My First Deposition

I took my first deposition today. I was beginning to think I was a curse. I was supposed to take one last week, two yesterday, and one this morning but they kept getting postponed. Then this afternoon, one finally showed. He literally had alzheimer's disease and didn't remember much but it was a deposition nonetheless. It was such a rush. This is what rockstars must feel like every time they take the stage. Ok, maybe not exactly how a rockstar feels, but close.


I swear.

In front of a judge, with two lawyers, and a secretary as my witness, I was sworn in today to uphold the Constitution and act as attorney at law to the best of my abilities. We celebrated afterwards with licorice and moutain dew.

It was perfect.

Amanda, Esq.


Hi, my name is insane.

In my anxious state, I decided it would be a good idea to look for that ID card that has the info we'll need to access results on Friday. Found it, no problem. It was still in the ziploc bag that I have been afraid to touch since July 26th. So I set it on the dresser in the living room where I keep all the important stuff. Then I thought... what if during Husband's fabulous plans on Friday we get stuck in traffic or our car breaks down and I want to check my results from my fabulous new Samsung Blackjack? I should keep the ID card in my wallet, so that I have it with me at all times on Friday and can thereby check my results from anywhere. Pat on the back. I start walking to my purse and stop suddenly. Wait! What if my wallet were stolen between now and Friday at 6pm. That's when I realized I had gone insane.

The Talk

So this whole waiting thing is just plain awful- less than 48 hours to go. My boss sat me down today and assured me that (a) I won't lose my job if 'it doesn't go well on friday' and (b) taking the bar exam a second time wouldn't kill me. It was very very sweet of him to say nice things like that, but it really just made me want to cry. But that would have made me look weak, so I waited and cried in the car on the way home. I got home with mascara running down my face and Paul was confused as to why I was crying. "Why are you stressing? There's nothing you can do." My point exactly. I should note that to his credit, he may not totally understand, but he is still amazing. He, too, is taking Friday off of work and apparently has a whole day of activities planned so that I won't be watching the seconds tick away all day.

In other news, we got a 3 day notice to perform covenant or quit because our stupid apartment manager just noticed that we've had a satellite dish for the 11 months we've lived here and never paid the additional $100 deposit. I'm drafting a letter arguing waiver. Too bad they didn't serve it next week when I could (hopefully) sign Esq. after my name.

Ok. Gotta go puke now. Seriously, this waiting this is the worst thing ever.


Can't Sleep... the Bar Examiners will eat me

it's 11:00pm... far past my new grown-up bed time. but i can't sleep. not with less than 4 days to bar results.... a mere 91 hours to be exact. i started feeling it today- nervous, nauseous, shaky, on edge- sort of like how I felt with 91 hours before Day 1 of the bar, but this time it's almost worst. because there's nothing i can do. it's out of my control now.

one of the attorneys i work with sent me an email today to say how impressed he was with my work and how he can't wait until i get my bar results. that should be good, that should make me happy. but instead, i have this feeling in the pit of my stomach and this evil thought in the back of my head... what if i let him down?

but i've already done everything in my power to make sure that doesn't happen. so for the next 91 hours, i'll just keep my fingers crossed. and i'll try to get some sleep too.


A New Chapter is Being Written

We had chinese for dinner tonight. My fortune cookie said "a new chapter is being written in your life." I hope that means the bar examiners are writing "pass" next to my name. 2 weeks to results. Deep breath.

I still love my job. I just finished second-chairing my first trial. Well, second-chairing in the sense of getting to do everything but actually talk. Although they did let me argue objections during sidebars and when we went over jury instructions. It was awesome. I'm working on an opposition to a motion for summary judgment now. I've already done 5 complaints, the first round of discovery in 3 cases (2 of which were class actions), 4 motions to compel, an appellate brief to the 9th circuit, and a handful of other random motions. I'm also getting ready to present the defense side of a case to a mock jury for a trial we have coming up in January. If all goes well in 2 weeks, I'll be questioning a witness or two in that trial. And best of all- I'm having one of our secretaries (a notary public) swear me in asap after results so that I can take my first deposition on 11/21. Yeah, my job sort of rocks.

So, take another deep breath. Two weeks from right now, we'll be attorneys.


Take this job and love it.

Just thought I'd pop in to report...


So law school was worth it. Giving up my summer to study for the bar was worth it. (Well... assuming the results are good in a couple of months).

But seriously- I could not have made a better decision. The fact that my firm is small is great because they are giving me so much responsibility right from the start, and at the same time I still have great access to two amazing attorneys no matter how stupid my questions are. Everybody I work with is awesome. I have been to two depositions and a mediation in the last week and a half. I've traveled down to Bakersfield, and up to San Francisco. I've met at least 10 real clients. I have an office- with a door. And I now have a full case load of 12 cases- cases that I will get to take depositions on as soon as I get sworn in this December. Cases that I will ultimately get to settle or take to trial. If all goes well, I will have filed my first lawsuit by the end of the week.

I have turned into a complete workaholic because I really love the work. I want to become an amazing advocate and litigator. I just can't help but smile. I am living my dream.


Almost an Attorney

And so it begins.... I start work tomorrow. I have had a wonderful break. Our cruise was awesome, my house is clean and organized once again, I have bought a whole new wardrobe of lawyerly clothes, and most importantly I believe I have had more drunken nights in the last three weeks than I had in all four years of college. The bar exam is but a distant memory at this point. That's all. Just thought I'd check in. It may be a while before I check back.... The small firm I'll be working at (read: 2 other attorneys) has a trial starting a week from tomorrow so my first few weeks promise to be anything but boring. It sort of feels like second year of law school all over again - just when you thought the worst of it was over (this time the bar exam), you realize that there's just a whole new set of challenges ahead. But this time- I get a paycheck, and truth be told, I'm really excited about my job. Good luck to everyone out there starting jobs or still looking for them. If the next 3 months go anything like the last three weeks, that fateful day in November will be here before we know it.


I think I drank the bar exam out of my system.

Literally. I'm not usually a 'drink until I pass out Britney Spears style' type girl.... but we went to a good friend's wedding on Saturday night. There was an open bar. Hubby and I both celebrated the wedding and the fact that the bar exam is over. We were driven home by his parents. Thanks in-laws! I don't really remember much of the ride home, but apparently I was very very drunk. I spent the next two days recovering from the worst hang-over of my life. Glad to say I survived it, since nothing would have sucked worse than to die of alcohol poisoning before results were released.

What's also interesting was that in the duration of that 2-day hangover, every time I fell asleep, I had really weird bar exam dreams- in one I had my ziploc bag but was lost in a residential neighborhood trying to find the convention center. There was a catholic school that I kept passing and the priest kept closing the gate, refusing to tell me where the test center was. Plus, suspicious looking people kept biking past me and menancingly looking at me as I realized I was openly clinging a very nice new looking laptop computer. And a ziploc full of earplugs.

In another dream, I kept reliving the Performance Test B as if it were that movie 'Groundhog's Day'. I would get through reading the file and library and outlining my answer, then get up to go to the bathroom, only to come back and realize that they had placed a brand new test in front of me, and I had done nothing yet.

But when I awoke this morning, my head felt fine, I was no longer nauseous and I realized I didn't have any scary bar exam dreams last night. I'm sure I'll have a few more, probably for the rest of my life.. but at least I feel that I've mostly excised the bar exam demons. I also think the mass quantities of alcohol I consumed on Saturday helped erase most of the useless information I memorized for the bar exam.

Now on to cleaning the house and 'things to do' list I've ignored for the past 2.5 months.


The Real World

Yup, it's really over. Yesterday and today when I woke up, my first thought was "Did I dream that? Is the bar really over?"

I still don't quite know what to do with myself. I went shopping yesterday, had lunch with my little sister, and then went out to dinner and for drinks with a bunch of my friends to celebrate. A couple of my really good friends gave me a gift card to a local day spa so I can enjoy a nice post-bar massage. What a treat! She also told me that she had a dream one of the nights I was in Sacramento that she was taking the bar exam and the proctors wouldn't believe her when she said I was supposed to be the one taking it. Ahh... sympathy dreams.

My husband is happy to have me back, and I'm being super nice to him. I will be eternally grateful to him for being so amazing throughout this whole process. In an odd way, I think it really strengthened our marriage.

On the agenda for today is starting to clean and make a list of all the things I want to get done before I start work on August 20th. In 8 days, I'll be on a cruise ship : ) Sometime between now and then I'll post my more collected, comprehensive thoughts about the whole process.


I just can't stop smiling.

Because the bar exam is OVER!!!!! And if the performance I gave over the last three days isn't passing, then quite frankly I don't know what is.

I felt like I did even better on the three essays today than Tuesday, and I felt pretty damn good about Tuesday's essays. After each essay, I get up for a bathroom break, but I always peak ahead so I can start thinking about what's coming. After question 5, I flipped ahead to question 6- "Husband and Wife...." I couldn't stop smiling all the way to the bathroom. The proctors must have thought I was crazy. I <3 community property. I am also crazy proud of myself because I spotted the agency issue on Essay 2 (I don't think it was a big deal to miss, I just talked about the liability of the agent when the principal is undisclosed and the liability of the principal for Ks entered into by agent in the mutuality of enforcement section of the specific performance analysis.) I'm surprised that they didn't hit us on civil procedure or professional responsibility. But even though a lot of the subjects they hit were unexpected, I couldn't have asked for a better test. I feel like it was fair- or at least as fair as the CA bar exam can be.

The PT was nothing crazy which made me overjoyed. I think I managed to interweave every fact I possibly could. Although I was thinking it would have been super cool if they'd managed to include the Anna Nicole Smith case in our library.

What an awesome feeling when the proctor called time. The convention center erupted in applause. We are done.

On the drive home, I started laughing uncontrollably. It's over and I feel damn good about it- not just that it's over, but that I think I actually passed it.

Now off to bed... I am freakin' exhausted.

The Finish Line

I'm ready to finish this thing with a bang. Of course, if the bar examiners are as evil as I suspsect, the light at the end of the tunnel I'm seeing is just a train... Either way, it's done in 9 hours or so. This will probably be my last post until I get home late tonight since I'm checking out of my hotel room before heading over to the testing center. Good luck everyone!! It's almost over!


