Thursday, July 2, 2009

Hmmm... Let's see ... What is up ....?

First, the horrible tropical itchy-scratchy thing I was afflicted with has thankfully run its course. After two days of complete and utter hell, it faded away as quickly as a lick-em/stick'em tattoo from a Cracker Jack box. The doc's don't know what caused it, and as long as it doesn't reappear, they don't care.

As far as my bar prep is concerned, I pulled out all the stops in my effort to find out where my writing is going south and how I can get it headed back in the right direction. What I've determined so far is that when I review an essay prior to writing it I see 90% of the issues that appear in the released answers. But, for some reason, the answers I end up writing doesn't look much like the released answers. Somewhere in my writing process there's a break in the issue-chain-of-custody as I try to bring the issues I've spotted to the answer I write. A big part of that problem can be traced back to my inability to construct a comprehensive outline in a short amount of time, which would then leave me enough time to write a complete answer.

I know, that's the same challenge I talked about last time. I think this problem is unique to me, and is a result of my programming background. The way I solved problems then is not the best way to solve them now. At least, not in this venue.

So, that's what's up.

This blog, obviously, has been consuming relatively little of what's left of my free time after I've closed the books for the day. But I'll make an effort to pop in a bit more frequently between now and the exam. But just a bit.

Cheers, all. Good luck with the studies.


Anonymous said...

Missed issues is definitely one of the big reasons people fail the exam. After you put your issues into an outline, you might want to consider placing the pertinent facts below that issue heading before you start writing, and then "cross off" the facts with a highlighter pen. This is a sure-fire way to remind you to use all the facts. I think it is definitely doable in about 15 minutes or so, especially if you are typing.

Also, don't get to caught up in trying to mimick the "model" answers that the State Bar releases. Alot of times, those answers were incomplete but were barely good enough to get a pass (other times they are quite good). Best of luck!

Bar Advisor said...

Good job with making studying the priority. Blog after the bar and after you PASS. Then you can GLOAT.

Anonymous said...

i never did a real outline. i typed and just put the headlines in, then started typing like mad.

this concept of 15-20 minutes of outlining always seemed nuts when there is never enough time. 5 minutes of outlining the issues.....the furiously put down your generic law....then furiously "analyze", whatever that means

The Grand Poobah said...

Anon 7:17: That's exactly what I've been doing. My problem is that I suffer form wanting to explain too much. And I've been supplying alternative analyses, and/or options, where they don't exist in the fact pattern. So, for me, some sort of outline is going to be required so I don't wander too far off the farm.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully you kicked that habit this time around. The key to that test is using all the facts and sticking to a formulaic, one-sided IRAC that hits all the issues and uses all the facts. I didn't bother arguing both sides of any issue on there when I took the test and I passed. Ideally, this advice won't be needed, as you've already taken the July '09 exam at this point!