Today I took the essay portion of the Illinois bar exam. It’s halfway over, and it ends tomorrow. Sorry if this post is a little disjointed – there’s so much I want to say, and it’s so hard to organize it.
So, let’s start with the beginning. I had to get up super early, so you can guess what happened. Yeah, I got very little sleep. I guess I’ve been spoiled this summer; despite working all day, every day on studying, I have at least gotten about eight hours of sleep every night. In fact, I have hardly had so much as a bar-related nightmare.
That changed last night, when I went to bed in our hotel at 10 p.m. and tossed and turned until about 1 a.m. Ugghh. After a while, I started to get a little hysterical about my lack of shut-eye and Dave had to help me fall asleep by telling me about financial aid and petting my hair. What can I say, it does it every time. Pell grants aren’t the most interesting.
So I got about five hours of sleep and I scooped myself out of bed and five blocks over to my bar location: Loyola Law School. I was sure not to bring any of the things they told us not to bring, such as pencils, phones, iPods, flip flops, watches, lip gloss, water, etc. The instructions were seriously nine pages long; this is what happens when lawyers write instructions for a simple test.
My room must have been one of the biggest in the building, with about 150 people. I knew a handful of people in the room, and I chatted with my pleasantly sarcastic seat buddy. Here’s one good exchange:
“Why is it so dark in here? I feel like taking a nap.”
“Didn’t you hear? There’s a naptime session later.”
“Yeah, it’s called the MPT.”
(For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure, the MPT is the “practice”-oriented section of the bar where you have to analyze legal issues and draft a fake letter or memorandum of law. I would like to say that it was a snooze-fest, but it was actually an hour of solid and frantic typing for me.)
So it was three small essays and the MPT in the morning, then six essays in the afternoon. It was a lot of civil procedure, some contracts and secured transactions, and some other mixed subjects. I was sort of glad, yet sort of disappointed, that there were no commercial paper, trusts, or wills issues on the exam. Oh well.
And in the mid-day break, I had lunch at Water Tower Place with Jen Jen, the best lunch buddy ever! Not only did she pick an awesome venue for lunch and chat with me about normal stuff (like waxy dead Lenin cakes), but she made oatmeal raisin cookies. Cookies! She is awesome.
Oh, and we had a little drama in our exam room, too. A few people’s laptops didn’t load the test software correctly, so a few people had to hand-write. It’s the fear that all laptop takers have. My trusty laptop has never let me down, but even I was afraid. But we got through it together, just like we always do.
And the worst was that a phone went off about five minutes in, despite the fact that they couldn’t have reminded us more often not to bring cell phones into the exam. Then they found out whose phone it was and a man in a black suit came and escorted the young gentleman out. Ouch. I think we may have witnessed the fastest bar fail there ever has been. The guy seriously failed before I even started writing.
Afterward, I met up with friends at the Grand Lux Café, where we all ordered awesome food and extremely expensive booze. It was nice to relax with them – it gives me something to look forward to. I laughed harder than I’ve laughed in weeks, and I look forward to being able to laugh that freely more often in the future.
Hopefully I’ll get more sleep tonight – then it’s just 200 multiple choice questions tomorrow that stand between me and freedom. FREEDOM!