Everyone should have to suffer equally.

I'm bored in my hotel room looking at other bar blogs and I find myself getting irrationally angry at people in states with 2 day exams who are already done. I want to be done. It's not fair. Why do we live in California again?

Day 2 made me sleepy.

The MBEs are done, and I'm back at the hotel almost an hour early. I finished both the morning and afternoon sessions in just a little over 2 hours each which is pretty on par for what I do in practice. I felt super confident about this morning's session. I think I lost some of my energy at lunchtime though because I was really dragging this afternoon. The questions seemed a bit more oddball this afternoon and I started tripping out because I had a very long sequence of 'D' responses that seemed odd. Oh well. Whenever I second guess myself, I'm usually wrong, so I left them alone. Overall, I'm still feeling pretty confident. I just know I have to get my energy back by 8:15a.m. tomorrow. I'm going to relax a bit, then figure out something for dinner and pack my car so I don't have to worry about it in the morning. Can you believe it- this is almost over!!

When in doubt, pick A.

On the way back from my run this morning, there was a news truck looking ready for a live feed from the covention center. Eh? Are they doing a story on the stressed out test-takers that have taken over downtown, causing a drop in tourism and a rise in crime?

Better get ready... it was definitely much harder to wake up today. This is exhausting. But it's time to go rock the MBE. Just remember.... when in doubt, pick A- because if we all do, they might think it's the wrong answer and they just screwed up.

And Dear God- please be gentle with the mortgage questions.


One more thing from Day 1

Totally forgot... I had a minor freak-out this afternoon when, after I finished reading the entire file I realized I hadn't checked the time when we started. So... I really had no idea how much time we had. I tried to guess based on when a lot of people started using the bathroom, but I really had no clue until they called the 1 hour mark. Yikes- must be much more careful about that tomorrow!

I <3 Day 1!!

Seriously. I rocked it.

Essay 1- a pleasant surprise- I <3 landlord-tenant because I did it for two summers at legal aid offices, not commercial leases of course, but still. I rocked it.

Essay 2- the call of the question was weird because it didn't flow nicely the way they wanted me to discuss it. But I think I worked it out nonetheless.

Essay 3- evidence..... my worst nightmare. But I did not freak out. I did not become a puddle on the floor. Quite frankly, I rocked it.

Lunch- Jamba Juice with an energy boost was just right- not weighed down and full of energy for ...

PT A- surprisingly straight forward, lots of facts to use- I could have talked for days.

Funny story of the day- Where in the world did I get the idea that power cords were not allowed? Why did I spend $160 on an uber-battery based on this false assumption? Don't know... but as I was walking over to the test center I kept seeing people with their power cords and I was thinking "sucks for them.... they're totally gonna be screwed." Yeah, no, I'm the dork. Whatever, my battery did fine and I got my power cord at lunch.

Dinner- walked to the downtown mall, got dinner and then wandered a bit. Bought a bag of my favorite candy at Sweet Factory and now I'm just chillin' in my room. Going to sleep should be no problem tonight.

By the way, certain people who sit around me are annoying, for various reasons which I won't go into because they might read this. Although I will say that I don't mind when they talk about substantive law, are clearly wrong and get those looks from everyone around them who is trying not to laugh but doesn't dare tell them they're wrong. Oh oh... and I love the guy that left the PT like over an hour early and was hanging around outside afterwards to get his laptop. I overheard him say "Well if you knew the rule about imputed disqualification, it was a breeze". Closed universe dude. Closed universe.

Things To Do Today:

a1. Wake up with the sun at 5:30 before any of my 4 alarms.

a2. Go for a 30 minute run around the State Capitol while listening to my bar exam soundtrack.

a3. Take a shower so I smell good for my test-taker neighbor.

a4. Have breakfast of yogurt (from my awesome pink-my-hotel-doesn't-have-mini-fridges-ice chest).

a5. Drink a cup of tea while flipping through my bar exam attack pack.

a6. Watch a little bit of GMA so Chris Cuomo can wish me luck.

a7. Listen to "Lose Yourself" by Eminem while getting into meditative state.

c8. Go kick some bar exam ass.




So I went to the hotel gym as planned... it was fine except for: (1) seeing a girl from school who tried to discuss the elements of defamation with me, (2) seeing a girl almost fall off the treadmill b/c she was reading an outline, (3) seeing a girl reading her conviser on the stair-stepper. But it was all good because (1) I know the elements of defamation, (2) the girl did not fall off the treadmill, and (3) I wasn't reading my conviser because I already read it and mine is way more tattered looking than that girl's. The highlight of the gym experience was, by far, seeing a girl wearing her barbri id card necklace. Um.... what?

Then I came back to my room, took a shower, and sat down to relax. I learned I can no longer watch tv without also reading something simultaneously. I gave in to the impulse and issue spotted one evidence essay. But I hit all the issues and then realized that if I hadn't it would have freaked me out. So I decided to stop while I was ahead. I went down to the hotel gift shop and bought 3 trashy celeb gossip magazines and an ice cream bar. So I'm about to snuggle into bed with my mags and watch Hell's Kitchen. Plus, I need to turn my computer off so it can get a nice full charge. We have a big day tomorrow.

At this point, I'm actually excited. I feel ready. Let's get this party started!

The lay of the land

Well.. at least I'm getting my $30 worth out of the internet I paid for... I'm bored in the hotel room, but am trying to stop myself from the giving in to the temptation to study so as not to endup like the nut job Sakai talked about.

I walked around a bit, scoped out the convention center- already set up with lots of scary signs. I also scoped out the State Capitol park which is thisclose to my hotel, so that should make for a nice inspiring run tomorrow morning- seriously- you just can't beat looking up through the trees and seeing a gov't dome. Ok, maybe I'm a dork.

Then I walked about 5 blocks from my hotel to Old Spaghetti Factory and got my favorite comfort food to go. I'm glad I did that because I also discovered a nice jamba juice and subway across the street. I timed the walk back- about 10 minutes. I'm thinking those will be my lunchtime destinations during test days so that I can avoid the crush at the few eateries right around the covention center.

Now I'm thinking about going down to the hotel fitness center to get out some nervous energy. If I crank up my mp3 player loud enough I can ignore all the obnoxious test-takers still talking loudly about substantive law. Then maybe a soak in the big ol' bathtub that my $159 per night apparently pays for.

Welcome to the Hotel California (Bar Exam Edition)

I'm here.

The drive was fine. Lunch with my husband was surprisingly fine considering his brother commented that he "had no doubt I would pass because you've never failed anything before." Sure, that sounds complimentary, but in my present state, it sounded more like "you're freaking out for nothing."

Then I got into Sacramento and remembered why I hate big cities. Yes, I consider Sacramento a big city. I refused to pay $25 per day for valet, so I parked in the self-parking across the street for $13/day, and lugged my massive amounts of luggage down the street in the 100 degree plus heat. Then I got into the lobby, and two assholes from my barbri class cut in front of me and then looked at me as if to say, "what are you gonna do something about it?" Seriously? Are they just assholes, or are they resorting to guerilla tactics to get the competitive edge by psyching me out? Whatever. Their childish antics can't phase me.

So I get to my room, which is nice, but I'm doubting my decision to stay in the same hotel as all the other test-takers. This place is swarming with the same people who have pissed me off and annoyed me for the last 3 years. Good idea to be around them now? Good iddeeeeaa??

Also, despite the fact that I'm paying $159 per night for a one person room, I have already added $36 for parking and $30 for 3 days of internet onto that. WTF does the $159 a night pay for?

I'm planning on chilling here for a bit and then wandering around the neighborhood to get a lay of the land and make plans for sustenance in the next few days (i.e. good food that I can get quickly without dealing with swarms of other test-takers.) I'd also like to find a safe/nice place to run tomorrow morning. I'm gonna need those endorphines.

Ready.... Set..... Wait.

I'm ready. Right now. Let's go. But alas, we still have a little over 24 hours to go. But I'm all packed up (see list o' crap below), just got back from my 2 mile run (ran the whole thing again), and trying to 'relax' watching GMA.

But instead, I'm just running outlines through my head. The big picture is gel-ing (sp?) and I'm confident that the details are in there too, just waiting for me to ask for them tomorrow. Yesterday, I even read up on - gasp- mortgages- and guess what? they're not so scary after all! I feel exactly like I wanted to at this point- like there is nothing I could have done to be more prepared. I want to walk out of there on Thursday knowing that I passed.

On a side note, on GMA right now, they're doing a story on a man that got attacked by a shark off the coast of Hawaii. He's a lawyer from Ohio. Figures. Let the lifetime of lawyer jokes begin. I'll focus on the positive- he was snorkeling- which is exactly what I'll be doing in a coupla weeks.

So here's my list o' crap: (keep in mind that I overpack because (a) I'm a girl and (b) I'm a worry-wart)
  1. 3 tees to wear on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: including one that says "It is what it is" for the last day.
  2. cargo capri pants with pockets perfect sized for granola bars.
  3. flip-flops and tennis shoes (i'm thinking the flip-flops will be too noisy for going to the bathroom)
  4. workout clothes
  5. my lucky necklace
  6. my lucky sweatshirt, which loyal readers have informed me I can wear (where did I get the idea that no hoods were allowed...)
  7. a non-hooded jacket in case loyal readers are wrong (love ya guys)
  8. my bar exam soundtrack on cd (for the car) and mp3 player (for workouts)
  9. extra batteries for mp3 player
  10. camera
  11. extra batteries for camera
  12. a bathing suit for the hotel pool (unless it's filled with crazy bar takers)
  13. 'Friends' DVDs in case I'm bored in the hotel room
  14. granola bars, cherry coke zeros, water bottles, tea bags, and other snacks
  15. a map of downtown sacramento marked with nearby food places
  16. all of my barbri books (because they are a security blanket)
  17. my stuffed animals fluffy (go ahead, make fun of me, i can take it- he's a security blanket too... just more comfortable to cuddle with than barbri books)
  18. PMBR CDs- in case I can't sleep, Steven Palmer will get me there.
  19. advil, migraine medice, migraine ice head cooling patches
  20. alarm clock
  21. cell phone (set only to ring for husband) and charger
  22. all the good luck cards i've received from family and friends
  23. my attack binder
  24. my flashcards
  25. earplugs
  26. pens & pencils
  27. my admission ticket
  28. my laptop
  29. my ziploc bag o' fun
I still have to go to Target for a few things on the list and I'm planning on treating myself to a new CD to listen to after the bar exam soundtrack gets old on the 3 hour trip to Sacto. I'm planning on leaving here by 11, stopping at husband's work for lunch and for an internet cable and then getting into Sacto between 2:30 and 3. Check-in is at 3 but I'm thinking all the other anal-retentive test-takers will be there at 3. So I'll beat them by getting there at 2:30. [insert evil laugh here]

I'm hoping that I'll have internet in the hotel room, so I can update throughout... but in case I don't...

