Monday, June 30, 2008

Subject to Numerous Exceptions

After over an hour of 47 pages of Civil Procedure in my Conviser Mini Review last night, I almost lost it when I read this paragraph:

Judgments are generally enforceable while post-trial motions are pending unless the court orders otherwise. Thereafter, if the judgment is appealed, a federal court will stay execution if a bond is posted, unless the order was for an injunction or receivership. In California state court, subject to numerous exceptions, enforcement of the trial court judgment is automatically stayed with the timely filing of a notice of appeal. However, enforcement of certain judgments (eg, for money, sale of real or personal property, appointment of a receiver) will be stayed only if trial court so orders or if an undertaking is provided. The California appellate court may also issue a stay.

Reading that paragraph is the kind of thing that could make you hit The Wall.

On the other hand, occasionally I feel a bit sad, knowing that after the bar, I'll never know this much law in this many areas ever again. It's like preemptive nostalgia.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


I saw the Wall today. As in, "Late June is when you'll probably hit the wall in your studying."

The assignment for today was a practice half-day MBE, so 100 questions in 3 hours (mixed subject). I glimpsed the wall when I saw the rest of the assignment: simulate two remedies essays.

I got about 60% right on the MBE practice, and I'm not sure where that leaves me. It's really painful to check your answers when you have a binge of incorrect answers all in a row. (Each time I think to myself, "cluster f*ck.")

I always feel worse when my answer is physically distant from the correct answer: when I said "A" and the answer was "D." It's silly because the answer choices don't work like that, but all the same some part of me helplessly thinks, "Damn, I wasn't even close!"

Sometimes I think the best part of the real MBE will be not having to check my answers.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Water People

Our Real Property professor, Paula Franzese, is probably my favorite so far. She's fast and she's funny, and she sings for us. (She's also the only woman we've had so far.)

Today was the last day of Property, and during the last segment she was covering the miscellaneous water rights. Our outline provides the text of the rules with blank spaces for us to fill in the words.

For example, the outline provided, "The water belongs to those who own the land _____________" and we dutifully wrote in "bordering the water course" when she said it. The next line: "These people are known as _________________." Paula says, "water people." There was some giggling, but we dutifully, robotically wrote "water people." Paula paused.

"I'm kidding. They are not known as water people. They're riparians." And we all laughed, and scratched out "water people" in our outlines.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Bar Review Burden on SOs

It's exceptionally valuable having a supportive significant other while studying for the bar. Mine has involved himself in my studying by quizzing me with flashcards. I realized this morning just how involved he's been.

My boyfriend's band has a show in two weeks, and he usually has a friend of his video record their gigs. I've started assisting his friend, but I'm not exactly a film school student, so my boyfriend decided to hunt for someone to help me.

Managing three cameras would be pretty intense for an amateur; besides, he informed me with perfect innocence, "I don't want the recording to be an undue burden on you."

Monday, June 09, 2008

The Little Things

There's something about the Barbri books that's been driving me completely nuts: page numbers.

The In-Class Workbook is a prime example. The book is divided into multistate subjects and state subjects, and these subjects are divided alphabetically within the book (small comfort). There are page numbers within each subject, but no universal, book-wide page numbers. (I rationalized this by telling myself that Barbri wanted each professor to be able to refer to their "own" page numbers. Today, however, Epstein - contracts - informed us as an aside that he had no control over them.)

Without universal page numbers, the table of contents is useless for finding the subject each day. This book is approximately 2 and a half inches thick! Can you imagine how annoying it is thumbing through it to find the subjects? Yes, the subject is listed at the top of the page, but everything is in a different font and size because the materials are the professor's proprietary notes.

And there's not even a uniformity to adjust to:

The Essay Exam Workshop book: overall page numbers, but no subject headings at the top of the pages. Must use table of contents.

Conviser Mini Review book: Divided between multistate and state, with universal page numbers. No table of contents, therefore universal page numbers are useless. Must use subject headings at the top of the pages.

I also found their abbreviation system intolerable (CGAB, CICW, CEWB, etc.) until I realized I didn't have to figure out what they stood for: the abbreviations are on the upper-right side of the cover of the book. Positively sensible.

Thursday, June 05, 2008


Today we watched Erwin Chemerinsky's DVD lecture. Chemerinsky is the god of Con Law, revered by many generations of attorneys who were taught Con Law by him in Barbri. (I flew 600 miles with a stomach virus to hear him speak.) The most remarked upon quality of his lectures is that he uses no notes whatsoever.

Without using any books, notes, or even a podium, he guided us through out handout, referring to "major subpoint 3" or "subset c," or, my personal favorite, "little 4." He recited the notes word-for-word.

Our DVD emphasized this point by filming him for the first 20 minutes from the feet up, before zooming in on his face as they typically do. At that moment, my friends on either side of me both leaned in to whisper, "Does he have a teleprompter?" and "Does he have it all memorized?"

His lecture is about 8 hours long!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Non-Acrimonious Acronyms, part II

Courtesy of Wikipedia, two relevant pieces of information:
In 1974, both San Francisco-based "Bay Area Review" (BAR) and Chicago-based "Bar Review Institute" (BRI) were bought by publishing giant Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, and promptly merged.

And, source of the Conviser Mini Review book:
Richard J. Conviser became president of the merged subsidiary.