Wednesday, July 26, 2006

day t2

You will not be surprised to find out I did not post yesterday. I tried, but the wirelss network I'm leeching off of at a pub down below wasn't working. I hate computers. Computers hate me. Yesterday they let us mill around until the last minute and then let us in...the numbers we had to sit according to were not sequential...brilliant...I wandered around until a proctor put me down in the right spot. I had spent the morning walking up the stairs and found my way into a banquet room on the top floor where I watched the sun rise over the oakland hills and lake Meritt and stretched..did some jumping jacks and some kata...then down to the bar. I opened the door and Tom came out of the stairway at the exact moment.

There must have been a thousand people in this room. Long, thick cords hung from the ceiling like a seen out of war of the worlds...people weren't as nervous as I thought they would be. Neither was I. Of course, half of us will fail, so maybe there is some foolish bravado in all that. I ran into my cousin just before I went into the room. She was kind of freaked out.

I set my power options a week ago and forgot to reset them, so after twenty minutes, the computer hibernated and I had five minutes until the test started. All I could do was calmly wait for it to return. Okay at least fifteen minutes before the test. In any case, when softest returned, the window was completely open for the test. I pointed it out to the proctor, and she didn't seem to think it was a big deal.

Three easy tests to start out with. Except for one subject I didn't expect, but had studied, they seemed all to be straightforward. This of course means that they will grade harder, as they lately seem to be of the opinion that by failing more people they are doing their job. I love self-perpetuating bureaucracies.

When lunch came I was chased up the stairway to the fourteenth floor by panicked people. My knee ached. The worst thing about the test is the searing pain going down my right leg. Right along the back. I had to get up and walk to the bathroom, even though I really didn't have to go, just to alleviate it. I NEVER got up during a test in law school.

I slapped together a sandwhich and ate some cold pizza. It was already time to go by the time I finished.

When we returned my computer booted up and then asked if I wanted to connect to the internet. It then rebooted and kept rebooting. I don't know what the fucking problem is with softest, but something this important should not be beholden to incompetent software execs. I ended up writing out the entire performance test by hand. Nine pages. I was so pissed I just sat there and stewed after the test.

I don't really know if it hurt me, but I rely upon typing for corrections and allowing me to obtain maximum volume, so I'm of the impression that it did.

so, today is the MBE....wish me luck..

The rest of the day was a blur

Monday, July 24, 2006

Day 0

I was awake until 12 last night...bad idea, I know, but at least I'll sleep well tonight. Drove down to Oakland with my buddy Tom and checked in...Marriot is some Vietnamese food and went back to my room and took a short nap, then went an exercised. There was some young kids running as fast as they could. They lasted about ten minutes. Wankers. The chick had a shirt that said "Yale". What is it about Tier one grads that they so often need to assuage their sense of superiority by sporting the label? In the bar exam, we are all equal. Well, okay, they have 90% bar pass rate (probably a result of their rigorous admissions policy rather than their rigorous education). The guys all respect the most don't even mention it. You find out about it in passing.

It's odd how it's all set up. There are no signs, the bar is very unhelpful. Just one room with securities warnings along the front "You are entering a secure examination area....blah blah blah".

I've had episodes of panic over the last several days, none turning into a full-blown panic attack, and more often now alternating with a sense of calm. Some of the candidates look incredibly nervous, and others look cool as a cucumber. I keep thinking about studying but all I can do is go over my checklists and kind of glance around. I keep finding uncomfortable gaps. I know that a class action requires numerosity, typicality, commonality, and adequacy, but there is another three things...and something about notice....I've realized that this kind of stuff probably is minimal points. The point is, did you spot the issue?

All I can do is remain calm and repeat my mantras;





sO FAR I have xtian evangelicals praying, a wicca circle, and of course everyone else sending positive energy my way....

Friday, July 21, 2006

Does anybody know

What the deal is with laptop carrying cases? I don't see them on the list of items allowed in the room sent by the bar, so I'm assuming I'll have to carry it under my arm along with a pillow, a bag of pens and pencils, a bookstand, my power cord, my floppy drive and my mouse.....WTF!!!???

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

sage advice

I have heard

1. don't use the first toilet. Use the second one. The first one will have vomit covering the floor.

2. punt on the future interests and the conveyancing; that is do your best guess.

3. Sacramento sucks. If you already chose it, I'm sorry. I hear it's really hot.

4. You can accurately guess one test on Friday after Tues.

5. You can keep a pocket full of raisins or will get the boot....

6. They watch you go to the bathroom....

7. The worst test imaginable will be on your test. That means everybody get ready for Corporations. You can thank me.




Monday, July 17, 2006

I've become

Howard Hughes. I lay around the house without my clothes mumbling to myself.

Friday, July 14, 2006

WILSON!!!!!!! WILSON!!!!!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

After studying

this hard I will cry like a small child if I fail....

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I have concluded

Corporations is my glaring weakness....if I get a corporations question (and I expect to now because of that) It has to be about securities violations, directors duties, or shareholder suits....







