Archive for the 'law school' Category

how’s barbri: a guzman weekend

The weekend following the 6-hour simulated exam, BAR/BRI instructor Ray Guzman goes over all 200 questions, one by one.  It takes 12 hours, over 2 days.  He is colorful in ways more than his dermal shade of sunkist-orange.  A sampling:

  • “If you go through all the answer choices, and they all are ‘wrong’, you are in deep shit.”
  • The 9 Stages of Drunkenness, by which “you may already be familiar through the literature or through personal experience” :
    1. You are the smartest S.O.B. individual out drinking that evening.
    2. Witty & Charming
    3.  You are the handsomest/prettiest person out that night.
    4.  Rich & Powerful
    5.  Clairvoyant
    6.  Fuck dinner
    7.  Disco King
    8.  Bulletproof
    9.  Invisible

Diary: Barbri mini review

Wherein I attend a 8.5 hr review lecture on only 3 hrs of fitful stressed sleep.

7:00. Holy fuck why did I awake two hours before I’m supposed to?

7:45. Went to the gym. GYM. Hell is freezing over.

9:20. Times square office of barbri. Waiting for id to be printed by security desk, guys behind me talk about making the trip into the city for this taped lecture and about wearing a good shirt, cuz y’know.

9:22.  Guys behind me stop mid-conversation to ogle a girl walking into the building, then another. They exchange whistles, elbows, jeers. Quality wits here. Good thing they wore their top shirts.

9:33. Professor Lakin begins. He is a dead ringer for Carl Reiner. He’s pushing 70, but got a grizzled spirit. We’ll see if he can go the distance today.

10:00.  Lakin gives us direct advice on writing the essays. He says what a merely passing answer is , then what the winners write. Tells us to “push it”. Get those points. Yeah.

10:15.  My neck is sore; I can’t turn it past 60 degrees.   Is this from a bad night of sleep?  Stress??   The pain makes me nauseous.  I’m visibly uncomfortable.

11:05. Lakin moves onto criminal law.

11:18. Lakin says Bonnie and Clyde were “friends with benefits.”

11:21.  Plug for Public Enemies as a study break.

12:28:  Lakin promises if we write what he says, it will make the essay grader stand up and salute our essays. We want to “climb the ladder rung by rung til we reach the heavens of accomplishment.” Is this bar review or a Moonies meeting?

13:00: 30 minutes lunch break. It takes 10 minutes just to get downstairs, 20 minutes to get a sandwich.   Who isn’t refreshed?

13:45.  Dying. Falling asleep.  During my weakest subject to boot, NY Practice. My notes on Notice of Pendency and Orders of Attachment look like rousing hieroglyphic calligraphy. I wonder if ancient Egyptian students would nod off during class and scribble perfect English letters on their papyrus.

14:30.  Mags says maybe I should go home and get some rest and she’ll send me her notes.  Well, no, cannot.  On “advice” and “counsel”, I shelled out $150 this morning for this shlock.  I will finish it like a bad burrito.

14:39.  Reminds us to “push it”.

14:55.  Lakin tells a joke that slaughters the room. Here it is: “In your essays, always add the language ‘in the absence of contrary ageeement’, which will always apply to the relevant rule, except, of course, IN CRIMINAL LAW OR TORTS.” Ha ha.  A low bar for bar comedy.  I would admit I laughed too if I wasn’t distracted by writing that last entry.

15:02. Lakin panders to the crowd. In discussing calculating contract damages, he tells that now-clichè law student joke about knowing that we all became lawyers to avoid doing any math yuck yuck but let’s get through it anyway yuck yuck. I’m audibily rolling my eyes, and snorting in derision. Someone has to fight the good fight against anti-intellectualism, people.

16:38.  Penultimate break. Now I have to hear two guys from Long Island hit on these British girls they discovered behind me. Crash and burn, gentlemen.

16:45.  Second wind.  I realize those British girls behind us includes a very cute British Asian girl in a summer dress and dark-rimmed glasses.  I do my best to look handsome and bar-ready.  I try to communicate these qualities through my strong back muscles, but I am not sure if she speaks Flex.

17:02.  Onto Wills.

17:38. Audible gasp from the crowd when Lakin reveals that over $100 million dollars escheats to New York every year.1

17:50.  In discussing equitable distribution upon a final decree of divorce, Lakin calls a deadbeat spouse a “Loser”, and we all laugh, probably to make sure we’re still capable of it.

18:10.  Lakin is tearing through Domestic Relations.  Yeah, cram 2 of 5 commonly-tested topics in the last hour.  Genius.

