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February 25, 2009: In the Drink, but it`s Not on the House

Seth Victor

February 25, 2009

In the Drink, but it's Not on the House

I can try to escape, but it’s like gravity. No, gravity isn’t right. Gravity is constant, certain. There is something comforting in gravity. It’s more like being lost in a forest. That’s not right either, because if you are lost, you can be found, and, as an environmental student, I kind of like forests. No, it’s more like circling a drain. You can swim away from it, and even when it looks like you are making progress, that dark, daunting, dank drop is still at the center, leading to an unknown and terrifying tomorrow (in keeping with the environmental law theme, it’s less of an unknown, and more of a water treatment plant, which makes me a bit inclined towards the unknown). What’s “it?” It is the bar exam, of course.

I do not consider myself to be bound by the same fears as my classmates. Call me elitist or naïve, since I am probably a bit of both, but I like to think that I am more laid back than the other 3Ls. I felt that way in 1L year and 2L year, even when I was tremendously busy with classes and moot courts. I scoffed at those articles that urged students to strike a balance. Strike a balance? Me? No one enjoys free time like I do (except for my friend, Bob. Really, the guy knows how to play this game). Now this is most likely the senioritis speaking, aided by the confidence of a job already in place for me. I realize not everyone has that advantage. My point, however, is that out of all the students you could talk to at Pace right now, I am probably in the best position to ignore the typical paranoia surrounding the bar exam. Heck, my clerk position doesn’t even require that I pass the darn thing; I only have to graduate. So there you have it. I have no reason to worry at all. The truth? I’m shaking in my boots, circling that drain the same as anyone else.

Why am I scared? There are a few reasons, and they were triggered today when I had to direct quite a few people away from Aloyisa Hall and to the Judicial Institute (if any other 3Ls are reading this, can our class gift be better signs to the JI, please?). The February bar exam for New York is being hosted at our fair school. It started today, and will finish tomorrow (for the NY portion at least). February is an interesting time for the bar, since you have a mix of students who are taking it early, and those who are taking it for a second or third time. There are less people than the July bar, and from what I have heard, there’s a better chance of passing, though that is probably a rumor. The truth, I suspect, is that the bar is still the bar, and at the end of the day, it is one test that determines whether all of this time spent studying will actually result in you being a lawyer. It is a test that covers every subject we all spent months agonizing over in first year, plus several other subjects we did in second year, plus several more we have not even seen yet. The bar is also crafty, forcing its way into my life months before its time in the form of test registration dates, bar review courses, and stealing money I do not have because (and here’s the funny part) I am a law student. Socratic method has nothing on bar examiners when it comes to sadistic games.

But do you want to know the one, most important fact about the bar? It’s just a test, and just like any other test, it’s not my life. There was the PSAT, then the SAT, plus several others I can’t remember now. Heck, the LSAT was once a towering Everest of a challenge, only to become a footnote (foothill?). So have your fun, Bar Exam. Torment me now while you can, because in a few years, pass or fail, you will still only ever be a test. For now though, time for blind panic; there’s not that much water left in the tub.



Seth Victor

3L Day (Class of 2009)

Environmental LawInternational Law, and Land Use Law

Lopatcong, New Jersey, USA

Undergraduate degree:
BA cum laude in History, and English Language and Literature from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF), Public Interest Law Scholarship Organization (PILSO), Environmental Law Society (ELS), and RA in Dannat Hall