(Civil procedure is one of those "fuzzy areas" where nobody is really sure what is going on half the time; which is why it doesn't make a good mbe subject.)


Monday, July 10, 2006

An inconvenient truth

Al Gore has assured his place in history with his latest movie, and hopefully he will be elected President this go-around. He is a new, revised version of Al Gore, not boring, compelling, having thrown in a little more southern twang while at the same attacking from his point of strength. His intellect always has been and always will be superior to any conservative candidate that will be fielded by the right, and unfortunately the American people, who have been infected with anti-intellectualism for a very long time, are turned off by that.

What is fascinating is the positioning of his candidacy against the backdrop of global warmings results. Hurricane Katrina, the record-setting heat waves in the US and elsewhere all were predicted by the scientists who have taught Gore. By waiting and allowing Kerry to run, he has let the climate change just enough garner the attention of even the most ignorant.

But the greatest outrage of all will come from the Republicans, who will go to any length to defend the indefensible, and in their moral cowardice, they will mark their place in history as the fools that they are. There is no nice way to apologize for the oil industry, who are going to spend their vast amounts of money attacking Gore and using their media quislings to put forth information that isn't true. They've been doing it for years. The fact is that we now are living in an age of consequences.

Like I said

I just got back my essay from my MM mentor. She gave me a 70. Funny thing is, I thought my CP essay was clearly superior...oh this point, the only thing one can do is pray and memorize...

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Bar course grading

I, as well as many other people have noticed that the utterly crushing grades handed out by Flemings, Micromash and Barbri all seem to have the same thing in common; no matter how awesome it is, you aren't going to get a 70, unless you literally spend hours on it. My friend Brian sent in re-worded model answer and they gave it a 65.

I understand that fear is a great motivator but honestly I think a fair appraisal is better teaching.

Last minute decisions

1.I will no longer do anything more than guess on conveyancing and recording act mbe's.
2.I'll try a little harder on future interest mbe's.
3. I'm going to give one more day to corporations and let it go...focus on 10b-5 and 16b...It's the only subject I really fear...
4. Cut down on writing out entire essays and simply spot issues on as many different exams as possible by doing outlines and making notes of what issues I missed and why.
5. Outline one more performance test.
6. exercise more, eat better, get more sun. The bicycle works when it is too freakin' hot out...
7. figure out how to deal with insomnia. Alcohol?
8. MEMORIZE!!!Practice the online flashcards. I've decided Adachi's flashcards are better for knowing the issues, but not for STATING the law. His cards, like a lot of study aids, torture the fuck out of the English language for the sake of brevity. I would fail someone who writes like that. I hope the bar examiners would too. You don't have to be Shakespeare, but for gods sake, how about some fucking pronouns?
9. Make a binder filled with every test you have ever looked at like you did for second year.
10. Reduce the mbe's to maybe 25 a day?

Saturday, July 08, 2006


I have a tendency to dismiss issues which are often call "non-issue issues". I have written on this before, but it still happens. I dismiss in my head, what I am supposed to dismiss on paper. Out of habit, I refuse to discuss issues which are not raised by the facts. The most recent test I took, a con law test, had the issue of abstention in the model answer. The problem was, there was absolutely NO mention of any facts which would give rise to that.

I went throught the test and spotted the issues, and then wrote, almost whimsically, the abbreviation "misc." at the bottom, and wrote "commerce clause" and "taking". Even though my instinct was, again, to dismiss them out of habit, because they seemed so vaguely related, if at all. The bar exam wants you to talk about a bunch of stuff that really isn't even there. It's almost as though "well, if someone mentions a state, you better mention the doctrine of abstention!". In fact, there was an issue of abstention in the facts. Very carefully hidden, but nonetheless I agree that it was there. And lo and behold, also the commerce clause and takings!

To my anger, I had written "equal protection" in my initial fact list, and then failed to transfer it to the outline. And I skated right past vagueness and overbreadth, two easily spotted issues.

The lesson here? If the thought appears, no matter how ridiculous, right it fucking down and if you have time, give it a go. You only have another three months of your life to least...

Happier days

This was before I got the "thousand yard stare"....

Friday, July 07, 2006

Book burning

I never thought I would ever attend a book burning...nor enjoy one. Too many shades of Nazi Germany and Christian fundies run amok. But I was invited to a barbecue by Murray, the author of "snarkyboy" and an underclassman who had just moved into third year by the skin of his teeth (as I did. I've subsequent to that obtained an 81 in Con Law, a 76 in Wills and Trusts, a 77 in Corporations, and a 76 in Remedies. The second year at our school seems designed to stick it to everyone). A new property professor was hired, who shall go unamed, who was proud of the low grades she gave and bragged about it to other attorneys. There always seems to be a percentage of teachers who go into teaching for the wrong reasons or into the law profession for the wrong reasons; who get a charge out of humiliating people, proving they are smarter, or whatever service to their ego they can obtain.

While I understand there are people who simply do not belong in law school, and I submit that I did, there are also a set number of people who get booted who probably don't deserve to. There are those who ascribe to the notion that people who do well in law school are smart and better lawyers, and those who don't are not. Those include a good proportion of people who do well in law school and are hoping against hope that their academic skills translate. As a law grad, I've learned to couch all my language in probabilities.