18:20. We’re done! Brain is fried.  I stumble out onto NYC, mumbling, shuffling, and done.

  1. Inheritances with no distributees under the intestacy rules will generally  “escheat” to the state. []

barbri: question 201

Question 201

An employee of a exam preparation service speaks with a student at a law school. The employee hands the student a flyer stating that the exam preparation service has 40 years experience and has helped one million students, claiming itself to be the “#1 provider of bar review courses and student support.” The student agrees and hands the employee a check for $3,500. The students enrolls in the course, but subsequently fails the bar examination.

The employee is guilty of:

(A) Larceny
(B) Larceny by Trick
(C) False Pretenses
(D) Murder

how’s barbri


Nothing beats rolling into a giant convention center to take a 6 hour long multiple choice legal examination.  It appears I am still an idiot savant at bubbling circles: dozing off in the PM session and rushing thru the last 50 questions in 60 minutes did not stop me from scoring above average.

Since graduating in May, I’ve been spending nearly every day studying for the bar exam.1 BAR/BRI is providing the necessary structure,2 but I am taken back at the sheer amount of knowledge/word to memorize.  It’s almost too much.  … Here’s to the payoff.

  1. Every attorney must pass a state’s exam to be licensed to practice law in each state.  Some states have reciprocity agreements; New York, one of the hardest jurisdictions, does not.  On Day 1, every state will test on 5 fundamental core subjects in the form of 200 multiple choice questions.  Day 2 consists of essays about that state’s own unique laws and rules.  I am taking NJ and NY.  New Jersey tests the 5 core subjects plus NJ Civil Procedure.   New York tests the 5 core subjects plus 16 other individual subjects.  Any questions? []
  2. To prepare, nearly all law students enroll in a prep course, BAR/BRI being the most popular by far.  It costs $3,500, and involves attending “class” every day, in which they play a pre-recorded DVD of a professor summarizing an entire subject within 1-3 days.  Repeat for 16 topics.   The professors range over delightful, practical, hilarious, bat-shit crazy, inexperienced, and unsuitable-to-teach-a-dog-to-piss.  “Fun” is not a wholly inappropriate adjective,  because it is, after all, a massive collective experience (I have bumped into old CU classmates in classs), but it’s unpleasant. []

days remaining…

Inspired, I used an actuary table to calculate the remaining years of my life, converted that number to an actual date, and created a dashboard widget that ticks off the remaining days I have left on this earth:   17,747.   Looks more like a Boeing model number than my Deadline.   But there it is.  Oops, look at the time, down to 17,746.

It should surprise no one that I write this on the eve of another practice exam, this one simulated to the hilt at the Jacob Javits Center.  Studying for the bar is eating 68 hot dogs in 10 minutes.  The march towards the future continues, frolicking along that yawning chasm between the potential and the actual.


Formally graduated today. Grand ceremony: reading of the name, walking ‘cross the stage, handshakes, and “hooding” of doctors. I felt nothing. Maybe numb disbelief.

Three years ago it started. Usually, with new experiences, time crawls, then gallops as novelty turns to routine. Here, no. Every day was worth a week. I likewise imagine that, by dint of analogue, time spent having carrion tear out one’s innards does not fly by either.

hows law school

The learning does not stop just cuz classes are over.  More so if you did not attend 30% of your classes, and opted to, say, enact a “Snowboard Thursdays” policy back in February.  More so if you are reading everything for the first time on the eve of your exams.

– – –

abortifacient – causing abortion; a substance that induces abortions [learned in Comparative Trademark, mind you]

otiose – serving no practical purpose; indolent, idle

eleemosynary – of, relating to, or dependent on charity; Contributed as an act of charity; gratuitous.

terpsichorean – of, or related to, dancing.

– – –

Yes, I have a weakness for obscure “of, or related to…” words.  It started with “pecuniary” and it was all downhill from there.

Last day of classes

I find it hilarious that law school is officially over today (exams notwithstanding), and I can barely muster the words for an obligatory post, let alone another profanity-laced screed.   It is clear that I have completely  moved on, as evidenced by my lack of law school posts, my attendance record, and my dearth of class notes.  It’s time.

Does anyone have any questions about law school left unanswered by the Great Crab Experiment 2006-09?

career goals

It seems a good way to steer your career is to base your goals on qualifications for jobs you wish you had.  In other words, job listings make good career roadmaps.

