BAR/BRI

bar exam success good luck.jpgThe February bar exam is now over, for everyone, everywhere. Rejoice and enjoy that Inuit prostitute.

Some of you have suggested on open threads 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).

In addition to courses, there are other tools.

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?

An ATL reader sent us this photo from the University of Buffalo, writing:

What my barbri tuition got me for my mpre review class. This tv is for approximately 60 people.

MPRE class.jpg
The budgets are tight at law schools these days, but it seems like they could at least spring for a projector or a proper desk. Our tipster reports that they did have someone on hand to press play.

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.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “At Stanford Law School, It’s a Whole New Game of Quarters”

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

Panic button.JPGSo. 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)

From a bored Bar/Bri student:

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.

BarBri Bar Bri mascot.jpg
Can’t believe this elaborate creation is actually origami? Read more, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “BarBri Boredom: Is This Cute, or What?”

Javits bar exam sadness.JPGIt 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.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Open Thread: How Does Everyone Like Bar/Bri So Far?
Revised and updated; please see after the jump.

Charles Whitebread.jpgWe’d like to take a moment and acknowledge the great life and career of Professor Charles H. Whitebread. Professor Whitebread passed away Tuesday, in Santa Monica, California.

Professor Whitebread was a legend at the USC Gould School of Law, but most attorneys will remember him for his BAR/BRI Criminal Law lectures. We fondly remember the bow-tied professor for adding a bit of levity at a time when we were stressed beyond belief.

He is survived by his life partner, John Golden, and his devoted friend Michael Kelly.

The USC Gould School of Law will hold a memorial for Professor Whitebread at a date still to be determined. Donations to the Charles H. Whitebread Memorial Scholarship may be sent to the law school.

BarBri bar bri bar exam review course prep course Above the Law Above the Law ATL.jpgHere it is, folks — the daily bar exam open thread. You know what to do.
To those of you who are done (e.g., people taking New York only): congratulations. To those of you with another day to go: good luck.
If you’re one of those people suffering through three days of bar examination hell — either because you’re in a state with a three-day test, or you’re taking two states back-to-back — you have our sympathies. Back in the day, we took the New York and New Jersey bar exams back-to-back. After a mind-frying two days spent taking the NY bar exam, we had to make the long drive home from Albany, to sit for the NJ bar exam the next morning. Fun stuff.
But don’t worry, you’ll survive. And statistically speaking, odds are that you’ll pass.
(We did, in both states — despite attending a law school whose graduates “tend to underperform in passing the bar.”)
Earlier: Bar Exam Open Thread: So How Was Day One?

travel.jpgWith bar exams taking place at the end of this month, a bunch of almost-lawyers are furiously studying away. It’s not the worst way to spend the dog days of summer… but it’s pretty bad. If you’re in that boat, we wish you luck (and encourage you to spend your study breaks here at ATL).
While few look forward to taking the bar, many look forward to post-bar, pre-start-date travel: the legendary, celebrated bar trip, your last hurrah before immersion into the grim realities of law firm life. With Biglaw start dates pushed back at quite a few firms (see here, here, and here), some of you may have more travel time than expected.
So where are you headed, and how long are you staying there? Or where are you considering going? Is Europe still a desirable destination, or does the weakness of the dollar put it out of reach? Is southeast Asia still a popular pick, or is a post-bar trip to Thailand so “five minutes ago”? Please share your views, in the comments.
If nothing else, this post should trigger you to buy airplane tickets — e.g., on a 21-day advance fare — if you haven’t done so already. Last-minute airfare deals seem to be a thing of the past (perhaps due to rising fuel costs). If you want to get a ticket using frequent flyer miles, you need to act fast — heck, you may even be too late — given the dwindling supply of such seats.
Kash leaves today for two months in Hong Kong — an unfortunate destination in terms of weather right now, described by the Lonely Planet guide as “punishingly hot and humid” during the summer. Hope you’ve made wiser choices!

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