Law School/Lawyer mamas???? Make me feel better - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 40 Old 11-06-2010, 06:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, my friends all got their bar results yesterday. I'm graduating late so I'm taking it in February. There are some people that didn't pass that I NEVER would have expected!

I'm scared now. I'm a single mama, with no family around, although my ex is nearby and he loves our ds. I have sole custody (he has great visitation, and does babysit for me when I need him to - which is awesome and totally helpful and totally needed).

But here's the thing. He's working, and I won't have childcare in between semesters. AAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That means, from Dec. 17th - Jan 18th I will have ZERO childcare! My ex will have ds the week of x-mas-new years (per custody order), which will help, and my cousin might come for a week - but what do I do????

How can I study if I don't have childcare??? I can't afford a nanny!

Please reassure me that I can do it! I'm TERRIFIED! If I don't pass the first time, then I probably won't be able to secure employment until I DO pass, and if I don't pass in Feb, I won't find out about the July bar until November!

Umm....I'm scared now.
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#2 of 40 Old 11-07-2010, 01:14 AM
 
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If ds is with his dad one week and your cousin is there to help another week, you really only have to worry about finding childcare for 2 weeks. So study as much as you can those two weeks and then find a "mother's helper" -- some trustworthy teenager or college student who would accept $10/hr to come over and play with ds at your place while you're there studying.
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#3 of 40 Old 11-07-2010, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I can't pay someone $10/hour to do anything. I don't have that much money. And I won't be able to study at home - it's a very small one bedroom and there just won't be enough space for all of us.

Nervous!!!

Who else has taken the NY/NJ bar with kiddos and passed their first try???
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#4 of 40 Old 11-07-2010, 12:39 PM
 
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The mothers in my law school class ALL passed the exam the first time around. I think they managed their time better and actually studied at every chance they could. Some of the single guys who failed were known to party and procrastinate; I guess they didn't have the same pressure.

It's like the old expression goes, if you want something done, ask a busy person.

You might eat PB&J for dinner every night some weeks, or re-wear clothes you didn't get washed, or your DC might watch a few more DVDs than usual, but you'll carve out the time you need. You might not get enough sleep, but you will manage to study and pass the exam!!!

Tanya
Mom to John (age 11), James (age 9) & Katherine (age 5)
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#5 of 40 Old 11-08-2010, 03:05 PM
 
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Are there any play dates you could set-up? Could you do a childcare swap a few days during break?

Third generation WOHM. I work by choice.
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#6 of 40 Old 11-08-2010, 04:03 PM
 
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The mothers in my law school class ALL passed the exam the first time around. I think they managed their time better and actually studied at every chance they could. Some of the single guys who failed were known to party and procrastinate; I guess they didn't have the same pressure.

It's like the old expression goes, if you want something done, ask a busy person.


The mamas in my school were awesome. Are you doing BarBri or anything? Maybe BarBri for iTunes, if they still have that? I slacked in law school, but really committed to Bar Bri and rocked Florida. *is there a proud of myself smilie?!* Maybe this one:

The other thing you could consider is looking for a legal assistant/paralegal position to take pending your bar results. I don't think "big firms" smile on this, but maybe a small firm or public sector job would give you the option.

I know this is rambly and not helpful, but I'm trying to say, YOU CAN DO IT. Seriously. Do as much as you can and you'll be fine.

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#7 of 40 Old 11-08-2010, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone.

I can't really do playdates - I'm not sure someone wants my boy for 8 hours while I study

And as far as mom's passing - one of my really good friends is a mom and she failed. Actually, ALL the mom's that I know of failed This was the worst pass rate for my school in a long time (70% compared to 80% last year).

Ugh....I'm not looking forward to my winter.....
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#8 of 40 Old 11-11-2010, 08:56 AM
 
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Have you looked into tuition assistance through BarBRI or PMBR? Any money you save on tuition you might be able to spend on a mother's helper. Or can you take a small bar loan to help cover the cost of hiring someone to help you out? (I know, the last thing we want is more debt, but I'm considering the same just to maintain our current childcare situation until I take the bar in February myself... Not something I'm happy about...)