Here’s an example. Facebook is seeking to hire a patent counsel.   I have none of the listed preferred skills and experience.  But I’m going to write them down now, but convert them into to-do actions for the next five years:

  • Get 3-9 years of patent prosecution experience
  • Manage an in-house patent prosecution program
  • Identify strategic areas for patenting and patentable inventions
  • Evaluate potential acquisitions
  • Educate employees on patent law issues
  • Improve internal processes

Now I can go to my boss and say, Jim– I imagine his name is Jim, because why not– Jim, I would love to get some experience evaluating potential acquisitions for our clients.  If you hear of any of new deals, let me know and I would be happy to help out.   Check the box.   Jim, can I sit in next time you teach the clients about patent issues?  Check.

After five years, all these to-do items become bullet points on my resumé and I just might get that dream job, economy in a shitter notwithstanding.  What do you think?

weanie waivering and equivocating

Corps Professor is dead guilty excessive verbiage.  He’s a nice guy, so I doubt it’s an ego issue. He just must think we’re so fucking stupid that he has to repeat himself 3 different times in 3 obvious variations, and any elucidation is consequently lost in the waves of inattention that sweep over you.  A direct quote from one of his final exams:

Describe the three most important actions Parent Corp.  (and/or Subsidiary Corp.) could have taken to protect against losing the fiduciary duty suit you described in Q3(c)(1).  (If you can think of less than three actions, describe such lesser number.  If you can think of more than three actions, describe only the three you think are most important). (emphasis added)

If this is how he is on a final exam; now imagine how he is in person.


I have cooled off.   This is how I feel now:

YouTube Preview Image

hows law school

Apparently my proselytizing is starting to bear fruit;  friends are now approaching me to ask: “Hey, my brother/cousin/niece/neighbor/co-worker is thinking about applying to law school.  I have heard you do not like law school. Can I give him your contact information so he/she could pick your brain?”  BE ALL MEANS, YES.

Why is law school or joining the legal profession a bad idea?   When you become a lawyer, there are only two  options:  fucked cog or fucked change agent, and guess which one leads to happiness? That’s right, neither. fucking. one.

The cog is the fancy lawyer, the sexy one that makes $160,000 straight out of law school for being a fuckwad and graduating from an fuckwad school that can be abbreviated by HYP (hint: does NOT stand for “Hairless-shit”, “Yonic-imprint”,  or “Piss-ant”), or otherwise being entirely based on your law school GPA and the reputation of your school.  Law school’s idea of ‘meritocracy’ is put the world’s biggest tools in one class, have one final exam which counts for 100% of your grade, then grade viciously on a curve, and give only the top 15% jobs they want.   The most common song heard in the hallways is not “Kumbaya”, but rather “Don’t Blink While I Fucking Stab You In The Back So I Can Make Law Review fa-ra-ra-ra ra ra”

This is the circle of hell where Prestige Means Everything.  You could be a legal expert with 20 years of experience and the fucking piss-ants around you still like to ask where you went to school and whether you had a high GPA.    You could be a fucking nominee for the Supreme Court and the shits’n’turdz of the underworld still want to know which eating club at Princeton was your favorite.

This is the circle of hell perfectly embodied by the legal tabloid Above the Law, with its constant whining about pay raises, law school and firm rankings, and bonuses.    See if you can stomach its annual bellyaching about Associate Bonuses (actual fucking lede quote:  “White & Case, which recently laid off 70 people, has announced that they will pay half of what Skadden is offering“.)  LOVE THAT SHIT because that is the spirit of your fucking peers, your rallying war banner: Pay Me More So I Can Justify My Unhappiness With Stents and Cash.  Really, money will be the only balm for the pain you feel for the dwindling personal connections to real live people that aren’t fucking lawyers.

Have you ever seen precocious children with big mouths, the argumentative ones that always talked back?  The ones to whom people always say: “wow,  you should become a lawyer.”  Guess what?  ALL THOSE ARGUMENTATIVE FUCKWADS ARE IN LAW SCHOOL.   Law schools are filled with people who love to hear their fucking gums flap.  I’ve once heard someone brag they could ‘out-talk’ everyone.  Oh, what heights of douchery do these fuckwad rise to!  Bar none, I have met the worst human beings I have ever met in my life in law school.   Law school is also full of those losers that figure they should go to law school because they need actual job skills that they never bothered to get in undergraduate school because learning about philosophy and English literature is an excellent way to spend $50,000/year.

The intellectual challenge and quality of work in the legal professoin?  0.5% of lawyers get the juicy good work (also, see below change agent), but you, my friend, are the fucking smegma on the c0ck of capitalism.   You review shitty documents, copy and paste forms, all day long.  The work is so bad you wish you could instead make coffee for the partner because at least you would be creating something of value  n this world instead of being the professional equivalent of santorum.

