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Entries in BarBri (4)

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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Building friction to make a spark

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Is there anyone else taking the bar exam on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 who is up at 4:00a.m. today?  It seems like caffeine isn’t even necessary this close to the exam; the constant pressure of the inevitable testing day is about all it takes.

I am clearly convinced that studying for the bar exam is so much more than committing substantive law to memory.  First, it is important to understand how the questions are written and to know what to determine when reviewing the alternatives in the MBE questions and what are the key points examiners want to read in the MEE.  Iowa has the MPT and I do intend to spend time reviewing BarBri’s lecture and outline and doing practice tests, but not until this weekend.

In addition to substantive law and understanding the method of assessment, I think the most important part of the bar review process is self-care. 

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Excessive Entanglement 

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“If I can pass, anyone can pass.”  That statement is not a helpful phrase for a bar exam candidate nor is it helpful for the licensed attorney making the statement.  Our conduct, decisions, accomplishments and challenges are part of who we are as a person.  It is easy to make the statement “It will be ok if I don’t pass the first time.”  In reality, I will be ok; as much as the next person.  But the bar exam is more than one outcome at the end of a very long commitment to the legal profession; the bar exam is excessively entangled with our self-esteem.

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My style of learning 

This image is from 1L first semester finals taken by Geoff and blogged at

“All you have to do is pass”

“It is pass/fail”

“You just have to get a D”

“It is minimal competency”

“You will pass”

“You will be fine”

These are a few phrases I have heard the last year regarding the bar exam.  That should make a person who is being tested over sixteen subjects worth of material (from memory) feel better.  If the real questions are as hard as the BarBri questions (which I am told they are not), I will be tested on an average of five concepts for one substantive area of law in a single question. 

It isn’t a Contract question of “is it an offer”?  It starts with a possible offer (disguised in an invitation including a specific request to a designated offeree) with detailed terms that may or may not be included in the contract, subject to a condition by the offeror, requesting acceptance by mail (Mailbox Rule applicable?), but has a deadline. 

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