The bar exam prep is continuing with rapidly increasing intensity. I honestly now am convinced the test is more a test of one’s ability to handle crazy stress than it is an actual test of one’s ability to practice law. It definitely reminds me of the weeding out process of the 1L year (when everyone had at least one abuseive A**H*** professor, or sometimes several. I don’t OCU is unique in having this phenomenon but it still is ****ed up to say the least), and honestly I feel just as angry and beat up by the process as I did then.
It’s not that the material is that hard (as 1L material wasn’t really that hard), but just that there is so much of it, and much of it completely worthless when it comes to what one needs to know to practice law. Take the Criminal Law Multi-state section of the exam for instance. The bar tests on the Common Law definitions of crimes, as in old-England Common Law. Now, there’s nothing wrong with studying the common law in law school, but when it comes to the bar exam it is jacked up for that to be tested, since there are no longer any Common Law crimes. Criminal law today is purely a creature of statute, so what purpose is served by testing on Common law crimes? (particularly when some of the rules are so silly — you can’t commit arson on your own house, burglary can only happen at night, only men can commit rape, etc.)
There is no reason for it, except that it makes it possible to make it a multi-state subject (and no state is disadvantaged since no state uses the Common law crimes anymore) and because it is one thing that the system uses to foster stress and anxiety in those about to become lawyers. Anyway, I’ve vented enough. After all of this mess is over though I am going go to do what I’ve intended to do since my 1L year, write a book about how to get through law school if law school isn’t a good fit for you. I thought about calling it “The Slacker’s Guide to Law School and the Bar Exam” (of course, I use the term “Slacker” in the best sense of the word, as in Richard Linklater’s brilliant and endearing film Slacker, that depicted life in Austin in the early 90’s before Austin went to hell and corporate homogeny) or maybe “How to have a life and still graduate from Law School” or alternately, “Just Say No… no, not to drugs but to law school.” (hehehe, ok, I probably won’t go with that last one)
Ok, I’ll leave y’all with one paranoid thought… is it possible that the bar review cartel (BARBRI, PMBR… and what the heck, let’s throw in Kaplan since they run the LSAT prep courses that get folks into law school) is really behind all of this? Could they be providing the preasure to keep the bar exam so crazy so that they can make lots of money from everyone preparing for the exams? Hmm… makes you wonder doesn’t it?