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Entries in bar review (10)

More questions than answers; the Iowa Bar Exam Diploma Privilege

Below is a copy of the comment I submitted during the public comment period for the proposed amendments to rules for licensing Iowa Lawyers, i.e. the proposed diploma privilege.

As one of the small percent of attorneys who failed my first attempt at the bar exam, I wanted to provide some feedback on the proposed change to adopt a diploma privilege for graduates of Drake and The University of Iowa law schools.

Above all, I am glad that I passed the bar, have a license to practice, and don't have to be directly impacted by this change.

I may be indirectly affected, but only time will tell.  I have a solo law practice.  What will my clients perceive if new law students don’t have to pass the bar exam?  Will clients believe that lawyers should charge less per hour if they haven't passed the highly coveted bar exam?  As someone who is self-employed with her own shingle, billable time and collecting fees are an incredible burden.  I believe clients pay attorneys a high hourly rate because of the rigorousness of our training. 

The bar exam may be arbitrary, but

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Under the rain cloud of the bar exam

March 20th is the first day of spring.  I live in Iowa and its been an abnormally cold and snowy March - it is a conversation topic everyone is talking or lamenting about lately.  For me, March 20th feels like yesterday and the day before - another day I am trapped under a raincloud in the middle of a sunny day.  It has been 3 weeks since the bar exam ended.  And 46 days until the results.  I feel like my head is going to explode.

I only blogged once during my study session for the February exam.  I had a lot to say, but I didn’t take time to write it down, albeit the one time in January I did blog.  There was too much pressure to do well on the exam to make time  to do something for pleasure.  The bar exam is a high stakes exam.  That phrase feels inferior to what it represents - lawyers sacrificing everything they have to get licensed to practice in a lethargic and anorexic legal field.  It truly represents the definition of insanity.

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I don’t want to

Image available at http://sueatkins1.wordpress.com

After the cuteness of your child’s independence wears off, “I don’t want to” is a phrase every parent could live without.  It’s time to get dressed – “I don’t want to.” It’s time to finish dinner – “I don’t want to.”  It’s time for your popsicle – “I don’t want to.”  The last one seems odd, but strangely enough, my 3-year old son refuses to enjoy certain things for the pure sake of exercising his free will.

Free will.  Freedom.  Liberty.  In the broad strokes of life, we take it for granted.  Yet in day-to-day living we exercise it every time we can.  As a parent, I want my child to be independent, speak for himself and make his own decisions.  At his age, encouraging his independence takes me to the edge of sanity on a regular basis.  But I still try to limit my parental authority (mandate) to circumstances where his safety is of concern, when I sense he impliedly needs boundaries or it is essential for proper development. 

Establishing boundaries is unpleasant.  Last night, like most nights, bedtime was a struggle of wills. 

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Still standing

Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics 

Monday mornings are always challenging – no one wants to start the work week and Graham always puts up a fight about going to daycare.  The great thing is that once we get through the Monday morning shuffle, we enjoy the day ahead. 

Today, I am working on easing back into life and getting myself organized.  No work today.  No school today!!!  Just lists and compartmentalizing the things I want to work on from now until September 14, when the Iowa Bar exam results are posted.  I am kicking off my Monday-after-the-bar-exam-one-on-one time with the Today Show’s coverage of yesterday’s American medal winners.   One of the Silver-medalist Synchronized Divers said “you don’t win the medal alone.”  She went on to say that she would not be where she is now without the support of friends, family and coaches back home.

I feel the same way about the breaking the finish line of the bar exam. 

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Kicking ass on the bar exam

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This is the phrase I instructed my dear husband Geoff to say when people asked where is wife is – “kicking ass on the bar exam.” 

It is a way I thought he could support me from a distance and not worry about calling me with encouragement.  I dropped Geoff off in downtown Des Moines this morning to join a group driving to the first town of RAGBRAI.  RAGBRAI is a week-long bike ride across Iowa.  I will be joining him after I kick ass on the bar exam next week.  My dad is driving the support vehicle and my uncle from Texas and my aunt from Colorado are riding for the first time. My sister and niece are watching Graham and they are going to meet us on Thursday in Cedar Rapids after “mommy takes her big test.”  I can’t think of an place I would rather be after the bar exam (yes, there is alcohol available).

You too will be kicking ass on the bar exam if you are a candidate who has the opportunity to become a licensed attorney next week.  Why not plan to kick ass?

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