Good luck to everyone! You are all rockstars and getting to know you through your blogs has been a pleasure. You guys always motivated me to work harder and reminded me that I was not alone in this, as isolating as the process felt at times. I'm rooting for each and everyone of you. I wish you luck- but the Sakai kind of luck- where preparation meets opportunity. We can do this!


Information Overload

I just went to print a mapquest from my apartment to the hotel in sacramento and I could not for the life of me remember my own address. I had to go ask my husband. Seriously. Then, when he told me and I repeated it to myself, I thought "Crap, did I just lose the elements of a 10b5 action??"


Almost had a heart attack because I couldn't find my lucky sweatshirt... sort of the same idea behind Biff's lucky pencils except I can't take mine into the actual bar exam because it has a fucking hood. Such a security risk. Oh well, at least I found it so I can wear it while in my hotel room and hope it rubs off on me.

It's Go Time

3 years of law school,
followed by
10 weeks of bar prep
consisting of
200 hours of lecture,
memorizing 1600 flashcards,
doing 3200 practice multiple choice questions,
outlining or simulating 160 practice essays,
and 6 full performance tests.
I'm ready to kick some bar exam ass.

I'm done with studying. Now on to packing.


Ingredients of Success: Adrenaline, Jello, and a dash of Serenity

I just ran for 2 straight miles- ran- no stopping for water breaks or to catch my breath- just ran. I don't think I've done that since the 6th grade track meet (the last time I was officially athletic). You could say the adrenaline is pumping. On the last stretch of the run, my legs started to turn to jello, sort of like my brain feels now. Ah, the great analogy- the bar exam really is a marathon.

When I got back, I went in the pool by myself. No bratty kids, no husband, just me. I floated around and took deep breaths. I even explained character evidence to myself in very basic terms, realizing that if you take away all the complicated distinctions- it's not that tough of a concept to grasp. And somewhere between the running and the floating- I found that feeling of serenity that they say comes over you the weekend before the bar (they being past bar bloggers).

It is going to be ok. I know an insane amount of law. I have practiced an insane # of questions, and essays. I will never know everything. But neither will anyone else (except Chemerinsky). So I'll just keep chugging along until Monday at noon. And then I'll pack up and go slay the dragon.

End sentimental part of blog. Begin comedy:

1. On my way back from the pool, the little kid who caused the Great Apartment Gym Closure of Summer 2007 was heading towards me on her bike. I don't know if it's because I look especially mean/scary today or if it's just the cumulative experience of me giving her dirty looks this summer, but she turned around and rode the other way. Success.

2. On my run, I was of course listening to my bar exam motivational soundtrack. I had thrown Madonna's "Like a Prayer" on there, not really for any other good reason than I like it and it reminds me of being a kid and dancing around with my sister. Anyways, I have a reason now. If you listen to that song, picture Madonna singing it to Chemerinsky: "In the midnight hour, I can feel your power, just like a prayer I wanna take you there [to the bar exam with me].... You are a mystery... just like a dream, you are not what you seem." I wonder if Chemerinsky googles his own name. If so, I hope he finds this.

Evidence still makes me cry.

I hate evidence. If we get an evidence essay, I will cry.

I just had a privileged marital communication with my husband regarding what I'd like to do to the ladies enjoying their party upstairs. Because there is no privlege regarding blogger communications, I will not expound on those intentions here.

Oh that'll help

The noisy lady upstairs has been especially loud all morning- vacccuming, opening and shutting doors and cabinets like it's going out of style, banging pots and pans etc. etc. Now middle-aged ladies are flooding into her apartment. Great, she was cleaning all morning because she's having a party. This will definitely make studying easier and lower my monumentally high stress level. Adequate provocation?


I'm freaking out and all I can hear is Honisberg saying "Don't freak out!" It's not helping...


Hello Neighbor

Dear Upstairs Neighbor,

While I respect your right to be lonely and have a lot of cats, and while I am not crazy enough to complain to you about the noise they make, I would like to make one small request. Can you please keep the black one indoors for the next 3 days? I'm a teeny bit superstitious and trying to avoid a black cat crossing my path every time I go to check the mail is not the best thing for my mental health three days prior to the bar exam.

Thank you for your cooperation.


Hi Honey, I'm home.

Conversation with Husband when he got home from work...

Husband: What do you want for dinner?


Husband: [Pulls earplug out of my ear.] Why are you wearing earplugs at home?

Me: Noisy fucking cats upstairs. [Yes people, these days even cats walking bother me]

Husband: What do you want for dinner?

Me: I don't know. [still typing civ pro essay]

Husband: How bout chinese food?

Me: Ok. I'll go with you.. I need to get out of the house.

Husband: umm... are you gonna change?

Me: No...

Husband: are you gonna do your hair?...

Me: No... why? do I look that bad?

Husband: well... you're gonna stay in the car right?

I threw my ear plugs at him. The chinese food was good. I stayed in the car, as requested.

Sue 'em all, Let the lawyers sort 'em out

I've officially decided that I don't like civil procedure. I thought it was just my crappy 1L professor, but no- it's the subject. All of the practice essays just seem like big fat clusterfucks (excuse the language, but we are down to a mere 4 days). And for some reason, these rules just aren't sticking. Issue-spotting is not the problem- it's remembering all the damn rules. Grr. This is especially frustrating considering this is one of the only subjects that might have applicability in real life as I'm going into civil litigation. Oh well, I'll figure that out after the bar exam.

In other news, I have moved my study center to my bedroom- at least temporarily. If I were a corporation, the nerve center would probably still be at the dining room table because it's where the decisions happen (and it's where the paced program is), but the muscle center would be the bedroom b/c of the productivity happening here. All procedural issues aside, I was just super super super tired of sitting at that damn dining room table. In fact, I announced to Husband last night that upon receiving my first paycheck I think I'll buy a new dining room table and ceremoniously burn this one.

Alright, back to it.


I woke up with a sore throat this morning and almost had a heart attack. But after chugging my daily glass of airborne water and another glass of orange juice, I'm starting to convince myself that it was just on account of dear husband leaving the fan on high all night.

And then just when I was thinking about how awful it would be to take the bar with a cold, I heard on GMA that there was a bit of a quake in Oakland. Biff- how ya doing? They said a Safeway closed on account of the damage and my first thought was, "Oh, I hope it's not Biff's safeway... where will he study...." So I hope all the bay area test takers are doing ok. And I certainly hope that wasn't just a warm-up for a bigger one to hit during the test. Because Lord knows, the CA Bar Examiners would just tell you to keep going and not let chunks of plaster falling on your laptops slow you down.

So with those positive thoughts... on to another day. I'm finishing my final substantive subject review this morning- Civil Procedure. And then this afternoon I will be working to make my attack binder absolutely perfect so that I can just rely on it as my bible all weekend while I chug through as many of the remaining essays as I can.

This is it kids. The final bar prep weekend. Next weekend... will actually be a weekend.



After finishing the last of the MDR mixed sets tonight, my official MBE tally has now hit 3,002. I told my husband that I've now done over 3000 MBEs and he said "tonight?" Way to marginalize my achievement! : ) I have 200 more from the strategies & tactics book left on the agenda for the weekend, but I won't be too hard on myself. I've averaging 80% at this point. Tomorrow I tackle civil procedure, finish my attack binder, and start to see how many essays I can fit in before Monday at noon. Until then, I think I deserve a good night's sleep.

You expect me to memorize all of this AND have common sense too?!?!

So I'm beginning to figure out that corporations isn't really as hard as I was making it out to be in my head. It really does just require some common sense. There are of course a few basic things to memorize, but once you have that down, you really have a lot more freedom to BS than in most of the other subjects. Although... I'd still prefer not to see a Corporations question on test day... the numbers just make me nervous.


Dear Bar Exam Gods,

I would very much appreciate it if you could comply with the following requests next week:

(1) a community property essay
(2) a wills or trusts essay
(3) a torts essay
(4) a civil procedure essay (with not too many picky CA rules)
(5) a professional responsibility essay (especially one where i get to talk about sex with clients)
(6) a con law essay, contracts essay with not too many numbers, or a property question about easements

I would also very much appreciate if you could abstain from the following:

(1) any question that mentions evidence
(2) a full-blown remedies question that requires me to know the difference between equitable liens and constructive trusts
(3) a community property essay relying heavily on the matter of lucas
(4) the mere mention of the word "mortgage"
(5) a weird performance test that Honisberg will later make fun of
(6) an MBE question about a Halloween prank gone bad

As consideration for your compliance with the above requests, I will tender 2 sheep for sacrifice to the bar exam Gods (I have a couple from my bar prep class in mind...). This offer may be accepted either by a return promise or by full performance to be completed by July 26th.


/s Amanda

Essays, MBEs, PTs... Oh my!

