Thursday, July 18, 2013

Bar Study In Paradise

Aww, what a quaint NYTimes article about studying for the bar exam in an exotic locale.

"For generations of law school graduates, summer has often been an illusory concept, one replaced by long days spent in airless study halls or makeshift classrooms practicing mind-numbing rote memorization in preparation for the high-stakes bar exam in late July, a time when most of their friends are enjoying backyard barbecues or lazy afternoons at the beach.

But a lost summer no longer has to mean a nonsummer, as many bar students are starting to discover. Many Type A lawyer hopefuls are finding ways to make the best of a stressful situation by holing up at beach houses, having bar review courses live-streamed to vacation spots like Paris or Thailand, or even, in one extreme example, absorbing lessons by headphones from a table at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas."

This 'trend' of going anywhere in the world to study has been made possible by the Internet. "In the last five years, prep courses have migrated online, said Lew Olowski, the New York director of Themis Bar Review. So students can study at their own pace from far-flung locales, escaping the grind physically as well as mentally."

I suppose I am envious of these students who knew well enough to use this time to reach the far corners of the world for what is likely to be the last time for a long while. New associates (if the graduates are lucky enough to land an associate gig) don't get a lot of time off. My bar study looked more like this: work three jobs to keep a roof over my head, 'self study' because I couldn't afford a bar review course, and take five master's courses toward my master's degree in library and information science. I say 'self study' because I was too busy working said job and taking those five master's courses to get much studying done. Luckily this was when Michigan had an 80% passage rate, and my law school prepared me sufficiently to pass without much studying -- something that would be all but impossible today.

To all of you out there in the library doing the traditional grind, good luck within the next couple of weeks. To all of you studying on the beach, the same good luck to you, but you might have a bit more of a shock once that whole 'real world' thing starts back up.

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