Friday, June 20, 2014

Just Keep Studying . . .

In exciting news for today, I officially signed the lease on my new apartment! I am so happy and so relieved that this worked out. This is particularly exciting because, other than just run-of-the-mill buying products or services/ getting student loans, this is literally the first time in my life I have ever entered an official contractual arrangement without my parents. This was my Big Independent Moment of the week. And it feels so good! I have always in the past been required to have my parents sign on as guarantors for leases and so forth--which is fine, but it is such a wonderfully independent feeling to be able to transact business with someone on my own merits and get by on my own credit score instead of someone else's.

And, of course, I read the entire lease word-for-word before signing (I don't understand people who DON'T do that . . . I mean, if you're going to legally obligate yourself with a document, you'd really better read it first). It actually served as a very effective review of contract law, as it contained:

  • a force majeure clause
  • liquidated damages clauses
  • provisions about mitigation of damages
  • and a merger clause
But, you really didn't need to know all that. Studying for the bar is totally taking over my brain! I've already dreamed about felony murder and the statute of frauds this summer, and I usually have a law-related dream almost every night. A couple mornings ago I woke up and felt SO totally refreshed, and then suddenly realized that the law hadn't intruded on my dreams that night. And it was great. It's hard not to dream about it though when I'm spending 10-12 hours a day on it. I have those giant Post-It note things all over my living room walls, where I've written the major points of each subject outline by hand to help me remember them. If I have guests over anytime soon, they'll be able to learn the finer points of severability of offers to compromise, larceny by trick, and subsequent remedial measures just by reading all the Post-Its. I've done about 1,500 practice multiple choice questions so far this summer for the multistate portion of the bar (called the MBE), and would like to do 3,500 or so before the actual test. Some of--or most of--these questions are kind of insane. The ONLY way to get them right is to practice until you don't think you can practice anymore. Here's a couple examples of the kinds of questions that are on the bar: 

1) In a murder trial, a witness would like to introduce the victim's statement, immediately prior to his death, that the defendant was the one who shot him. The admissibility of the statement should be determined by:
A) the judge, without assistance from the jury
B) the judge, with a limiting instruction to the jury
C) the jury, without assistance from the judge
D) the jury, after a preliminary determination from the judge

Oh, and I skipped the part where the beginning of the question is often actually 2-3 paragraphs long, and you have to dig through it to find the relevant facts. And sometimes the questions will say stuff like, "The jurisdiction has adopted a modified comparative negligence statute, which reads as follows: '[Quote from the statute]'" and then you read the answer choices and realize that the statute they gave you is totally inapplicable to the legal claim and is only there to trick you. 

Or here's another example: 

"[Long fact pattern]. How should the court rule on the validity of the assignment?"
A) The assignment was not a present interest transfer.
B) It was not actually an assignment but an order directing payments to a third party.
C) The assignee was properly assigned the payments but assumed the risk of insolvency.
D) The assignee was properly assigned the payments but did not assume the risk of insolvency.

Bonus points if you can even figure out what SUBJECT that last example relates to. (It's actually contracts.) Evidence, torts, and criminal law come pretty easily to me, but it's a different story with property, contracts, and constitutional law, so I'm going to need to devote additional time to those in the next few weeks. We're at the turning point of the course now, where tomorrow we have a practice MBE exam and then we'll be spending the rest of the summer studying exclusively Georgia law topics, tested on the essay portion of the exam. I am going to see my friend Juliana on Saturday and am staying with her that night and then I am running my half-marathon on Sunday, so I will get a little time off this weekend, which I'm looking forward to. Anyway, time to keep pressing on (and to go to bed). Happy Friday!

My verse for this summer: "If God is for us, who can be against us?" -Romans 8:31

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