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August 24, 2006

Could Be Worse

A friend of mine just gave me a "post bar exam gift": a copy of Ichisada Miyazaki's China's Examination Hell: The Civil Service Examinations of Imperial China. From the first page:

Competition for a chance to take the civil service examinations began, if we may be allowed to exaggerate only a little, even before birth. . . . Prenatal care began as soon as a woman was known to be pregnant. . . .

Legal education system take note: you have something to aspire towards.

August 11, 2006

Why the New York Times Can't Prepare You For the Bar Exam (or your CrimLaw Final)

Compare and contrast this New York Times editorial on "castle doctrine" laws with this fisking. As those who just took the New York bar will recall, New York requires someone in fear of their life to make reasonable efforts to retreat before using deadly force in self-defense, while maintaining a "castle doctrine," wherein there's no requirement to retreat if the defendant can prove they were in reasonable fear of their life or great bodily harm. However, the requirement to retreat is a minority rule.

The primary change in Florida (and some other state's) "stand your ground" laws is a mere presumption. (Though apparently one report to a Florida committee suggests that this presumption is "conclusive," this seems more a counsel against the use of legislative history, if it's not out and out scaremongering.) [1]) The castle doctrine generally required a defendant to prove that they were in fear of their lives. The stand your ground laws grant a (almost certainly rebuttable) presumption to homeowners that, if a burglar or other intruder breaks into their house, they were probably in fear of their lives, and that someone breaking into a home is willing to use violence. For most of us living in homes, particularly those of us who have lived in bad neighborhoods, this isn't much of an intuitive stretch.

Liptak deals with this change wholly unpersuasively: "[Homeowners] no longer need to prove that they feared for their safety, only that the person they killed intruded unlawfully and forcefully." What he leaves out, of course, is the fact that a homeowner who did not fear for their safety can still be convicted: the state merely has to prove this as part of its case.

Once you get out of the castle doctrine business, Liptak glosses over the fact that retreat statutes were a minority jurisdiction rule in any event. In other words, Florida (and similar states) are becoming a bit more like everywhere else where the sky hasn't fallen. So far as the presumption goes, it's really not all that frightening. Is it really so worrisome that a homeowner who will almost certainly be found to be neither guilty or liable is spared the expense of preparing a defense?

UPDATE: Some of the cases used as sob stories for why this law is so horrible don't really push my buttons. Take, for instance, the case of 23-year-old prostitute Jacqueline Galas, who won't be facing a murder charge. Even according to the St. Petersburg Times (in an article not at all sympathetic to Ms. Galas) describes the situation as follows:

Galas, a 23-year-old with a known history of prostitution, said Labiento was a frequent client. She told authorities that on June 11, at his home on Christina Lane, he pointed a .357 at her and threatened to kill her.

She managed to calm him down, and he put the gun on the kitchen table. When the phone rang, he walked to pick it up.

Galas picked up the gun.

When Labiento approached her, she fired the fatal shot.

"She didn't know if he had another gun," Halkitis said, "because she always saw him with two guns."


If the new law creates an additional zone of risk for Johns who invite hookers into their home and threaten them with handguns, well, so what? I think it's safe to say that this risk is easily avoided by the common sense advice that pointing a gun at someone is generally not good for one's health.

From Ms. Galas's point of view, she had a decision to make: risk running from the home, knowing that a suicidal man might take pot shots at her as she escaped to the car, or kill a man advancing on her as she's holding a gun. A law requiring her to take the risk seems a bit harsh.

When I lived in England, I remember being surprised by the requirements to retreat in British law. On the other hand, I also recall that at my college's introductory public safety lecture (given by a female member of the Thames Valley Police), the response given to a gentleman who asked whether he would be liable for injuries to a mugger if (the questioner being a rather big guy well trained in judo, and hence not a likely victim anyway) the villain was injured. She replied, "The law says you probably should run if you think you can do so. On the other hand, I'd remind you of the old saying that 'It's better to be tried by twelve than carried by six.' So don't give that requirement too much weight."

