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Monday, April 23, 2012

Bar Study

My bar exam study books arrived in a package today. I had trouble hoisting it into my house because it had this many books in it:



I have a hard time seeing how I'm going to get through that many pages in two months, but they put you on a pretty regimented schedule, so I guess if they say I can do it, I can.

Bar study doesn't technically start for a few weeks. I am still in my finals period at school, although my finals really came early this semester, back when I was freaking out turning in a bunch of papers and giving presentations, and finishing up client matters. Now all I have to do over the next two weeks is revise my capstone paper and prepare for and take my antitrust exam. So much more low-key than finals period normally is. I mean, I paid my dues early, but it is nice to laugh a little while some of my friends have a regular finals period freak out.

I filed my bar application (barely) on time, and booked a room at the hotel where the exam is taking place, so everything should be set to go for the exam in July. It's a two-day exam. The first day consists of six essays and two "multi-state performance tests", which is basically where they give you a closed universe scenario with some cases and statutes and whatever else so you can analyze a legal problem, almost as if you are given real legal cases to work on. Day two is lots and lots of multiple choice questions. 

So anyway, the sun has arrived in Portland and it is lovely. Ian and I went to the batting cages yesterday to hit some baseballs (just being around baseballs makes me kind of giddy like a child, apparently). Today my arm is weak and my shoulder aches as a result. But it was worthwhile.


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Thursday, April 12, 2012

The future is now

Well, I'm almost at the end of my final semester of law school. These past three weeks have been super hellacious, even though one of them was Spring Break. I wrote my 36-page capstone paper and a 9-page contract over Spring Break, which means I worked practically every day, all day.

I did take two days off during Spring Break: one to watch the Hunger Games (just like the book, it's perfectly enjoyable, but so not worth all the attention it's getting), the other to watch the most amazing live soccer game I've seen (RSL kicked the P-Timbs' asses 3-2 with two of those RSL goals being scored in the last 5 minutes of the game).

Then the week after Spring Break, I had to juggle a number of obligations and deadlines, all working up to Saturday, which was not really a Saturday because I had to attend a 5-hour paper symposium, during which I nervously presented my capstone paper to my class and professor for 15 minutes. I thought the end of that week would see my stress levels diminish, but instead they have carried over into this week.

This week I have been working on wrapping up my client matters at clinic, and finishing up my final contract drafting project, consisting of a short 10-page article and several supporting documents. Finishing clinic has been the most stressful. On the whole I have mixed feelings about my clinic experience. It has been positive exposure to lots of different things, but I also found the experience very restrictive in a number of ways. The biggest restriction was that I had a lot to do and only a very small amount of time each week in which to do it (we were only in clinic 8 hours each week -- hardly enough time to get any real work done, especially when that's broken into two sessions, and each session is broken into a number of administrative interruptions). So I've taken a lot of that work home in the past two weeks, and even stayed an extra two hours at clinic on Tuesday. Anyway, I'm pretty glad to be getting that clinic stuff done this week. But the stress of my last day tomorrow (and the near certainty that I am going to have to put in extra time tomorrow too) is what's keeping me up entirely past my bed time right now.

My contract drafting project is due Friday at 5:PM. It will be done by then, and it's about half done now, but I just wish I could focus on it without having to deal with other annoyances, like classes, and clinic bleeding into my home hours.

I also need to get my damn bar application in the mail by Friday. To do that, I need to get a fingerprint card. I was going to get it on Tuesday, but the place that does fingerprinting closes an hour after my clinic hours, and since I had to stay at clinic late on Tuesday, I couldn't get it done. So I have to go do it tomorrow. And if for some reason that doesn't work out, I have to scramble to get to a police station before Friday to get printed, all while getting that stupid contract drafting project in by 5:PM. So it's a time pressure thing. Maybe I'm to blame for putting the fingerprinting off to the last minute, but it just turned out that way.

The good news is that after 5:PM Friday my life will be a lot easier. All I will have left is a single class the following Monday, followed by a week or two or three of studying for my single final exam in antitrust. It's an open exam, so I can take it whenever, hence the one or two or three weeks of studying. I guess I will also have to revise my capstone based on my professor's comments once I get them. I am feeling pretty good about the paper, so I think that shouldn't be too bad. Then once that antitrust test is done, I can wallow for a couple weeks before Bar-Bri starts and I have to start studying for the bar exam in July. A few days after bar studying starts, my family is coming to town for commencement, which should be fun. Well, no, graduation ceremonies are never fun. But having family in town is fun.

Then I study hard for two months, then I take the bar exam for a couple days, then I pass out, then I cry, then I celebrate, then I cry some more, then I sit around and do absolutely nothing for a few days, or else go on a short unplanned road trip, then I start pounding the pavement and hitting networking events and trying to get someone to hire me. That should about be the rest of my year, I think.


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