), and (b) saying that if you chose the answer choice of "a gun with only one of six chambers loaded is not an inherently dangerous object" for a question about Russian roulette, then "you have problems, both for the Bar exam and for life; if you chose (b), you will never own your own home."
  • Under penalty of maybe failing the Bar, I can take notes in outline form. No other stimulus has ever been sufficient to cause me to do so, but it is possible.
  • Torts and potential torts are everywhere, but people not studying for the Bar don't necessarily want that pointed out to them every five minutes.
  • You will periodically be reminded that people, including really smart people from really good law schools, fail the Bar, especially the California Bar. Many people will react to that by studying all the harder. Meanwhile, other people will tell you to relax and not drive yourself crazy studying too much. I'm guessing that the latter group has it right, and that the fallacy the former engage in is thinking that the people who failed prepared a moderate amount and failed. My guess is that most people fail because they seriously under-prepare and don't do nearly what Barbri says to do, or they get into the exam and panic regardless of how much or how little they have prepared.
  • To be continued...


Mark said...

I under-studied and did not come close to meeting BarBri's recommendations for study, and I failed the bar by 7 points. While that irritates me given how just a little more studying could have gotten me over the line, it also suggests that the people who kill themselves may be a little too focused. Hardly surprising among the legal set, though.

Anonymous said...

The thing about Barbri is their business is dependent on a delicate balance. On on hand, they need their method to be enough to pass if people follow it. On the other, they make a lot of money on supplemental seminars. In order to get people to do the seminars, they have to promote fear. I studied too much for the bar by doing PMBR too (though I liked listening to the PMBR cds while running). Your plan sounds sane and sound. Anyway, I agree with you about the con law lecture. LIH