[1]: The concern by Anthony Sebok that the statutory presumption might be conclusive flies in the face of a lot of good Florida constitutional law, at least in civil cases. See, e.g. Public Health Trust v. Valcin, 507 So. 2d 596, 599 (Fla. 1987) ("[A conclusive presumption] violates due process in its failure to provide the adverse party any opportunity to rebut the presumption of negligence"); Straughn v. K & K Land Management, Inc., 326 So. 2d 421, 424 (Fla. 1976) ("The test for the constitutionality of statutory presumptions is twofold. First, there must be a rational connection between the fact proved and the ultimate fact presumed. . . . Second, there must be a right to rebut in a fair manner.") So while the report to which Sebok refers (here) does describe the presumption as "conclusive," it gives no reason for assuming this to be the case, the Florida courts don't make presumptions conclusive by default, and such a presumption seems to be on shaky due process ground.

Once you abandon the idea of a conclusive presumption, Sebok's fears become a bit sillier:

So let's go back to Lisa and Bob. Under the old law, Lisa would have had to prove not only that Bob was in her home, but also that she was afraid for her life (or the lives of others in the house). In reality, that was often easy to do -- usually juries would take the word of a living homeowner over a dead burglar (even if the burglar was unarmed). But now Lisa, in theory, has a free hand to shoot even a plainly unarmed burglar as to whom he or she, in fact, felt no fear at all.

No. Presuming we weigh actual Florida caselaw over some random legislative report, Lisa doesn't have a free hand to shoot anybody. However, the state will have to prove that the burglar was plainly unarmed and that Lisa had no reasonable fear for her life. (Or at the very least, a civil plaintiff will have to do so.) This is difficult to do, and as Sebok notes, juries give homeowners a wide latitude anyway. Hence, the actual effect of the law may be too spare homeowners the expense of a trial, rather than to alter anyone's rights.

July 31, 2006

So that was the bar exam

And now it's over. The fact that a whole weekend has passed without me chattering about he bar exam probably says something about my reaction to the disaster. Denial remains a great coping mechanism. After I've cooled down a bit, I've summoned some guarded optimism, but the happy thoughts get no further than this: "OK, Tony, you felt that was a train wreck, but no one else has seemed much happier. Thank God for scaled exams."

I concur with the general concensus among bar exam bloggers. I found the New York day to be far less difficult than I had feared, and then was pummelled by an MBE that bore only a passing resemblance to anything I'd been given by BarBri. (Indeed, that course was almost entirely useless, but more on that later.) When my face finally felt the harsh sunlight outside the Javits Center that awful Wednesday afternoon, it did nothing to alleviate my twofold self-doubt. On the one hand, I had guessed on at least half of the multiple choice. On the other, I felt no confidence in the answers I'd chosen outright.

I did get a free pencil courtesy of Anonymous Lawyer. It's a great marketing gimmick, although I think it suffered a bit from mixed branding. The marketing staffers passing out pencils to nervous bar takers were cheerful, personable and altogether worthwhile human beings, easily identified by their Anonymous Lawyer t-shirts. Surely they should have been besuited middle-aged men handing out not only pencils but the admonishment that this test was the ultimate test of our self worth, no?

On second thought, the headline "JAVITS CENTER LAWYERS TO BE 'GO POSTAL'; 10 DEAD" is probably not the best publicity the book could get, and there were a lot of tense folks last Tuesday.

In any event, it's over. Before I leave the topic of the exam, though, I'd like to thank my family, my friends (and in particular my ever-patient girlfriend), and my fellow exam-takers. It's a lot easier to charge blindly into this ridiculous exam process knowing that such great folks are behind me.

NOTE: I am moblogging at the moment, and linking outside content consumes a lot of time. (There is no easy cut and paste function.) A lot of links to other bar exam bloggers will be added this afternoon. UPDATE: Now added.

July 24, 2006

Quite a few of us

The quiet car of the 1PM Amtrack from DC to Penn Station looks like a BarBri study hall.

