June 5, 2005

Something about law school graduation isn't particularly celebratory. Let's see... it's not the pomp and circumstance of the ceremony. It's not celebrating with family... hmmm....


It's the fact that the next day we're back in the same school building, in the same classrooms, with the same students studying for the bar.

Over on the left coast, Jewish Buddha is less than thrilled with this new fangled type of bar review: Not Your Father's Bar Review

People keep coming up to me and asking why I look so miserable, and what's wrong. What's wrong? I'm still in law school. I thought I graduated already. I even gave a speech and everything. It's summer in southern California; it's beautiful outside; and I'm still in law school for a ridiculously long finals period during which, if I follow instructions, I won't be allowed more than 38.5 minutes of non-study time per day. I don't understand why everyone doesn't share my dismay.

JCA is at Harvard wondering what fresh hell is this?

But then you look at your notes -- wow, only fourteen pages of torts outline! this is great! this is so simple! I can reference this so easily OH WAIT A SEC -- and freak out. This is a closed book exam, the first one I've had since Civ Pro. All of these wonderful clear notes? I'm going to have to memorize them...

The bar exam would be terrifying if it weren't so fundamentally silly. Think about it: we've gone to law school for three years to learn how to extract operative rules from judicial opinions and statutory construction. As practicing lawyers, we will make our living in large part through our abilities to extract operative rules from judicial opinions and statutory construction. All good. But to earn the right to be a practicing lawyer, we have to memorize many long lists of marginally relevant information and navigate a six-hour-long multiple choice minefield. How dumb is that? Honestly, how dumb is that?

Sherry Fowler addresses the Bar exam and review courses in a post on Legal Lies in the profession:

We act as though it is not outrageous that after these young people have incurred hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt... to require that they endure two months of misery studying for a test that measures neither what they learned in law school, nor what will really matter when they practice law.

Ask Metafilter about the bar exam.

And if this isn't enough, A Girl Walks into a Bar (Exam) is an all-bar blog. 1000 Bars is also an all bar blog, for a different sort of bar...

Posted by Andrew Raff at June 5, 2005 03:30 PM
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