I feel like I've been at a crazed pace all day, so this blog will hopefully allow me to step back and evaluate where I'm at without losing productivity points : )

Accomplishments Today:
  • Essays: Simulated one random essay from the monkey o' fun- A Con Law question about dormant commerce clause/ federal pre-emption with PR crossover. I did it using examsoft to make sure my computer wouldn't explode. Good news- it didn't. The essay was good. I feel like doing 'random' essays like this is probably the most helpful thing I'm doing at this point- makes sure I'm on my toes about every subject, not just the one I'm tackling that day.
  • MBEs: Did 60 MBEs out of the Barbri MDR mixed sets. Does anyone know if these are supposed to be harder than released questions? It sort of seems like it. I scored 72% but it just seemed like a lot of the ones I missed were abstract points like the ones tested on the PMBR 3-day. I'm thinking I'm just going to go back to the rest of the released questions in the Strategies & Tactics book. At this point, I don't know that I see the value in psyching myself out with super hard questions. Plus, there are 200 more released questions in the S &T book and that's about all the time I have left for MBEs anyways.
  • Substantive Law: Today was all about community property. I feel really confident about community property- a little like I'm that guy that Sakai talked about, pumping up his already super buff community property arms. So although I have it on the agenda to outline a few more CP essays, I may do another random essay instead.
  • Performance Test: Sat down at 2pm sharp with the best intentions to completely write out the Westside Community Development Corporation PT. The first 85 minutes were great. Read the file, the library, organized it, made a great outline, took my break.... But I just couldn't force myself to type it out. It seemed like it would be a waste of time since I was pretty sure my outline was good enough to translate into a passing score had I taken the time to write it out. So I looked ahead to the answer. I certainly didn't hit every issue, but I got all the headings right and most of the big stuff. So I felt ok about my choice. I'm wrestling a little with where to go from here on the PTs. I have myself scheduled to do one more (Estate of Keefe) on Friday, but part of me just wants to devote that time elsewhere since I know that I'll be able to pull it together on the test days. I think I will at least devote some time to reading back through Honisberg's handouts and familiarizing myself with the odd-ball documents that we might be asked to prepare.
  • Interaction with Outside World: I went to Wal-mart and did not kill any small children. There was a little old lady who was really pissing me off though... she kept pushing her cart really slowly through the aisles and then parking right in the middle. When I tried to get by, she would just smile. I wanted to scream "It's really nice that your retired and all. That must be fun. Congrats. But some of us need you to stop blocking the lean cuisines so that they can get home and study." Anyways, the reason for my Wal-mart adventure was because I needed a couple of necessities: earplugs, lean cuisines, yogurt, shampoo (in case I decide to wash my hair between now and the 27th), and new earphones for my mp3 player (turns out just the headphones crapped out, not the whole unit). The grocery store obviously doesn't carry all these things, Target is too far away to justify during break time, and I don't have to really get dressed or put on make-up for Wal-mart since even without trying I still look more presentable than 2/3 of their customers.... so Wal-mart it was... A risky move, I know- I can barely handle the population at that store when I'm not 5 days away from the most important test of my life. But long story short, I got all my stuff, didn't kill anyone, and even managed to tell the cashier to have a nice day.

All in all it's been a productive, but crazed, day. I'd still like to: outline a few more community property essays, do another random essay, finish going over the PMBR questions from Monday, get in at least 34 S &T mixed released questions, and type out a list of all my mnemonic devices. That's a lot. But on the bright side- one week from today, we'll be 2/3 of the way finished with this damn thing!!!

Just give me a straight answer!

PMBR Question #67 from the 3-day workshop:

Bunky was a 15-year-old who was rather big for his age. He was six feet tall and weighed about 200 pounds. On Halloween night, Bunky decided to dress up as a bank robber. His costume consisted of a black raincoat, a ski mask, and a toy pistol which resembled a real gun. He went to a number of homes in his neighborhood and when a person opened the door, he would hold up his gun, shoot a few blanks, and say, "Your money or your life... trick or treat."

At about 9:30p.m. Bunky went to the home of Mrs. Wrinkles, a 78-year-old widow, who lived alone. When Bunky rang the doorbell, Mrs. Wrinkles opened the door. Bunky then pointed the gun at her face and said, "Your money or your life." Before Bunky could finish his sentence, Mrs. Wrinkles quickly closed the door. She retreated to her living room, sat down on a chair, and suffered a non-fatal heart attack.

If Mrs. Wrinkles asserts a claim against Bunky to recover damages for her heart attack, she will:
(a) recover, because he committed an assault.


Barbri Question- MDR, Mixed Subjects #89

On Halloween night, Darryl, who is 12 years old, dressed up as a bandit by wearing dark clothes and a pair of panty hose over his head and went trick or treating. Darryl carried a toy gun that looked like a real firearm. Darryl's method of operation was to go up to a house and ring the bell. When the person answered, he pointed his toy gun at the person's face and said, "Your money or your life," and then shouted, "Trick or Treat!" At the fifth house he went to, Darryl began this routine, but before he could say "trick or treat," Patty, the elderly homeowner, screamed and slammed the door in Darryl's face. Still shaken by the experience, Patty suffered a heart attack five minutes later.

Has Patty a cause of action against Darryl?
(d) No, because Patty should have known that the gun was a toy since it was Halloween.

I just typed out both questions in their entirety, hoping I would spot the difference. Is anyone seeing it?

I tend to agree with the Barbri explanation because a reasonable person wouldn't have been afraid since it was Halloween. But PMBR says nothing about basing this on a reasonableness test.

Ugh. ugh. ugh.


Pull out your restatements ladies and gents

So I'm going through the PMBR questions from the 3-day workshop that I'm skipping... and with every answer I read I became more and more assured that I made the right decision by leaving. Seriously, they just test inane little points of law and the only explanation is "there's actually this little tiny exception noted in a footnote to the restatement that..." Seriously. I think I can live without that point.

By the way, did you know that in Michigan, if you score a 150 on the MBE that waive you in- regardless of your essay scores? Why do we live in California again?

Show Yourself.

No more anonymous comments. I like to know who I'm getting unsolicited advice from. And please don't tell me I'm overstudying. Maybe I'm understudying. Maybe I'm studying the wrong thing. Only November 16th has those answers. And yes, I am cranky today. But less cranky than I would be sitting in the PMBR classroom. By the way, wills/trusts is going well. I'd really be happy to see a wills/trusts essay next week.

All by myself

I left PMBR after the first hour. Steven Palmer goes through the explanations a lot more slowly than I do. And quite frankly, my 65% was apparently not that pathetic compared to the majority of test takers. So I will read over the answers/explanations on my own and focus my time instead on the remaining CA subjects that I'm still not completely firm on. On the agenda for today:
  • Wills/Trusts: make attack pack/review/memorize substantive law, outline at least 4 essays, simulate 1
  • Go over PMBR answers/explanations
  • Do a mixed set of 50 MBEs from the Barbri book
  • Do 2-3 random essays
Wow. That's a lot. I'd better get going.

By the way- if I had one of those smiley face charts to record my daily feelings, it would say "Today I am terrified." Shaking, nervous, terrified. Woke up at 6 am, went for a run, been jittery ever since. The adrenaline has started pumping...

Should I go or should I stay?

1 hour in to PMBR Day 2... I'm thinking I'm wasting time. Hmm...

Daniel Baldwin, JD

Good Morning America just did a segment on Daniel Baldwin's 47th stint in rehab. He may be a cokehead... but this time is going to be different because he's keeping a video diary for GMA. Anyways, his doctor said the key to recovery for him is going to being humility.... Then they showed a clip of an interview with him where he was talking about how he is always the best at what he does: "I could go get my real estate license tomorrow and make a million dollars in a year... I could go get my law degree tomorrow if I wanted to." That made me angry. Ok, Daniel. Go get your JD. But then try to pass the f*ing bar. Then we'll see what you're made of.

I'm off to see if PMBR Day 2 is worthless. If it is, I'll come home and focus on some CA subjects. I'm starting to get overwhelmed with what we have to know. I made a list of my mnemonics last night- 53 so far and I haven't even gotten to community property, wills/trusts, or business associations. Oh, and as if that's not stressful enough my mp3 player that I bought with my lexis nexis points is crapping out on me. All my music sounds garbled and I can only hear the backtrack, not the melody. How the hell am I supposed to listen to my motivational soundtrack on my runs now??


Just when you think you're ready for anything...

The Bar Examiners always have the last laugh. Take a look at the Remedies #5 essay in the CA essay book... also known as the atrocity that met Summer 2003 bar exam takers on question 2...

The fact pattern is all about a land purchase deal gone bad... partly purchased using embezzlled funds... blah blah blah

Call of the question: What remedies based on trust theories, might Polly and Acme seek...


The Commentary:
"This bar question is a true odd-ball problem..... This questions illustrates the importance of knowing every aspect of law. While at first glance, resulting and contructive trusts may not seem to be a very popular or recurring bar subject, this question required a detail knowledge of the area. This bar question reaffirms the need to be prepared in all areas."

Thanks Barbri. Know everything. Got it.

Got It.

I'm Doing Fine Mom & Dad =
Inadequate Remedy at Law
Definite & Certain Terms
= Epstein's mnenonic for Specific Performance

Cha Cha is my favorite dance=
valid contract
contract conditions satisfied
legal remedy inadequate
mutuality of remedy
feasible to enforce
no defenses
= Conviser's mnemonic for Specific Performance

Just two different ways of saying the same thing. I prefer Epstein's.


I'm doing fine mom and dad.

What the hell is that a pnemonic for? I know we learned it, but my mind is blank and I can't even remember what subject it's for.

Thanks in advance!

Flight or Fight

Just got home from Day 1 of the 3-day PMBR workshop. I had seriously considered ditching out of the 3 day in lieu of on my own study.... but I'm glad I went. In my opinion, forcing yourself to do a full 200 HARD questions in timed test conditions can never be a waste of time.

As for the rumors, this test was definitely harder than what the actual bar exam will be. I scored 122/200 for a 61%. However, the answers and explanations booklet says you should add 36 to this raw score to get your scaled score becuase they have eliminated the "give me" easy questions that typically represent as many as 20 questions on the real exam. They also have a chart that allegedly compares you to other testtakers based on their approximations. According to that chart, anything over a 120 is over 90th percentile on a national PMBR scale. So I'm feeling good.

I am going to go to Days 2 & 3. This is a decision I made while taking the test today. The fact is, there were some questions on today's test that I need explained and as productive as I have been lately, I also know that I haven't been fully reading the explanations like I should be to get full value out of the practice questions. Plus, my stamina is waining and I figure this will be a good way to count sitting and listening as study time.

