So You Passed The Bar, Part 1 – Still Not A Lawyer Yet

Welcome back to Lawyers & Liquor, the website where I genuinely don’t care what you think as I ramble about legal crap and try to impart a bit of wisdom to the Pampers-wearing pestilence that is the baby lawyer and the law student out there, as well as a healthy dose of spite for the experienced attorney who can find their way in the world.  I’m the Boozy Barrister, and it’s Wednesday, October 10, 2018 as we enter the dark and depraved world of the recent bar admissions.  To a lot of people out there that sat in a stuffy room during two to three days in July to take an exam, and then agonized through the months after, congratulations.  You’re lawyers now.  Or at least you will be as soon as someone administers the oath of office and character and fitness clears your baby-smooth bottoms for the practice of law.  But don’t worry too much about that last point.  If Michael Cohen can get a license to practice, so can you.

Instead, let’s take a moment and recognize that despite the fact you have a license to practice law, none of you really have any clue what you’re going to do next or how you’re going to do it.  And you definitely lack the bare minimum of experience that turns the license to practice law into something other than a license to commit malpractice and take your client from a million dollar house on the hill to eating Vienna sausages and saltine crackers in the local trailer park, right? Right. Don’t even try that “getting offended” shit with me here.  You still have concepts like “truth” and “justice” ringing in your fucking ears from all the idealistic law school professors that never once in their lives did a client intake.  You, folks, are fresh-eyed and happy people.  And I’m here to put an end to that shit right the fuck now.

So why don’t you little pricks settle into your high chairs and straighten the tie on your Baby’s First Real Suit as Boozy tells you some shit you need to know in the real world of the day-to-day shit lawyer.  Because, brothers and sisters, it’s about fucking time someone did.

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Now, You Wait: Things To Do After the Bar Exam

Good morning (or afternoon, or evening, or even sometime three years from now when you locate this site through googling something like “Car Sex and the law”) folks and welcome back to another glorious Monday morning here on Lawyers & Liquor.  I’m your asshole host, the Boozy Barrister, and I wanted to start off today by give a shout out to all of the Patreon Patrons that are out there for the site.  What better way to do that than to give you the link to the list of Patreon Supporters for the site, which will be updated later tonight to include every single person that gives any amount of money to Lawyers & Liquor, and will be a part of every single unsponsored post on the site (and, if I can get it together with the sole sponsor who pays for space, on the sponsored Furry Friday Posts as well).

Thank you folks!  We’ll be updating the list tonight and tomorrow to make sure all of you are on that list, and after that it’ll be maintained going forward by the best assistant I could ask for: someone other than me!

Now that the schmaltz is out of the way and I’ve somewhat weakly implied how much I love you folks for giving me money to write this shit, let’s direct this directly to the young wanna-be lawyers out there that spent a portion of last month suffering through the bar exam.  As you may know, last month the poor bastards that sacrificed their lives and sanity to the law when they decided, like the true fuckwits they are, to wander into a law school in their big boy pants and scream “I wanna be a lawyer!” took the one exam that decides whether or not they wasted three years of their lives instead of just making bad decisions.  That test is over, it’s done with, and they (for the most part we assume) survived it in something close to one physical and mental piece.  At least, outside of a leaky ceiling out in Colorado that paused the examination while they got it sorted out, I haven’t heard or read of any major issues outside of the general collection of anxiety attacks.  Which are normal.

And they’re going to keep going, because, historically, you little shitstains have at least two months of wondering if your bright new career in the practice of law can begin or if you’re going to wind  up curled in a ball in the shower clutching a Kaplan coursebook and sobbing uncontrollably as you talk about the Dead Man’s Statute.

…Why don’t we try to give you some things you can do while you’re waiting, eh?  So, without ado, here are Boozy’s Four Tips for Post-Bar Exam Sanity!

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You Are My Little Lads: Boozy’s Tips For The Bar Exam

So there’s a Terry Pratchett novel out there called “Monstrous Regiment.”  In it a poor, misguided country seeks out war with all of its neighbors in the pursuit of satisfying a dead, lunatic god.  Over decades of such warfare, the country’s young men have been depleted, leaving only the women, children, old men, and wounded to manage the insanity that is their nation.  Against this backdrop a group of women dress as men and enlist in the army, each for their own reasons, and begin to face the hilarious hardships of a fantasy soldier’s life, all under the tutelage and protection of the rotund, infamous, and clever Sergeant Jackrum, who bellows often (and inaccurately) to his troops “You are my little lads, and I will protect you!