 

Also, the other mothers who failed, are they taking it again in Feb? Can you all pool your resources & switch childcare every other day or something? There HAVE to be other moms studying for the bar or just other moms in your neighborhood who would like, say, even just 4 hours free childcare. Just make sure you swap for times that are NOT nap time. Set up some playdates now so that your LO can get used to the other mom(s) & other child(ren) before you have to start studying.

 

You CAN do it!


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#9 of 40 Old 11-11-2010, 07:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've gotten tuition assistance from PMBR (the reason I'm taking their prep instead of BarBri really), but it doesn't come CLOSE to covering everything.  I'm going to apply for bar loans, but from what I hear they're REALLY hard to qualify for (esp. single parents).  My school does give our bar grants, so I'm hoping that will help some - but I'm taking NY and NJ - and NJ is EXPENSIVE to sit for!  I can't believe it!!

 

I'm also having to disclose ALL the details of my custody/visitation/child support cases which SUCKS.  It won't hurt me, it just sucks having to disclose all of it b/c it makes me angry even thinking about it!  Ugh.  Hopefully I'll be able to use the same statement when I submit my character and fitness stuff to NY. 

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#10 of 40 Old 11-12-2010, 08:12 AM
 
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 Sorry this process is fraught with frustrations! I wish we were studying for the bar in the same city... we could swap childcare! Good luck!


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#11 of 40 Old 01-12-2011, 10:17 AM
 
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Can you ask your ex to pay for childcare for you or take leave from work to help out?? I'm in law school now with three kids, I only had two when we started, and I know study time can get stressful. I don't even want to think about the bar yet. My husband was away working for most of my 1L year, but I told him if he's going he had to he help me find child care and he did. He actually got a lot of his single friends to watch our kids and it worked out great. But there were some weeks when I had different people watching them every day and I ended up having to take them to one of my final exams until someone could get off work and come get them! It was awful at the time. They sat outside the room with their nintendo ds and a bag of snacks. I told them not to make any noise and I would make it up to them later. I can look back on it now and laugh. Anyway, the point is you can find a way to make it work if you really want this. I really think you should speak to your ex. He needs to step up and help out. Good luck and I hope you pass both bars!

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#12 of 40 Old 01-13-2011, 11:48 AM
 
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How's the bar review going Super-Single-Mama? I was thinking about you because I know you were having some childcare woes before the holidays. I hope you've gotten some studying done!

 

I'm in week two (?) and already behind! DH was out of town for work & then I was sick & then babysitter was (is still) sick & we had to reduce childcare now that I get no financial assistance. One of my lectures put things in perspective (at least for the IL bar) that really you're aiming low... 60-65%. I was so stressed out but that made me feel a bit better... 

 

Plus I'm bitter because I STILL have not heard back from BARBRI about tuition assistance!

 

OK, back to flashcards now...


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#13 of 40 Old 01-13-2011, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi!!  I was thinking about you too!  I'm doing OK - childcare woes got worked out, and I've had childcare for every day of studying so far :)  My ex is also SUPER helpful (he took the bar last July and knows how awful it is!) which has been good for me and good for ds. 

 

How are you only in week 2???  I started Dec. 20!!  doesn't that put me in week 3 or 4??  Ugh, this whole thing stinks.  I'm behind too, I have LOTS to do this weekend while ds is with his dad (never thought I'd say this but THANK GOD its a holiday Monday b/c that means 4 baby-free days to study uninterupted!  LOL.

 

Ok, back to outlines!

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#14 of 40 Old 01-15-2011, 12:30 PM
 
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I'm so glad to hear that your ex has been supportive & helpful! That's awesome that you've been getting care every day you need it.

 

I don't know how I'm just finishing week two. There was a two week "preview"/intro that started right before Christmas, but the "real" courses just started after the new year. But yes, also started the 20th (or really the 21st, since I had my last stinkin' final on the 20th!).

 

Even when I have the time, though, I can't seem to keep up. I know I'm supposed to just aim for the passing score, but I'm such a slow reader that I can't get through all the material AND do the practice questions/essays.

 

I can't WAIT for this to be over!! I feel so guilty for ignoring my LO so much lately.

 

Keep on keepin' on!