On the schedule other than that... tonight is remedies which shouldn't take too long because so much of it piggy-backs on other subjects. Tomorrow is Community Property and Wednesday is Trusts/Wills. I put those on the PMBR days because I'm already feeling pretty strong about them. In addition to making my attack outline and doing a final review of each of those subjects, the daily plan is to outline at least 2 essays and simulate 1 in that subject. If I have time, I'm also aiming for 50 mixed set MBEs and 1 random essay per day.

As for my emotional health... On my run last night, I cried- just really let it all out. But then I had a moment of clarity- there's really nothing to be sad about, and not much to be scared about at this point. I am ready, and a week from tomorrow I will be even more ready. And after that... life just gets so much better- I am a lucky girl and I have a lot to look forward to. I definitely feel like my body is in flight or fight mode at this point. So I just have to keep fighting.


Single Digits Baby!

That's right. We are officially in the single digits in terms of days to go... Frightening and exciting all at the same time. My brain is officially nearing capacity. At church this morning I forgot some of the words to the 'Our Father'. That's like the first prayer they teach you at age 7. Also, we have a visiting priest that doesn't speak very good english, and while I would usually try to be a good parishoner and listen anyways, today I reviewed rules of law in my head. So I think that counts as study time. I think I should also be banned from public roads until this thing is over- I ran not one, but two stop signs today- I just didn't see them. And my first thought was 'crap- that was still a volitional act.'

On the agenda for today:
  • Con Law: 34 released Barbri questions, 47 released Emanuel questions, outline 4 essays, simulate 1
  • Prof. Resp.: Outline 1 full PR question, Outline 1 cross-over PR question, Simulate 1 full PR question, Simulate 1 cross-over PR question
  • Continue to work on my AABEAP (Amanda's Awesome Bar Exam Attack Pack)
  • If I get to it... one random essay from the monkey o' fun and a set of 50 mixed MBEs.

Husband is going to his parents house to help them break in their new bbq which sounds like an all-day affair to me. So, it should be a productive day. I'm realizing that posting my daily agenda makes me hold myself accountable more so than if it's just on the list in front of me. So there you go kids- hold me accountable. Happy Study Day to all!


Signs I'm going INSANE

1. Today I have done 98 MBEs, outlined 4 essays, simulated 2 essays, simulated an entire performance test, and continued to refine my patented 'Amanda's Awesome Bar Exam Attack Pack' and yet.. I still feel like I should study more.

2. I actually named it 'Amanda's Awesome Bar Exam Attack Pack'.

3. I can't find my comb. I finally took the time to wash my hair (only because I'm going to church tomorrow) and now I can't find my freakin' comb. To be honest, I can't even remember the last time I used it.

4. After 2 consecutive essays about Deft, the defendant, the name is beginning to grow on me...

5. Before I typed out the headline I thought... well what test am I basing that on? M'Naghten? Irresistible Impulse? You know the others...

Oh, and in case your need of a nifty mnemonic for remembering the exceptions to the search warrant requirement, try mine: Paul and Amanda can Stop and Frisk Eachother. (Paul is my husband's name)
Plain View
Incident to lawful Arrest
Stop and Frisk
Exigent Circumstances

Do you have the time...

... to listen to me whine?

Is it July 27th yet? Seriously. I am tired. I am cranky. My head hurts. I think I accused hubby of having an affair just based on the fact that he still cares about hygiene even though I don't anymore. And that was after he was sweet enough to clean the house and then get out of it so I could study. At this point I wouldn't blame him if he were having an affair anyways- he's probably in dire need of companionship. If I was given the choice to just go ahead and take the damn thing right now, I think I would. I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm actually ready and the feeling I have now is of just postponing the inevitable and making sure information doesn't seep out of my brain between now and then. But alas, we have 10 days to go. And so I will go back to studying.

quality control

Adam and Bailey, brothers, operated an illicit still. they customarily sold to anyone unless they suspsected the person of being a revenue agent or an informant. One day when Adam was still alone, he was approached by Mitchell, who asked to buy a gallon of liquor. Mitchell was in fact a revenue officer. After Adam had sold him the liquor, Mitchell revealed his identity. Adam grabbed one of the rifles that the brothers kept handy in case of trouble with the law, and shot and wounded Mitchell. Other officers, hiding nearby, overpowered and arrested Adam.

Shortly thereafter, Baily came on the scene. The officers in hiding had been waiting for him. One of them approached him and asked to buy liquor. Bailey was suspicious and refused to sell. The officers nevertheless arrested him.

Adam and Bailey were charged with conspiracy to violate revenue laws, illegal selling of liquor, and battery of the officer.

On the charge of battery, which statement concerning Adam and Bailey is true?

(A) Neither is guilty.
(B) Both are guilty.
(C) Adam is guilty but Bailey is not, because the conspiracy had terminated with the arrest of Adam.
(D) Adam is guilty but Bailey is not, because Adam's act was outside the scope of the conspiracy.

Correct Answer: Depends on who you ask.

Barbri says (B) because the rifles were kept "in case of trouble with the law" making this act in furtherance of the conspiracy foreseeable.

Emanuel's Strategies and Tactics book says (D) because "there are no facts, except for the rifles kept nearby, to suggest that shooting revenue agents would be part of the deal, and that wouldn't be enough to convict Bailey."

This is a released question... It must have had a correct answer at some point!... So who do we believe? I'm going with the Barbri answer.


If there has one thing that has become abundantly clear over the last few days, I need a warm-up before the MBE. Each morning this week, I have started with MBEs, and with the exception of torts, I have scored lower than 60% on my first set of 17 and higher than 75% on my subsequent sets. Coincidence? I think not. I think I read in Talamo's book that it's a good idea to do a set of MBEs right before the actual test to get yourself warmed up. And I'm beginning to see his point. So that's what I'll be doing on a Wednesday morning in the not so distant future...

In other exciting news, I bought a new pair of running shoes last night. My old pair were cheapies from Target and had begun bruising my toenails. Pretty gross, right? I've never really felt athletic enough to buy name brand running shoes before, but seeing as how the bar exam has pushed me into running upwards of 3 miles a day, I figured it was time to make an investment. They are beautiful. I feel a little like Forrest Gump. It was also interesting to see the outside world/inside of a store again. I just wandered around Kohl's with a dazed look on my face.

Then I went to Office Depot to get a binder and tab dividers for my patented 'Bar Exam Attack Pack'. Wandering around Office Depot, an employee asked if he could help me find something. I said "no, just looking, thanks." He probably thought I was crazy. Who goes to Office Depot just to browse? Back to the grind now though- I guess I know how Paris Hilton felt when they sent her back to prison after her brief stint out.


Me & My Dragon

After a day full of MBEs, comparison charts, flashcards, essays, and a bit of frustration, I think I have begun to slay my dragon. In fact, here's a picture of me and my dragon now:

Here's how I did it:

1) focused on perfecting my understanding of the FRE through MBEs. Once I felt comfortable with my scores...

2) moved onto the comparison charts in conviser. I ripped out all the comparison charts in the FRE outline and then read through the California distinctions chart, writing in important notes to the comparison charts and making my own charts when necessary. I also supplemented this with the distinctions from Adachi's Survival Kit supplement.

3) Focused on the big areas that they would seem likely to test distinctions in: impeachment (especially concerning convictions) and hearsay exceptions.

4) Boiled down the big stuff to a new set of flashcards. This was after I decided my old ones were worthless thanks to the wonder that is Victor Gold.

5) Started practicing essays. This is where I got really excited- as it turns out Barbri gave us a little bit better than the butter knife I described earlier... the sample answers in the CEWB book actually have California distinctions worked in.

So far I've outlined three essays (2 from the essay workshop handout and one from CEWB) and simulated one more from CEWB. I did really well on the last simulated one, thus allowing me to post the picture above. I'm going to shoot for simulating one more (probably the one from the graded assignments book) and outlining the rest from the CEWB book tonight. It's been a good day considering I was dreading it this morning- at least I won't freak out now if get an evidence question on the big day...

Slaying my dragon...

I'm trying to do my final review of evidence today. To use Grand Poobah's analogy... I am slaying my dragon. Unfortunately, Barbri hasn't given me a very good sword. I sort of feel like they shoved me into the dark dragon's cave with nothing but a butter knife, a "distinction chart" and a disclaimer to cover their own asses. Has anyone come up with a great way to do this with some level of sanity?

P.S. Prop 8 is solid proof that the initiative process makes for stupid laws in CA.


The Monkey Says Have Fun

Each day between now and the bar exam I am doing one "random" essay in addition to essays in whatever the subject of the day is. I wrote the name of each essay (i.e. CEWB Contracts 2) on flaschards and folded them up. Then I looked for something to put them in and draw them out of... you know, for an element of fun... Here's what I came up with:

I got it on me and hubby's honeymoon cruise last summer. The pure irony of a coconut monkey telling me to have fun right now is about as funny as it gets.

Well, not quite as funny as 'Rape Me'. But close.
Oh, and for those of you on the edge of your seats, I'm deciding to scale back the performance tests I had on the schedule. I'll do two more (instead of four more) plus reading through Honisberg's lecture material again. Tonight, I ended up outlining 4 more property essays that I had done before, but it had been long enough that I didn't remember them very well. I also wrote one out. I'm feeling decent on the property- essay-wise anyways. Then I outlined a contracts essay. And now I'm calling it a day.

Rape Me

Alright, so Paula Franzese says the way to remember termination of an easement is by "END CRAMP" (Estoppel, Necessity, Destruction of Servient Land, Condemnation of the Servient Estate, Release, Abandonment, Merger, Prescription). But... the Conviser comparison chart narrows it down to 6 ways... and they just so happen to make for a much more entertaining pnemonic:


End of Necessity

You can thank me later.

Edit: And guys, since we all know that only women can be raped at common law, you can switch this around to "Rape 'em" and that should work just fine.

