Tag Archives: exams

Maggie Takes the Bar Exam, Again

Posted by: Maggie

So here is what I’ve been up to since the start of January. I have once again been studying for the Bar Exam. I took the same bar review course that I took last time. Mostly because I really felt that it would be a good review of the material getting to listen to the lectures again and because I’m generally not as disciplined as I would like to be so I found it helpful to have a study schedule that I had to keep up with. Last time I took this bar study course I think I only completed about 60-70% of the assigned work, over about 4 hours a day on top of the 4 hours of class a day. I actually don’t think that is much less than what a lot of people who passed the first time did, but I obviously needed to study more or probably mostly I needed to do more practice essays.

So this time around I decided I would do my best to complete all of the assigned work hoping that it would make the difference. I think I was able to complete about 90% of the assignments, but really struggled to keep up with the work. I was getting up in morning and doing about an hour before Eleanor woke up. Then I would start studying when she took a nap at about 12:30pm. My mom would arrive a little after that. I would study until about 5:30pm when I had to leave for class. I decided to take the night class this time around, and I think it was a really good decision. I’m not great studying at night so the evening hours are usually wasted for me, but having to go to class gave me those extra hours of studying the material. After class I would usually get home around 10pm and study until 12.

On Saturday I had class in the morning from 9am until 1pm and then I came home from class, had lunch and then started studying until about 5:30pm and studied some more after Eleanor went to bed from about 9pm until 12am. On Sunday I would try to get in at least 2 hours before lunch and 4 hours after lunch and then at least an hour after Eleanor went to bed.

Basically I was studying about 8 hours on top of the 4 hours of class a day and taking care of Eleanor in the mornings. So in total I was putting in 17 hour days with no real down time.

And, to be honest, I’m not really sure it helped that much.

The Bar Exam was February 24th, 25th, and 26th. Three days, six hours a day. Wednesday is six hours of multiple choice, three hours in the morning and three in the afternoon. Tuesday and Thursday are three hours of three essay exams in the morning and something called a Performance Test for three hours in the afternoon. The Performance Test is intended to simulate a real life legal task like writing a legal memo or an affidavit. You receive instructions, a case file, and a library of cases and have three hours to read everything, outline what you will write, and write it.

In all it is an intense three days, and I have a feeling I’ll be doing it all over again in July. I do feel like I killed the Performance Tests and I feel okay about the multiple choice, but I did not feel good at all about at least four of the six essays. So, I guess we’ll see. I get my results mid-May.

This time I went alone, so sorry no Eleanor hotel pictures. Josh and Eleanor had some fun mommy-free time filled with trips to the park and visits with friends and we skyped so Eleanor could talk to computer mommy every night.

Here are some pictures of my hotel in Ontario:

Maggie Takes the Bar Exam

Posted by: Maggie

The Bar Exam was held July 29th, 30th and 31st. We checked into our very overpriced suite at the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City on Monday afternoon. We were there for three days so we wanted to have plenty of room for Eleanor to crawl around. The room was huge, almost as big as our apartment, and had a great view.

Eleanor tried out her crib as soon as we got into the room.  We were worried that she wouldn’t sleep well in a strange place, in a strange crib, in the same room with us, but she slept really well all three nights, much better than I did.

The first night we went to dinner with my sister.  She was working as a summer associate at a firm in Century City so she came by after work (for those of you that don’t know, my sister is a third year law student at UCLA).

Eleanor hadn’t napped very well that day so she passed out on our bed when we got back from dinner, which was very unusual for her.  She never falls asleep on her own, so she must have been exhausted.

For the next three days Eleanor and Josh hung out in the hotel while I took the Bar.  I came up to the room to nurse at my lunch breaks and then we had room service and watched our giant flat screen tv in the evenings.

The exam went okay.  It was three tiring six-hour days of exam.  The first morning was pretty exciting.  There was an earthquake 15 minutes before the morning session ended.  I was taking the exam in the hotel’s ballroom so there were giant crystal chandeliers that swung over our heads.  During my bar prep course we were told a story about an earthquake during a previous exam.  Everyone was evacuated from the building and although they missed 15 minutes of the exam during this evacuation they were not given any extra time to make up those lost minutes, so I wasn’t going to lose any time just because I might be killed by a chandelier coming crashing down on my head.  I just paused for a moment and then continued typing.  Thankfully, we were not evacuated.

Aside from that, I feel okay about the exam and that’s all I’m going to say about it until results come at the end of November, so don’t ask. Thanks.

Maggie’s Studying for the Bar

Posted by: Josh

Josh here. Maybe some of you out there are wondering why Maggie hasn’t answered your e-mails recently. Or maybe you saw her reading a foot-thick book at the Coffee Bean and said hello, and were surprised when she didn’t even look up. Or maybe you were in your car and you saw Maggie driving, and you waved and smiled, and were confused when she gave you the bird and ran you off the road into a shallow muddy ditch. Well, let me tell you a little story about a test called “Bar.”

It’s three days long, six hours a day. It covers 14 areas of the law (that’s most of them). It’s in two weeks. July 29, 30, and 31st. If you want an idea of what the Bar is like, you gotta rent the movie, “A Lawyer Walks into a Bar” and meet the guy who’s taken it 42 times.

But, despair not, things will be friendly again after that, e-mails will be returned, along with waves and hellos, and no more vehicular manslaughter, which may or may not be on the Bar, but you better know about it either way.