Bar Exams

Sky Mall logo.JPGI was in Georgia yesterday. After speaking to the Georgia Association for Women Lawyers (nice meeting you, we’ll have to do that again), and playing a ridiculous game of telephone trying to keep current with Above the Law (an HLS grad set S&C on fire on a $7,500 dare?), I was looking forward to a relaxing plane flight home.
Some years ago, my wife introduced me to the hilarity of the in-flight Sky Mall magazine. There is perhaps no finer collection of totally useless items. I wasn’t in “ATL-mode,” but this particular gift made me want to violate FAA regulations and post from the runway:

Passing the Bar
The perfect gift for law students
A great gift for law students, both throughout law school and to help prepare them for the Bar Examination. With “Passing the Bar” flashcards, your favorite law student will spend more time studying, in an enjoyable, fun setting. Fun for lawyers too!
The game includes 350 Mulitstate Bar Examination (“MBE”) Cards (featuring legal questions modeled after the MBE), and 100 Justice Cards (featuring celebrity run-ins with the law, movie quotes from notorious and gripping courtroom dramas, outrageous verdicts and alike). Additional game cards (sold separately) includes 450 questions from previous Bar Examinations, released by the NCBE.

Not cool, man. Not cool.
Tipsters weigh in after the jump.

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Massachusetts Michigan bar exam results.jpgIf you’ve been waiting for bar results in the “M” states of Massachusetts and Michigan, your wait is over. We’ve been inundated with emails like this one:

Long time reader, first time caller. Just letting you know that letters for the MA Bar Exam went out today. (I passed!!!)

Congratulations! You have established that you are not an idiot:

Massachusetts bar results were received in the mail today. You are retarded if you failed.

Meanwhile, in the Midwest, Michigan bar results are out:

Michigan July 2009 bar results have been released to examinees. I got mine today. But are there any jobs for those of us who passed?

Good question. Times may be tough for Colorado law grads (even taking into account this correction), but Michigan comes in FIRST when it comes to high unemployment.
Michigan’s unemployment rate may largely reflect the troubles of the car companies. But might the auto industry and the legal industry share some things in common?
Feel free to crow about your bar exam passage, bemoan your bar exam failure, or discuss legal employment conditions in Massachusetts and/or Michigan, in the comments.

Stanford_Law_School_Logo.pngStanford Law School is one of the best law schools in the country. SLS is ranked #3 in the latest U.S. News law school rankings. Stanford graduates are generally intelligent, capable, and employable individuals (with some exceptions).
But are they smart enough to miss the first few weeks of Bar/Bri? The law school has changed its academic calendar to a quarters system. Stanford University already followed a quarters system, but the law school had been on a semester-based academic calendar.
The change could result in some conflict between 3L classes and the beginning of bar review courses. One student explains:

Stanford Law School changed to the quarter system, leaving their students in very precarious position vis a vis the bar exam. Classes do not end until several weeks after the California bar review courses start. Aside from the fact that this puts an extra burden on all SLS 3Ls, who will have to study for the bar at the same time they are attending classes and studying for finals, it creates a real mess for those students who are not remaining, or cannot remain in the immediate area. to study for and take the California bar.

This is because the bar review curricula differ from location to location. Accordingly, a student who is planning to take the bar review course somewhere other than in the Bay Area cannot take the first few weeks of the bar review course in the Stanford area and then move to wherever it is they are planning to move and finish up the bar review course at that location. Moreover, many of the students have leases on their apartments that end before the bar exam; thus, even those students who have the flexibility and financial wherewithal to change their relocation plans and remain in the Stanford area through the bar exam may not have any place to live (and how many of those do you think there are?) Stanford Law School refuses to address this issue head on, attempting to placate their students with vague promises that they’re “looking into it.”

We spoke to officials at Stanford Law School, and it appears that the school has “look[ed] into it.” Overall, the school feels that the benefits outweigh the burdens, and the burdens can be mitigated.
Look at it from Stanford’s perspective, after the jump.

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Virginia Board of Law Examiners logo.JPGIs there something about living in Virginia that gives people an exaggerated sense of self-importance? First, the Lile Moot Court Board at UVA Law appointed itself the résumé police. Now we’re finding out that the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners is drunk with its own power in anticipation of Friday’s release of the July Bar Exam results. Check out this message on the VBBE website:

As a service to Virginia Bar applicants, the Board of Bar Examiners posts the results from the most recent Bar Examination.

This office is working hard on the July 2009 Bar Examination results. Provided no one calls to inquire about the results, we anticipate the results will be posted Friday, October 16, 2009.

