It’s about the time of year when students studying for the bar exam are gearing up for one of the big BAR/BRI practice tests: the midterm. Many, many people report that they only really step up their study efforts after the 4th of July — and the reason for that is usually a disappointing score on the midterm.
Most people who score poorly on the midterm will either slip into despair or go into crazy, hyper-studying overload. And both of those paths can lead to bar exam failure. For the vast majority of people, passage or failure on the bar exam is not about innate intellectual ability. It’s about managing your nerves and successfully gaming the test. Most people who can graduate from law school can pass a bar exam. But many will not, and their failure is not about being dumb.
To give hope to those who might be feeling hopeless this week, I’d like to tell you how I passed the bar on my first try — after absolutely bombing the midterm just a month before the real thing…
Did you enjoy your BAR/BRI lecture today? Do you wish it could have gone just a little bit faster? You are not alone. A tipster reports that he too is bored to death by the interminable BAR/BRI lectures, and he’s not going to take it anymore:
After starting my Barbri Evidence lecture yesterday, I realized that the slower the lecture, the longer the lecture, and the more difficult it is to pay attention. So after 4 hours of searching the web and reading every blog available, I realized that ever since Barbri changed the software they use for the lectures, no one could adjust the speed at which these videos are played.
After about an hour of work, I pieced together a quick and easy way to watch the lectures at 1.5X speed. I am not only saving time, but I feel like it is actually easier to pay attention when they are moving through the material quickly.
Here’s the secret solution to making BAR/BRI go 50% faster…
Graduation marks the end of grueling law school exams… and the beginning of preparing for the worst exam of your life.
Most recent grads are heading straight from law school classes into bar exam prep classes, and so 3Ls have been bombarded for the last nine months with spam informational emails from bar prep companies touting their costs, features and success rates.
A new entrant into the bar prep field this year is BarMax, an iPhone-based course that’s significantly cheaper than BAR/BRI and Kaplan. In better times, when graduates could count on new employers to foot the bill for prep courses, they likely wouldn’t have considered a tele-course, but the high numbers of grads without firm jobs may bode well for the app.
How will having a cheap choice affect the market? And how does one decide between the options?
The February bar exam is now over, for everyone, everywhere. Rejoice and enjoy that Inuit prostitute.
Some of you have suggested on openthreads that things went reasonably well. Others are hot messes, desperately trying to figure out firm policy when it comes to second-time failing of the bar.
Many February takers are bar veterans. Maybe you can advise this soon-to-be lawyer gearing up for the July bar. She’s trying to make her bar review course decision:
I can already see the angry people who say it’s idiotic not to take BarBri. But, honestly, Kaplan’s complete bar review course in Cal. is seeming ever-more seductive. I would love to make an informed decision based on real information, but it appears to not be out there (ie pass rates for the two).
Since quantifiable data is lacking, anecdotal evidence shall have to suffice. Who is feeling the least screwed after taking the February exam — your Inuit friend aside — and which bar review course did you take? Or did you eschew a formal course and prepare in some other way? If so, how?
Stanford 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.
Now 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
So. There’s this thing called the bar exam taking place next week. (Exact dates vary by jurisdiction.)
As bar exam candidates enter the home stretch, they exhibit a wide range of emotions. Some are cool as cucumbers, so confident of passage that they spend bar review classes making origami creatures. Others are panicky, hot messes (literally — like the folks who had to sprint down smoke-filled stairwells during the NYU library fire earlier this week).
Does anyone sitting for the bar have last-minute requests for advice? Do any veterans have wisdom to impart? What’s the most effective way to study — or relax — over the next 72 hours or so?
Comments are open. You know what to do. Earlier: Ahhhhhhhh. The Bar Exam! And a Fire! Prior ATL coverage of the bar exam (scroll down)
This is how effective Barbri is this year: this little origami creature (see image below) was created by a student in the NY review course…. during the course. It took her two Corporations lectures and one Conflict of Laws lecture to complete. And she didn’t skip a beat — she had plenty of time to “fill in the blanks,” as we are instructed to do on our lecture handouts.
Can’t believe this elaborate creation is actually origami? Read more, after the jump.
It looks like there may have been a mini-riot at the Bar/Bri lecture today. Apparently some students felt that the Con Law lecturer wasn’t entirely on top of all the salient issues. We heard from a few of them; here is one report:
I’m one of thousands of BarBri students studying for the New York Bar. I attend one of the Video locations. Today’s lecture was Constitutional Law. The lecturer was Professor Cristina Rodriguez from NYU. She was horrendous. Not only as a speaker/lecturer, but … she also got some points of law wrong on the handout. Barbri had re-recorded the lecture, which is available later today. At my location, students left midway through the lecture. I don’t plan on going to the lecture tomorrow.
Of all the con law profs, how did Barbri end up with one of the worst? Is that all I get with my thousands of tuition dollars?
After the jump, an email that BarBri sent to its students about the Con Law lecture. UPDATE: Please note that this post has been revised in various respects since it was originally published. In addition, please see the addendum, after the jump.
A college graduate without student loan debt is akin to reading a kind quote about Kim Kardashian in a tabloid—it’s rare.
In the past eight years, student loan debt has nearly tripled to a whopping $1.1 trillion, and in the past 10 years, the percentage of 25-year-olds with such debt has risen from 25% to 43%
It’s gotten so bad, in fact, that New York Fed economists warned last month that the burden of student debt could stilt consumer spending by twentysomethings, as well as further hamper the recovery of the housing market and economy.
To get a better idea of what massive student loan debt (we’re talking over $100,000 massive) looks like, we talked to an attorney who graduated with a large student loan debt. We also consulted LearnVest Planning Services CFP® Katie Brewer to see just how their repayment plans stack up.
S. Fischer, 36, Attorney Graduated: 2001
How Much I Borrowed: $100,000
What I Still Owe: $45,000
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Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
Deal flow has clearly picked recently up for most US associates, counsels and partners in Hong Kong/China and Singapore. We are on the phone with a lot of these folks on a daily basis, many of whom we have known for years. Further, the head of our Asia team, Evan Jowers, and Kinney’s founder and president, Robert Kinney, frequently meet in person with leading US partners in Asia to assess their needs and keep on top of the inside scoop at as many firms as possible. The need for legal recruiting help in Asia from experienced recruiters appears to be live and well. In March, Evan and Robert were in Beijing at such meetings, in April, Evan was in Hong Kong, and for half of June Evan will be in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Thus its pretty easy for us to tell when there has been an across-the-market pick up in capital markets and corporate work.
On an average day in Asia when Evan and Robert visit firms, they typically have 5 to 9 meetings a day, mostly with US partners in the market. The reason they have these meetings is not simply because Kinney makes a lot of US attorney placements in Asia and that a particular firm may have openings; instead these are just visits with friends. After years of working together as business partners, the folks at Kinney are actually these peoples’ friends. The firms Kinney work closely with in Asia (which is just about every law firm – call us if you want to know the one firm in the world we will never place anyone with again, ever, and why) look forward to the visits, or at least act like they do. After seven years in the market, many of the client partners are former associate candidates. Also, these US partners see Kinney as a very good source of market information as well, because they know how deep their contacts are in the market and how frequently they are speaking to counterparts at peer firms.
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