05 May 2005

Clothes at the Bar Exam

Blonde Justice asks:
Finally, a question about dressing for exams. (I expect an answer from Ken on this one). Is it true that Virginia requires you to wear a suit to the bar exam? That sucks. I mean, I'm a proponent of dressing nice for exams, but they shouldn't force you to suit up. What's the point? And, then, to make it worse, I heard that they make you wear a suit with sneakers. Something about not ruining their floors. That really sucks. Ken, please admit or deny. There may be some aspiring Virginia lawyers out there who are stylish enough to refuse to wear the suit & sneakers combo - they're relying on you, Ken.
As I remember it the requirements were "court appropriate" attire and shoes which would not make a sound as you walked.

Court appropriate attire for each and every guy was a suit. What I want to know is: what courts allow the type of clothing I saw the women wearing? I saw micro-minis, minis, jeans, t-shirts, and an amazing amount of comfortable/informal clothing. It was kind of funny to see a bunch of guys who looked like they were heading for a job interview and a bunch of women who varied so much that they could have been going to vacuum their living rooms, at their offices on informal Friday, or on their way to the club to scam drinks off suckers. I don't remember any in very formal clothing; perhaps that's the male in me since I clearly remember several in micro-minis.

Anyway, once the exam started I didn't really care. My main memories of the exam are:

(1) Finding out the lady across from me was taking the test her third time.
(2) A light in the ceiling exploded about half way through the first day. We all looked up as the sparks showered down and then went right back to the test (cursing ourselves for having wasted 10 seconds).
(3) Going to eat supper with a bunch of people heading for BigLaw firms after the first day of exams and realizing a good friend of mine had gotten a question absolutely wrong and biting my tongue because she was already in freak out mode.
(4) At the same supper, freaking out a guy who very proud to be heading off to some superhumungous BigLaw firm when I asked him how he answered the partnership question since Virginia was in the process of switching from the Uniformed Partnership Act to the Revised Uniform Partnership Act (he didn't realize the change was in progress).
(5) Finding out that someone I went to law school with had had the person next to him use one of his answer booklets and that the proctors would not give him time to compensate for that lost getting it squared away. Needless to say, he failed (and went on to intern at the White House - how can I fail like that?).
(6) Doing the Multi-State, glancing up, and realizing that the lady across from me was 2/3 of the way through her questions while I was only 1/3 of the way (heartrate doubled, blood pressure soared, panic started). I realized later that she was skipping around when she went back to questions I had already finished (we had different tests so technically they weren't questions I'd finished but you know what I mean).
(7) Driving back to Lexington and going to a real bar with some fellow testees. This is memorable for two reasons:
(a) The hottest lady in my class flirted with me because I was wearing bracers (if only I'd known sooner).
(b) I freaked someone out because I knew the laws concerning statutory rape.
And that was the end of my bar exam experience.


Anonymous said...

Kenny--this must be the first time in history that a fashion question was directed your way. Obviously, Blonde Justice is talking to the right person.

Blonde Justice said...

Yeah, I know my fashion questions.

Do you find that, in general, (or at least, in court), the women are dressed more casually than men? In the court I practice in, the men are always in a suit (with jacket, even in the summer), but women get away with a lot less - slacks and a sweater, for example. I'm wondering if it's like this everywhere...