Tuesday, April 26, 2005

One Song Glory

Have you tried to explain law school exams to your non-law school friends and/or family? It's a pain in the ass isn't it?1 How do you explain the emotions of the following scenario to someone who hasn't experienced it?
1) Gettin to your exam
2) Reading the problem.
3) Your Reaction: "Holy shit! I'm in the wrong exam!"
4) Looking up and seeing all your classmates, most of whom look like the deer in headlights you most assuredly resemble
5) Grasping through your outline, or worse, your head (*shudder*), to find a relevant morsel of law to put down on the page and analyze
6) Getting into a rhythm and writing for 4 hours on what, to you, is brilliant legal analysis
7) Getting to the bar after the exam and one of your classmate says "Hey, did you talk about [Obvious Issue You Missed] for question 4? Or what about [Even More Obvious Issue You Missed] in question 2? I didn't really have much to time to discuss it because I had spent the last hour talking about [Professors Interest That She Talked About Every Day, which you barely mentioned]. And that section on [Concept You Prayed Wouldn't Be on the Exam Because You Don't Get It, But Was... F&@*ing Professor!] was tough, I just hope I properly discussed the nuances of [Now this prick is just showing off]. So, how did you think you did?"
8) Your Response: "F*@k!"

Throw on top of that the fact that 1L exams can literally make or break your entire career. Two solid semesters of awesome grades, and you can comfortably coast through years 2 and 3 and still land an awesome job,2 but if you screw up even one of your first semesters bad enough, you have to make a whole paragraph in your cover letter explaining why "I don't feel my grades adequately represent my potential with your firm." There's a lot of pressure.

Crap! What am I doing wasting time blogging about the importance of exams when I should be wasting "the best years of my life" furrowing my brow trying to remember what the heck subject matter jurisdiction is all about.

1Of course, not nearly as big of a pain in the ass as... say, law school exams.
2Well, not that comfortably.


At 1:11 AM, Anonymous Tim said...

Never post-mortem an exam.

Never wander over to the bar after an exam and sit with another law student who insists on conducting an exam post-mortem. I know, it's difficult -- because it's all anyone is thinking about. Maybe find someone who's at least got a different professor and had a different exam.

You have a while before you have to think about it, but I'll say it now: these rules are ten times more important for surviving the bar exam.

At 10:24 AM, Blogger Unreasonable Man said...

I completely agree about no post-mortems on exams. But, as you no doubt remember, there are always people who just can't shut up about an exam they just took either to try and show off (like it does any good at that point) or because it was tramatic for them and they want some reassurances. Luckily, for the most part my section understands talking about an exam afterwards serves no purpose... so instead, we just drink beer. Sweet, wonderful beer.


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