Someone e-mailed and asked about how I studied for the Bar Exam. More detail is in my posts from last June and July over at my old blog, but the quick answer is that I bought someone's old set of Bar/Bri books, read the Conviser Mini Review, did a couple hundred practice multiple choice questions, read through a dozen of the essays and answers, got someone's Bar/Bri class outlines and read through those a couple times, and spent the subway ride over to the exam trying to teach myself the difference between Strict Scrutiny and whatever the other one is, which didn't come up on the exam, and since I really can't remember what the other one is, clearly didn't stick at all.
[Updated to add: I believe I didn't pass by much -- my MBE score was pretty low -- so I probably didn't study enough and was fortunate that I squeaked by. Oh, and it's rational basis review. It hit me over the weekend at some point.]
I have a friend who failed the bar (passed it the second time) and saw I said I was going to post about the bar exam, and sent me some thoughts, which are far, far, far more useful than mine. I feel compelled to share:
if you are going to post on the bar, i have a little advice from someone who had the privilege of taking it two times: it's all about the MBE. i basically gave up on new york, more or less, improved my MBE by 24 (raw) points by doing PMBR, and that was all it took. as far as i'm concerned, the NY part is a total wash and you can learn enough just studying for the MBE to fake answers on NY. sure, read over some distinctions, whatever, go to the classes if you're registered in bar/bri… but if i had just done MBE practice questions i'm sure i would've passed the first time. as it was i did like… one practice test and that was it. so 200 questions total. that ain't enough. before the second one i did maybe… 1000. that helped.
also, failing is NOT the end of anyone's life and people shouldn't be so friggin' paranoid. it was an annoyance, don't get me wrong. and it was embarrassing. but nothing happened to me at the firm -- nothing. and there ARE partners at every firm who failed the first time. having failed myself, i learned about all SORTS of people who failed. it's like being let into a secret club or something. there were at least five people from [my school] that i knew of personally who failed new york -- probably more but i didn't know enough people to look everyone up, nor did i care. the passage rate for Feb 2006 was 46% (in NY!! not even CA!). people fail, shit happens. i felt bad because i felt like i let down the firm, considering they had fronted me money and expenses and everything to pass it on the first try, but no one here made me feel bad about it. in fact, when i told the work coordinating partner i had to go on leave for ten days to study before the february exam he had no idea i had failed. and he was like, "oh, man. it must be such a pain in the ass to have to study again. go see some movies or something while you're off work -- or else you'll go crazy." that was it. they even paid for my PMBR (which i ironically skipped last summer because i thought it was superfluous).
I'm not sure how much I'll get to post while I'm down in DC this weekend (leaving for the airport as soon as I post this), but hopefully I'll get to a computer and have something to say. Otherwise, lots on Monday about BookExpo. And maybe something about that Milberg firm.