Saturday, June 11, 2011

Bar classes: to take or not to take?

So bar prep is weird, and has me thinking back to all that conflicting advice about how I should - no shouldn't! - no, I really should enroll in bar classes my second year - AND third! - no, no, I should just take what I want and not worry about the bar. I'm just going to relearn it in bar prep class anyway. But if I know what's good for me I have to take tax - corporations - trusts and estates - crim pro because I'm going to need it for the bar.

Uh huh. Clear as mud.

I'm about three weeks into bar prep classes now, and what I've found is that I am profoundly glad, in a way that is quite shocking to me, that I took advanced contracts my last semester. I absolutely hated it by the end of April, and was convinced that would be part of my downfall in law school. But now that I've graduated, and I'm listening to long, boring lectures about promissory estoppel and third-party beneficiaries and firm offers, I am SO HAPPY that it's all so fresh in my memory. I find myself just knowing the law to some of this stuff, without really needing to rely on the gazillions of mnemonics and fill-in-the-blank worksheets that Kaplan throws at you. I'm surprising myself, and feel a deep sense of relief in this moment. This is because I only got 3 wrong out of 17 practice questions I just did. Tomorrow will be another day.

On the other hand, I am convinced I had one of the best evidence teachers ever, and I felt really confident about my ability to master hearsay exceptions. Yet, the more I pay attention in bar lectures, the more confused I get. It's almost like I want to just tune it all out and stick with what I know. But that's not working. I took evidence my fall semester of 2L year, and despite feeling on top of the world at the time, I'm quite rusty. I don't trust myself to just KNOW this stuff, and rightly so, because I'm doing just over 50% on my practice problems.

The one cliche about bar prep that I heard during law school that has turned out to be very true is this: Bar review is just that - a review. Don't plan to learn the material there for the first time. It's too much material in too little time.

So in the end, yeah, I guess I come out in favor of taking the bar prep classes, but maybe just the ones that interest you. Cause I sure as hell didn't take taxation. Ask me if my opinion has changed after we do that portion of the review.

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