08 August 2005

Studying for the Bar

Fitz-Hume got me thinking about what I did to pass the Bar.

Much like FH, I used the MicroMash Bar. The primary reason for this was financial. MicroMash was much cheaper and would give the materials to me on credit and money was tight when I graduated. However, don't be fooled into thinking that this meant it wasn't as good a study program.

From about the time I moved to Richmond from Lexington, Virginia (shortly after graduation) I fell into a fairly consistent pattern. On weekdays I would get up and walk from Church Hill, 29th Street, up Broad to 8th street; the walk was a pain because of a fairly large hill but the fact it went past a nursing school meant there were sights to ease my pain. I'd go into the city courthouse and set myself up at a carrel in the law library and read whatever materials MicroMash had told me I should that week and take the written tests they sent. I'd break for a hour for lunch. At first I went over to the City Hall for lunch until a guy who worked over there propositioned me; we were talking football and then . . . After that I ate lunch over at the federal building. If I got burned out during the day I would go watch a trial or go over to the Library of Virginia for a while. When the law library closed up I would walk back down to my apartment, eat, and spend a hour or so doing MicroMash's computer Multi-State prep. During this time I had plenty of time to go to movies, go watch the Richmond Braves, or just mess around on the web (I have vague, frustrating memories of trying to argue with an objectivist on some Yahoo list using Locke and Hume and Aristotle and Plato and every other philosopher I could remember from college only to have him descend into screaming at me when the argument got truly interesting).

About a month and a half out I decided it was time to get serious. I unplugged the TV, disconnected the cable, pulled the modem line out of my computer, and stopped buying any books. All I did was work toward the Bar. I'd spend the day at the law library and then the night doing MicroMash's electronic Multi-State prep. Weekends were usually almost entirely Multi-State prep. I don't know how many questions MicroMash gives you but I do know I did a ton of them and didn't finish them all (thus not qualifying for a refund - an important incentive to pass the Bar). Two days before the Bar I drove up to Staunton to meet a buddy and the next day we went down to Roanoke for the test; we spent the entire time quizzing each other about areas of the law and looking up things each thought the other was wrong about. Then we drove down to the Arena and took the test.

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