To Perform or not to Perform

I have on my schedule today to do a Performance Test. But I'm starting to wonder if that's worth the time... So far, I have done 4 PTs:

1: totally half-assed it, it barely counts
2: felt crappy about it, but did ok according to the sample answer
3: felt crappy about it, turned in for grading, got a passing grade
4: did during the simulated written day, felt told in control when the pressure of the timed situation was actually on, totally owned it

So... I'm beginning to think that (a) I do well on these when the pressure is actually on, (b) I do decent even when the pressure isn't totally on.. because in all honesty they're sort of a joke, and (c) does practicing really make someone better at these?

What is everyone else doing? I'm trying to be a sheep, so I need a herd to follow : )

Property makes me cry.

Finally time for a lunch break. I punished myself by working through the noon hour for not focusing very well this morning. I finished 88 released property questions, including the first set of 17 I mentioned this morning. My overall average was 65%, which isn't horrible when taking the national average into account. So I've decided not to slit my wrists.

In other news, if we get a property essay about mortgages, I will cry. You will be able to recognize because I will be the puddle on the floor.

A rough start

Property day is off to a rough start.

On the agenda for today: 34 released property questions from MDR, 54 released property questions from Emanuel, outline 3 property essays, simulate 2, make my patented property attack pack, simulate the Westside Community PT at 2pm and review Honsiberg's first lecture on general PT strategies.

So far I have: woken up with a headache, taken 4 advil, went for my run anyway, watched President's Bush's press conference (didn't I say I wasn't going to do that anymore?), threw a sock at President Bush's face, taken a shower, and.... drumroll please... scored 53% on my first set of released property MBEs.

Contracts yesterday and Property today are really getting me down. These scores are significantly lower than my performance on the simulated MBE which was supposedly harder. Last week, I was consistently scoring around 85% on mixed sets of released MBEs. These scores are no better than what I started with during the 6 day PMBR. I think at this point, it's just a mind game. Maybe the torts set yesterday got me overly-confident and I'm not taking them as seriously as I should. Or maybe karma really is a bitch and this is what I get for shit-talking about a couple of individuals in my Barbri class who I think will fail. Or maybe my worst nightmare has come true and the MBE subjects, feeling neglected by my devotion to CA essays, have fallen out of my brain. Whatever the explanation is, I need to get over it and get back to work.

There will be updates to this ongoing crisis throughout the day. Feel free to check back, if for no other reason than to make yourself feel better about your own scores.


Field Trip

I just finished my ambitious assignments for the day. I'm still feeling a bit rough on contracts though (56% on a set of 64 released questions- ouch) so I may do a little more review on that before bed.

But I took a break and went grocery shopping with husband. It was nice to see the outside world. Although, I officially don't care what I look like anymore since I wore the same sweaty workout clothes I've been wearing all day, my hair looks like crap because I just smooth it back into a ponytail instead of taking the time to find a brush, and make-up is so last year. I am wearing a law school t-shirt though, in hopes people will realize I must be studying for the bar because I would never appear like that in public otherwise.

Anyways, we bought the essentials. And by essentials I mean massive supplies of healthy snack foods that I can eat constantly throughout the day without gaining 10 pounds in two weeks. I bought the pre-sliced apples and as I was throwing them into the cart, my husband started to say "Why don't you just buy regular apples and slice them yourself?" The homocidal look on my face shut him up quickly though, and he instead suggested I buy two bags. I almost had a melt-down when they were out of my favorite peach yogurt and the brand of string cheese I like. But I coped by buying a big bag of popsicles.


All these generic names in the Bar essay fact patterns are getting to me. I just reviewed the Contracts essay I simulated- an employment contract dispute between Pam and National Bank. Throughout the course of my essay I referred to Pam as Mary, Beth, and Nancy. I think I'll just start referring to all of them as 'whatshisname'. Do you think the graders will even notice?

Heavy Head

I am prone to headaches, but this is different. My head literally feels like it weighs at least a hundred pounds. It is difficult to hold up. All this substantive law is a pretty heavy load and I believe it has actually made my brain heavier. You say that sounds silly?- I guess that's why I have a J.D. and not an M.D.

I'll give you something to arbritrate


Just outlined Contracts Essay #3 from the In-class workbook. It was a UCC question in which the acceptance included an aribtration clause that was not mentioned in the offer. So... under the UCC, a new term will become a part of the contract unless the offer limited acceptance, there was no objection, or it is a material obligation that affects the risks of the contract parties. Ok, we're good so far. But... Sakai's outline says that an arbitration clause "may not have materailly altered the contract." Am I going crazy or has every Barbri sample answer and every MBE on this topic said that an arbitration clause does materially alter the K and will therefore not be included? I know this is picky, because on test day I could just argue both sides or whatever. But the inconsistencies are annoying.

Also, this morning's confidence is shot after a pitiful set of 16 Contracts released MBEs- I only got 8 right. 50%! Yikes. So I decided to set the MBEs aside for a bit and do my essays first. Except for the above complaint, they're going alright. But just in general, the afternoon is a rough time for me. I just want to take a nap. But I cannot do that because 2pm is performance test time on the 24th and 26th and I will train my body to be up for it.

Good idea?!?.....

It was a good idea to start with Torts- total confidence booster. I scored 91% on the set of 70 released questions I did from the Emanuel book. I outlined 2 essays- one was a defamation/invasion of privacy fact pattern, the other was a products liability. Then I simulated 1 that dealt with products liability as well as special landowner duties. Put together my 'attack pack', and narrowed down flashcards to the absolutely necessary ones that I don't solidly know. Now on to contracts...

And we're off!

Today is Day 1 of bar prep minus the hand-holding of Barbri. I designed my Paced Program on steroids last night, made my official motivational bar exam soundtrack, and tidied up my house for the absolute last time before this is over. So here's the agenda for today:

  • Go for a run and listen to my bar soundtrack to get motivated for the day.
  • 70 released torts MBEs from Emanuel's Strategies and Tactics book
  • Outline 2 Torts essays
  • Simulate 1 Torts essay
  • Put together my patented "Tort Attack Pack" which will basically consist of Sakai's outline, any Conviser flow charts that make sense to me, and a one pager of the most necessary memorized concepts.
  • Lunch Break
  • 64 released contracts MBEs from Emanuel's Strategies and Tactics book
  • Outline 2 Contracts essays
  • Simulate 1 contracts essay
  • Put together a "Contracts Attack Pack"

This schedule will be pretty typical for the next two weeks. Most days will have either 2 of my stronger subjects or 1 weaker subject and a performance test. On days where I only cover one subject, I will do one 'random subject' essay. Once I get into the CA subjects next week, I'll do a mixed set of 50 MBEs each day. I'm also doing PMBR next Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. So that's it. It's all printed out and pretty so I have to stick to it. Have a great day everyone! I'm sure I'll be checking in soon...


Top 10 Signs that the Bar Exam is in 2 weeks

10. The red light turns green and it takes you 30 seconds and a couple of angry drivers behind you to remember what that means.

9. Even your husband makes statements that end in 'after the bar exam.'

8. You get a whiff of something at noonish and realize it's you. Then you remember that you're supposed to put on deodarant in the morning.

7. You cut your fingernails and then three days later look down and realize you forgot one.

6. You make a revised paced program for the final push, but in the same exact font and formatting as the original Paced Program because that's what sheep would do.

5. A passing performance test grade from Grader #508 (who by appearance of their handwriting was drunk while grading) makes your day.

4. You go for a two mile run in the Central Valley heat because it feels that good to get outside.

3. Everytime you take a break, you hear Honisberg saying "Good idea??"

2. You realize at 3p.m. that your sweat shorts have been inside out all day.

And the #1 sign that the Bar Exam is in 2 weeks:

1. Your phone doesn't ring anymore because all your friends and family are tired of having their heads bitten off.


I'd Like to Phone a Friend

The best part of the official bar exam instructions given before the simulated written test today: "You are not allowed to use a phone during the test." What? No phone-a-friend? I already programmed Chermerinsky and Whitebread onto my speed dial. I thought that was why Epstein gave us his phone number!

All joking aside, if today had been one of the actual days of the bar exam, I would be feeling pretty damn good.

Professional Responsibility: did well, especially considering I didn't remember there was a specific rule about insured/insurer joint representation. And now I do... Also, I totally misread the secretary thing- I thought Lawyer told Doctor's secretary and talked about the duty to communicate directly with the client. Totally missed that unauthorized practice of law thing...

Wills: Wills is my bitch. 'Nuff said. Seriously. Spotted every f*ing issue on this one.

Community Property: Did well, except that I clearly didn't know the rule that an oral transmutation can really be just about anything.

Performance Test: Finally! My answer looked so much like the sample answer, it was a little frightening. I felt completely under control the whole time. Not to get too country here (I'm really not... I've just watched '8 seconds' a few too many times b/c Luke Perry makes a really cute cowboy) but about an hour in, I felt like I had the bull under control and I was just spinning until the 8 seconds (i.e. 3 hours) were up.

Tomorrow should be fun- Essay Workshop 4 and Performance Test 3 all in one long last day of Barbri...


Under Pressure

Just took a shower and realized that I now have an internal soundtrack. My head was playing that "Under Pressure" song. I don't know when I would have heard that song recently considering the only CDs I ever listen to are PMBR ones. So it just must be another one of God's little jokes. Funny.

Also, I <3 crossover essays. I just did a contracts/remedies/professional responsibility/torts crossover and did almost as well as that property one I did earlier. I think the reason is that they force me to focus on big picture for each of the subjects instead of the subject specific essays where I try to pull everything out of the subject that could possibly apply. So here's hoping for a few cross-overs on the big day(s).

Now I'm off to enjoy one hour of tv/quality time with my husband. Hoping to be in bed by 11- a full exciting day of simulation awaits me tomorrow.

A few of my favorite things...

If I got to pick one essay question that I've done so far to show up in two weeks it would be the Real Property question on p. 159 of Sakai's In-Class Workbook handout. To use my geeky husband's gamer speak, I just totally pwned that question. It was a property/remedies/tort cross-over with landlord/tenant duties, private nuisance, easements, and injunctive relief and damages thrown in. It was a thing of beauty to realize I knew all the applicable rules. On the other hand, if this had been an essay in the Barbri book with a Barbri sample answer instead of an actual passing answer that Sakai gives us, I'd probably be feeling really bad about myself right now. But I won't dwell on that. Instead, I will take a study break to pat myself on the back.

