Are we there yet? Is it almost time to take the test yet? NO. There are still several week to go, and our Bar Review columnists are simultaneously working hard to stay motivated, and also straining to not get frustrated with the ridiculousness that the studying entails.
Let’s check in with Nathan, Jeanette, and Andrew, who are getting advice from strangers, navigating a never-ending parade of graduation parties, and starting to see hallucinations of bar exam questions in real life….
It seems the main lesson our Bar Review Diarists are learning — other than the crucial information for the bar exam itself, of course — is that studying for the bar sucks. There is so much information, it’s summertime, they just graduated, and studying is the last thing anyone wants to be doing, so it all seems so unfair.
We are learning each week about their myriad procrastination techniques, useful distractions, and mandatory morale boosters. So what do Andrew, Nathan, and Jeanette have for us this week?
Last time we checked in with our 2012 Bar Review Diarists, they were, how shall we say… BORED. That boredom has given way to further procrastination by way of parties, impromptu travel, and motion picture ideas. The midsummer frantic is still some ways off, but at least Nathan, Jeanette, and Andrew seem to be enjoying themselves this summer, despite bar review pressure.
We have entered June, and most recent law school graduates finished school a few weeks ago. The initial anxious adrenaline rush of receiving your fancy new bar exam study materials has faded, and summer tedium is setting in.
Our Bar Review Diarists are getting a little deeper into their studies. They’re beginning to realize studying for the test isn’t necessarily difficult. It’s largely boring. They are discovering how alluring a pointless shopping trip can be, and they are realizing how long it’s been since they have written anything by hand. In other words, it was kind of a bummer of a week.
Let’s see how Jeanette, Nathan, and Andrew are handling the summertime blues…
When we last checked in with our Bar Review Diarists, they were just barely finishing exams and getting ready to walk down the graduation aisle. We checked in with them again this week, and weirdly, they all seem to… be enjoying themselves?
Nathan, Jeanette, and Andrew are all having fun so far this summer. They’re going to weddings, hanging out at coffee shops, and drinking at Disneyland. What the hell is going on here? Let’s hope the good times last, despite the test looming on the somewhat distant horizon…
It’s that time of year again. Graduation, graduation parties, beer, beach parties… and studying for the bar exam. Fun times. That being so, it’s finally time for us to unveil the three winners of the 2012 Bar Review Diaries Contest. Our winners will receive free Themis bar preparation in exchange for providing us with weekly updates on their lives as they study for the bar.
Without further ado, let’s meet Andrew, Jeanette, and Nathan!
If you know Cleveland Browns rookie free agent Andrew Sweat, please send him this post. Tell him to drop me a line. Let me help this man avoid making what could be the biggest mistake of his life.
Sweat, a linebacker for the Ohio State Buckeyes, went undrafted in last month’s NFL draft. He later signed as a rookie free agent with the Browns. Now, instead of attending camp and trying to make the team, Sweat has decided to give up on his NFL career and attend law school instead.
Not even a very highly ranked law school. More like the Cleveland Browns of law schools.
I can’t know if Sweat’s decision is being partially motivated by all the media attention focused on the long-term health consequences of playing in the NFL. But I’d bet all the money in my pocket that Sweat has not been paying attention to the media coverage of the long-term professional and financial damage that can be done by going to law school…
We tend to think of the biggest Biglaw firms as “sweatshops,” while we view small firms, midsize or regional firms, or even Am Law 200 firms as “lifestyle” shops. The thought is that the big bad firms that service Wall Street clients will grind you up and spit you out, while somewhat smaller firms will allow you to have a normal life as you pursue your career.
It’s a great story, but it’s not necessarily a true one. Sometimes working at a smaller firm or a regional firm just means the same work with more pressure and less pay. Attorneys at such firms, whether partners or associates, don’t always have the kind of resources that Biglaw attorneys enjoy. There aren’t multiple layers of staffing available to double- or triple-check every document. It’s a lot of stress.
And stress can be just as deleterious to your health when working at a regional firm as it is when you work for a truly huge firm. This week, we’ve been fielding a bunch of reports about an associate who passed away at home after working what some tipsters report as maniac hours at his regional law firm the week before.
It’s a sad story, one that some accuse the law firm of trying to cover up, but it’s another opportunity for us to remind readers to take care of themselves even when work seems overwhelming…
Every time we do a post about a crazy attorney website, our readers send in even more tips about the seemingly endless supply of wacky websites that are out there (which we appreciate, so keep ‘em comin’). Rarely, however, do we get a tipster begging us to place a fellow attorney in Above the Law’s crosshairs. Until now: “Can you please, please profile this guy, Mark Davis from Toledo, Ohio?” Well, since you asked so nicely….
As far as we can tell from his many, many websites, Mark A. Davis, a solo practitioner in Ohio and Michigan, is a sort of jack-of-all trades who aims to corner the market in all ways possible. In his own words: “Attorney Mark Davis, founder of The Davis Law Office has always lived his life to accomplish nothing less than excellence.”
Here, excellence means, among other things, being able to break bricks with his bare hands (sadly, the video links to these feats are “private” and can’t be viewed). In his opinion, your attorney should not only excel in the courtroom, but “should be mentally tough and a gentleman warrior.”
This gentleman warrior has taken to fighting the good fight on almost all possible legal fronts. Really, it seems that there is nothing that his guy hasn’t tried to do, both in the courtroom and out. From martial arts to starving horses, keep reading to uncover the many talents of Mark Davis….
Wow. Guy goes to law school, guy racks up a huge amount of debt, guy has no idea how he’ll pay off his debts. Sound familiar? Okay, here’s the twist: the guy failed the “character and fitness” component of the Ohio bar because he has no plan to pay off his loans.
What the hell kind of legal education system are we running where we charge people more than they can afford to get a legal education, and then prevent them from being lawyers because they can’t pay off their debts?
Because it’s not like Hassan Jonathan Griffin was in a particularly unique situation when he went before the Ohio bar. A year and a half ago, we wrote about a man who was dinged on his character and fitness review because he was $400,000 in debt. That’s an extraordinary case. Hassan Jonathan Griffin owes around $170,000. He has a part-time job as a public defender. He used to be a stockbroker. He’s got as much a chance of figuring out a way to pay off his loans as most people from the Lost Generation.
If Griffin can’t pass C&F, Ohio might as well say that half of the recent graduates in the state don’t have the “character and fitness” to be a lawyer…
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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When Chintan Panchal decided to leave a global BigLaw partnership to start his own firm, he could only hope that he would face the high-quality problem of firm building that many had cautioned him about. Focused on the uncertainty surrounding of a new firm launch, he decided to tackle staffing needs, IT challenges, and financial planning requirements after he had built up his legal practice.
Panchal Associates LLP–a corporate/finance and outside general counsel boutique–was quickly off to a great start. Clients and matters were flying in the door, and Chintan soon had a team of lawyers and staff with a variety of operational needs. To continue building an excellent team and provide them with a competitive benefits package, to expand his physical presence to include a European practice and additional partners, and to scale his operations and IT capabilities to support this growing enterprise brought with it demands of time, money, and expertise. Chintan knew he needed help.
“With the assistance of NexFirm, we have upgraded the capabilities of our firm to meet, and in some cases exceed, the standards we were used to at our former BigLaw firms. Operationally, we can now attract and service clients we didn’t have the bandwidth to support in the past, and continue to build our team with the best and brightest legal talent in the industry,” said Chintan Panchal, adding “It has worked out quite well in our case; NexFirm is an essential partner for us.”
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