Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Someone tells me there's a subject on the Bar Exam called commercial paper. I have no idea what this is. In three years of law school, I heard nothing about commercial paper. I know what commercials are, and I know what paper is. I know no more about what happens when you put those two words together as I know about Laptop Yogurt, Sneaker Jelly, or Phone Butter, just to put some random words together inspired by items in my room and/or my refrigerator.

Frequently Asked Questions about this post

Q. The Bar Exam? When did he start talking about the Bar Exam?

A. Yes, that's right. I haven't said anything about the Bar Exam yet. I am signed up to take the New York Bar sometime in July, whenever it is they're giving it. The fact I do not know the date (the twenty-somethingth, I'm pretty sure) should be indicative of how much attention I've been paying.

Q. But you haven't said anything about Bar/Bri or any other bar classes. What's up with that?

A. I'm not taking Bar/Bri, which I suppose means I'm going to fail the bar. It probably does mean I'm going to fail the bar, because besides not taking Bar/Bri, this post is the most focus I've given the Bar Exam yet. This is not because I'm lazy and stupid (although perhaps it really is because I'm lazy and stupid) but because the Bar Exam doesn't really have any stakes for me, so I'm not really feeling the need to study.

Q. But if you don't study, you're going to fail the Bar.

A. Yes, that seems to be true, since there are things like Commercial Paper on it, which I know nothing about, and also because I didn't take classes like Evidence. I think I'm pretty smart. I don't think I'm smart enough, however, to divine the rules of Evidence from thin air, or to figure out what all the laws of New York State are just by intuition.

Q. You should have taken Bar/Bri.

A. Well, from the stories my friends have been telling me, (a) no, I shouldn't have taken Bar/Bri because it's boring and everyone falls asleep anyway, but (b) yes, I should have taken Bar/Bri because it would have given me lots of fodder for writing and making fun of how inane it is.

Q. But you're going to fail the Bar.

A. Yes, that is true. But then I can write an article entitled, "How a Harvard Law Student failed the Bar" and maybe someone will want to publish it, and that could be cool.

Q. No, really. You're going to fail the Bar.

A. Yeah, and I was kind of okay with that, since I don't need to pass it for any real reason, except people I talk about this with, who aren't law students, keep saying stuff like, "no, you're smart, I'm sure you'll pass." When people say stuff like that, and then I think about how I don't know any of the rules of Evidence, I start to feel a little embarrassed. I don't really want people who think I'm smart enough to pass the Bar without studying to have to find out that maybe I'm not, even if it's more about them not knowing that the Bar Exam isn't an intelligence test than about me not being smart. So now I kind of feel obligated to pass the bar.

Q. But you're not studying. So you're going to fail.

A. Yes, that's the problem, isn't it. I have the Bar/Bri books from two years ago. I'm going to open them one day. I will do some amount of studying, I guess. But I can't imagine really being motivated enough to put in the work it would take to pass the bar.

Q. And you're writing about this... why?

A. Because I want my readers to help me. At the end of each day, I'm going to post a Bar progress report. I am holding myself accountable. If I write "I did nothing," I want you to feel free and encouraged to e-mail me a nasty note saying I should be ashamed of myself and should go learn about commercial paper.

Q. But wait. You shouldn't be spending all of your energy studying for the bar. You have a book to write.

A. Yes, that's true. So here's part two of my plan to force myself to be held accountable for my activities instead of spending all day re-naming my mp3 files to make them easier to organize in iTunes (yes, I did this). In addition to the space at the end of each day where I write how much Bar studying I did, I'm going to write how many words of my book I wrote. My aim is at least a thousand a day. If I report less than a thousand, even more than I want you to bug me about not studying for the bar, I really want you to tell me to write more book. Really. Send me threatening e-mails telling me you're going to hurt me. Seriously. I'm relying on you to hold me accountable.

Q. Starting today?

A. No. Starting tomorrow. Really, this isn't a joke. I am relying on you to make sure I write a book, and pass the Bar. Because there's no other way to keep from wasting all day downloading weird British documentary television shows than by publicly reporting my progress.

Q. You're going to regret this in the morning.

A. Yep. But there's no turning back. I'm not deleting this post. You can hold me to that too.

[Edited to add: I'm putting a hold on the daily reports. Scroll up to see why.]