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#15 of 40 Old 01-15-2011, 12:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Even when I have the time, though, I can't seem to keep up. I know I'm supposed to just aim for the passing score, but I'm such a slow reader that I can't get through all the material AND do the practice questions/essays.



What I keep hearing from people who passed, and from people who failed, is that the practice MBE question are KEY to passing.  So, thats what I'm focusing on - I'm aiming to get my MBE score as high as humanly possible so that my essay's don't count for as much.  I'm not pre-reading any material, but I'm typing my notes into the outlines every night after ds goes to sleep, then I reveiw the outlines during bedtime routine (which involves me sitting on my computer in the room while ds falls asleep), and immediately after the video class I do practice questions.  So far my MBE practice questions are between 60-70% and I'm aiming to get that up to 80% before taking the exam.  Who knows if it will work, but thats what I'm doing.

 

ETA - I wouldn't aim for the passing score, b/c it fluctuates yearly based on how many people they feel like passing that year.  Go for the highest YOU can get, and you'll do that much better.  Don't feel bad about ignoring the littles, after the exam they will get you much more often AND you won't have to do this again - whereas if you focus on them too much right now, you will have to do it again, and they'll get even less of you.

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#16 of 40 Old 01-15-2011, 05:08 PM
 
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Thanks for the advice & support! -- It sounds like you have a good routine going. I started dropping the pre-reading & that's helped, but I'm still a bit behind because the "1st" week was riddled with unexpected family stuff & then this week my son's nanny way ill. Tomorrow is a catch-up day, though, so I'm hoping to power through!

 

Thanks again & good luck!


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#17 of 40 Old 01-16-2011, 02:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ugh.  I've been studying contracts all day, and theres only so much a person can know about Offer, Acceptance and Consideration, yk??  I hate assignments, delegation of duties, and damages under the UCC too.  Why oh WHY does there have to be SO MUCH to learn???

 

What state are you in??  I feel like I'm never going to make it!!

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#18 of 40 Old 01-17-2011, 01:01 PM
 
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Ha! I've been studying contracts all day today, too! Ick... though I'd say it's WAY better than commercial paper or secured transactions... which just made my head hurt. But, still, contracts is such a huge area... I feel it'll never end! I'm actually enjoying studying the 1L topics because I at least feel a little familiarity & confidence. Still not the way I'd choose to spend my days.

 

I'm taking the IL bar, which I think is marginally "easier" than NY (which may be why I'm aiming a bit "lower" than you suggested in your prior post). BUT I just got back my first practice essay today & got a pretty bad score. I think the essays are what will kill me... I'm so not good at the CRAC method... my brain is always all over the place. I'm a little frightened because my brain just doesn't move that fast... So far, the MBE questions have been better (closer to my goal %).

 

Time for a little baby time & then more studying!


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#19 of 40 Old 01-17-2011, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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commercial paper or secured transactions...



Umm....even the name of that makes my head hurt.  What in the heck is that???  I certainly hope its not on my exam cause I've never even heard of it!  I just finished Adverse Possession, and now I'm onto landlord tenant....

 

What score did you get on the essays?  In NY I've been told that if you do really well on the MBE you can do moderate on the essay's and still pass (like average a 5-6), but if you are only marginal on the MBE you need 8-10's on all the essays - ouch!

 

Any other Bar studying mama's want to join in on our little support group here??

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#20 of 40 Old 01-17-2011, 06:23 PM
 
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Yes! It'd be fun to get even more self-tortured souls to join in!

 

Well, Super-Single-Mama, thank your lucky stars you don't have commercial paper or secured transactions! IL is really awful to test these areas. Thankfully usually only one will appear in any given administration, but still!

 

So, I think we're on totally different grading systems, though same general idea. In IL the top score for an essay is 5. I've heard something similar, though, that if you do even just OK on the MBE you can aim for 3 or 4 on the essays. But I only got a 2 on my practice!! irked.gif I tend to do worse on practice exams than with the addition of adrenaline, but still... I have my work cut out for me! How about you?

 

What are the odd-ball topics you have to cover in NY or NJ?

 

Back to it!


