Archive for the ‘Law School’ Category

Slaves to the billable hour

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

From the Career Center, an article about the insanity of large-law-firm salaries and hours.

Slowly sinking in

Friday, July 27th, 2007

This morning, as I was waking up and getting ready to start my day, my thoughts turned to Harry Potter, and I mused internally that I’m looking forward to re-reading Deathly Hallows more slowly than I did on Saturday, taking time to appreciate its subtleties rather than rushing through it to get to the ending (and return to bar prep) as quickly as possible. But then, reflexively, a subconscious thought popped into my head, along the lines of, “But I can’t do that yet, I have to study.”

When my conscious brain promptly smacked that thought down, the resulting mental sigh of relief was enormous, and probably constituted the first time it had really begun to “sink in” that I’m actually, really and truly, done.

Well. Unless and until I end up having to take another state’s bar exam, or if I failed this one. But done for at least for the next year or so, if not longer.

The day after

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

Take bar exam, check. Celebrate at Denver bars, check. Take Becky to the zoo, check.

All done!

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007


The MBE…More than just a test

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

It’s being woefully and shamefully ignored in the halls of jurisprudential theory.

That is all. Brendan, hope everything feels better now that it’s over.

Fill in the circle completely, and make your mark dark

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

Tomorrow, all across the country (except in common-law-less Louisiana and essay-obsessed Washington), is the Multistate Bar Exam. For those who don’t know, it’s a 6-hour, 200-question multiple-choice test… so I really will be needing those pencils. :) Anyway, to my fellow NDLS ’07 grads, good luck!!

1 down, 1 to go

Tuesday, July 24th, 2007

Guy next to me: “I didn’t think that was bad at all. I was expecting much worse.”

Me: “I guess that’s why we’re taking the bar in Colorado, not California or New York.”


Tuesday, July 24th, 2007

I can only hope brendan didnt really need pencils for the bar exam.

Bar Exam Best Wishes

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

Get a good night’s sleep, focus in, and knock it out, Chief.

I know it’s not exactly appropriate based on content, but I always think of this Tennyson classic when thinking about the bar exam:

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

I know that it’s “Crossing the Bar” and not “Passing the Bar,” but I don’t remember any good lawyery poetry on the same subject, so I’m sticking with Tennyson.

Ready as I’ll ever be

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

12 hours till the bar exam… Oh, the Hugh Manatee!


Monday, July 23rd, 2007

In less than 18 hours, I’ll be taking the bar exam. So needless to say, the cramming continues apace. But I figured I’d take a quick study break and show you the beautiful view that Becky, Kristy and V got yesterday when they drove up into the mountains near Denver:

Here’s a shot of V and Becky, looking out at the stunning vista:

And, speaking of stunning sights, check out how blue Becky’s eyes look in this picture that I took this morning:

She’s officially 17 weeks pregnant as of today, by the way. Little Avocado Loy is now “about the size of a large onion.” :)

Okay, back to my last few hours of cramming for the essays…


Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

And now, back to a less enjoyable book…

A resolution I will inevitably break

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

Okay, here goes. This is doomed to fail, but I’m going to say it anyway, and see if I can actually surprise everyone, including myself, by sticking with it:

I will not use the World Wide Web for the next 96 hours.

You might think this is about the bar exam, and my desperate need to cram instead of procrastinate. You might think it’s just the logical extension of my previous announcement that blogging will be light because I’ll be studying. But you’d be wrong. This about something much more important: Harry Potter. (“[He] needs to work on [his] priorities.” –Ron Weasley.)

I gather that the alleged leak of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows onto the Internets via BitTorrent is, in fact, real. I say “I gather” because I’ve deliberately avoided reading articles or blog posts about the leak, because I’m deathly afraid (pun intended) of accidentally stumbling across spoilers — even unintentional/implicit ones. (I assume the MSM isn’t explicitly reporting who dies, but often times, reporters telegraph information they know but can’t say, like exit polls on election day. I’m guessing there will be some allegedly “spoiler-free” articles that will nevertheless make it pretty easy to surmise whether Harry lives or dies. Anyway, better safe than sorry.)

In any event, now that the cat’s out of the bag, I fear it’s only a matter of time before I accidentally stumble upon some information I don’t want to see, whether via Drudge or Fark or some blog or news article, or via my own website’s comments (as almost happened today), or via some other source I don’t anticipate. Maybe not — maybe I’d remain blissfully ignorant — but it isn’t worth the risk. The only surefire way to avoid accidentally learning the truth on the Web is to, well, totally stop using the Web until I arrive in Denver in four days (at which point I will have presumably finished the book during our day of travel). Hence my pledge — which, of course, has the beneficial side-effect of freeing up extra bar-study time for the remainder of the week.

Even if I stick with my pledge, it won’t totally eliminate all risk, of course. There is also the possibility of accidentally overhearing something in person, verbally. Indeed, it occurs to me that Saturday morning’s midnight book-release parties are now fraught with peril. Some of the Potter fans in attendance will have had it spoiled for them already, but even if (as I would anticipate) those fans are generally respectful and don’t spill the beans for others, all it would take is one a**hole — out of a crowd of hundreds — to walk in and yell, “________ dies on Page __!” to ruin it for everybody. In other words, the real-life equivalent of this afternoon’s troll. And there are a lot of a**holes in this world. I bet it will happen somewhere. I just hope it’s not at my store.

