Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Prepared?!? Who you callin' "prepared"?

One of my study buddies told me last night that she was going to skip the Feb exam because she "Didn't have all of the rules for all of the subjects memorized."

I know what you're thinking. I thought the same thing.

I told her that nobody ever feels like they have all of the rules memorized. Her problem is that, like me, she's a perfectionist. She's different, however, in that she's very much more organized than I am. She actually knows which rules she hasn't committed to memory. And that scares her.

I also told her that I don't have that problem because I don't know what I don't know, which helps me stay calm. (;-)> Until, of course, I start to write out an essay and realize that the rules aren't issuing forth from my brain like I believe they should at this point. That's when I do my own little internal freak-out. And that's why I still haven't written enough exams. It's the "freak-out-avoidance, head-in-the-sand" syndrome. And I do that well. Ignorance is bliss.



Bar Daze said...

Hey, it's been awhile. Just wanted to say good luck - stay cool. That counts for a lot. That and the ability/willingness to - in a pinch - make up the rule that gets you to the result you want, apply that rule to your facts and state your conclusion with absolute confidence - and move on.

Anonymous said...

Dear GP:

I have followed your blog for quite sometime. I was lucky enough to pass the July 2007 CBX, but I was "unsuccessful" in July 2006 and February 2007--so I know what you are going through.

I know everyone is probably giving you advice but if you can stand one more piece from someone who has been there, here it is: Writing organized, consise, and deliberate essays and PTs will get you the elusive pass. You don't need to know all the rules because the bar doesn't test rules... It tests ANALYSIS...Once I realized this I passed. I killed myself in July 06 and Feb 07 trying to memorize all the rules--and it didn't work.

I'll be pulling for you. Just get it done.

biff said...

Totally. See the issue; make up the rules.

Bar Daze said...

Ditto on organized and concise. Laptop helped me because on every essay the first thing I wrote were the 3 magic words: Under, Here, Therefore and typed the details under each. Handwriters can do the same thing by just making sure that you have all 4 elements in every answer:

(1) Conclusion - 1 line answer - first that head on answers the question asked "Yes/No, Joe can/cannot successfully contest the will"

(2) Under "whatever law" . . . state rule.

(3) Here, . . . apply rule to your facts.

(4) Therefore, . . . cut and paste or recopy (3).

GP, you have a lot of people pulling for you. Focus, not stress or worry will get you there. "This is what I have to do - I'm doing it - not thinking about anything else. Period."

P.S. Don't feel like you need to blog/respond to comments unless that calms/helps you. Occasional reading helped me, but as you know, I set mine aside near the end, even though I still read others.

Bitter Quasi-Lawyer said...

You've beautifully articulated how I've been feeling about my grasp of the rules...blaaaaah

weezy said...

OMG! Get out of my head, GP! :)
I was facing similar concerns last night as I sat down and wrote some Evidence essays and realized I retained little of what I had just memorized.

Based on last summer's experience, I can say that knowing almost all the law didn't help me. I knew maybe 85%-90% of the law. But my essays were still disorganized and full of conclusory statements.

so this time around I'm trying do as many essays as I can stand. "trying" being the operative word.

Anonymous said...

Hey, been lurking for a while. I have passed the bar in another state and have now moved to Cali and have to take the bar again. Yuk. I will agree that not taking the bar simply because you don't have all the rules memorized is not a good plan.

Generally, the rules are your basis for argument, not the argument itself. It is really a matter of including the thought markers (eg, always mention govt action and reasonable expectation of privacy when facing a 4th Amend issue; always mention standing, mootness, ripeness, jurisdiction, when talking about a ConLaw and/or CivPro issue).

Get on it. Hoping for a pass.

Leslie said...

Memory problems... exactly...If the examiners would just ask me the names of the Beatles... maybe even all their wives...

Anonymous said...

While checking past passing essays I think we have a good shot to pass this thing; let's give the graders what they want. The essay is about hearsay? they want all exceptions, non hearsay, etc. even if they do not apply (just to say they do not apply) seems to be that it is a test of memory with a good analysis of course. In my opinion it is not that the exam is more difficult, it is that graders make it way more difficult to pass. Good luck all!