Bar exam

Commentary and thoughts related to preparing for the bar exam, the exam itself, and the role of the exam in the legal profession.

iPhone law

Browsing around the iPhone app store I noticed one of the “hot” apps is BarMax MPRE, a free MPRE prep course for your iphone. With lectures, flashcards, and multiple choice questions, it claims “you get everything you need to pass the MPRE for free. No strings attached.” According to the reviews in the app store, that’s true — at least for some people. Of course, it’s also a good advertisement for the BarMax California bar prep course for iPhone, which costs a cool $999.00. Wow. Eleven people have given that app 5 stars and one said he/she passed the bar exam using the program. Really?

You might be reluctant to trust your preparation for the bar exam to an iPhone app, but there are many other great apps out there for law school and lawyers. iPhoneJ.D. has reviewed many of them; in fact, it appears Jeff has reviewed 163 apps and counting. Some of the best I’ve found are Fastcase and Lawstack, two legal research apps, and the FRE on your phone. Recently I also found Illinois Statutes, which is exactly what it suggests — IL law in your pocket. It’s awesome to have the whole code at your fingertips, except, well, judges and bailiffs often don’t like it when you’re playing with your phone in court. Also, my phone is just too slow for “quick” searches. It’s great to have it there if you get in a pinch, but its actual utility value is kind of low.

What we all need is fast access to legal databases in the courtroom. Will it ever happen?

Memory only!

Today’s Courtoon is priceless:

bar exam II Courtoon

I took the IL bar exam last week and one reason it seemed more difficult this time than the first time was exactly this. Having practiced a bit the bar exam seems even more absurd and even more like a hazing ritual than it did when I was fresh out of law school.

Why don’t lawyers get together and make this madness stop? Oh, I know: Because once you’ve passed and started working you really don’t have time to think about stupid crap like the bar exam. At that point it’s just not your problem anymore so the stupid thing continues, becoming more and more irrelevant every year.

Lawyers are masochists.

You must be freaking kidding me!

So I’m supposed to remember if I’ve been “ticketed, given a summons or written warning, arrested, or taken into custody and questioned or accused formally or informally of the violation of any traffic law, excluding parking violations and charges [already] disclosed”? And if I say yes, I must “must submit with the paper portion of your application copies of the arresting officer’s report, the order of disposition, and documentation substantiating your compliance with any sentence or condition imposed”?

Get. Freaking. Real.

Again: Lawyers are idiots. Absolute idiots. Aaaaargggh!


List every job (other than those listed in response to preceding questions 23A and 24), including without limitation all temporary, part-time, full-time, and self employment, paid or unpaid, you have held for the ten year period immediately prior to the date of the filing of this application. List jobs in reverse date order so that your current or most recent (non-judicial and non-legal) employment is listed first.

Lawyers are the biggest idiots on the planet. I want to pull my hair out!!!!

Also not helping: This blog is somehow broken. The RSS feed’s not working, which it never really has in any way that was satisfactory, and I can’t post through the xml-rpc interface. So sadness all around. The dearth of posting here means fewer people follow anyway, and the hassle associated w/keeping the damned thing running, updating software, troubleshooting, etc., is beginning to outweigh the benefits. Hmph. Changes to come. Suggestions always welcome.

Bar Examed

Congratulations to everyone who took the bar exam last week. I’m sure you feel like you just ran a marathon. I do hope none of you are stupid like I was and had to start you new jobs yesterday, the first Monday after finishing the exam. What was I thinking? Oh yeah, I wasn’t.

Like Beanie said, I don’t ever want to take another bar exam, but I’ll probably have to. If I recall correctly, MBE scores are transferrable for three years, which gives me two more years to take another state w/out having to do the MBE. That would be smart to do, wouldn’t it? I wonder if I’ll be that smart….

