Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Maine Bah Exayam (say that in your best Mainah accent)

Lots of folks have asked me about the bar exam. So, I figure I'll try to answer some popular questions here.  What you're about to read is actually an expanded version of something I posted on my personal Facebook page.

1. I only had to do Day 1, which was the essay day. I had six essay questions (in three 90-minute sessions) and then another "case file" 90-minute question. We started at 9 and ended at 6:05. I hand wrote it all. About 150 of us took the exam, and 30 of us were hand-writers.  If you're wondering why I chose just to hand-write it, that was the default in Alabama -- so it was in my head, if you will, that that's how one takes a bar exam.  Also, I much prefer only having to worry about my six pens working than dealing with technology.  It turned out to have some small side benefits: we didn't have to buy the testing software, first of all, but the day of the test because there were comparatively few of us, we were able to head to the breaks, lunch, and finally, to LEAVE, first.  I'll take the little things!  

Mick and I made the decision for me to spend the night in a hotel in Portland Monday night.  I actually stayed at the same hotel where the exam was held.  It was an expense to our budget, and arguably unnecessary since we live close enough that I could have driven to Portland in the morning.  It turned out to be very worth it, though:  WHM woke up in the middle of the night and Mick got almost no sleep Monday night.  That was exactly what I had hoped to avoid.  Also, I had a night to cram if I wanted, sleep in if I wanted ... and I didn't have to stress about potential traffic or parking issues.  I was able to eat both breakfast and lunch right at the hotel and to charge it to the room, and I essentially had nothing to worry about except the exam itself.  I like to have my ducks in a row and taking so many  potential worries off the table was worth the cost of the hotel.   

2. I don't know how I did. I won't know until September. I don't even want to guess, as the exam is graded on a curve. My essay score will be combined with my multiple-choice score from Alabama. (The multiple-choice component in Maine is the same as the one in Alabama, which is to say that both states use that part of the Multistate Bar Exam.  It is a brutal day of multiple-choice and I did well enough on that to feel comfortable relying on my old score again.  If I'd scored slightly higher originally, I would have only had to do the first two Maine essay questions, but even with falling slightly short on that I still don't have a score that's worrisome to me.)  

I don't think I necessarily knocked the essays out of the park, but I don't think I power-failed, either. I had an intelligent answer for every question, but maybe not always a perfectly right answer, and in least one case I had a partially wrong answer where I incorrectly stated the number of years a marriage must last for a party to be entitled by default to spousal support in a divorce proceeding. (Point of fact: I got it wrong because at the very last moment I changed what I had written originally -- which was the correct number of years. I know better than that; shame on me!)  In any case, I also got lucky -- again, as I did in Alabama -- because there were no straight commercial paper, secured transactions, bankruptcy, taxation, or wills/trusts questions.

3. No, I don't have anything lined up with a legal job. I just know that if we're in Maine, I didn't want to be in the position of saying, "I wish I'd taken the bar exam" and having to turn down an opportunity. We don't know if we're staying in Maine forever, but for as long as we are here, I wanted to have the exam under my belt.

So, I'm waiting ... and will let you know when I know. Thank you to the 8 million people who have asked how I did -- I know you ask because you care about me, and for that I am incredibly thankful!


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the recap & reminding me why I'm happy I dropped out of law school. Kidding. I'm sure you did great (and I'm sure you've head that already, but I really mean it). Fingers crossed!