Note: The views expressed herein belong solely to the author and are not necessarily those of Critical Pass.
The bar exam is in the foreseeable future. Some are calling finals week the lull before the storm (the bar exam), whilst others are wondering whether finals are less painful or studying for the bar will be. People are changing their residences to be closer to the law library and there are already study groups on Facebook to help provide a peer group as we go through the "best summer of our lives." Sarcasm alert.
Many law schools have classes (Kaplan at NYU for example) held on campus to make it easier for students to attend. Or in case traveling is a hassle, some friends of mine seem more keen on viewing lectures live, whilst some feel waking up early in the morning is too much effort and would rather use the lectures as review at night. Some folks, whose fitness plans didn't materialize throughout the summer are looking at the bar prep period to regain their fitness mojo. Some 3Ls and LLM's are already in panic mode whilst others are looking to maintain positivity throughout the summer given the sheer number of exams, first finals, then the bar exam, and then the MPRE.
It helps somewhat that some subjects are also the bar-tested subjects. So, for LLMs, studying contracts in the Spring semester is a reminder that the other subjects like Torts, Property, and Evidence will require a similar effort. A friend of mine wondered if she could use her Contracts flashcards for the bar exam as well. For a subject like Professional Responsibility, it would help to hang onto some of our notes since they could be useful for the MPRE. But then we are all wondering given the luxury of open-book exams in law school, how one will memorize the rules of evidence or the model rules for professional responsibility since the bar exam is a closed-book exam. Panic mode switched on.
There is grad week after finals, which some are calling the last few days of happiness before the library becomes a second home. Most people's shelves are already stacked with books representing the MBE and MEE outlines, which are intimidating. Someone even wanted to invest in wireless headphones so they could lie down and view bar review lectures. Not sure how successful that idea will be, but it’s a pretty tight timeline between the latter half of May and the end of July. Family and friends visiting NYC during this period have been warned about the bar exam (which some relatives see as "just another exam") and online orientation (how does one attend this during finals?). For some, bar-prep programs have already begun. Alas, the key may be to simply stay positive and as Mountain Dew advises, do the dew. Or er, do the bar exam.
- Samarth Chaddha
LLM Candidate, New York University School of Law