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#21 of 40 Old 01-17-2011, 07:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The odd ball topics?  Try all of them.  The essay portions can be on any of 23 doctrines.  Which I'm never going to know all of.  The MBE of course tests Crim law, Crim pro, Real Property, Torts, Constitutional Law and Contracts - so I'm going to learn those as best as possible so I can kill the MBE.  Then the only 2 topics that are nearly guaranteed to be on the essay is Family Law and Will's.  I hate Will's with a passion and don't understand it, so I'm going to give it my best shot and hope its enough.  I should be able to learn enough Family law, and then I'm going to study everything else in the bar review course and cross my fingers.

 

Ugh.  Ok, bed time.  Talk soon!!

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#22 of 40 Old 01-18-2011, 10:33 PM
 
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not studying for the bar just yet but i am in law school. 

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#23 of 40 Old 01-19-2011, 07:07 AM
 
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The odd ball topics?  Try all of them.  The essay portions can be on any of 23 doctrines.  Which I'm never going to know all of.  The MBE of course tests Crim law, Crim pro, Real Property, Torts, Constitutional Law and Contracts - so I'm going to learn those as best as possible so I can kill the MBE.  Then the only 2 topics that are nearly guaranteed to be on the essay is Family Law and Will's.  I hate Will's with a passion and don't understand it, so I'm going to give it my best shot and hope its enough.  I should be able to learn enough Family law, and then I'm going to study everything else in the bar review course and cross my fingers.

 

Ugh.  Ok, bed time.  Talk soon!!


Yes, same here about Wills & Fam Law... I've heard that in IL there have been years with TWO Wills questions. bigeyes.gif I've made flashcards for it because it's SO not my type of area. Also concerned about Corporations, which I avoided in law school but now have to face head-on. But, yeah, I'm definitely also going to really focus on the MBE areas because I know there'll be not only the MBE but essay questions as well... If I have the rules down pat, I should be ok. Speaking of, going to do a practice torts essay right now...

 

And welcome to our pity party Kauhoku! What year are you in?

 


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#24 of 40 Old 01-20-2011, 08:24 AM
 
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i've takem 2 bar wxams from 2 different jurisdictions and it's not as bad as they say it is -- passed both on the first try

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i've takem 2 bar wxams from 2 different jurisdictions and it's not as bad as they say it is -- passed both on the first try


Which ones did you take?

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#26 of 40 Old 02-01-2011, 10:25 AM
 
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Someone please whip me into shape! I am so loosing steam with bar review... (I have been on MDC WAY too much today...)


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#27 of 40 Old 02-01-2011, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Someone please whip me into shape! I am so loosing steam with bar review... (I have been on MDC WAY too much today...)



OMG me too!!!!!  Bar review SUCKS.

 

Have you done a full on practice MBE yet?  I did one saturday, a full 200 questions with a break in the middle.  It kicked my a$$ and now I'm scared.  Keep going!  You can do it!!!

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#28 of 40 Old 02-01-2011, 04:48 PM
 
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Yes! Did one yesterday... I'm blaming that for my lack of focus today... It also kicked my butt! Not only did I not do really well (OK, but not within my comfort zone yet) but I was really losing my concentration by the end -- I know adrenaline will kick in on test day, but still!

 

But you know your score will just go up if you keep studying so don't be too scared (just scared enough! hah!).

 

OK! Putting DS to bed & then more review!


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#29 of 40 Old 02-01-2011, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes! Did one yesterday... I'm blaming that for my lack of focus today... It also kicked my butt! Not only did I not do really well (OK, but not within my comfort zone yet) but I was really losing my concentration by the end -- I know adrenaline will kick in on test day, but still!

 

But you know your score will just go up if you keep studying so don't be too scared (just scared enough! hah!).

 

OK! Putting DS to bed & then more review!


Well, also keep in mind that if you did a practice test yesterday, you're probably still pretty fried from it today.  You don't want to over-do it either (there is a point when you stop learning if you push yourself too hard).

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#30 of 40 Old 02-09-2011, 07:00 AM
 
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Good luck to the both of you!


Evergreen- Loving my girls Dylan dust.gifage8, Ava energy.gifage 4 and baby Georgia baby.gif (6/3/11).

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