Monday, November 19, 2007

bad news, baby i'm bad news

Congratulations are in order for all my brothas and sistas in the struggle. I am referring of course to the formerly-would-be lawyers who found out on Friday night that they passed the California Bar Exam.

Amanda was kind enough to post a screen-shot of what the successful candidates see upon logging on to the State Bar website: "The name above appears on the pass list..." Conversely, if you fail, that screen would read: "The name above does not appear on the pass list..."

Now I certainly don't speak for every candidate, and perhaps Amanda could offer us her recitation of events, but both times I had to read that screen, I had to read it about seven times to understand what it was trying to tell me. I suppose that under the extreme stress of pending Bar Exam results, my brain was simply unable to interpret the words on the screen. "The name above does/does not appear" might as well have been in Cyrillic. What? What does that say? Did I pass or not?

I would propose to the State Bar that they simplify the process. By the evening of the results, the average Bar candidate is in a wretched state. Pale, sweating, shaking, and hyper-ventilating, this individual is in no condition to interpret the vague string of sans-serif word-things upon which hinge our vocational well-being and sense of personal worth.

Instead, I propose the following: A smiley face or a frowny face. It is both mercifully unequivocal and passingly empathetic.

I was also happy to learn that the general pass rate for the California Bar Exam was 56.1% - the highest in six years. Yeah, that's how brutal this thing is. Just slightly more than half of the people who took it passed, and that's considered high. Which is kinda sick if you think about it.

But what about the pass rates for my true expatriate compatriots - The repeat takers from out-of-state ABA accredited law schools? Well, we still got largely dominated at 21%, but as I recall, that number usually hovers around 16%, so I suppose it's an improvement nonetheless.

Although I must say, I do feel very sorry for the candidates sitting for the February and July 2008 exams. Because there is nothing, I dare say nothing that the State Bar of California hates more than people passing its own exam. I have every reasonably expectation that they will crank it up for the next few exams. I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news for the recent bar-passers, but the State Bar exists almost exclusively for the purpose of cannibalizing its own membership.

For example: I have to pay hundreds of dollars in dues to sustain the existence of an organization that requires me to spend thousands of dollars to attend continuing education classes. Thank you, State Bar. Whatever would I do without you? I would probably blow my hard-earned money on food and shelter instead of on boring seminars about updates to federal e-discovery rules.

Anyway, this post seems to have derailed somewhere in Vocational-Jargon-Land, so I'll try to move things along.

I don't need to tell you that it's Thanksgiving week, and I'm taking some much-needed vacation time. Some vacation time wherein I have to work on an appeal, which admittedly is kinda lame. Although my baby gets into town Thursday night, and I'm looking forward to some quality cuddle-time. I am of course referring to The Fleeg. Maybe he'll make me some double-chocolate cookies...