I feel like I should be talking more about the Bar, but it's not dominating my days like I thought it would and like I think it's supposed to. I'm still playing catch up in the lectures. I do about 2.5 a day and on Friday will be fully caught up, just in time for the 3-day, ALL day, MBE practice exam and analysis. I am not excited about giving up my Sat, Sun, and Mon to this Bar stuff but maybe it will be a good dose of reality.
The iPod self study option is a good one- especially if you graduate law school three weeks after the Bar classes begin. For those who don't know how it works, you (or really your law firm) pay a bunch of extra money for an iPod to arrive pre-recorded with the previous Bar review session's lectures. You can listen to them on different speeds, pause, fast forward, rewind, replay, etc as you fill in your lecture handouts. They also include a little sheet of any changes that happened between the Feb. '08 exam and the one I'll take in July. The law is slow to change, thank goodness, and my sheet only had two bullet points on it. The program requires discipline which I'm afraid I lost in law school, but I've already found fear to be an excellent motivating factor.
I think what I enjoy most is not knowing how freaked out other people are about the Bar. I really don't want to know that someone has taken 25 practice exams, read the long outlines, is summarizing the notes, and making flash cards. I find that knowledge stressful and I'm currently unstressed. On the other hand, I suppose I should know some of what other people are doing because I'm certain I should be more stressed than I am. It's an enormous amount of information tested over three days (Texas is the only state besides California that gets the joys of a 3-day Bar -- I stand corrected and should do my own research and not just repeat what I've been told, there are several other states with 3-day exams) and it's going to take a lot of work to learn enough to pass. My goal in the beginning was just to catch up in the lectures, and now that I'm almost there I want to stop just so I don't have to face the next steps- like doing practice questions and actually learning the law.
The real problem is this could be such an awesome summer and I'm finding it's frighteningly easy to ignore the Bar for long stretches of time. Landon is a blast right now. After he chased after a bigger boy's ball at the pool the other day JP took him to Wal-Mart and bought him his very own Spiderman bouncy ball. As you can see, he's pretty excited about it:
I sit in the study across from the dining room (which is acting as a play room right now, which you can see in the video) and just watch him play and squawk (we've moved beyond squeaking) and it's all I can do not to pause the iPod yet again and join in. We're looking for a bedroom set and I just want to go to furniture store after furniture store finding the right one. There's a million clothing store sales right now and given that my body really has decided to stay at this smaller size, I need to rebuy my entire work wardrobe and I don't want to wait until Fall when everything is full price again. There's also cook outs to be hosted, movies to be watched, and sitting on the back porch to be done. I also want to soak up the fact that JP is home all day. It's a unique situation we won't have again until retirement and I'm loving all our quality family time.
I don't resent the Bar or the time I need to put into it, I'm just having a hard time making it real right now. When I was really behind I felt all this pressure to catch up and now that I'm there the pressure has lessened and I need to ratchet it back up. Landon and I went to my office last Friday to say hi to everyone. They hadn't seen me since I was 8 months pregnant and had never met the Landon. He flirted mightily with all the lady lawyers and crawled full speed into several partners offices. Luckily the corporate section is used to having babies underfoot and he was a big hit. It was great to be back. I remain just as excited about working there as I was when I finished up my clerkship.
I'm staring at all these big books, which you can see in my blog header, and wondering where to begin. The barbri self paced program frightens me and there's no way I could start it now. For those who know, how did you spend those weeks up to the Exam? Should I bother with the long outlines or just review the handouts and work on practice questions. Back when I was a pre-med major I was really good at memorizing and I'm hoping those skills will come back quickly. There's also something called a Conviser mini review and an MPT workbook. I'm pretty sure it's bad that I don't even know what those are. And flashcards. I could see how they would be really helpful, but also time consuming to make. Maybe I could add them to JP's list of projects...
Oh, and this has nothing to do with the Bar (though it may be instrumental in my beign able to study for it), but Landon has fallen asleep with less than 30 seconds of protest for all his naps and at night. It's like he knows what he's supposed to do in the crib now and he just curls up and follows through. It's magical.