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.
- 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.
BAR/BRI OVERALL SCORE
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 firstname.lastname@example.org I have officially lost it. And I can't get that not to hyperlink. Go ahead, send him an email.
"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.
P.S. Other than that stupid mistake, you did a really great job on this essay. Go get yourself a fudgesicle!
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.
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:
2. took a power nap
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').
In other news, my 5-10 minute break consisted on dealing with yet another power outage. This time, the universe thought it was really funny to turn the power back on, right after I got off the phone with the PG&E man to report the outage. If I fail the performance exam, I'm blaming PG&E.
Me: "I need to get to San Joaquin College of Law on Clovis and 5th- How do I do that?"
Cop: "Well darlin' if you'll just make a right you can follow the detour."
Me: "I already tried the detour- the detour never gets me to where I need to go."
Cop: "Well we'll be opening the streets back up after the parade is over at 12."
Me: "I have class now. I am studying for the bar exam. I need to get there NOW." (thinking but not saying.... I don't give a damn about your stupid parade)
Cop: "Oh (a bit taken aback and motioning for back-up) I guess I can wave you on through."
Yeah, that's what I thought. Now I won't sue you.
I'm also finding myself more incapable of handling the smallest things. Children are the worst- especially when I'm in Target or at my apartment gym. There was a story on GMA today about some people who complained about their neighbors' loud kids who apparently live in the pool in the summertime. The parents' were actually criminally charged with violation of a noise ordinance. The GMA hosts were of course acting as if this were the silliest thing. But my sympathy immediately went to the complaining neighbors- maybe they're stuyding for the bar, I thought. (a tangential point- the GMA hosts kept commenting about how litigious our society is getting- suing for every little thing, and I was literally screaming at the TV "They said CRIMINAL charges, not a CIVIL law suit you idiots!!")
I also feel like basic information has escaped from my brain to make room for the elements of defamation and justiciability doctrines. Such as... I had to drive to the office I used to work at today to pick up some baseball tickets (It's Law Clerk Appreciation night tonight) and I literally could not remember which street to turn on. I worked there a month and a half ago!
On that note, I'd better get to work. Law Clerk Appreciation Night at the ballpark means I'd better get crackin' on memorizing my agency and partnership flashcards, knocking out a few essay outlines, and reading the Civ Pro conviser for tomorrow. By the way, Kaufmann was a total hoot- even better that he seriously annoyed the douchebag who sits in front of me.... even though he kind of looks like him. (If you're wondering why the guy is a douchebag, it's because he thinks he's smarter than all of our lecturers... combined)
Oh and for inquiring minds that want to know, I got a 'pass' on my property turn-in essay- Passed on all 4 judging criteria. Woo hoo. Now if only I could get more than 50% of the Property MBEs right, I'd be good to go.
"To what relief is Pat entitled in the derivative action, and on what bases, and against which defendants. Discuss. Do not discuss federal or state securities law issues."
And so even though it made absolutely no sense to me, I organized my essay as follows:
- Pat's Relief in a Derivative Action
- Bases For Relief
- Parties Against whom Pat may Recover
And how does the sample answer organize the essay??
- Pat v. Carl
- Pat v. Motco's New Directors
- Pat v. Bigco
WHAT DO THEY WANT FROM ME????
On a happier sidenote, I absolutely made the right decision in skipping the Barbri MBE review today. I got a ton done and (in spite of this essay) am feeling very optimistic and relaxed.
But my plan for the day should turn out much better: review the simulated MBE on my own (including the property stuff that Duffy didn't explain yesterday), spend a bit of extra time on evidence, and then shift gears from the MBE to the CA subjects.
We had our corporations lecture on Friday and were supposed to outline two essays last night and simulate two tonight. But I just didn't feel ready. I was exhausted from my day with Duffy, et. al so I just memorized my flashcards and made some more that I didn't have time to make during the lecture because he moved through the last part pretty fast. So the plan today is to do the two outlines- and really do them, not just half ass them like I usually do with the outlines. And then simulate two. And then I have to read the agency conviser for tomorrow's lecture. If I had gone to the MBE review, I wouldn't have gotten home until 5:30 and then still would have had to do all this. So I think I'm making a good choice- now on to productivity.
The other parts of today included a review of the evidence and con law sections. I actually liked the Evidence guy- I wish he had taught us that stupid subject from the beginning. That is really the subject that is going to kill me, I suspect. The con law guy was good too- a thick southern accent and straight to the point- "Choice A is garbage... I hope none of y'all picked that one." Luckily, I didn't. I sort of rocked the con law.
