Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Court Chat #2

Judge: Have a nice day. So ordered.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Court Chat #1

Judge: (to defendant after pleading him out to time served) Go forth and sin no more.

Friday, July 26, 2013

I'm Failing the Bar Exam

...and I'm not going to feel bad about it.

I'm taking my bar exam for the first time next week. I've been thinking about it long and hard and have come to the conclusion that I'm going to fail it. There are a lot of reasons why this is the case, but they don't really matter right now. I've already accepted my fate and have begun the mourning process (as evidenced by me BLOGGING a few days before the BAR EXAM).

What matters now is keeping things in perspective. I'm going into the biggest, hardest, most important exam of my life next week anticipating failure. That sucks. But you know what sucks more?
  • Seeing someone you care about get really sick.
  • Having your heart broken.
  • Losing a parent. Losing a child. Losing ANYONE you love.
  • Cancer. Childhood Cancer.
  • Wrongful convictions.
  • Obama being re-elected.
  • Herpes
I've failed things before (ahem... Con Law, Statistics) and it was an absolute miserable experience every time. It always leaves me feeling discouraged and hopeless. But you know what? You move on and go forward. You have to. You get up and do it again. I can't speak for everyone, but I would rather try something and fail than regret never trying at all.

Here is my (personal) list of reasons why I'm not going to feel bad about failing the bar exam next week:
  • My husband already agreed not to divorce me if I fail (note to self: get this in writing)
  • I have a job as an attorney (that I love). Granted, I am likely to get fired after scores come out...but at least I can keep working there for a couple months until they find out I'm stupid.
  • My six month old won't care. As long as I keep the popsicles coming, he'll love me no matter what (my six year old is probably going to give me some shit though)
  • At least I graduated law school?
Most importantly, though, my husband and I are still lucky enough to have our parents, siblings and kids alive and healthy (thank God). And we have each other (and he's sexy). Those things are really the only ones that matter in the end anyways, right?

Repeat after me: There are worse things than failing the bar exam.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Bar Exam Blues

Silly me... I thought life would get EASIER after graduation. Turns out, this whole bar review thing is like being a 1L all over again (but worse, if that is even possible).

I'm taking a BARBRI course and am SO behind. Is it even possible to keep up with their paced program? God help us all.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

One. More. Semester.

Exams are finally over!!

I turned in my last paper of the semester last night. It's so crazy to think I only have one semester of law school torture left before I can start obsessing over the bar exam. I have to say, as painful as they've been, these three years have just flown by so far.

Exams this semester were pretty awful, I'm not going to lie. I think I finally figured out something more brutal than law school exams in general... taking them while you are nine and a half months pregnant! Ugh. SO glad that's over.

Now I get to wait around for the arrival our new baby in two weeks. Can't freaking wait.

Monday, August 6, 2012

How to Read & Brief Cases

Your first year of law school, you will spend a big bulk of your time reading and briefing each of the cases in your assigned reading. This is super important. By your second year, you will probably be able to get away with using canned briefs (which are case summaries you can pull off the internet using your case name and citation), but your first year it's important that you understand HOW to properly read and brief a case, so you don't want to skip learning how to do this. You will need this skill come exam time and in the unfortunate event you get cold-called. Trust me.
Chapters in case books are generally organized according to a broad topic. For example, in Criminal Law, there may be a chapter on Homicide and in it there will be different sections for Manslaughter, 2nd Degree Murder, 1st Degree Murder, etc. Each section will illustrate important rules of law according to the most relevant and controlling cases available. When reading your cases, keep in mind that some of the stuff may not make any sense at first. Especially in subjects like Property law, some of the cases can be really, really old and use archaic language. Just hang in there and don't get stuck re-reading the same sentence over and over again. Your professor's job is to flush the cases out during class lecture. Also, don't skip over commentary, footnotes or dissents (although by 3L year, you won't really care about Scalia's dissenting opinions). Often times, you'll find pieces of helpful info in there that your Prof wants to discuss/question on. Use your highlighter and write all over the page, you'll thank yourself later when you get cold-called and need that info fast.  
At the very minimum, you'll need to include the following in your case brief:
Heading: Case name, court name and date of decision
Facts: Relationship of parties and relevant facts to dispute
Procedural History: Describe what happened in the lower courts
Issue: What is the question in litigation? What is the court attempting to resolve?
Rule: Legal principle being applied by the court
Analysis: How the court came to their conclusion
Conclusion: Judgment/ court's response to question at issue
Write your brief out and take it with you to class. When you get called on in class, you're up! The Professor will ask you a series of questions about the required reading and you can use your brief to answer them. If he asks you something so specific you don't have it in your brief, revert back to your highlights and notes in your textbook.