A “service”? Isn’t it their job to post bar results? Since when did doing your job quickly and efficiently become a favor?
Meanwhile, why is VBBE threatening to delay the results for everybody if one person simply inquires about the exam? I imagine it’s annoying to have lots of people call in requesting their scores, but why the threats? Threats, especially really petty ones, are bad. Why is this so hard for people in Virginia to understand?
Here’s my advice to the VBBE: post the scores, don’t answer your phone, and then congratulate yourself with a nice bottle of champagne for successfully operating the scantron machine yet again.
Earlier: UVA 3Ls Threaten to Eat Their Young

PA state coin.jpgIt’s a big day for bar results. We have reports that results are out in Colorado and Minnesota.
In the Keystone State, results are out a whole day early. Maybe by fooling people about when the results are posted, PA can avoid the same technical difficulties that plague Illinois.
As we noted before, first-time test takers are probably under more pressure this year. Those that have a job (or are waiting to start) don’t want to have to rely on their firm giving them a second chance to pass.
And if you don’t have a job lined up, passing now means that you don’t have to wait until the February results are released before you can start working.
If you don’t pass, don’t dwell on the past. Just focus on making it happen in February.
Earlier: Illinois Bar Results Are Out

Illinois Lincoln.JPGTomorrow, the people of Chicago will learn whether or not they’ve won the 2016 Summer Olympics. Today, new lawyers in Illinois will learn whether or not they’ve passed the 2009 Bar Exam.
Granted, becoming a new lawyer in this market is kind of like going to the morgue to score a date. But passing the bar on your first try is probably more important now than it has been in the past. We don’t know how many firms are planning on giving their incoming associates the Bird or the Fox; young lawyers don’t want to give firms any excuse to leave them out in the cold.
You should be able to check your results by logging into your account on iBaby.
We think you can check your results. Click after the jump for more information.

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florida.jpgWe trumpeted the terrible performance turned in by the state of Florida on the February bar exam. So it’s only fair that we give you sunshine staters a chance to talk about the July bar exam. The results were posted today.

Bar results are out, all three major Florida college football teams are ranked in the Top 25 — it’s shaping up to be a pretty good week down there.

Bar Exam Results [Florida Supreme Court]

Earlier: What’s Up with the Flori-duh February Bar Exam?

MPRE.jpgResults from the August 2009 sitting of the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) are out, and people are talking. In addition to posting comments, candidates have emailed us about the news. For example:

Just wanted to be the first to inform ATL that August 2009 MPRE scores are now available for download (at least mine was).

Sorry, you weren’t the first; several readers beat you to the punch. Like this one:

It’s not exciting as gunmen or layoffs, and will definitely engender some “who cares,” but MPRE scores are out.

Write “WHO CARES,” crow about your triple-digit score, or opine on whether Elizabeth Wurtzel can call herself an “attorney,” in the comments to this post.
If you passed, congratulations; if you didn’t, better luck next time.
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of the MPRE

post bar travel scaled back.jpgNow that aspiring lawyers have taken the bar exam, they can relax and try to forget about it until the fall, when results come in. One way of relieving stress is “the bar trip”: a post-bar exam vacation to an exotic locale, for sun, surf, or snow, depending on one’s travel preferences.
The bar trip — the last hurrah before immersion into the grim realities of law firm life — is a tradition among law grads. But we’re hearing that the recession may be interfering with the tradition this year. With Biglaw start dates pushed back, and talk of lower salaries running rampant, law grads may be feeling less celebratory this year.
Purely anecdotally, law grads have told us that they’re scaling back. They’re not going on extravagant bar trips, and in some cases, not going on bar trips at all.
Are we only friends with fiscally conservative types, or is this actually a trend this year? Are you thinking of a “staycation,” or are you still planning a trip around the world?
If you’re traveling, please tell us where you’re heading and for how long. If you are heading out of the country, we hope you’ll be sure to spend some time in internet cafes checking out the latest ATL news.
Earlier: Post-Bar Travel: Open Thread

MPRE.jpgYesterday some of you sat for the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE). It seems to us that there’s not much to say about the test, but several readers have requested coverage. Like this one:

I walked out of the exam with little confidence. Maybe you can provide an open forum for people to express their thoughts on the test, or for past takers to provide insight on scoring / how many people they know that failed.

Well that’s cheery, isn’t it? Here is the requested open thread. Please do not reprint entire questions from the test in the comments.
Another MPRE taker’s tale — from the great state of Iowa, where people actually seem optimistic about the state of the legal job market — after the jump.

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