Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Taking the Bar Exam & Rant

Well, I've just finished the first day of the NY State Bar Exam. I think I did pretty well on the NY portion. Tomorrow is the multi-state part. Needless to say, between the last final of law school and now the Bar Exam I have a good excuse for not having done much blog posting during the last few months, I do miss it though.

On to the rant:

I gotta say, this whole system of the State Bar and their weed out exam pisses me off. There's a multi-million dollar monopoly industry (BarBri/PMBR) out there that thrives on stressing law school grads out about the bar exam. That just doesn't seem right to me. Plus, the quality of the programs is questionable. One thing that annoys me is how BarBri knows it totally skews the whole exam by what they do and do not teach, yet they insist on keeping you for extra days covering minutae in topical areas that really aren't even covered on the exam. I feel like they're just trying to milk us for all the extra cash they can. What a rip-off.

And there's the whole financial hardship of taking the Bar Exam -
(1) you can't work for several months once you finish school because you're studying for this test;
(2) you pay a bit under $3,000 for all the Bar Exam classes;
(3) you're living on loans for another couple months while you study, this is after years of sucking up loans to go to law school, and the cost of living in NYC isn't low so it's a big deal;
(4) since you don't even know if you pass until November you're sort of going to have trouble getting a job if you don't yet have one upon graduation, and who knows how long you'll be unemployed for if you fail at first and have to take it again! You could be unemployed for most of a year after finishing school.

And to top that all off, if you ever want to move to a different state, which is something that I understand Americans do on occasion, you have to go through all this crap again.

Honestly, I'm shocked that practicing lawyers who pass the bar are just fine and dandy with the whole system. I don't want to call my attorney readers a bunch of idiots for not railing on this system with regularity, but c'mon people, if you're not pissed off about the whole Bar Exam system there's something wrong with you. The test clearly doesn't exist to weed out dumb lawyers (I know because I've met some shocking ones), it's just meant as a means of keeping competition out of the state. Maybe that's why everyone seems cool with it, once you pass you think it's actually helping you by keeping out the job competition or something. This is an experience that I will bitch about for years to come.

Anyway, I'm unhappy with it.


Anonymous the bar corporations said...

oh, you're badmouthing us already?

we WILL be looking for your test, mr. cohen...

7/29/2005 1:06 AM  
Blogger the glza said...

seriously doe,

how'd you do?

7/29/2005 1:06 AM  
Blogger CRC said...

Yeah, so I finished up the multi-state section of the Bar Exam on Wednesday. I feel pretty good about it. It feels so good to be done, I think I even rushed the last 10 questions or so because I just wanted to get the hell out of there.

I desperatly hope that I never have to do it again, although it seems almost certain that I will since I may one day wish to move (shocker!).

Me and my girl are heading off to FL on Friday morning (which is only hours away). I'll be laying on the beach, boating, getting free room and board from the parents, and being generally lazy as hell. See ya in a week!

7/29/2005 1:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The exam is awful, expensive, and everything else you say.

But then you get to practice in the most closed industry in the world where you can raise your fees over and over and over again.

7/29/2005 3:05 PM  
Blogger CRC said...

Speaking of high fees, have you heard that entertainment/IP lawyers make 2-3 k per day? Yeah, check it out - article. Pretty sweet huh?

8/11/2005 12:05 AM  
Blogger CRC said...

I passed!! Check it out.

11/17/2005 3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

any tips for bar exam takers??? i'm taking NY and Mass...

6/15/2006 8:22 PM  
Blogger CRC said...

My advice is simple:
1. Don't let them freak you out, it's not THAT difficult. No one is capable of doing the amount of studying barbri recommends, they're just trying to stress you out and make you think they're your savior (probably so you won't notice what a rip off they are).
2. That said, never miss the bar class.
3. Study some throughout the time you have, but cram at the end. During the final 3 weeks before the exam, outline all the courses and do practice tests.
4. Optional: the 3 day PMBR class. I would say it helped me get a 4 or 5 extra questions right on the multistate portion, plus it forced me to do a realistic timed practice test. Maybe worth it.

6/15/2006 9:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


4/20/2007 8:41 AM  
Anonymous London said...

Hey, I dont know you but I just came across your blog whilst searching the net for people's opinions and experience of the NY bar exam.

Im taking it in next month, and whilst the panic hasnt set in (yet), Im sure in the next few weeks my hair will be falling out!

Glad to hear you passed (though that sounds a lil odd because I dont actually know you) and dont worry, as a fellow bar-taker, i feel your pain!

P.S. I'm from London, and am taking the BarBri course here...trust me, your fees are NOTHING compared to ours. The course over here costs like £3000 ($6000) and then of course we have to pay for flights and accomodation in NY, as well as various other fees BarBri conveniently forgot to tell us about!

1/09/2008 6:17 AM  
Blogger david said...

I just sat the Feb 08 exam and Barbri were way off in my opinion. They suggested studying 20 hours a week outside of lectures and doing thousands of questions. I focussed on the material and went to lectures and put in about 9 hours a day for 3 weeks before the exam. Now it was tough and stressful, but I think I did enough to pass it. Does anyone know when the results are due? Thanks, Dave (Ireland) - oh the Barbri lectures alone cost me $7,875 and flights and accomodation another $3,000. I guess it's worth it if I pass.

3/14/2008 7:36 AM  

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