Imagine that I’m your Sergeant Jackrum today here on Lawyers & Liquor, dear reader, as we move just a bit closer to the mess that is the bar exam.  In less than 24 hours some of you will be in the convention halls and hotel meeting spaces of whatever city is close enough to your home for it to make sense, working feverishly on the single two day brain dump of legal knowledge that determines whether or not you have the minimal competence to practice law in your chosen jurisdiction.  You, along with hundreds of others who are sweating through their pajama pants and t-shirt or, if you’re in Virginia, the full-fucking-suit they make you wear to take the exam, will be engaging in a rite of passage for the entry into the profession of law, one that your entire legal career of doing absolutely nothing that actually resembles the practice of law has led up to.

A pass, which you won’t know about for months, welcomes you with open arms into a profession that will remind you repeatedly that you are a worthless and stupid piece of shit because you have absolutely no training in how to actually practice law.  A failure will send you back to the unwashed masses of humanity that don’t know a tort from a tart, unable to append the word “Esquire” to your name for the very brief period of time anyone that meets you will treat it as acceptable.  It is, in every sense of the word, the last bar to practice (get it?  I’m so fucking clever today), and while some of you will rise from the ashes of the social lives and mental health that you have left behind you like a seriously disturbed phoenix, others among you will know the horror that is a six figure student loan debt and absolutely no job prospects.  I’m certain all of you are just relaxed as shit right now, correct?

But have no fear, my little juris dickheads, for you are my little lads and I will protect you.  Mainly by knocking some oft-repeated and rarely heeded advice into your fucking heads.

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So, You Failed The Bar Exam.

Fall is in the air, and as the leaves turn from verdant green to the orange, red, and brown colors of death, sometimes with a sprinkling of yellow just so the New Yorkers will drive through and comment about how beautiful things are, so too do the hopes of the July bar exam takers wither and die as each state releases results. Most recently, for example, Mississippi decided this week was the perfect time to destroy the self-esteem and crush the dreams of a whopping 47% of the poor morons that sat for the exam this past summer. I mean, as if living in, and wanting to continue living in, Mississippi wasn’t enough of a punishment, those poor kids now have to suck it up and admit they aren’t going to become “Like one of those guys in a John Grisham book” anytime in the near future while staring down a mountain of student loan debt in the state that ranks the lowest in the nation on that “we’re dirt poor” scale.

So yeah, Mississippi bar exam takers in that 47%, good fucking luck. For the rest of you, though, now you probably understand why the whole of the South has a phrase that goes “Thank God for Mississippi!” But don’t get too cocky, because there are a lot of fucking states that haven’t released their bar exam results yet, and we’re still waiting to see whether the bump in pass rates from the July 2016 examination is a fluke or if that shit’s really on the climb again. So, you know, you could find yourself sobbing gently into a pillow as you start to wonder how long you’ll be chasing the elusive “Esquire” you so desperately wish to append to your signature line like a Grade A Asshole.

Me, however? Oh, I passed the bar exam years ago, so I get to take a certain amount of devilish delight in watching and wondering who’s next on the hit list of bar exam failures. But, you know, I’m not entirely heartless (that doesn’t happen until you make partner), so let’s have an open and honest conversation about all of the things you folks who find yourself on the wrong side of a pass/fail rate can do now that the long wait to find out if you’re a disappointment has ended.

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It Gets Worse: Why I Have No Sympathy For Bar Takers.

So a lot of people are taking the bar exam this week.  A lot of stressed out, no-chill, on the verge of a mental breakdown people.  All over this great nation, people have spent time today and yesterday setting up their laptops and holding their breath until it boots completely up.  Tonight, thousands will upload their exams with bated breath, praying that there’s no 2014 level breakdown that pushes them completely over the edge.  Yes, for folks all over the nation, it’s a time for them to freak the hell out knowing that their future, and indeed their chances at a career practicing law, will hinge on their performance over 48-72 hours.

Likewise, every attorney and bar association nationwide is tweeting, blogging, and emailing their support to the bar takers.  They’re sending out tips, giving advice, telling people to “just relax and do their best.”  Admissions offices of law schools are crossing their fingers.  Everyone is supporting the graduates seeking to enter the profession of law.

Want to hear a dirty secret, bar takers?

Most of us are secretly laughing at you.

Continue reading “It Gets Worse: Why I Have No Sympathy For Bar Takers.”