Monday, July 25, 2005


What will she do next? B.O.W. Honors a Leading "Barzam" Blog

Blog Of the Week™ pays tribute to takers of this week's nationwide Bar Exam: the best answer is "a girl walks into a bar (exam)"

Although each state offers its own somewhat different version, all the bar exams (as far as I know) are taken at about the same time. This is because one day of the test is the standardized "Multistate" -- a devilish multiple-choice, fill-in-the-circle-with-a-black-#2-pencil test. Since all bar exams include this test, they all have to give it the same day to reduce potential cheating.

(How devilishis the Multistate? Well, as those of us who have taken it, or are about to take it, know all too well, the instructions say that of the five suggested answers, there is probably no "right" answer. Only a "best" or "better" answer from among those that are not wrong.)

On or about February 1, 2005, this "31-year-old California native with two dogs (whippets), two cats, and two fish (I like symmetry)" started a blog about her preparation for the California Bar. You might think, only the world's biggest nerd would start preparing for the bar exam (even the California bar exam, which is infamous for having the lowest pass rate in the country) more than six months ahead of time. But consider this: First, she was asked out on dates based on her very first blog post.

Second, she may be a nerd, but she is extremely insightful and funny. Funny about studying for the bar exam. (By the way, tell her to print up and sell that T shirt -- it would look great with the Calbar Purse!*) And she continues to be funny while under the mounting stress of studying for the bar exam, which begins this week! (Indeed, she plans to blog through the bar exam -- very gutsy.) So it's not just a blog, it's a science experiment too.

The big question for me is whether -- let's call her "girl" -- will continue to write "a girl walks into a bar exam." Maybe she'll keep the title and just morph the subject matter to her current life. Maybe she'll switch entirely to her other blog (started the same day). Even if she stops writing the "Barzam" blog (her word -- I love it!), its archives will be worth reading by generations of law students for many years to come.

The same question, really, can be asked about all the recent law grad bloggers. I haven't read the blogs of anyone who has made this transtion: what happens to law student bloggers after they graduate from law school?
a) They will continue blogging, but about their jobs rather than law school.

b) They will stop blogging, because their jobs will become so all-consuming that there will be no time to blog.

c) They will stop blogging, because their jobs will become so all-consuming that there will nothing for them to blog about except what they do at work, most of which is covered by attorney-client privilege and therefore unsuitable for blogging.

d) They will blog about stuff they're doing at work, breach attorney client privilege, get fired, and have their names paraded through the state's glossy bar journal and The National Law Journal.

e) They will continue blogging, and carefully avoid discussing anything that could get them fired by talking about their pets and pop culture.
Sorry, I couldn't resist the cruel-yet-rather-amusing allusion to the Multistate. (Hey, I took the California Bar. My joke is fully consistent with the notion that the bar exam is just a big hazing ritual.)

On a serious note to current law students: use some judgment about blogging about your work, for pete's sake. I've read a couple of law student blog posts where the authors have made very questionable calls about what they can say within the bounds of professional confidentiality.

Anyway, best of luck to you, "girl," and all of you about to take the bar exam this week!

HONORABLE MENTION: Mariam, at Accident Prone, has also maintained her sense of humor while studying for the bar exam, and has really found her talent as stressed-out self-portrait photographer.

*Note: the California Board of Bar Examiners require that test-taking materials be brought into the testing room in transparent ziploc bags (to prevent the sneaking in of crib sheets and other cheating technology).


Thanks!! I just wanted to say that Barzam isn't my word, I got it from some "surviving law school" book I read before I went. I'd give credit if I remembered the name. :)

As for continued blogging I posted about it here in what was going to be my post-Bar blog, the lowdown being that I'm not sure if it's even possible.

Oh and the FAQ post was back-dated to keep it out of the main thread. :) I wasn't really getting hit on from outset.

Thanks again!
super cool **t-shirts**
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And on a lighter note than pure personal injury lawyer , check out the funniest trial transcript ever! If it's not serious enough of a topic, well, just pretend it's the Brit's version of personal injury lawyer !
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You have to be funny during this exam or you go bananas. People fail because they weren't laughing.
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