Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year, everyone!

This image borrowed from www.grucci.com/


cat said...

Happy New Year, GP - what a lovely picture! That is exactly how we should all feel in May 2008!

The Grand Poobah said...

Thanks, Cat! Back at ya'!

The image is probably a copyright violation (I know Jonathan will render an opinion on that), but I gave credit in the image properties to the owners (www.grucci.com). And now I've done it again here! I'm not using it for commercial advantage so I hope they don't mind that I borrowed it.

biff said...

It's infringement, unless it's fair. All laws should be so clear.

Richard said...

Happy New Year! Wish you all every success this year :)

The Grand Poobah said...

Biff: Alrighty then. Settled, it is. How goes the job?

Richard: Thanks, mate! Back at ya'!

biff said...

The job is exhausting, and I don't know what I'm doing. It's sort like last summer.

The Grand Poobah said...

Ahhh, but you're smart. You will figure it out. And despite the demands that they're putting on you, they know that you don't yet know what you're doing.

As long as you're trying hard and your work is basically sound, you'll do well. Next year at this time you'll be surprised at how much you've learned. And how well you can function on very little sleep. (;-)>

biff said...

I just hope I stop looking stupid before the summer associates show up next May.

CaliforniaBound said...

GP, I have never left a comment before, but I wanted to tell you how much I value reading your blog and that I am rooting for you. 2008 will be your year.

I studied for and took the California bar exam in Feb. 2007 at my employer's request and in anticipation of a transfer. I didn't discover the support resources available (i.e. blogs) until the last few days before I stepped into the examination room in San Diego. While I found out I passed the exam in May, I haven't completely moved on. The entire lonely, yet deeply intense study experience left me with the insane need to continue to read the cal bar related blogs at least once in a while ( and silently cheer on others, while reassuring myself that insanity I experienced in the weeks leading yp to February 2997 (not to mention my continuing interest) is at least arguably normal.

Your blog is my favorite. On some delusional level, I feel I know you. At the very least, I empathize with you.

While I was a licensed lawyer (in Ohio, Texas and New Mexico) for more than 25 years before I took the Cal Bar, we nonetheless have something in common-- our age. I reached the mid century mark between the time I took the CA exam and the time I received the results in May. Feb. 2007 marked over 17 years since my last bar exam. It was humbling to go through this process at an age (at least for me) where memorization does not come as easily as it once did. I tried very hard to continue to work while studying, but I was panicked by Feb.1 at what I didn't know and the relatively few hours I had actually studied (and the massive materials I simply didn't know). At that time, I reluctantly took off 3 weeks and studied 12-16 hours a day for those three weeks. I was obsessed and oh so afraid of failure (being quite aware of Kathleen Sullivan's humiliating experience so thoughtfully reported on page one of the WSJ.)

During this period, I was surprised by recalling random but large remnants of what I had learned in law school concerning certain subjects I have never practiced (property). I was also concerned and often confused about how much the law has changed in other areas (Criminal Procedure.) In those areas, my long term memory was actually a burden, not an asset. Of course, I have no idea how I did on any specific sub-test.

Although I qualified for the attorney's exam, I elected to take the general exam because statistically speaking the pass rate for the GE is higher for previously admitted attorneys than is the attorneys exam. I studied alone (well, except for my two demanding kids and one very supportive husband) and without benefit of course or study group (neither of which was available in my location.) For what it is worth, I am convinced (without any empirical proof) that the best studying I did was in the form of practicing. Again, I used what for me were new technologies-- interactive Micromash to practice MBE questions and bargraders.com to practice essay exams and get feedback. I also brushed up on my touch typing and (with some trepidation) I used a laptop to take an exam for the first time in my life.

Kepp the faith. 50 year old brains have more difficulty with converting short term to long term memory, but we offset that weakness with wisdom and perspective (not to mention work ethic.), The CalBar exam was hard. You came very close to passing. From what I gather, you had several serious obstacles and yet you did very very well. You will surely pass in February and I and many many others out there will be very glad to call you our colleague. I am excited at the prospect of working in a new office and in a new state. But I know that the change will be a challenge for me. Hats off to you, who are changing so much more than your address. You are certainly young at heart and I predict a very long and successful career.

Anonymous said...

GP - Happy New Year. As posted by another above, this will be your year. Also, a search in Google of "california bar poobah" brings you at the very top. Now, that's impressive. Cheers. jr

stella said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Grand Poobah said...

CaliforniaBound: First, congratulations on passing!

Second, thanks very much for your touching comments. I sometimes feel a little out of the mainstream in this whole process because I’m not doing it in the “regular” order. My natural inclination is to do what you did by sequestering myself and devoting all of my spare time, and then some, to cramming this stuff into my head. Unfortunately, with all of the responsibilities that come with being a husband, father, grandfather, brother, and go-to person for the extended family, my preferred method of studying was not possible. Add to that the unexpected challenges that you referred to, and my life could not have been less normal during the critical last year before the exam, not to mention the preceding three years.

I don’t know how much easier this might have been had I done it in my twenties, but you are exactly right about things not coming as easily when we get older. I was never good at rote memorization even when I was young. When I started law school years ago I had to figure out a whole new way to store this material. Sometimes I think the Bar should give accommodations for age. (;-)> But it says a lot that you were able to recall the subjects from your school days. Impressed, I am!

Thanks again for your very kind words. They’re very much appreciated, especially because they come from someone who understands this challenge from our perspective. And please don’t let this first comment be your last. I am encouraged by your success!

Take care,


The Grand Poobah said...

Anon: Thanks! I hope that's a good thing!

Cat said...

Hi GP, ditto to the Bar giving accomodation for age. I'll turn 53 on Sunday - a grand old age, three years past half a century and it is a nice, slow, pleasant downhill ride from hereon. Age has its advantage sometimes. I am pass the stress of getting through my first degree, my first job, my first interview, all the firsts that an emancipated young adult has to go through. I thought I'd would be through with law school and the Bar last May ???? What was I thinking - getting through the Bar without sweating it!!!! I don't remember sweating for any exam. Why should the Bar be any different : ) : ). But the Bar is different. Those Bar examiners live to see us sweat! I am sweating profusely this round because I do want to get the Bar off my shoulders. It would have been great if I had the presence of mind to get my law degree in my early twenties. Those young shoulders would bear the load of the Bar much better. Remember, life is like a box of chocolates - full of surprises and mostly nice ones even if you decide to open your box of chocolates in your fifties!

All the best and welcome to the "Fifties Club."

Happy studying as I am sure we all are doing this month, only 52 days to go! Now, back to practicing Real Property essays!