Law Day Essay 2009

Law Day Essay 2009-75
In contrast, the essay exam draws from all of the topics, and the only subject that always appears is something on Professional Responsibility.

In contrast, the essay exam draws from all of the topics, and the only subject that always appears is something on Professional Responsibility.

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So I needed to learn a bunch of subjects from scratch and to do it quickly.

I found the Bar/Bri materials an inefficient way to do that because the rules were presented without context.

I didn't need help with Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure.

Constitutional Law wasn't going to be too hard for me, either, and I had taught federal Evidence Law a few years back and could dust that off pretty easily. I had taken it in 1997, and I became a repeat customer last summer. Part of that may have been that I was a nontraditional student the second time around.

The sort-of good news is that I was able to take an additionally shortened exam, the Attorney's Exam, that California permits for lawyers who have been practicing elsewhere for a few years. It's the regular written essay exam minus the multiple choice Multistate Bar Exam.

You show up for the first day and take the essays, and you don't have to take the second day that is the multiple choice part.But I had never studied a bunch of the topics on the bar exam. Fortunately all the lectures were online through the Bar/Bri website, so I didn't have to show up in person and see my former students in bar prep class. For understandable reasons, they don't pitch bar prep classes to professors.Subjects like Trusts, Partnership, Wills, California Community Property Law, California Civil Procedure, and California Evidence were all new to me. I found myself watching Bar/Bri videos, sometimes taught by professors I knew or knew of, while filling in the big lecture notes books they give you. Recent law grads usually have been exposed to most of the topics on the bar relatively recently; they often need mostly refreshers of stuff they have more or less seen within the last two years.But there was a complication: California rejects bar reciprocity with other states.I passed the New Jersey bar exam in 1997, after I graduated from law school. But California doesn't let out-of-state lawyers waive in.For me, at least, the fastest way to learn a new area of law is to first learn what the law is trying to do.Most fields of law are trying to achieve some goals or balance some interests in a way that you can state in a sentence or two.Technically, state bars can't really regulate purely federal law practice in their states.If you're a member of the United States Supreme Court bar, for example, in theory you could go to any state and maintain a U. Supreme Court practice there without needing a state bar membership.And I was flying out to California to take the exam, so I could get back home to DC more quickly.Over time, though, I came to think the Attorney's Exam is actually harder to study for than the regular exam.


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