• Final Days of Bar Prep

    There’s a light at the end of the tunnel . . . and it’s not an oncoming train!

    Reminder: Rob-tastic and I teamed up with Barbri to document and share our stories from studying for the July 2017 California Bar Exam.

    Going to the Bar Exam!

    The California Bar Exam is less than a week away. Rob and I have our admission tickets and ExamSoft on our laptops (it’s the software we use for the test that locks us out of the rest of our computer), and I have M&Ms for our flight crews and Jolly Ranchers for test day. (It’s tradition, just got with it.) I also had a custom running shirt made for the bar exam that says “I Beat the Kobayashi Maru.”

    (Rob says he doesn’t have any lucky charms, but he carries his ornate pocket knife – not his everyday pocket knife – for things like this. But, of course, we can’t carry weapons onto the airplane or into the bar exam.)

    I’ve heard the Ontario Convention Center is historically freezing cold during the bar exam. Since Rob run warm and I don’t, I suspect on test day he’ll be comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt while I’ll be shivering while doing an impression of Kenny from South Park, or at least I would if I were allowed to put the hood up on my Scottevest.

    1,000+ Barbri flash cards

    Last Days of Studying
    At this point, our job is to maximize retention of information. Over the last month, I turned all 15 Barbri lecture outlines into flash cards – over 1,000 of them. Each day, I review several sets of them, trying to lock in as much information as I can. There will be 5 essay questions on the test, and the only topic I can predict will be on there is Professional Responsibility.

    Sometimes I like to walk when I review my cards, and since it’s blazing hot in the afternoon in Phoenix, I took my flash cards for a walk at Scottsdale Fashion Square. With earbuds in my ears and my eyes focused on the cards in my hands, no one paid me much mind. The clerk at the Lovesac shop was a bit confused when I walked in, jumped into a Lovesac, muttered through my Evidence cards to myself, and left without saying a word.

    Rob-tastic’s reviewing his materials as well. As he goes through practice MBE questions, he said he has to remember to go strictly on the information given, and avoid implying outside information. He’s continuing to go through essay questions as well.

    We got this.

    We Know Stuff
    Even when we’re somewhat overwhelmed by the volume of information we might be tested on, we definitely know stuff. Yesterday, we were easily spit balling back and forth the various rules that are different in California compared to the Federal rules, common law, or the model rules. This is a test where I’m not sure it’s possible to feel completely prepared, but we’re ready to go in and say something effective on every issue. That’s probably the most we can ask of ourselves.

    As our Barbri instructors reminded us, we only have to get a D- on a test that’s graded on a curve. We don’t need the highest scores; we just need to pass.

    Calling on Higher Powers
    Not that I’m not above calling upon divine powers. At least thirty of my friends are actual reverends and pastors or at least ordained online. I’m not a religious person, but I called on all of them to send good vibes. The response was waves of love from officially recognized churches, including Christian, Wiccan, and Pagan, and some I didn’t know existed, including several blessing from The Church of the Dude.

    We’ll take all the good vibes we can get. We’ll see you on the flip side!
    Good luck to everyone taking a bar exam next week!

  • Marathon Training Week 18 Recap – Final Prep

    Colts Experience by Valerie Everett from Flickr (Creative Commons License)
    Colts Experience by Valerie Everett from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

    The last week of marathon training was pretty uneventful. My marathon training program had me taper down so much that I ran less this week than any other week during training. I did a 3-mile run on Tuesday and a 4-mile run on Wednesday. I was supposed to do a 2-mile run on Thursday, but my chest hurt that afternoon so I opted to skip it. A lot of people, myself included, are wondering why I’m doing this race with my current health issues. The only real reasons I have are sheer determination and because I want to do it.

    I got some great advice from my friends who have run a marathon previously. Some of the best tidbits were don’t do anything different on race day than you did during your training and trust your training. I was really nervous about the race a few days ago and I reached out to a friend who is done plenty of marathon and Ironman races for a pep talk. He told me that I’ve done a 20-mile training run and I’ve run a 10K. A marathon is just the opportunity to do them consecutively. That made me feel better.

    My Race Shirt for Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon 2015
    My Race Shirt for Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon 2015

    My friend and I went to the race expo on Friday. We both ran the half marathon 2 years ago and I beat him by 67 seconds so his goal this year is to beat my half marathon time. He ran the full marathon last year and I wouldn’t mind beating his time of 4:30:16. But my real goal at this point is to just finish. We did a quick lap for the expo exhibitors, looking at products and grabbing samples, and I got taped up at the Rock Tape booth. (And for those of you who are wondering, yes I altered the race waiver and they accepted it.)

    A few days ago I picked up my custom race shirt at Brand X in Tempe. I had them put “One More Mile” on the back of a highlighter yellow running shirt in silver lettering. It came out beautifully. I hope it will inspire anyone running behind me during the race.

    At this point I’m enjoying carb loading and just trying to get everything ready for race day. I hope it will be a low-stress high-fun day.

  • This is the first time I’ve found legal eagle t-shirts that aren’t cheap and itchy.

    RP shirt2

    Anyone who knows me knows I love t-shirts. My law firm even celebrates T-shirt Friday every week where I wear a t-shirt not matter what’s on my calendar. I love shirts that are witty, have beautiful artwork, or are affiliated with an event or cause that’s important to me.

    There are lots of fun legal t-shirts out there. I thought it was hilarious when my lawyer friends told me that he and his buddies all wore t-shirts that said “Reasonable Person” to their bar exam.

    Hal Cohen rocking his Reasonable Person shirt during a study break
    Hal Cohen rocking his Reasonable Person shirt during a study break

    (For those of you who aren’t legal eagles, like the unicorn, the Reasonable Person doesn’t exist. It’s a fictitious person who acts in a reasonable manner in every situation. In many cases, the court compares what a person actually did to what the Reasonable Person would have done under similar circumstances to determine if the person should be held responsible for causing harm.)

    Unfortunately, most legal t-shirt aren’t worth buying because they’re cheaply made, uncomfortable to wear, and horribly overpriced. I have seen or can think of at least six legal t-shirts that I would wear if I could find them. I’m contemplating having a shirt made with a quote from my Administrative Law professor: “Most of law is totally flawed.  Just go with it.”

    Posita shirt2Thankfully, Brand X in Tempe has stepped in to fill the void.  They recently created their own version of the “Reasonable Person” t-shirt. I love Brand X. They make all the shirts for Ignite Phoenix and they’ve made at least eight custom shirts for me, including my “Life is Blog Material” shirt and my “GeekLawFirm.com” shirts. Their base shirt is super soft and the quality of their work is top-notch. I’m so glad someone is making shirts for legal eagles that I can wear. I may have to ask them to make some more legal eagle shirts for me for some of my upcoming projects.

    At the request of one of my patent-enthusiast friends, they’ve also made a “Person of Ordinary Skill in the Art” shirt. (And yes, you can buy both shirts online and have them shipped to you if you want.)

    For full disclosure: I am not a paid spokesperson for Brand X. I receive no financial benefit from either of these shirts. I just love Brand X, and I want people to know that there are high quality legal t-shirts available so we don’t have to settle for the crappy ones anymore.