Anyways, in the midst of Douchebag Duffy, I started to have a minor freak-out, and briefly considering staying home tomorrow to really commit all this evidence stuff to memory. But then I calmed myself down- after all I was doing 80% on MBEs over the weekend, this in-class exam was apparently significantly harder than the real thing, I still got a respectable 65% on it, and we still have a little over a month to go. So I'll be staying with the herd for now. Unless Duffy has the nerve to show his face again. That is the one time I'll be wishing I was at a live lecture so he could see me get up and walk out!
As far as the MBEs go, I'm feeling great. I scored 80% today on my set of 50. My overall weekend average was 72%, and each set got progressively better. I was super dedicated about reading the answers and explanations thoroughly, making flashcards for the concepts I didn't know, and then actually reviewing those flashcards. So I feel ready for tomorrow- 6 hours of testing, here I come.
Last night was nice- we drove around in my husband's car for a while, although we opted not to stop for the alcohol I originally wanted since we were afraid the car wouldn't start again due to some battery problems... We went through a DUI checkpoint which gave me a great opportunity to recite some criminal procedure to hubby. Then he started talking about not selling the car as he's been trying to do for the last few months... which gave me another great opportunity to explain to hubby the legal significance of the advertisment he has posted online (invitation for an offer) and subsequent communications with potential buyers (some could constitute offers but all seem revocable until they are accepted).
Today was equally fantastic. I slept in until 8:30 (remember the days when that wasn't even close to sleeping in?) I had a leisurely breakfast and cup o' tea and then started the day's assignment- 100 mixed MBE drills. I did them in sets of 17, timed for 30 minutes each. I did great on the 1st 50- a 72% average, getting an 85% on the middle set of 17! Then I took a lunch break before hitting up the other 50, again 17 at a time. Not quite as good- 60% this time. But I read all of the answer explanations carefully, noted the areas that I'm still unclear on and kept reminding myself- the more we bleed in battle, the less we bleed in war. And then by 5pm- I was done with the paced program for the day! So I went for a run (in the hot central valley heat, this was not my best idea of the day but the gym was closed) and took a shower. Now I'm waiting for my husband to come home from his brother's house (I banished him to there earlier today) so we can figure out what to do for dinner.
I considered getting a jump start on tomorrow's assignment, but I think it'd be better to let my brain rest. Instead, I'll enjoy an exciting evening of sorting through the stacks of mail I haven't opened this week, making sure our bills are paid, and doing some laundry. Yes, it's a dull life, but I feel calm and unstressed- which is more than I can say for the last few weeks that I've tried to cram the paced program into 6 days. So that's it- good bye weekends- I'll see you in August.
I'd also like to comment that I think Barbri sucks for worrying more about covering their own asses than helping us pass this damn thing. What I mean is this: of all the graded assignments we will be turning in, none- count them NONE- of them is in one of the new subjects. Except maybe civ pro... but I don't feel like going to get my paced program to confirm that. Regardless- I really do get the impression that they're trying to cover their asses to our detriment- just give us your best guess as to how they're going to test it- I won't hold it against you!
In better news, we've wrapped up the big 6 and have our MBE Simulation on Monday. This means the weekend assignments including approximately 4 kazillion MBEs. I did my first set of 50 tonight and scored 72%! Better yet, I timed myself and ended up with plenty of time leftover. I think I might actually slow myself down a bit- some of the questions I'm missing are really because I'm reading too fast and missing important facts. I'll try that on the 100 questions assigned for tomorrow- gag.
Until then, I'm actually DONE for tonight. Yes, you heard me right. I finished today's assignment at 8:30. I sort of don't know what to do with myself. So I went to the grocery store to stock up on the lean cuisines that are on sale this week (thanks Poobah). And now hubby and I are going to take his sports car (a suped up '93 Toyota MR2 for the car enthusiasts out there) out for a little cruise. Hopefully to somewhere that will serve me a wee bit of alcohol.
Oh yeah, my mom gave me a bar exam 'care package' full of goodies to get me through... she put it all in a gift bag that had Oscar the Grouch on it. I think she's trying to tell me something. You know... maybe he was misunderstood- he could have been studying for the bar exam too.
** Note to the anonymous commenter- the email update on Evidence was just pertaining to CA, so if you're not in Cali don't worry about it.
