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.

Continue reading “You Are My Little Lads: Boozy’s Tips For The Bar Exam”

NCCU and the ABA – A Clash of Wills

OH HAPPY DAY!

So you guys may be familiar with my longstanding opinion that the ABA is something we could do without.  It has, for generations now, served as a governing body without a profession to govern, choosing to suggest things and come up with resolutions regarding the practice of law that are entirely non-binding on attorneys. In short, the ABA is the government-that-never-was, dictating the standards and admissions of exactly 0 attorneys and offering nothing more than a series of possible discounts in the form of malpractice insurance and rental car agreements for the attorney who thinks it may mean something, someday.  But, unfortunately, this lack of say has not extended to the law schools that educate the attorneys of our fair nation, and the ABA, as the accrediting body for these august institutions of assholery, has long maintained a stranglehold on the profession by governing where someone seeking to learn how big of a mistake lawyering is can go.

Continue reading “NCCU and the ABA – A Clash of Wills”

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.

Continue reading “So, You Failed The Bar Exam.”

Boozy’s Tips for 1L’s: Read Cases Until You Don’t Need To.

A couple weeks ago I wrote a guide for those poor souls who’ve made the poor decision to abandon all of the joy in their lives and attend law school. You can find it here, wherein I give a few tips on how to survive and mentally prepare yourself for the first year of law school. One of these tips was to do the reading for your classes well in advance of the class, so that you may be prepared when the evil glare of a professor falls upon your unprepared ass and demands that you demonstrate your complete lack of knowledge to all of the other poor idiots that sat up one night, presumably having simultaneously wet the bed and shit themselves (the rare double whammy), and said “I really want to be a lawyer, because it’s either that or getting into the S&M scene in my local town!”

First, they still should have gone with the option that involved burning wax, rope play, and nipple clamps.

Second, some of the lawyers in the LawyerSlack took some exception to me advising kids to actually read the cases for class, and filled the channel with examples of their own lack of preparation for classes. “Boozy,” they furiously typed in an effort to avoid a moment of actual work on their cases, “We’re all licensed attorneys, and we hardly did any of the reading for our classes!  Why are you telling these kids it’s necessary to do the reading for their classes when all they need to really do is go to the outline depot or some other sort of thing and read up on that shit?”

Continue reading “Boozy’s Tips for 1L’s: Read Cases Until You Don’t Need To.”

Film Friday: The Paper Chase – A Synopsis

It’s another school year! The 1L’s are filing into the halls of their Ivy clad institutions with big dreams of going forth with their degrees and changing the world! In preparation of their time in law school, which they may have heard can be quite trying, they’ve likely read a number of books on the subject, such as Scott Turow’s “One L” or that wonderful book “Law School Confidential” and now believe they know all there is to know about surviving law school.

And for all of those idealistic little fucks wandering into their classes filled with the superior air of one that will be the next Clarence Darrow or Daniel Webster, Professor Charles Kingsfield of Harvard Law has some guidance for you:

“[H]ere is a dime. Take it, call your mother, and tell her there is serious doubt about you ever becoming a lawyer.”

Because, motherfuckers, you ain’t seen nothing yet, even though it isn’t like Hollywood didn’t warn your ass back in 1973 when it took a book about the horrors of being a 1L with a demanding professor, the crushing demands of law school, gunners, and, of course, looking like a goddamn idiot when put on call in class and turned it into the seminal movie for law students everywhere to show their friends in an act of mock bravado. Yes, buckle up, chucklefuck, because today we’re going to talk about the over-exaggeration of the horrors of law school that is The Paper Chase for this month’s Film Friday on Lawyers and Liquor.

Continue reading “Film Friday: The Paper Chase – A Synopsis”