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2014-02-05 - 7:15 a.m.

Now this is a blog:

Check it out for a great read. The images, the photos, the interaction, the work....

Clearly a professional.

Found this randomly after someone posted something of his on FB.

I got up early to take care of bills, paperwork, job hunting etc. to get it all out of the way and get back to the grind of study.

I am showing passing grades on the practice MBE tests however NOT BY MUCH. Those are only 40% of the value of the VA BAR exam so I have one week to decide if my sample essays are solid enough to ALSO pass.

So far I have been doing sample essays and then self grading (and erring on the side of caution so being very conservative) - and I come out with average of 5 out of 10 points on my essays.

The penchant for understanding law but NOT recalling and getting the "JARGON" of it or being able to actualy spout the LAW ITSELF is a bit problematic.

Its so frustrating as I GET It- but write in layperson's terms.

Then I review my essay where I wrote " venue properly may be where the actor accused of the alleged impropriety lives" ( or something like that) and when I look at the SAMPLE correct answer that simply said "Defendant's place of residence" I am baffled that my brain didn't pull THAT SIMPLE COMMON NOMANCLATURE for the dude being sued in the scenario while I was drafting my response.

Come on.... you would think this legal jargon would become second nature AT SOME POINT.

Its not; Which ironically makes me a VERY GOOD Advoacte that can help others as I TRANSLATE the law into plain understandable English . It is the same limitation that makes me a good contract drafter of technical information. I break down jargon into understandable terms (usually, although admidt "defendant" was simpler than my drafted phrase!)

Its frustrating as in the REAL world in two seconds I can pull up any VA CODE and read it on line and then apply it.

But on the exam I have to be able to articulate the law AS WRITTEN (not as I interpert it!) and then apply it to the facts.

That has remained kinda hard for me as I have difficulty MEMORIZING the law itself EVEN if I understand it and can apply it. Thus the average I am testing at so far of 5 out 10 points for each draft essay.

I haven't been doing REPETITION of the same issues as of yet. So I HOPE if I get the same issue I previously had a 5 on I GET THE 10! I hope the second time around I remember and can write the law before interperting it! But as there are so many areas tested on I really don't yet have time to GO BACK and test that theory. I don't have time to go over the same subject area essays OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

I intended to be at that point in my study but am not there yet. I worked really hard to get my MBE score to passing and then moved onto VA. I had to study that way as I needed the basic foundation of the general areas first before I could delve into the distinctions of VA law. It took me longer WITH DILIGENT STUDY than I thought it would.

I now have completed EIGHT OF the VA Essay courses reviewing subject areas. There are Twenty-Two areas of law to know and be tested on in VA.

Only fourteen more to go...

I have three weeks. I am working on a course a day, then some practice essays each day (about three now a day in the areas I have completed study in.)

Its alot of law to memorize and know cold.

Not sure if my memory will EVER actually have that capacity to learn it all- but if I get about 60-70 % I think that will be enough to pass. I am hoping when I use language that MEANS THE SAME although is not the legal nomenclature I get points.

I also have a weird penchant for seeing a way to resolve an issue which is not what is expected. It is not usually WRONG- just not responsive the demonstrating the law the question intended to have one demonstrate. It is SO WEIRD to me that I never seem to SEE THE intent or get the likely more typically obvious response. I see this unique perspective SO CLEARLY and think it was spot on , well done and then look at the sample answer and typically have a "DUH!" moment of "I' can't beleive I didn't see that!"

I then check the law I did apply , to find out it is usually truly spot on- but weird obscure case law from something like 1910 that no one remembers. REALLY I found that happened to me in a Wills and Estate Question. So it was out in left field so to speak;although CORRECT, I am doubtful I would have gotten many points (if any!) for that answer. NOw I have a memory that works such that if something is a bit bizzare I WILL REMEMBER IT. I suppose that is true of everyone. If interesting it is memorable and the NORMAL application of the expected legal provisions are so much more boring (and therefore not memorable no matter how many times I try to memorize them!)

Good news is I was about twenty points shy of passing when I last took this exam years ago. Then I knew MUCH LESS law than I know now. I am SURE of that. So there is hope! THe other fantastic news is that I am happy to report that Wellbutrin is SERIOUSLY HELPFUL for my ADHD symptoms and thus far with no side effects. I actually CAN study all day for sustained periods which frankly I could not do even a month ago. I just started this medication a few weeks back and boy does it really make a HUGE difference in my ability to stay focused, engaged and get this done. So there is hope! I really just want to take this exam now and not defer. So will decide in one more week! I can defer up to two weeks before the exam but at this point am really planning on taking it if able to continue to study as productively as I have been the past few weeks.

OK Back to the grind. Other obligations done for today so I can turn back to VA Procedure. I studied 11 pages of a procedural glossary last night.

I think I finally know the definition of "Demurrer".

I think I finally know the definition of Demurrer.

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