Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bar Exam, Peaks, and Working on Goals

First, apologies for not posting for a few weeks. I know it's been hard, especially since there is no cure for TWS (Tennyson Withdrawal Syndrome) yet. Fear not--we're back online.

Second, back in May I set two goals: pass the Bar and bag some peaks. Two months later, it's time to report in on my progress toward achieving these goals.

Goal #1: Pass the Bar

Well, I don't know if I passed the Bar, but I took it. I finished last Wednesday. Two months straight of 16-hour days studying, followed by two full days of examination, and it's over. A few thoughts on the Bar (for those who are interested, or who may be planning to take it):
  • Please bless I never have to do that again.
  • Fraternal initiatory hazing rituals should be illegal.
  • The worst part of the Bar is that it eliminates everything of meaning from your life for two months--no family, no friends, no entertainment, no downtime--nothing but memorizing book after book full of law.
  • The second worst part of the Bar is that it is a huge waste of time. It's like spending every waking moment for two months memorizing book after book of classical piano sheet music, and then spending two days proving that you can transcribe it on demand, but you still aren't any closer to knowing how to actually play the piano.
  • The funniest moment of the exam: before the exam, the proctor read detailed instructions on the rules and procedures for taking the exam. I remind you, every person taking the exam was a law school graduate. Nevertheless, this was an actual instruction (you can't make this up): "Place your applicant ID sticker in the top left corner of the exam booklet. The top left corner is the corner with the staple in it."
  • Enlightening moment: I spent the last month before the exam studying in a cinder block room in the church where my mom works. 16 hours a day pacing around, memorizing, cramming, taking practice exams. I stopped pacing late one night, looked around at the white concrete walls, and thought that this was a little like prison, only less food, no "tats," no recreation time, no TV, and no visiting hours. It occurred to me that I might be on the wrong side of the law.
  • The Utah Bar is a two day exam. The first day is eight half-hour essays that may test on any of 19 different subject areas, followed by two hour-and-a-half essay questions that supposedly test organization, writing and analytical skills. The second day is the "multistate" exam, a full day of multiple choice questions covering Contracts, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, Torts and Property. Unpleasant. I really hope I passed.
  • When I walked out to my car after taking the Bar, I found a business card on my windshield that said "Earn $20,000 to $30,000 a year! Call xxx-xxx-xxxx to find out how!" I kept it, just in case.
Goal #2: Bag some peaks

We're getting closer on this goal. About a month ago, I took enough time off from studying to climb Ben Lomond Peak, which is part of the Wasatch Front, in the Rocky Mountains, and towers over Ogden, Utah. I've always wanted to stand on top of Ben Lomond Peak for sunrise, and since I couldn't lose a whole study day, Suzy, dad, Thomas Shupe and I attempted a sunrise summit. We started the climb at 3:30 am, but didn't quite make it to the summit for sunrise. Instead, we made it to the saddle before the final assent. It was still a gorgeous morning, and one of my favorite hikes on one of my favorite trails. A few shots for your viewing enjoyment:

Ben Lomond Peak, from North Ogden. The trail takes you up to the ridge from the right, then across the ridge to the peak on the left.

Suzy and Thomas near the summit.

On top (at about 7:30 am), looking north.

Lovers, looking south.

Posing on the descent.

The fields of flowers along the ridge were the best I've ever seen.

Our favorite flower, Columbine. Suzy calls them "wedding dresses on stems."

One of my favorite landmarks along the ridge trail--an old tree that has taken its fair share of lightning strikes.


Brad Ball said...

Congrats on finishing law school... hope you get some good news about the Bar exam. You mentioned you took the Utah Bar... are you guys moving back to Utah?

Brad & Laura ball

Katie said...

Hi. We miss you guys a lot. Please come visit us soon. It's Elvis week next week - if you know what I mean. oh and it's my birthday - so it's the least you could do. really. So, I always really like your posts Jer. I found it very amusing. I was laughing at you more than with you. jk - I like your writing style. You have a way of making terrible boring things like the Bar amusing. good job. Conflatulations on finishing. You have worked so hard. Your mama should be proud.

Emily McAllister said...

Congrats on not having to study for the bar anymore. I loved the pictures of Ben Lomand especially the columbines since we share that favorite flower in common. We missed you at Loll this past weekend, but thought of you often as we walked those familar trails...the bear grass was out in full force. Made me think of you and our fun nature staff days. Hope you enjoy the rest of your summer.

Anne said...

I agree on the Please Bless that i never have to do this again. that is exactly how i felt. actually, i knew i could not do it again, so i was just praying that i passed and wouldn't have to deal with the whole law school debt but no Bar License to pay it off with thing... ugh. good luck! i am sure you aced it! so did you find a job in Utah, or were you just looking for the easiest Bar exam to take? ha ha, jk. where are you guys planning to live? St. George perhaps? we need to get Esther together with her future husband sometime! they even have the same curly hair (at least when his is growing a bit)!

John & Amy said...

Jeremy and family,

It was great running into your blog while looking at websites for Camp Loll. Amy (Root) and I had fun seeing what you are up to.

Congrats on working for Cleary! If you are ever in your Moscow office look me up. I just finished at the U and we will be moving to Moscow in September to work for Akin Gump in the funds group.

You can check out our blog at