Wednesday, December 14, 2005

NB: Hello - is it me you're looking for?

CalBar released its model answers for the July '05 exam.

Reading through them, I thought I could identify one of the answers as mine. Later on, I thought another one looked like something I wrote.

Now, I get it: all the answers (or at least the ones I recognized) are written in the "proper BarBri" style - IRAC, plus the little conjunctions, etc. that were used in the BarBri sample essays. 'Here,...' etc.

It's a weird system: the vast majority of Bar-takers do BarBri, so that sort of becomes the standard. It's a rush to be average and, in the words of Natalie Merchant, give 'em what they want. Just as law school has little to nothing to do with the Bar, the Bar has nothing at all to do with the "practice of law."


Saucy Lil' Tart said...

I thought I could pick some of mine out too, but then again, I'm supposing that's not possible.

wt said...

Just as LSAT prep courses have made law school applications more competitive, the increasing popularity of Babri is having a similar effect on bar passage.

Whereas bar prep course might have been a useful, but optional, way to gain a leg up for impressing the bar graders, it has since become a threshold.

Now it's almost unheard of not to take a bar prep course before the bar. And of course Barbri has been able to use its business model effectively.

So now I'm sure most answers do look the same.

But don't be modest. I'm sure two of the model answers are actually yours.

Heather said...

When i was studying, I knew full well my biggest weakness would be my terrible memory. (I'm more of a problem-solver - yay logic puzzles!) So I spent hours and hours going over the sample essays in the Bar/Bri books.

When I opened the first essay question at the exam and started to put pen to paper, I realized with a start that I had memorized verbatim the bar/bri essays. Verbatim. Talk about overcompensating. I literally could have given an oral recitation of a blank verse community property essay.

I was secretly worried that one of my graders was going to think I cheated, because I'd "copied it down" so well. Totally, utterly freakish of me, but it's what they want, it seems.

matt said...

I too thought I recognized my own handiwork. I'm now wishing that I had put some easter eggs in my essays just to be sure, like an intentional typo or a lead-letter acrostic. I guess I'll just have to take a bar exam in another state.

G. said...

I loved how people used that little introductory Community Property paragraph we were supposed to memorize. :)