Monday, February 26, 2007

Déjà Vu All Over Again

I'm going to take another whack at this bar exam thingie again. I don't really feel any better about it this time than I did last time. In fact, I feel a lot worse. My brain seems to see the material as a terrible infection that it must reject as quickly as possible. I don't blame my brain; frankly, that's pretty much how I felt about most of law school. It's not that I don't understand the material*: each individual piece makes perfect sense**, and if I'm allowed to refer to the notes before beginning my analysis, I can rock the IRAC with the best of them (as evidenced by my superb score on the performance exam and my solid performance on the essay portion of the exam). But as soon as my brain is asked to memorize the material, things go all to pot with an alarming speed. This does not bode well for a different outcome on the MBE.

Case in point: I feel better about Evidence this time, despite my continued struggle to apply the concepts behind impeachment properly. I understand some of the concepts that used to be a tangled web of Professor Feedback insanity, and I've made some of the connections to Criminal Procedure that I never saw when Professor Feedback taught either of those courses. But I have more trouble trying to remember which things are non-hearsay and which are hearsay exceptions than is reasonable for anyone who finished law school with respectable, if mediocre, grades. I know that a given piece of evidence is or isn't admissible, but if the question has a choice between "admissible because it's nonhearsay" or "admissible because it is a hearsay exception", I am reduced to the proverbial coin toss, and unless Luck is an extraordinarily kind lady over the next couple of days, that's not a very good strategy for passing.

So I study and I freak out, and today I'm not taking a break as the conventional wisdom advises, but I am going to read through my notes one more time and review con law, which I haven't touched since the summer. That's actually the only subject that worries me for the essays. I'm doing pretty well on the MBE practice questions despite my lack of review, but honestly, Comrade Verne's class is a distant memory and I don't really remember which test goes with which concept with any degree of accuracy. That's easy to fake on the MBE, but not so easy to fake when you've got to write a coherent essay.

Also? For anyone who might stumble across this blog and contemplate taking/ retaking the bar while working full time. Oh. My. God. If you can avoid it, DON'T DO IT. It's been incredibly difficult to study effectively and even to find motivation to study after a long day of work. When I was waitressing, I thought it would be easier once I had a set schedule and wasn't doing such physically demanding work. Then I got the office job and found it difficult to carve out the time when there are so many other things demanding my attention in the evenings and on weekends. I got in a few pages of review here and there, but it wasn't until I took the past week off work that I found myself able to really concentrate and get work done.

And then there is that tiny little matter of no longer really wanting to practice law. I've got a job interview in an hour***, and a couple of other promising leads, and not one of them has "licensed to practice law" as one of the job requirements. I'm torn between really wanting this particular job because it sounds interesting and because it's a job with the federal government (and I'm really kind of in love with the idea of working for the government at least for a little while, while I'm still idealistic enough to believe that I can do some good in the world via government work), and not wanting it because it's not in DC and it's kind of really crappy pay**** for the type of work and the skill set they're looking for. But I think that if I get hired for one job, it will be easier to find another job in a different office, either in the same agency or in a different agency. Or that's what they tell me, anyway.

So, to summarize: freaking out, job interview, bar exam, existential angst over career. I think I need another pot of coffee.

* Except for impeachment. I just don't really understand the practical application of the theories behind it, no matter how many times I review it. I think it's time to just let go and leave those questions to chance.
** Except for impeachment. The explanations in the back of the MBE practice books don't make it any clearer either.
*** Which I almost forgot! Thank God it's a phone interview, so I can "attend" it in my pjs with unwashed hair and no make up.
**** Not that I expect to get rich working for the government. But even for government work, it's pretty crappy pay.



At 12:12 AM , Anonymous lasoe said...

You are done done done!!!

At 8:32 PM , Blogger kris said...

Your cup clearly runneth over. Sounds like you could use a glass - a bottle? - of wine. Good luck from one DC girl to another.

At 5:55 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the other hand, when you pass, you have to work as a lawyer.

-Tired M-Dad.


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