My bar exam reflections

Now that the bar exam is over and now that I’ve finally had a proper night’s sleep, I can reflect on the bar.

Why do some people get all trussed up for the bar?? I saw several women wearing dresses or dressy clothes, full makeup, hair done, and even high heels. Why? I showed up in my comfy sweats and forget about makeup. I showered each morning but that’s about the extent of it. I can’t believe anyone would actually be comfortable taking the bar in full makeup, tight clothes and uncomfortable shoes. The only reason I would have worn heels to the bar would be to have a spiked heel handy to drive into my jugular if something catastrophic happened, such as my laptop crashing during the essay/MPT portion.

The essay topics were totally random. At least my guess that Wills was going to be on the bar turned out to be correct. I was blindsided by the Admin Law topic but it was pretty similar to the February Admin Law question so I was able to answer it. Corporations really confused me. A lot of the essay questions were very open-ended and annoyingly vague. I wanted more details!!! They didn’t have Torts or Criminal Law, so I was disappointed at that considering I was only 2 points away from getting perfect scores on both topics on the last bar. Also, since they tested Criminal Procedure in the morning, I was so sure they would test Secured Transactions in the afternoon, but no such luck. I had sent Cyber Janitor my bar essay topic breakdown of all the topics tested on the CO bar for the last 4-5 years, and he pointed out that Crim Pro and Secured Transactions seemed to always be tested together, so I was looking for Secured Transactions. No dice.

I had a slightly panic-inducing moment after the afternoon essays and MPT on Day 1 when time was called. I glanced over at my seatmate’s laptop screen and noticed he only had three or four sentences on his ExamSoft essay screen. His essay was very brief, while all my essays averaged between 2,000 and 3,000 character (near the limit of 4,000 characters allowed per essay). I too had gone into brain dumping mode, as Cyber Janitor put it. It’s funny, normally if you saw that someone had written a very short essay, you’d probably think he had done badly, but my confidence is at such a low point because of my two bar exam failures that I actually started to panic, wondering if my essays were too long (if there’s such a thing!). Even if he had bubbled in a giant smiley face on his MBE scoresheet, I probably still would’ve freaked out too, wondering if I should have bubbled in a giant smiley face on mine as well.

Speaking of the MBE, I thought that the PM one was more difficult than the AM one. I didn’t fill in all my answers at once. I only answered the questions that I knew and the ones that I had to really think about, I left those for the second run through the MBE booklet. The really difficult questions were saved for last so I could focus on them with the time I had left. I finished the first run-through in about an hour with 53 answers. Then I did two or three more run-throughs until all the questions were answered. I really have no clue how I did on the MBE though.

I can’t even say if I did better than previously. I don’t feel GOOD or BAD about my performance. I just feel indifferent. I have zero confidence in myself at this point. It’s been a difficult year with having my ego stomped flat twice by the Colorado Board of Law Examiners. I’m pretty sure I failed the bar. I don’t want to get my hopes up only to have them crushed yet again when the results are released.

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7 thoughts on “My bar exam reflections

  1. Waitress, J.D.

    Oh, geez, I know that feeling of not knowing. All that studying and doing well on the practice questions and then the actual questions seem to be so up in the air! I really hope you passed, I am pulling for you! You worked so darn hard, and you deserve it. Honestly, I don’t think I have it in me to study as hard as you have. Try to think good thoughts about yourself and your performance. It seems that the entire process of becoming a lawyer, especially the bar exam, is one of hazing. It is brutal and cruel and the stupid thing doesn’t even test your ability to be a good lawyer. Hang in there, and have some fun. Head to the mountains, where the weather is more pleasant!

    Reply
  2. Richard

    I feel indifferent about mine too – could seriously have gone either way – at least i can say i gave it a go and had a serious attempt at all the questions… how well i did is a matter for them to work out!

    Reply
  3. calbar blondie

    FBE,
    Everyone I have spoken with/read posts thought PM on MBE was tougher. It sure was. I was a zombie walking back to the hotel. I think I did okay. Time will tell. I’m sure you did just fine..it’s OVER!

    Reply
  4. Dewdrops

    hey… I thought PM session was easier ( gosh, may be i screwed it up)… hehe… but reaqlly quite indifferent about it as one cant really ever tell or I would have passed the last time I took it.
    But you worry girl.. Its going to be fine.. and lets hope for the best

    Reply
  5. Anonymous

    there were numerous versions of the MBE exams, mine had a piled a bunch of the ‘gimme’ easy questions at the very end of the PM….so its hard to gage what others thought

    Reply
  6. last call at the bar

    Re: outfits – I personally can’t stand the people wearing their Stanford and Boalt sweatshirts and t-shirts. Just a pet peeve. The guys in ties also look pretty ridiculous.

    MBEs: I thought the first 10 in the am were gimmes and that the afternoon was much tougher. I think everyone gets different organizations in their booklets. We probably had the same.

    Reply

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