In other news, we finished Contracts today, thereby wrapping up the Big 6 subjects. Epstein was good- entertaining hypos that proved he is obsessed with armadillos, grits, and Sharon Stone. The highlight, however, was learning that Conviser is a person- the founder of Barbri to be exact. Shows what I know- I thought it was some fancy synonym for 'Summary' or something. I loved when Epstein pointed out that a buyer still has a duty to pay even if the subject matter of the contract is destroyed- after all there is still money left in the world... and Conviser has most of it. : )
Speaking of Conviser overcharging us for his services... was anyone else angered by the 'Evidence Update' email we received last night. Thanks Barbri- those corrections would have been super helpful BEFORE I spent the weekend memorizing what you'd told me before. Now I have to go back and figure out the differences. No worries, I'll do it in all the free time the paced program allows me. [insert sarcasm here]
Oh, and we survived another day without a bar prep rival gang riot in the hallways... ah well, we can always hope for tomorrow.
Both BarBri and BarPassers have been asked by the administration at San Joaquin College of Law to speak with our classes about their collective conduct towards each other while on campus.
Please be mindful of the fact that we are guests at San Joaquin College of Law and conduct yourselves appropriately. Be courteous to each other and to any groups that may be using the facilities there. Your common goal is too important to fall victim to your emotions.
Looks like it's back to grade school kids....
"... Earl and Baron agreed on June 15 as the closing date. Baron handed Earl a check for $2,500 and said, "Here's your earnest money. I'll see you on June 15." Earl responded, "You betcha," and that men shook hands on their deal. On the memo part of the check, Baron had written "Earnest money- Grayacre...."
Seriously, this had me laughing for a good minute. I went and told my husband about it and declared that when we buy a house, I'm writing "earnest money" on the check memo. He didn't get it.
Action for divorce. To prove adultery by husband, Donald Trump, Wife offers statement of Paris Hilton, a permanent resident of a psychiatric hospital in Europe, made during an interview for America's Most Disgusting Celebrities: "I got drunk and had an affair with Trump." Admissible?
In the federal system- No, because although the declarant is unavailable, the statement is not a declaration against her financial or penal interest.
In the California system- Yes, because the declarant is unavailable and the statement is against her social interest.
Perfect timing.... justice has been served and Paris Hilton is once again UNAVAILABLE
ONE- Could Mr. Evidence BE any more dry???? Seriously, that man was putting me to sleep. He talks so slowly he could have fit evidence into one day if he just picked up the pace a bit. Quite a change from the fabulous singing Paula Property. Even the cynics in our class who spent the last three days making fun of her were asking for her back today. So, I officially loathe evidence merely on the basis of its dry presentation.
TWO- Today's big 'hot topic' on The View was, of course, the release of Paris Hilton from jail. I won't focus on the fact that I am so enormously pissed off about the way this makes our "justice system" look.... but the ladies on The View were speculating as to what 'undisclosed medical condition' Paris was released because of. Joy Behar suggested that Paris' herpes is acting up. Ding ding ding. Red flag! Loathsome disease alert!! Luckily for Joy Behar, Paris Hilton is a public figure because a loathsome disease is a one-way ticket to slander per se. But because of the constitutional implications of a public figure, we'd get to see Paris Hilton sue and then lose because the assertion wasn't false. : )
In other news, a friend in Barbri made a great suggestion today... If the California Bar were to say... Ok, there are two ways to become a lawyer in this state- (1) pass the bar or (2) give us one eyeball.... there would be a lot of one-eyed lawyers in the state... including me.
On another note, I tivo 'The View' every day (because I am a loser), but I have decided that it is actually a valuable show to watch on my lunch break. Yesterday, in discussing the new court ruling in New York regarding free speech and what cuss words they can air on TV I felt it necessary to recite outloud for them the free speech test that they were not understanding. Today, they started a healthy debate on California community property laws in light of Larry Whats-his-name's impending divorce.
And finally, is anyone else the least bit pissed off that Paris Hilton gets to keep her hair extensions while in jail? What about the poor Rustafarian (sp?) man a few years ago who had to go all the way to the 9th Circuit to argue his religious right to keep his dred locks despite the penalogical interest in a safe prison where guys don't hide guns in their hair?? And yet Paris doesn't even have to fight for her right to wear hair extensions? Ah well, it'll just make it easier for someone to make her their bitch- grab her by the hair!
On to crush my spirits with 40 more intermediate Property MBEs and 2 property essay outlines. Then on to come to the realization that I don't know jack about evidence. Have a nice day studiers.
Oh, and we're two days into property. Despite the bad singing and unendless perkiness, I sort of like her. Although I can't get this song out of my head: "it takes two baby... it takes two baby... to make an easement appurtenant."