Graduation doesn’t mean $%&# (but it’s still good to be done)

I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I’m done with law school, but I just found out that I can say that with even more certainty than I previously thought. See, there was the tiniest chance that maybe I didn’t get a good enough grade in one class for it to count toward graduation. I admit it: I slacked a lot in that class, found it hard to pay attention, was disappointed in the class generally, and barely studied, all of which made me less than confident about how the grade would turn out. However, all of my grades are now in and all of them will definitely count! GW’s J.D. graduation requirements say that a student must complete “84 credit hours, 63 of which must have been taken for a letter grade.” My final (although still unofficial) transcript says:

Finalcredits2-1

And with that, it’s hard for me to think of anything that will make this graduation thing not happen. (((“GPA Hours” in that table mean hours taken for a letter grade—I needed 63 and ended up w/64 so I’m golden.)) I guess it’s not officially official until I have a diploma in my hand, but that should just be a matter of time. ((Even with diploma in hand my mind keeps coming up w/tiny nightmares in which somehow I haven’t really finished and will be dragged back to D.C. for some final hoop jumping. It’s like Agent Smith’s lecture to Morpheus about the tendency for humans to require problems:

Did you know that the first Matrix was designed to be a perfect human world? Where none suffered, where everyone would be happy. It was a disaster. No one would accept the program. Entire crops were lost. Some believed we lacked the programming language to describe your perfect world. But I believe that, as a species, human beings define their reality through suffering and misery. The perfect world was a dream that your primitive cerebrum kept trying to wake up from.

I’m sure I could string out the comparison, but I’ll leave it that.))

Of course, as Audacity so kindly points out, graduation “doesn’t mean shit until you’ve passed the bar exam.” Don’t I know it! That’s one of the main reasons I’m not participating in or attending any graduation hoopla—it all seems a little premature and pointless when a J.D. is next to worthless w/out admission to the bar. ((Unless, of course, you want to teach or otherwise never intended to practice law. But besides teaching, what other things can you do w/a J.D. w/out being admitted to the bar?))

With that in mind, Audacity offers some tips for preparing for the bar, and there are a few more on Blawg Wisdom. I imagine it seems a little early for most people to get started on bar study in earnest, ((Sadly, some people (like Energy Spatula) still aren’t finished with law school yet.)) but those links will definitely come in handy in a couple of weeks when noses get seriously down to the bar prep grindstone. [tags]graduation, advice[/tags]

4 thoughts on “Graduation doesn’t mean $%&# (but it’s still good to be done)

  1. I’m 2 for 2 on bar exams (PA, SD), and I’ll be shooting for 3 for 3 in February (MT). Here’s my advice, for what it’s worth:

    On a multiple choice question, you either get all the points or zero points on any given question.

    On an essay question, you have to be a complete buffoon to get zero points. Especially since they say you will be graded on your “familiarity and understanding of the facts of the question” crap. At the very least, even if you don’t know a single bit of the law, you can score a few points by accurately discussing the facts.

    Consequently…

    I studied my ass off for the MBE (Micromash — an excellent product — highly recommended) and studied hardly at all for the essays. No surprise, I creamed the MBE (I got close to 80% of the questions correct) and completely bombed the essay (got about 50% on them).

    I passed comfortably in the state that gives you your score (PA). I’m not sure how comfortably I passed in SD, but I did.

    The good thing about this strategy is that you can waive your MBE score into many states (SD and MT for example). So if you do well on one MBE, you can sort of carry that around to other bar exams and walk in with a little bit of confidence, knowing that you only have to take the essay, and you know your MBE score in advance. That changes everything.

    Throw in a few Performance Test questions, and all of a sudden you don’t have much to study for. I spent a weekend studying for the SD bar exam.

    Of course, even with the knowledge that your MBE score will help you, the bar exam is not a stress-free event.

    But anyway, that’s my advice: spend most of your time preparing for the MBE. Do question after question after question. Do 50 or 100 every day. Do thousands of practice questions. Eventually, you’ll start to see the patterns, and you’ll be amazed at how easy those questions become.

    And with any luck, you’ll save your best performance for game day. :)

  2. I’d like to point out that my last exam is on June 7th, with a paper due NLT June 8th, and my graduation ceremony is on June 11th. So yeah, my life gets to continue sucking for another full month. Awesome!!

  3. Hmm. Speaking of “the tendency for humans to require problems,” I see you finished graduated law school, but added ratings to your weblog.

    Coincidence?

    Anyway congrats, and I’m very much liking the look of the new (a)I.

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