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Impressions from the Colorado Bar Exam. . .

February 27, 2008

So, I just finished two grueling days of sitting for the Colorado Bar Exam. I have no idea how I did. I probably bombed one essay and I don’t feel as though I made any out of the park home run hits. I studied extraordinarily hard, given the amount of time I had to allocate. I was working full time. I took absolutely zero time off to study and somehow I managed to maintain some sanity. Though, I don’t know how much sanity I maintained the week before the exam. For that I defer to Chet. Alas I digress.

The Colorado Bar Exam is two days. I really don’t know how to judge the exam compared to the two other jurisdictions I’m licensed in. The essays are shorter, but I don’t know that I would say they are any easier. It’s very difficult to judge. All I know is that for me it is over. For whatever masochistic reason I thought it was a *good* idea to take a bar exam after being out of law school for 9 years and practicing for 5, I have no idea. As I told my good friend Karen, I think I need to seek help for self-destructive behaviour. Hahah.

Certain things don’t change about a bar exam. I mean, even the faces you see. As I looked around, I identified people who look just like dozens of faces I’ve seen before in an exam. Then there’s all the people pacing, those that looks so nervous that they are about to puke. And then there are those, that even the morning of the exam, are sitting their with their outlines/flash cards/summaries studying to the very last moment.

It’s those who sit there, at every free moment still studying that intrigue me. Me, I’m not one of those. In the past, I stopped studying the weekend before the exam. This time, I reviewed outlines Monday night, but that was it. Tuesday morning, I’m done. I don’t want to torment myself going through stuff reminding myself of how little I know, freaking myself out. At that point, ignorance is bliss. I don’t believe that I will personally absorb any additional information to make a real difference when I sit down for the test. So, all those people who sit there studying until the last possible moment – they intrigue me. I don’t know if it is a defense mechanism, if they will actually gleam some nugget that will make the difference between success and failure or what it is.

Actually, I think it would be interesting to do a study to see if there is a difference in the pass rates of those who study continuously though the exam vs. those who stop a day or two before. Who knows. I don’t, but I just always find it interesting.

Another interesting thing about this year’s exam was where I am in my life. I’m a licensed attorney. I have a good, no make that a great job. I’m happy where I’m at. So, my reasons for sitting for the Colorado Bar are much more personal. But, I’m an attorney who’s been out of law school almost 10 years. I’ve been practicing over 5 years. And I’m under 35 years old. Regardless of my “real” age….my “experience” makes me an “old fart” in the crowd. Most of the people I was sitting around had just graduated from law school either in December or within the past year. So, that was just WEIRD to me. I mean, in the bar exam world, people generally don’t take the test after being out in the world for a while. And especially if they haven’t relocated to a new jurisdiction or have some really significant reason to be taking the test. As I sat there looking around at the some 400-500 people sitting in the computer exam room, I realized that I am a complete and utter WHACK JOB.

So, I have come to the conclusion that I’m just weird. I’ve known that all my life, so this is just a new dimension to my strange character. And, some sick dark side of me likes it. LOL.

I don’t remember jack from the exam for the most part. There was a reference to Tyrol Basin in one of the exam questions, it was in relation to a case and was set in a fictitious state of bla bla bla (I don’t remember what the hell state it was), but I just remember the reference to Tyrol Basin because I literally had to laugh to myself. You see, Chet, a good little former Chicago resident and snowboarder used to ride up at Tyrol in the late 80’s and early 90’s. So, all I really remember is bombing a question that by the grace of God, I heard more people come out of the exam scratching their heads over that exam question and a reference to Tyrol Basin.

Tonight, I’m sitting at the Denver airport waiting to fly home. I’m feeling exhausted. The last several months of sleep deprivation and stress have hit my like a Mack truck. But, I’m done. If I pass, awesome. If I don’t, well, I just evaluate where I go from there and whether I subject myself to the experience yet again. Wish me luck, and I will continue to appreciate prayers and good thoughts.

P.S.  I now had an opportunity to spell check.  So, for those who read this before I had the opportunity – my apologies for my horrid spelling.  Just be grateful you’re not grading my essay questions.  *snicker*

3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 29, 2008 12:12 PM

    You may be a glutton for punishment, but I sure am proud of you!!!!

    I think the studying right before is a crock….studies show that you need a period of SLEEP in between the last time you study and material and the point in which you have to recall the information… least to retain the most info possible. I never studied the morning of an exam in my life.

    And under 35, eh? Okay. BARELY 😉

  2. March 3, 2008 3:39 AM

    I bet training for an ultra is going to feel easy now! This bar exam sounds pretty exhausting. Why’d you take it? Just for fun?

    Back in my school days, *everyone* studied until the last second – they all insisted that there could be one question about a topic they looked over that morning. I thought it was dumb, but sometimes I’d half-heartedly do it out of self-consciousness – my friends might think I was a slacker if I didn’t study “100%”. My friends were always amazed that I could be calm before an exam, but I guess that’s just how I am.

    I’m glad that you have the age, ahem, wisdom, to know better than to cram! 🙂

  3. May 6, 2009 10:33 AM

    Ditto, exc. 42 years out of law school with corresponding practice experience. Flew in for exam from Charlotte.

    The result for me: pretty close but no cigar.

    I think I may have overrated my performance on the MEE/MPT portion, esp. the latter. I will ask for a copy of my graded work. Always learning. Right?

    Any further wisdom?

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