Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by cheessus, Dec 12, 2012.
It sure doesn't hurt to be one though.
I feel for you. I knew quite a few people in your position and it's rough, particularly after completing the hell of law school. Try to remember that you are not alone.
As for the bar exam, I think you should take it. You don't want to keep thinking of what could have been. Just pass the bar, then see what options you have. That said, I do not think you should take the February bar. It sounds like you're not feeling very confident and failing to pass the February bar would really knock you down. Start studying for the summer session now. It will give you something to focus on through the middle of the year and it gives you time to explore options. I don't want to hamper your aspirations, but a bar license won't magically open doors in the current legal market. However, it will allow you to at least apply for some positions. Best of luck and I truly wish you success.
This has been covered, but definitely don't take the February test; you don't have enough time to study--especially with your current workload.
If they'll be useful, I can send you some outlines I/my friends prepared and some Kaplan/Barbri books from the last two years. They'll be for Georgia, but something is better than nothing. PM me if you want 'em.
I was an auditor/fraud examiner/lobbyist (a weird combo, I know), for the three years in between.
Shoeshopper's advice is well-intended, but really not productive.
When you pass the bar, you'll feel an incredible sense of relief. It was seriously the best month of my life and I didn't even need to pass it, financially speaking (I have a friend who passed it on the sixth try, which has got to be some kind of record. I can't imagine the celebration in that house). You'll have it in your back pocket, the annual costs that Shoe alludes to are minimal. If you aren't practicing, many states have an "inactive" status that allows you to retain your bar membership, but not pay as much.
Just focus on the MBE's, get the basic mnemonics memorized for the essay questions, and you'll pass.
A lot of great advises here. And + karma for nerdykarim for reaching out.
I am not a lawyer, nor have I studied it, or been in your situation, so this is pretty general stuff.
In my experience, doing well on tests is all about living the field. Talk about law with your friends, think about law, dream about law. That´s how to pass, in addition to the advise the other guys have given, of course.
Whether to take the bar, or not, is a different story. Pro/con lists are great.
Pros: Stability, and ends are meeting, so the current situation may not be great, but it could be worse.
Cons: Well, you have a J.D. and you have 3 equally crappy jobs. Not the best idea.
Study for bar:
Pro/possible outcome: You pass, and get a relevant, and better paying job.
Con/possible outcome: You fail, are in more debt, and shit is getting serious money-wise.
Get a real job outside of law:
Pros: You can start looking for a job right away, and it will be better paid.
Cons: Most likely not as well paid as passing the bar and getting a good gig in law.
I recommend option 3, if things don´t work out, you won´t be knee-deep in debt and trouble. If they work out, good for you. There is often openings in sales/ customer relations in most firms, and with a J.D. you should be well-qualified.
If everything fails: http://www.marines.mil/ GLHF; I did.
This does not work for the bar exam. You need to memorize far more than what any handful of lawyers use day to day. Also, the exam is less about legal analysis and thinking, and more about simply knowing what the rules are. It's the sort of stuff you are likely to forget as soon as you're done with the test; most of it you will never see again in your life. Hence, there is no way around focused study.
For the essays, you can be completely wrong and still score sufficient points to pass so long as you do well on the MBE. You just need to nail the correct form ("The rule is blah blah blah. In this case, blah blah blah . . .).
I think he meant .. in addition to focused study .. you need to "live the exam". But I think that's the case for almost all study. If you want to be in the top percentile of a group .. you need to do more then just memorize. For a lot of people .. doing well in your studies is a lot easier if you immersing yourself in the content.
The bold highlighted part makes it clear to anyone who's not a pedant.
Fuck that noise. OP should just keep playing video games.
And your writing style. IRAC is key to writing on the bar.
Are either of you lawyers? Honestly, it sounds like you have no idea what the bar exam is.
"Immersion" will not help with the bar exam. It is not that sort of test. It has nothing to do with thinking or analysis. It is entirely about rote knowledge, 99% of which practitioners will forget the day after the test. Passing the multiple choice section demands that you memorize as many rules as possible and take as many practice tests as possible (questions repeat between exams). The written portion is not actually about analysis, but about form--and as dragon8 points out, writing style. This is a test that tests how well you studied for the test, and that's it. Studying for it is exhausting. If you have extra time to "immerse," you are doing something horribly wrong.
It's like learning your ABC's. You don't "immerse" yourself in poetry. You fucking memorize the shit.
Yep. You can completely make up your own rules and only take a small penalty. On the other hand, if you state the right rule, but don't write to the proper form, you'll barely get any points.
Mafoofan is pretty spot on. The only "immersion" you need to worry about is being immersed in bar study books, courses and practice tests every day until the exam. I think it would be tough to do this by Feb. Also helps to get a dedicated study group to help with motivation. Yes, you have to memorize opening paragraphs (stating all the blah, blahs as Mafoofan so eloquently put it) for every possible subject that could be on the essays. . Find a way to get it done and take it and put it behind you.
the work i do with the solo practionner does not help me at all prepare for the bar, and ive done work in a wide variety of areas. the bar is really all about memorizing crap i wont "need" in practice. so you could say its a waste of time in that regard.
im really only doing it to keep my foot in the door to meet new people in the legal field who may be able to help me.
iirc, my mbes were pretty close maybe in the 130s, but i failed the essays because they werent in IRAC at all. i budgeted my time poorly and sorta panicked because there were 2 subjects i was terrible at and so i just wrote a bunch of nonsense.
thanks for all the advice, and everyone who've reached out with study guide offers.
ive decided to take the VA bar and reciprocate into dc in july. itll give me more time to save up $$$, space out my time to study more, and look for some (any)other work in the meantime. this will give me the best chance to pass and save/make money.
Did you do Bar/Bri? It's the only study course you need. If you cannot afford the live course, buy the books off someone who's already used them.
For the essay section, check with the rules for your state to make sure, but you can probably just make shit up and keep it in IRAC.
For VA, I was told yes, make up the rules and IRAC them if you can't remember a rule. If you do make up a rule, you are better off trying to guess the common law version as VA is fairly traditional common law in a lot of substantial areas, (1st restatement for conflicts of law, etc. But yeah, IRAC, IRAC, IRAC for everything and you can pass with partial credit even if you don't know the rules. VA's essay day, last I checked, was 5 essays in one 3 hour sections, and then 4 essays and 10 short answer/fill in the blanks in the other essay section. All 9 essays are issue spotter essays, none of that open up a gigantic file and read through it stuff and write up that other states have.
Separate names with a comma.