Rights & Privileges

I forgot to mention... I got my diploma in the mail yesterday. Sidenote: I paid over $100K for my legal education and they still charged me $5 to mail it. Anyways, the diploma says I am hereby granted the degree of juris doctor "with all the rights and privileges thereto pertaining." My first thought was.... rights and privileges... that's always a wrong answer on a con law MBE.

Sad. Very very sad.

Skittle Stress

I feel jittery today.

I woke up at 7. Just like I have for the last week or so. I'm usually a 'sleep 'til noon' type person if you let me (or if I ever had that kind of time). But not these days. I'm wide awake by 7, too stressed out to go back to sleep. So I got up, watched Good Morning America... realized that before bar prep I didn't even know they had a weekend edition... and went to church at 9 instead of 11 as usual. Friendly people at church usually relax my stress. But after church, I was still jittery.

Sitting here now past the five o' clock hour, I'm not sure where the day has gone exactly... I have reviewed crim law/procedure and simulated a crim essay. I have reviewed property and outlined a property/wills cross-over question. I have torn out the Sakai checklists for each of the subjects and reduced to notecards the basic outline for a few of the subjects where it made sense. But I still feel jittery.

Tomorrow is the full length written day, and I want to feel prepared for whatever they throw at me (don't tell me... I like surprises). And so I'm trying to make a final push towards a productive day. My husband went to a movie so I really have no excuses. So I called in the big guns... a fun size pack of skittles. This is serious stress and the only thing that can fix it is a fun size sugar rush.


Don't Feed the Animals

Just went to Starbucks for a much deserved break with a friend. While waiting, I was of course doing practice MBEs. A geeky little dude with a rolling backup stopped and stared at me for a second on his way out and then, with so much excitement in his voice he could barely contain himself said, "Are those practice law questions?"

"Uh huh- I'm studying for the bar exam", I replied, barely looking up. He apparently goes to the local law school. I wished him luck, and considered telling him to run away now. It took him a couple of minutes for him to walk away. I couldn't help but feel like a zoo animal. Yes, kids this is what a bar studier looks like!

Seeing the Forest

Just finished simulating 2 wills and trusts essays and outlining 1 CP essay... And my first thought was- "I hope W/T and CP are tested because I have these subjects down." Which is odd, considering these are the 2 bar classes I never took in law school. But maybe that's the problem... if we've spent a whole year or semester learning a subject, we tend to get bogged down in the details, losing sight of the forest through the trees. Here, I've never seen most of the trees but the forest makes sense to me. Hmm... maybe I just should have skipped law school altogether...


You say commingle. I say co-mingle.

Does it bother anyone else that commingle is spelled with two 'm's? Dictionary.com says that the prefix is 'com' meaning 'jointly, together, with.' So it must be right... but it still bothers me. But I digress, and regardless of how it's spelled, a trustee has a duty not to do it.

Cruise Control

My passport arrived today. A good solid reminder that life is about to get much better in 2.5 weeks.

Until then, could wills be any more boring? I felt bad for the lecturer. He wasn't bad- there were just no jokes to make. There's nothing funny about dying and the people you leave behind getting screwed because there are too many stupid rules to follow. Also, does anyone else sort of picture a hologram when you think about a holographic will? How boring that's it's just a handwritten will.

I am also busying myself with a fun project on study breaks- a bar exam soundtrack of my favorite songs to get pumped up. So far it's pretty diverse.... I'm still taking suggestions.

1. Black Eyed Peas- 'Let's Get It Started'
2. Wilson Phillips- 'Hold On'
2. Eminem- 'Lose Yourself'
3. The Fray- 'Over my Head'
4. Kanye West- 'Touch the Sky'
5. Natasha Bedingfield- 'Unwritten'
6. Fort Minor- 'Remember the Name'
7. Barenaked Ladies- 'Who Needs Sleep'
8. Sarah MacLachlan- 'Delirium'
9. Fleetwood Mac- 'Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow'
10. Israel Kamakawiwo'ole- 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World'


Lifetime lessons in Community Property

Tried to enjoy a Lifetime movie tonight after I finished a long day of studying... The basic setup: Joan's daughter comes home from law school for the summer. Joan hooks her up with a job at the law firm where her best friend's husband works. Daughter ends up having an affair with lawyer. Lawyer admits his infidelity to wife, he goes to hotel, she tells her sons that he has "moved out". Cut to scene at work where lawyer is getting lectured by another lawyer/friend at his firm who knows of the affair... "Need I remind you that you're about to be the next senior partner of this firm?" And the first thought that goes through my mind... Crap, did the economic marital property already end because he physically moved out and she expressed an intent not to to resume the relationship? She should have waited for his pay increase at work... Earnings are marital property and even better... her spousal support would have been calculated using his new salary. Although... it would have been better if their names had been Hank and Wendy. Seriously, can't I ever turn this thing off?

A test of competency?

Just finished simulating a con law essay... I did one of the ones Sakai put in the in-class workshop but didn't get to. He also didn't include an answer, which I only realized after completing the simulation. So I went to look at the sample answers on the bar website. This was the second question on last summer's exam.

Let me preface this by saying- I don't do all that well on Con Law essays. I don't totally understand how to organize the individual rights very well. That said, the first sample answer was good and gave me a good idea on how I should organize. The second answer... well, it was almost as crappy as mine. And this was one of the best in California?

Give me a gold star!

I just spent my lunch "break" creating insane progress charts to track how many essays, performance tests, and mbes I've done and will do before 7/24. I hung them on the dining room wall in view of where I study. All I need now are some gold stars and my kindergarten teacher.

Paranoia, Paranoia, the bar exam is coming to get me...

I couldn't sleep last night. I tossed and turned a lot. Bad dreams when I did sleep. Nothing I want to talk about though- then they might come true. So instead of continuing to toss and turn, I got up at regular time, even though there is no lecture today. Studying seems to be the only thing that calms me these days. Went to the fridge to get breakfast and those words on my calendar were laughing at me! "BAR EXAM" ha ha ha ha ha ha. Am I going crazy or are your calendars taunting you too?


Operation Paced Program Plus Deployed

That's right folks. The Paced Program just isn't cutting it this week, so based on my self-diagnosis, I'm adding to it. I feel surprisingly less stressed, having done more today.

I spent about an hour and a half reviewing community property and finishing my flaschards since this was entirely new subject to me. (Thank goodness I remember my parents' divorce or else it would all be completely foreign!) Then I spent an hour or so memorizing the flaschards I had made. Then I outlined the first two Community Property essays. I think I'm going to like the CP essays- very straightforward as long as you know the rules. This completed the Paced Program for today.

So here's my plus program:
  • Essays: Per Sakai's instructions and my own assessment of weak essays, I am writing out one additional essay each day. I started today with Torts. Why? Because that was the first subject we covered so let's start at the very beginning... a very good place to start... Anyways, I did the one from the graded assignments workbook because the feedback is a lot better on these. Tell me again why they include an essay in this book from every subject if they have no intention on having us turn them in? I was surprised at how much I remembered. That's a good sign. Let's hope it's true of the other subjects.
  • Evidence: I did a set of 17 evidence MBEs from the PMBR book. I got 65% right, but always at least had it narrowed down to 2. I just have to figure out how to pick the right one of those two...

So far, so good. Now, I just have to keep up this pace for three more weeks. Three weeks from TOMORROW to be exact!!!


Evidence may not be so evil after all..

Maybe I'm not as ignorant of evidence law as I thought... despite my poor showing on the Barbri simulated MBE (barely over 50%), I just got 82% right on the 56 questions in Emanuel's 'Strategies and Tactics' book. Even better, the intro to that book says these are released questions. Hmmm.... is Barbri just tricking us into thinking we're going to fail?

Cue motivational soundtrack

In the 30 minutes since my last post, I have been wandering around my apartment muttering... "three weeks.. holy shit.. there are only three weeks left." Then I cracked the books, and started learning evidence (until I decided to write this post). But you know what would really help? A motivational soundtrack. Because isn't this the part of the movie where some inspirational fast-paced song plays, there is no dialog, and we just see the main character working towards their goal.... Where's my music?!?!?

Treatment Plan

I have hit the wall again. I thought I got over it last week. I was super productive Friday, super-duper productive yesterday, and even as I sit here today at 6:12p.m. I am finished with the Paced Program assignments. But I can't help but feel guilty that I'm watching tv instead of studying. So, as reccomended by Sakai, I am posting my self-analysis at this stage in the game as well as a treatment plan. Any and all suggestions are welcome.

1. Evidence- I still don't know a damn thing about evidence. But I think I have a new plan. A commenter has reccomended Emmanuel's MBE book a few times, which I of course bought long ago before I realized I would only have time to read Barbri materials. So I have brought out that book and opened it to the section on Evidence. It appears to have a nice little synopsis of strategies and tactics (hence the title of the book) followed by practice questions with answers and explanations. It is my goal to work through this tonight. Then, for the rest of the week, I will attack at least 17 evidence PMBR questions per day (17 because that makes for a nice even 1/2 hour). By the end of the week, I should be an MBE evidence pro. Then and only then will I attempt to sort through the California distinctions and learn how to craft a remotely decent essay answer. Because I think that's where I got really messed up- trying to learning French and Spanish at the same time.

2. Performance Test- I just hate this thing. I took the full three hours today for the Seaquest problem in the in-class workbook. I forced myself to spend 85 minutes reading, outlining and planning, even though I naturally don't need that much time. I forced myself to take a 10 minute break and then spent my remaining 85 minutes writing. And really really forced myself to write the whole time, spending time at the end to go back and put in more facts. Then I turned to the answers... it appears I did ok on the headings, and mediocre on the facts and analysis. But I'm still really discouraged. Does this portion of the exam just seem crazy and annoyingly unpredictable to anyone else? So my treatment plan here is to read through the information Honisberg has given us in the CA Peformance exam book as well as look at the in-class handout again. But can anyone reccomend a better method to this madness?