People who get higher grades tend to be brighter. People who go to better schools tend to be brighter. People who do well in school tend to be better lawyers. I'm not even sure how true all of these generalizations are, but I'm hedging.

In any case, this particular property teach taught out of a book written by California property guru Bernhardt and two others. Replete with spelling errors and such, the book, so I have heard, was a travesty.

While I consider almost ALL casebooks an assault upon the advances of education over the last one hundred years, and the vestiges of a medievel system of scholarship and grading that bears the same relationship to original trials in England as to the trials held now (You do realize the word "trial" meant armed combat, right?) this one was particularly bad. So there it was...up in flames...

My study partner

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Mock Bar, day two

Today was the mbe day. Still stinging from the utter defeat of essay three, I resolved to look more carefully at the essays. While I'm not comfortable with my mbe scores, I'm a lot more comfortable with them than with how I feel about the essays.

In any case, I had the 1998 July multistate exam from Micromash ready to go, and from the beginning I realized that many of these questions I had already seen. I didn't like that. Some of the answers I felt pulled in a different direction, but answered because I knew what the right answer was already. The vast majority of them I just thought through with the law that I had learned from doing practice mbe's in mind.

It's funny how your narrow down the answer, your sphincter tightens up, and you just go ahead and let it drop. I get high scores but I'm never really sure of the answers and never really comfortable.

I don't like the timing, first of all, because I read so quickly. I was finished within two hours and ten minutes, strangely enough, the same exact time as the last time I tried a mock exam. I'm uncomfortable with not taking the full time, but I also notice that my mental state begins to deteriorate and my mind wanders if I take to long. Once you start overreading and second-guessing yourself, you are usually wrong. I have therefore concluded that I probably need to finish the real MBE in about two and a half hours or more and then go over it with the realization that unless I am one hundred per cent sure an answer is wrong, it should NOT be changed. Probably not even then.

The fact that they are new questions means that the first casualty of that battle, might be the plan....

In any case, although I thought I would slow down in the afternoon session, I, in fact did not. When I finished, I scored it...neck aching....

A 160 isn't too bad, even if you've seen a lot of the questions before...

Monday, July 03, 2006


Letty owned a house on a lot in City. She leased the house and lot to Trent for one year under a written agreement which provided, among other things, that Trent had option to purchase the property for a stated price, which he could exercise at any time during the lease. The lease agreement also provided that trent could renew the lease upon notice to Letty at least 30 days prior to termination of the lease. 6 months after the lease had commenced, Trent executed an agreement assigning his option rights under the lease to Al. Al immediately contacted Letty to say he was exercising the option, and that he stood ready to tender the state purchase price iin cash. Letty refused to sell.
-Al subsequently brought an action for specific performance, seeking an order compelling Letty to sell the property to Al pursuant to the option. Who wins?

a. Al, because an option K is assignable to the same extent as any other K.
b. Al, if the jurisdiction permits assignment of lease purchase options
c. Letty, if Al's credit is of signficantly lesser quality than Trent's.
d. Letty, because only an offeree has the power to accept an offer.


I chose A because I knew the rules on assignment were pretty liberal and that by extension, probably a lease contract would not be much different. Here's the answer.

B is the best choice.

There is a split of authority as to whether a purchase option contained in a lease agreement is assignable independently of itself. Thus if the jurisdiction was one which did not permit such separate assignment, Al would not be able to enforce this option.

A is not the best choice. A is probably not an accurate statement of the law, since restrictions exists as to pruchase options in leasees which do not exist as to contracts generally, as demonstrated by the split authority identified above.....(answer goes on)

So the answer admits that in one half of the jurisdictions, answer A would be correct. So here, the question asks whether you know that there is a split of authority. An example of where exam technique, in that you always look at "unless" and "if" very carefully, would help out a lot. It's an unfair question, but it makes the bar examiners feel important and gives them the appearance of effective assessment that to the casual observor unaware of basic testing psychology appears valid. I couldn't find a better example of a bad MBE, but when I come across one I'll post it...

Sunday, July 02, 2006

MBE scores report....

75% on twenty questions from barpassers mixed subject.....66% on MM criminal law...fuck....I don't understand why criminal mbe's are causing me grief....probably because I've been blowing it off and didn't realize it....


The value of taking tests cannot be underestimated. Often people such as myself are convinced we know the law because we can spew back a few sentences on the topic. But unless challenged by the facts, this isn't always true. The more I do tests, the more I fill in the gaps.

Yesterday I was working on a obvious 2-207 issue, and felt good about it until I looked at the answer. I might have passed, but the "knock out" provisions or "gap filler" aspect of 2-207 I have never seen tested. Usually it's just whether there is a material alteration of the contract that is a deal breaker. That's easy to spot. This was not, and this is precisely why the California bar exam has a 48% pass rate and even one out of ten of the elite go down in flames. No matter how much you know, if you don't know it within the CONTEXT of the exam, your toast. Pure and simple.

See you next Feb......