Okay so maybe you want to be a change agent.  Public defender.  Prosecutor.  Immigration advocate.  Policy maker.  Guess what salary  these positions receve?   That’s right, two shits and a half.  There is no stakeholder in this world for the actual legal positions that add value or help people.  You will enjoy a frugal lifestyle because you will have to live like a celibate monk to pay back nearly $160,000 in student loans. (Can someone tell me why the fuck law school costs $40,000/year?   All it takes to start a school is a professor, desks, chairs, and a classroom.   We pay for our own $200 textbooks.  There’s no necessity for fancy laboratories / cadavers / supplies that you might see in a medical school.)

In conclusion, DO NOT GO TO LAW SCHOOL. [source].

exam time

Posting will be light until late January.   I’m cramming for exams, while planning for another smashing trip in the winter.  I am hoping to top last year’s photo haul of 1,593 photos.  Expect to see photos of all things Cambodian, Balinese, Hong Kongerian, and Chinese.

Also, in a side note, I am absolutely loving my adult decision-making abilities.  Just a set of quality life choices I have made in the past 3 years.  Quality.

hows law school

I have made the executive decision that I need to use the word “fuck” and other swear words more often in my writing.  Here is an example:

Fuck law school and its infinite store of disappointments, regrets, and melancholy.

Yes, I know three of those words are synonyms. However, (1) fuck you, and (2) not unlike ice cream, sadness comes in many flavors, and in law school, you just get to try them all.   In fact, it is a veritable world tour of the 7 land masses of misery.   If sadness was a sugared confection, law school is a golden fucking ticket, tucked away behind a chocolate bar, granting you access to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate I-have-chosen-a-career-of-shit Factory.   Did I mention I recently joined my college reunion committee?  I plan on setting up a Reunion Day lecture event, entitled “Hi Would You Like to Be More Pathetic: 5 Reasons You Should Leave a Career Actually Creating Something Useful: an Engineering to Law Primer”.  Tickets are on pre-order via a custom sundial registration form coming to you soon.

saigon grill

On Tuesday, 36 deliverymen won a $4.6 million judgment in back pay and damages against the owners of Saigon Grill for violations of federal and NY labor law. The workers had been on strike since March 2007.

I’m torn on this one. Sure it seems like the lowly wage-earner is getting their justice after toiling in an unrewarding job under harsh conditions. On the other hand, Saigon Grill is not exactly owned by a distant franchise. The owner, Simon Nget, was a Cambodian refugee who graduated from high school, and scrapped together enough tips and wages to open his own shop in 1991. Working his ass off, he opened Saigon Grill in 1996, expanded to the east side in 1999, moved the first location to Amsterdam in 2001, and moved the second location to University Place in 2006. If this isn’t the American Dream come true (albeit in the form of delivering L14 with shrimp to all), I do not know what is.

Examining the facts, the deliverymen’s situation does not appear truly horrendous. The deliverymen made $1.50/hr in direct wages. That’s a pittance, but only just barely under the legal limit of $2.13/hr for tipped restaurant workers (source). Meanwhile, the deliverymen were pulling in tip income, totaling in some cases, as much as $3,500 to $4,000 monthly! (source, p16) Remember, this is under-the-table un-taxed cash income.

Additional reading:

hows law school

Rainy weekends = programming fun. I have channeled my happiness with the last two years of my life into an easy-to-remember website: DoNotGoToLaw Enjoy.

REVELATION, or hows law school

How many nights that drift to four AM, spent chasing digressive distractions, must be enjoyed before one realizes the source of one’s nocturnal meanderings lies in a fundamental dissatisfaction with the day’s deeds. That is to say, one lingers, sleepless, because of a hope that some act will be accomplished– or knowledge, learned; or expression, sung– that will slake a heart’s craving for… happiness???

The solution must be an avowal, a promise to pursue daily at least a shard of one’s dreams, some small slice of satisfaction. My apparition of a day job is not cutting it anymore. Expect more photographs. More programming. Yes we can.

summer update

If you could not tell from the pace of recent updates, the Selfish life is slightly unpleasant at the moment. Tomorrow I endeavor to pass the patent bar examination, which means correctly answering 70% of 100 questions in 6 hrs. Cake, you say? The historical pass rate is 50%. One half. The piercing mind will likely inquire, “Yes, but what is the passage rate of first-time test takers?” The cynical creature responds: “It is undoubtedly higher, but what is the passage rate of first-time test takers who have prepared as little as our present friend, Crab?” And that, dear readers, is a question I do not want answered at all.