Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bar Exam Advice

So, the bar exam is coming up. I know this because people keep on googling "Bar Exam Advice" I also know it because a couple of my favorite bloggers, Daisy and Anonymous Hottie, are getting ready to take it.

I have no advice. I have absolutely NO clue how I passed the bar. The whole thing freaked me out so badly, that a few weeks before the exam, I asked my friend to hit me with his car. Not so badly that I'd die, but just badly enough that I wouldn't have to take the fucking test. Being a good friend, he did not hit me with his car. (If you're reading this J.M., thanks!) So this is what this post is about.

This post is advice on how to deal with someone you care about who is taking the bar. Not about how to pass the bar. Because, again, I have no fucking clue. So, I am re-posting something I posted last year about this time. But I also really want other people who have recently taken the bar to give advice on things that maybe you shouldn't say or do to someone for the next month if they are taking the bar.

Wayward Esq, NambyPamby, Harmless Error, Fannie, all the rest of you... speak up.

So without further adieu, How to Speak to Someone Studying For The Bar: A Practical Guide


Grace: I am totally going to fail the bar.

Impermissible Answer: Of course you will, with that attitude.

Permissible Answer: You're a rockstar! You are the smartest person on the planet. You're going to kill the bar.


Grace: I think I smell.

Impermissible Answer: Hmm..Is that you? I wasn't sure.

Permissible Answer: Yeah you smell- like a bucket of fresh cut petunias, Baby.


Grace: I'm hungry

Impermissible Answer: Go eat something!

Permissible Answer: Here's a plate of nachos. Let me know when the cheese gets hard or the chips get soggy and I'll take them away and bring you a filet.


Grace: Is it too early to start drinking?Impermissible Answer: Have you done nine hours of studying yet today?Permissible Answer: Glug glug glug (sound of wine being poured into coffee mug)


Grace: I wonder what's on TV.

Impermissible Answer: Probably not America's Next Top Secured Transaction, Loser.

Permissible Answer: I think America's Got Talent starts tonight.


Grace: I totally don't understand Secured Transactions.

Impermissible Answer: I TOLD you to take more UCC courses! (Dean of the law school spewed out this little gem when I ran into her at lunch)

Permissible Answer: You are going to be totally fine! I will totally help you figure this out.


Grace: I'm still hungry.

Impermissible Answer: You just ate!

Permissible Answer: I've brought you a selection. A. White Castle, B. Taco Bell, C. Sushi, D. A cobb salad, and E. All of the above.


Grace: (total silence)

Impermissible Answer: How's the studying?Permissible Answer: (total silence)



Lucy said...

As much as it sounds like a good idea, I would advise against my plan of pounding Johnny Walker during the lunch break. Once a person who has done that goes back into the exam that person would only want to smoke cigarettes and drink more. And Johnny is not at all helpful with criminal law.

anonymoushottie said...

So now I totally want nachos. Stupid having to be on a diet while studying for the bar so that I fit into a bridesmaid dress.

Secured transactions makes no sense to me, I took all random feminist health law classes, so I am probs screwed. I feel like I should be worrying more . . .

Grace said...


I didn't take Secured Transactions. I didn't take Commercial Paper. I didn't take Wills and Trusts. I didn't take Business Organizations.

Relax. You're not screwed.

Oh. Wait. I did take Wills & Trusts. I just never went sober.

ArmyGirl said...

Didn't we get drunk while you were suppose to be in Wills and Trusts one night?

Daisy Duke said...

Don't wanna study. Seriously hurting my chances of passing.

Anonymous said...

I think you comment regarding the bar exam being the worst day of you life last year was one of the best things written about these types of tests.... you should release it as a best of grace... It truly put things into right frame of mind.

Monday, July 23, 2007
Dear Everyone Taking the Bar,
I want to wish everyone who is reading this good luck. We've all (mostly) worked really hard to get here, and we'll all (mostly) be fine.

Personally, I'm scared. I'm really scared. I feel like everyone around me knows more than me. But then they turn around and say that they are feeling the exact same way.

I've made a decision on how I'm choosing to think about these next few days, though. I've heard from lots of people, that these are going to be the two worst days of my life. Without having actually taken the bar, I can't be sure, but I'm going to go ahead and respectfully disagree. I think I've had worse. I've also heard that this is the hardest thing I'm ever going to have to do. Again, without having taken the bar, I am going to disagree.

There is no way this can be true. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but my parents are both alive. One day, they won't be. Dealing with that is going to be way harder than the bar exam. I've had to sit across the table from my fiance and tell him I didn't want to marry him. That was pretty tough. I'd rather take the bar than do that again. I've had to listen to someone I was in love with tell me they no longer loved me back. I'd rather take the bar 10 times than do that again. There was this guy. Bar exam wins. I've been the victim of a pretty bad crime. Sorry, but the bar exam MUST be better than that.

Don't get me wrong, the bar exam is going to SUCK. and I am going to give it the respect it deserves. However, it deserves no more respect than any other loss, grief, fear, anger,panic or heartbreak that I, or any of us, have ever already experienced. And survived. For my own sanity, this is the way I'm thinking about it. The bar exam is just another fucking hurdle. No biggie. And Wednesday, it will all be over.

So now, I'm going to quit rambling. I'm going to go do a few more hours of studying, then I'm going to pack a bag and head downtown. I'm going to meet Ms. Kori Amsterdam, we're going to check into a hotel, check out our test sites, and then go eat a nice dinner. Then we're going back to the hotel, going to watch some Will & Grace, and go to bed.

Then tomorrow morning, I'm going to go over to my testing site, and give the Illinois Bar Exam the hate fuck it so rightfully has earned.

Once again good luck to everyone. See you on the other side.


The Enabler said...

Grace, dear, you forgot our epic conversation that took place approximately five days before the bar exam...

W.E.: "So, um since I just moved over the past couple days, I was wondering if I could ask you a favor...:

Grace: "Um sure. What's that?"

W.E.: "Would you teach me 'law' so I can take the bar exam?"

Grace: "Um. I know this great Mexican restaurant. Want to get some dinner?..."

And without your expert tutelage (is that not a great word?) I would have failed miserably. You directed me to fajitas and commercial paper. And for that, I am forever greatful...

DavidMcD47 said...

I like the idea of a little Johnnie Walker during a break. Sometimes you just need to let your inhibitions go to perform well (flash to: the last time I successfully picked up a girl at a bar).

My sister took it last year and I bought her this thing called PowerDreams for her birthday, cause she's a nervous wreck. It's like a visualization practice audio CD. I don't know, my friend told me about it and she said it helped.

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Jenn said...

OH MY GOD. I'm studying for the bar (like many millions of your other readers, I'm sure) that will come crashing down on me about a month from now. I was having a TERRIBLE study day, I'm talkin nothing over 50% on like 5 sets of practice questions (except contracts, which I think I was just born knowing, since I keep getting 70-80% without knowing how I'm doing it).... ANYWAYS. I needed to decompress a bit, found your blog, and just laughed my ass off for the first time in a LONG TIME. So thanks, I REALLY needed that. Like you, I expect to pass the bar without knowing how the hell I did it.
You clearly have moved on, you're employed, having babies, getting married... so I like to think that if you lived to tell about the bar exam, so will I.