Things you’d never imagine…

Making coffee this morning, I had to use our tiny little 4-cup coffee-maker b/c our fancypants Cuisinart Grind & Brew seems to have kicked the bucket after about 3.5 years of very faithful service. Although we’ve been using this little coffee-maker regularly for a couple of weeks now, for some reason filling the tiny little water reservoir today reminded me of the six weeks last summer I spent in Missoula “studying” for the bar exam. It was one of those nostalgic moments, a flashback to the simplicity of a daily existence that consisted of little more than waking, coffee, class, and “studying.” Nevermind that it was its own sort of torture b/c of the anxiety of it all, and forget the fact that other big things were also going down at the same time — job interview, getting job, new house, new floors, new life, etc. In that instant of making coffee, the little mind-trick was that my time in Missoula was simple and invigorating, a little like a good cup of coffee. Or something like that.

The point is: The mind is a crazy trickster. Who would have ever thunk I would look back with longing on studying for the bar? Even for a second? [tags]nostalgia[/tags]

Luminous & Beanie: Passed!

Congratulations to Luminous Void, a friend of mine from GW, and Screaming Bean, a friend from the internets, who both passed the New York Bar Exam! They got the news on Tuesday but I’m just catching up. If you’re also late to the party, don’t hesitate to offer your congratulations—they’ve both certainly earned it! [tags]friends[/tags]

Congratulations Jeremy!

Jeremy Richey passed the Illinois bar exam! If you’ve got a minute, stop by and wish him the best!

I know a couple of other people who took the Illinois bar in July; I haven’t heard from them but here’s hoping they got the same good news Jeremy got.

Also, congratulations to imbroglio reader PG who learned last week that he/she passed the Indiana bar exam.

It’s true that lots of people pass the bar, but trust me, there’s really not much that compares to finally getting that confirmation that you’re really done, that you’ve successfully completed the long, expensive, and rather demanding process of becoming credentialed to practice law. ((Unfortunately, even after you’ve passed the bar exam, you can’t actually practice law (meaning you can’t give legal advice or sign legal documents or appear in court unsupervised) until you’ve paid a few hundred dollars to your state’s bar association and you’re “sworn in” and thereby licensed by your state’s bar association. My boss keeps saying I better hurry up and “get sworn at” so I can really get to work.)) So if you know someone who recently passed, or if you soon learn about someone who passed, ((I expect, for example, that Monica, Energy Spatula, Beanie, Half-Cocked, AP, and many others will be getting some good news soon. Sadly, it looks like if you took the NY Bar like Luminous Void, you’ll have to wait until November to hear.)) be sure to give them a kind word. Better yet, The Disassociate has the perfect congratulations card.

What a relief!


For a little while it looked like I was going to have to wait until tomorrow for the news. I came home around midday and waited for the mail; when it arrived there was no letter. As I was working up my gumption to head back to work to wait for another day I got a call from the office.

“Where are you?”

“I’m just on my way back to work. I was waiting for the mail…”

“Well we have a couple of letters here for you that you probably want to see. One’s from the Board of Bar Examiners and the other is from the Clerk of the Supreme Court.”

I had to catch my breath before asking, “Are they big envelopes or little envelopes?”

“Just regular size business envelopes.”

And then I knew. The bar examiners told us that if we got a little letter, we passed. If we got a big letter, we failed and the letter would instruct us on how to prepare to take the test again. Of course, it wasn’t real until I opened the letter and actually read the words you see above.

It’s hard to believe, really, but there it is, in black and white. Three years of law school, two months of bar study, three days of bar examining, and two months of waiting. Now I’m pretty sure I’m a lawyer.

Crazy, don’t you think?

Flashback of Pure Evil

Sometime back I switched to Flock as my default web browser. It was new and fun w/all these supposed great goodies. But after a couple months of using it every day, I realized I didn’t use any of the little goodies that are all built in. The only one I occasionally used was the integration, but I never liked how it didn’t show you your existing tags when you wanted to tag a link, so I ended up using the regular javascript tagging method anyway. Conclusion: Firefox is just fine for me.

So I boot up Firefox for the first time in, oh, probably two months. As it’s starting up, it asks me if I’d like to resume my last session, so I say sure, why not? Well, I quickly discovered why not when this dastardly image of haunting evil popped up on my screen:


We’re talking scary stuff here people, scare-ee! And just when I was sort of getting to the point where I wasn’t so worried about it, too. The uncertainty will be over soon…. like, in a week. Yay? [tags]barbri[/tags]