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2014-05-17 - 7:01 a.m.

The checks mailed to WV and National Board of Bar Examiners have not yet been cashed.

That means there has not yet been processing and review of my applications.

No word from either yet. (I am checking my bank account as suspect a check might in fact go through before I get a letter from either.)

There are a few things I like about the WV process. They actually have interviews. That makes total sense to me as some people look GREAT on paper but when meeting them there is that moment of what read not really seeming congruent. I mean , I think that in person is the only way one can really get a sense of the integrity of a person.

So this week I did two practice Multistate Performance Exam questions.

Results a bit typical. I have to work on actually stating EVERY THOUGHT in reasoning. Doesn't seem like that would be hard for me, eh?

I mean who would think the problem in my exam writing is that I AM TOO SUCCINCT and miss detail?

I who write so much and point out details so much?

In writing for a legal task I have spent YEARS primarily working as an EDITOR.
My job as a contract manager has been to CUT OUT the extraneous and define the unclear.

So once again, my result on the FIRST Practice Performance exam was what I thought was a very clear, succinct to the point client letter meeting the instructions of the task at hand.

These questions work like this-
An instruction memo (hypo - example in this case a memo from senior partner to write a client letter answering questions of client)
A client file (facts of case at hand)
Library ( Law of the jurisdiction: Code and Cases that are invented for the state of "Franklin" which is the fictitious state the National Board of Bar Examiners Use.)

The basic premise is there is extraneous stuff in that packet of info and one really needs to be good at honing in on the task at hand and being focused on meeting the goal and not get sidetracked.

My sample answer was what I thought was a tightly , clearly and effectively well written Client Letter.

It is what I would have expected to be desired.


Met goal as stated-
Identified issue, answered the client question (all the client REALLY EVER NEEDS TO KNOW Is "Am I liable of not for this? " SOme variation of "Do I carry this risk" Or "Do I have to pay?" or "Does someone have to pay me?"

Sadly in the real world legal issues are after all most often about money! What is my obligation? What will this cost me?

So I answered that, and gave a concise outline of WHY the result was as stated.

With the final sentence (VERY REALISTIC !) "Call if you have any further questions."

In the REAL WORLD I don't think ANY CLIENT would REALLY WANT the citation of all the case law and code. I mean they would just have eyes glaze over if you gave that level of detail. In the real world the client wouldn't want to PAY for a three page detailed explaination to be written when a good lawyer can quickly read the case law, jot a very fast note in their client file of case law and code and then craft a succinct , effective letter converying the answer to their question:

Do I pay or not pay?
Is this my risk or theirs?
Is this legal or not legal?

I mean the questions clients often have many times DO have a YES OR NO the client wants.

I mean the LAW and our implementation, and interpretation and legal system as set up DOES NOT DEAL WITH GREY VERY WELL.

That is a limitation I have mentioned before in certain areas (like Family Law).

But I still have to REMEMBER that when drafting an exam response to -



Those are the details I edit out in REAL LIFE.

Those are the facts or citations that are , I THINK, most often in REAL LIFE in the client file in the lawyer's notes.


Who wants to pay for that level of unnecessary detail?
I don't even want to waste the time being so inefficient.


Either I am really WRONG ABOUT THIS and in reality GOOD LAWYERS do give such detail ALL THE TIME (regardless of their reader of their correspondence)

OR There is really just a BIG DIFFERENCE between being effective and efficient at crafting client letters in real life, and in creating a "performance based FAKE letter" for the purpose of the testing exercise.

So when I start off with study for a particular area of essay writing I make these mistakes.

Don't know why it is SO HARD for me to RETRAIN MY BRAIN to approach what I KNOW IS THE TEST
as if it is a TEST.


My sample essays were not THAT FAR OFF.

I hit the main points. I just did not include the point getting details.

My other challenge was the typical one.

I had a REALLY GOOD SERIES OF NAPS while doing this.

I practiced the questions undedicated

That is my strategy now. To try to do my best WITHOUT the pharmaceutical help of staying awake. I am doing the questions with my intermittent napping at this point. Next week I will get up and run some mornings, or get up and take a bike ride and see if it makes a difference in whether I doze off when reading material or not. I did take a ride Thu morning and think was less sleepy that day than Friday when I did not get out for the planned exercise. ( I had to go drop off a few training videos at the Master Gardener office and also paperwork from the weekend volunteer event I was at last weekend and just did not feel like biking with a backpack carrying so much stuff. I caught a ride instead.)

I am trying to practice to get as good as I can WITHOUT ANY EXTRA HELP .

If my baseline is CLOSE to passing then with the extra help I should pass, right?

That is my theory.

This must be SO BORING for anyone else, bit its a good vent for me. The more I analyze my work and critique it, hopefully the more aware I will be of what I need to REMEMBER -


Let the reader know WHY the outcome was as it is. (EVEN WHEN IT SEEMS Obvious)

Hopefully this is training my brain and it will help!

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