But while I can’t totally protect myself from such accidental revelations, I can at least ensure that I won’t learn the ending online. That means not checking my own site’s comments for four days, but hey, now that my Inquisitorial Squad has been empowered to monitor comments, I don’t need to check them myself. So I won’t.

I guess I should qualify my promise insofar as I’ll probably need to use the Web a few times for purely functional things like printing out directions on Google Maps and the like. As for blogging, I’m sure I’ll post a few things via cell phone. But beyond that, I vow to stay off the Web for the next 96 hours, starting at midnight.

How long do you think I’ll last? Make your guesses in comments. :)

Oh, and in case this wasn’t clear already, NO POTTER SPOILERS, dammit. Those go here.

This is Brendan Loy, signing off. See ya Saturday.

Crunch time

Monday, July 16th, 2007

As should be obvious from the countdown sidebar at left, it’s crunch time for bar prep… and if today’s PMBR practice exam is any indication, I still have quite a bit of “crunching” left to do.

So, at the risk of inviting ridicule vis a vis my tendency to say “blogging will be light” and then ignore my own protestations and continue blogging just as much… blogging will be rather light for the next nine days or so.

Guestbloggers, if you have anything you’ve been saving up for fear of it getting instantly bumped by my hyperactive blogging, now would be the time. :)

Becky’s new boyfriend, and my new computer

Saturday, July 14th, 2007

No, Becky isn’t cheating on me… and no, I haven’t replaced my problem-plagued PowerBook. Though you might say I’m cheating on it, but more on that in a moment.

First of all, about Becky’s “boyfriend” — which is actually a body pillow, not a “boyfriend pillow,” but she refers to it as a “boyfriend” anyway, just to annoy me. :) She’s been talking for weeks about getting one, anticipating the need for extra comfort when she becomes unable to sleep on her stomach later in pregnancy. So today, we finally went to Target and bought it. Here’s a photo of Becky in bed with her new boyfriend:

Note the cute pajama pants. They have puffy clouds on them, and they’re fuzzy. Also note the teddy bear. I gave that to her years ago. His name is Brain (because he has a giant head). Oh, and that cute girl in the photo? She’s got my baby inside her belly.

(Which reminds me of yesterday’s funny-exchange-of-the-day. Me to Becky: “You’ve got a baby in your belly.” Becky to me: “It’s not really in my belly. It’s in my uterus.” Me, indignantly: “It’s in your belly. Don’t you question my euphemistic biology!”)

Anyway… Becky has a thing about naming inanimate objects. Her car, for instance, is Janet. So naturally, she wants to name her “boyfriend.” So far, the leading contender is “Alejandro,” but suggestions for alternative names are welcome. Meanwhile, I think I might name one of my pillows “Megan.” Turnabout is fair play, right? ;)

As for my new computer… I’m sorry, darling PowerBook, but I’m cheating on you with… [cue horror movie music]a PC!!!

That’s right: I bought a used Compaq Armada E500 at Computer King this afternoon. [Horror music continues, then gradually subsides, replaced by sad-sounding violins.]

But… but… it’s not what you think, PowerBook!! I don’t have feelings for the Compaq! Our relationship is purely professional! And anyway, I had to do it!

See, the Colorado Board of Law Examiners lets you take the essay and performance-test portions of the Bar Exam with a laptop, but it has to be a PC because Examsoft doesn’t support Macs. I type much faster than I write, so this is very important for me — but my old Dell Inspiron isn’t reliable enough for bar-exam purposes. Its battery doesn’t hold any charge whatsoever anymore, so if the power supply came out for even a second, I would lose all my work. (Back before Notre Dame’s cheating-prevention program honor-code supplement of choice, SecureExam, supported Macs, I actually took my first-semester 1L exams on the Dell, with the power cord masking-taped to the desk so it wouldn’t come out. It was a nerve-racking, rigged-up arrangement, but it worked. I’m not going to take that sort of risk with the bar exam, though… especially since masking tape probably isn’t allowed in the examination room.)

My original plan was to either borrow a laptop from Kristy or V, or rent one when we get to Denver. But then yesterday, I found out that I needed to download and register Examsoft on my computer by this Monday, so that meant I had to get one here in Knoxville, and fast. I called Rent-a-Center yesterday and they said I could rent a Toshiba for three weeks for $125, so I went in today planning to pick it up. But then they said they couldn’t give me the laptop until they’d confirmed my references and such, and they wouldn’t be able to do that until Monday. Because I’m taking a PMBR multistate mock exam at UT on Monday, and then the Examsoft deadline is at the end of the day, that was no good. So I went to Computer King and, after listening to their rental options (as well as some rambling nonsense about the Illuminati by the oddball shopkeeper), I decided to just bite the bullet and buy a used laptop for $300. It meets Examsoft’s requirements, and hopefully after the exam, I can resell it and get most or all of my money back. So this might end up being a better deal than renting, actually.

So, yeah. Becky has a new “boyfriend,” and I have a new computer — officially the fifth laptop that we own. (My PowerBook, her current iBook, her old barely-functional iBook, my old barely-functional Dell, and now the Compaq.) All in all, an eventful day in Loy-land.