3. Essays- I write too much irrelevant shit and don't put in enough facts about what actually is relevant. Suggestions?

1. MBEs (other than Evidence and a few other rough patches) are looking good. So far, we've done the released questions for contracts, con law, and torts and I've scored 80% on each of them.

2. Memorization- my flashcard method is working well, although I need to come up with some sort of a rotation system to make sure that I'm going through each subject regularly enough not to forget stuff.

3. Stress level- I don't feel as stressed as I thought I would be on July 1st. But should this actually be a weakness? Am I not stressed enough?

Ok, Sakai- are you happy? I have analyzed myself. My husband gets home from a weekend out of town in a couple of hours, so I should probably knock through the evidence stuff while I still can. This week promises to be rough, despite the light schedule- community property, wills, and trusts- none of which I ever took in law school. Yippee. But I am taking 4th of July off to go and spend it with my family- after all, good sheep do what the Paced Program says to do.


Waste of Time

Just went for my daily run. I was incredibly pissed off when I got a few minutes in and realized my mp3 player had run out of batteries. So much for listening to PMBR lectures. And my first thought was "Damn... this run will be a waste of time." And then I remembered fondly my college psych professor who told us that in Brazil, there is no translation for 'waste of time' because their lifestyle is far more laid back and no time is truly wasted. And then I thought... they must not have a bar exam in Brazil.

And then I got home, checked my mail and received that scary threatening letter from the bar that says "Tell your law school to get their act together, and send us proof that you graduated, OR ELSE." I agree with you Poobah- I think at this stage of the game, we're talking grounds for NIED. So I fell to the ground and skinned my knee just so I could associate some physical harm and satisfy the damages requirement. Ok, that last part is in jest.. but maybe I should have.


Credit for time served

Just went and saw 'Sicko'. Great movie. And I've decided to count it as study time because it included:

  • authentication of documentary evidence
  • reference to the 'reasonably prudent person standard' (also the guy in the movie referred to it as the 'normally prudent person')
  • discussion of a rebuttable presumption
  • Reason #672 why Nixon ruined our country (reason #438 is the addition of professional responsibility to testable bar subjects)

Now I will finish patting myself on the back for excellent issue spotting and head off to bed.

I'm more sheep-like than 85% of other sheep

Thank you fellow bloggers for pointing out that the MBE results are up. Spending the last half hour analyzing my results has allowed more to put off the paced program while still feeling like I'm 'studying'. In order to fulfill my duty of candor to the public, here is my feedback:

Raw Score: You answered 130 correctly out of 200, which equals 65% correct.
National Rank: Your score was higher than 85% of the students taking the exam.

That makes me feel good about myself.

This does not:

18 correct out of 33 (55% correct)
Percentile rank: 58%

Also, did anyone else notice this minor discrepancy...
  • What we were told by Guzman on Day 1 of the MBE review: This was much harder than what your MBE will be. You will not see a test like this.
  • What the Barbri website says: "The BAR/BRI Simulated Exam that you took has the same overall topic coverage and the same level of difficulty as the actual MBE. We say this with assurance because our attorney staff takes the MBE regularly to ensure that the BAR/BRI Exam is representative in this regard."

I may not know jack about evidence, but I do know a prior inconsistent statement when I see one.

In other news, today we wrapped up out last full week of Barbri lectures. (Next week we get Tuesday and Wednesday off, the following week we finish on Wednesday) At first, this realization made me incredibly happy. I am going crazy in that little windowless room every day (I think it's worse than Paris Hiltons' jail cell). But then, it made me incredibly scared. That means it's almost here. Yikes.

Does anyone else feel like the Paced Program is being too easy on us this weekend? I mean come on- outline two essays today, write two essays tomorrow, one simulated performance test on sunday, and a handful of conviser sections thrown in.... It makes me feel like I should add more. Like maybe they have trained us to be sheep but this is the point where we start showing off to the other sheep... a sick Animal Farm deviation of sorts... 2 simulated essays good... 4 simulated essays better. Or maybe I should take the opportunity to figure out what the hell admissible evidence is.

Oh, and me and my Barbri neighbor noticed today that we uncapped our highlighters, highlighted a section of the handout, and capped our highlighters today perfectly in sync... twice. Baa Baa. (that's the sound a sheep makes, right?)

And finally in today's news, my brain is officially nearing capacity. I went to send my husband an email today and could not remember his email address. It is hisfirstname.hislastname@hiscompanyname.com I have officially lost it. And I can't get that not to hyperlink. Go ahead, send him an email.


Master of the Flying Obvious Strikes Again

From the Professional Responsibility Conviser:

"The California rule prohibits the lawyer from: (i) demanding sexual relations with a client as a condition of professional representation..."

Really? Thanks Conviser- I never would have figured that out on my own.

Dear Self,

Larceny is a crime, not a tort. Therefore, you may not discuss tort liability for larceny in a remedies essay. Get it together self- you just learned this stuff a few weeks ago. And next time, pay attention to that funny voice in your head saying 'larceny... hmm... that doesn't sound right.' Ugh. Stupid stupid mistakes like that will cost you!


P.S. Other than that stupid mistake, you did a really great job on this essay. Go get yourself a fudgesicle!


It's all relative

So I sat down to post and started to title this 'great day' and then realized how relative that phrase has really become.

The day started with 4 hours of Remedies with Conviser. All I kept thinking was SPEED IT UP- we already learned half that shit in contracts and torts. Also, Conviser really let me down. I expected more personality from the founder of Barbri. Now I see why Epstein makes fun of him. We also got back our Contracts essays today- failed on all except the rules. I was pretty sure of that one after I looked at the sample answer, but based on the grader's comments you would have thought I wrote on a completely different prompt. Her bright red pen crossed through many of my paragraphs, writing them off as 'NOT AN ISSUE'. Clearly, my understanding of how to write a passing essay is the real issue...

But I digress.... What made my day really great was that I got done with the paced program by 6pm which allowed me to spend the whole evening cleaning house and sorting through the massive stack of mail that I had been ignoring. Isn't that sad? But I relished the opportunity since I'm pretty sure it'll be the last time my house gets any attention again before the bar. Anyways, highlights from the stack of mail included a past due bill (yikes- I'm never past due on bills!) and a letter from PG&E notifying me of a scheduled outage in our area... oops. And now it's bedtime- at 11pm!!

So that's my new standard for a great day- and not even Conviser or Grader #602 could ruin it.


When the going gets tough...

A bit of a panic struck today... I blame Honisberg mostly, and myself a little. Allow me to organize this with headings because I am a sheep.

Things that were stressing me out

The Prospect of Failure
First, Honisberg telling us that everybody passes, creating in me the panic that I won't and I will embarrass myself, my friends, my family, and the law firm that so graciously hired me and paid for my bar prep. I think I'd been in a stupor for the last few weeks, chugging along, being a sheep, and forgetting that some sheep don't pass. The reality hit me today- there is nothing that guarantees I will pass.

The Paced Program
Second, I fell a little behind on the Paced Program for the first time... it started with just missing an essay and putting off reading the Conviser on Remedies on Sunday, due to an improptu house hunting trip and an allegedly 'scheduled' power outage... then it grew to an essay, a conviser section, reviewing a half-assed performance test, and a set of MBEs due to a headache and general laziness last night. This became an all out panic today when faced with the prospect of catch-up plus a simulated performance test and more MBEs. Then, looking ahead I realized that next week is the last week of real substantive material, and they've saved the best for last- community property and wills/trusts- the two subjects I didn't take in law school.

The Performance Exam
I didn't feel like Honisberg gave us a very good technique for approaching the Performance Exam. I half-assed the assigned one last night because I was just so overwhelmed by it. I told myself that Honisberg would explain it all and go into a more detailed theory today. I was wrong. He basically said 'this was easy' and then moved on to 17,647 other examples of what the bar examiners might expect us to be able to do. Most of his examples did not have sample answers, leaving us still mystified. Couple this with someone telling me on break about someone they knew who failed the entire bar on account of the performance exam... I guess I'd been writing off the Performance Test as 'that other part of the bar exam that is annoying but easy so I won't worry about it.' And today I started seeing it as 'that other part of the bar exam that may f*ck me over because there is no real way to prepare for it.'

A danger to the community
And finally, Paris Hilton is out on the streets again- free to drunkenly run into me on the way to the nearest In n Out. Ok, this isn't really a concern considering she (a) would never be caught dead in Fresno, and (b) is a changed woman.

Things I did to stop freaking out
So, in the midst of my freak-out I did the following things:

1. cried
2. took a power nap
3. cried
4. told myself to stop freaking out, take a bathroom break and get to work (not literally take a bathroom break, but more in the sense that Honisberg told us to)
5. Got to work

And in the end, I was uber-productive today.

The Prospect of Passing
I've decided to go glass-half-full. I went to a top 30 school that has a 80% pass rate (I think). I am a first time test taker. I don't have any of the crazy distractions that would make for a Honisberg story. I am working my ass off. And most importantly- I can be a sheep!

The Performance Test
I was very strict with my simulation today and felt pretty confident when it was over. These things are doable, and in my opinion, more a mind game than anything else. Yes, three hours is a long time to focus when you have no water and a stack of shit to read and make sense of, but three hours is also a long time in which to do a good job of reading through the stack of shit, make sense of it, and perhaps take a break to go to the water fountain. I'll be anxious to see my grade on this one. Also, I am vowing to not half-ass the remaining assigned Performance Exams so that I will be feeling more confident about them by 7/24.

The Paced Program
I am caught up with the Paced Program- even having read the Remedies Conviser for tomorrow and made flashcards. I'm super excited that remedies promises to be mostly a review of contracts and torts concepts with a little more depth. And that the rest of this week includes only another essay workshop and professional responsiblity- which, since we did already take the MPRE, really means no new material this week. I'm even more excited that if I finish my assignment in a timely manner tomorrow I may actually get around to the piling up laundry and disgustingly dirty house.

A blessing to the community
Paris Hilton is going to save the world- what's not to be excited about? And if I've learned anything from her ordeal... It's that when the going gets tough the tough get going (after crying a little first... something about 'it's not right').