I wonder if we could have banded together to get a group discount on our tickets

Quite a few of us

The quiet car of the 1PM Amtrack from DC to Penn Station looks like a BarBri study hall.

I wonder if we could have banded together to get a group discount on our tickets

July 23, 2006

A Tale of Two Task Lists, and Other Bar Exam Madness

So here's a story that's a little more personal than what I normally write at TYoH. It's been a rough few weeks, Wormwood, so I hope you won't hold the unwonted intimacy against me, and that the whole mess gives you a bit of a chuckle.

My to-do list has included for the last two weeks an item labelled "Blog about why I'm not freaking out about the bar exam." The entry right beneath it, "Get a haircut," has been equally neglected.

The first admonition springs from a simple truth: since the beginning of July I've felt as if I've not been sufficiently concerned about this "Bar Exam" thing. I'm not wholly convinced that lawyer licensing exists for the service of clients or the public. I consider this whole thing a bit of a racket, and thus the bar exam (pace Anonymous Lawyer) is not something I see as a test of my value as a human being. Failure to pay a protection racket would have a similar blow to my self esteem: sure, I might not be able to do business without ponying up, but it doesn't affect the fact that my customer service is pretty damn good. Likewise, so far as I know my clerkship isn't riding on passage of the bar exam, so failure would just mean a lot more time to study while actually learning a fair amount of real law. Finally, I've done a reasonable if not massive amount of work, and the test remains a pass/fail affair. Intellectually, I know passing is not certain, but certainly within the realm of possibility.

So of course, I thought I was immune from the silliness of bar panic. Which is where the second item on the to do list comes in.

It's been warm here in Virginia, and after a short stroll outside I realized that a month and a half has left my locks full, flowing and quite unseasonably warm. Knowing that I didn't have time to get a haircut (or knowledge of a good barber), I figured that the next best thing would be to attack my head with my trimmers, returning my skull to about this condition. Full of purpose, I grabbed new AA batteries, some plastic bags to line the tub, and my trimmer, pausing only to ask my girlfriend to give me a hand.

And then it set in: bar madness. After all, I'd been studying for two months with all this hair. I'm used to it. When I've not known whether leave and mail service requires an answer within twenty or thirty days, I've run my hand over my forehead, fingers leaving little furrows in my shaggy mane. Shaking my head in confusion over whether a particular power of appointment designated in a trust violated the rules against perpetuities, those locks have shook with me.

It struck me that perhaps these motions had some kind of mnemonic value: that when the pressure was on in the Javits Convention Center, I'd reach up to my forehead and sure enough my fingers would pry the answers from my forelocks. Or perhaps during these sultry summer days, this surfeit of black letter law has overflowed from brain to skull, seeped from skin to follicle. By slicing through these hairs, I'd be eliminating hours of reading, or hundreds of wrong answers on StudySmart...

"Yeah. Trim your hair before the bar exam, and YOU'LL FAIL. It'll be Samson and Delilah all over again."

That was my girlfriend. Apparently I'd been talking to myself. The worst bit, though, was that at that particular moment, her idea didn't seem all that mad. [1]

Just a few more days, dear readers, and it is all over. But until then, the world is viewed through a very distant mirror. And that mirror has been stolen from the funhouse.

As of this writing, I've yet to cut my hair.

[1]: Although I probably need not be explicit in pointing this out to you, dear Wormwood, her "idea" was nothing but sarcasm. A few seconds passed, however, between the hearing of the words and the recognition of that particular tone.

July 22, 2006

Bar Exam EVERYWHERE

It's worth taking a moment to wander over to Prof. Kerr's latest post on the Volokh Conspiracy, as it shows just how crazy we bar exam folks have become. First Prof. Kopel proposed that the UN was an "accomplice" in the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers. Prof. Kerr's rebuttal focused on the fact that the U.N. peacekeepers at issue didn't seem to have the required mental state for accomplice liability. And within a few hours, at least three bar takers had started in-depth review of whether the facts constituted accomplice liability, "accessory after the fact" liability, liability in Washington for official misconduct, or (my addition) whether the actions would rise to the level of criminal facilitation, which is a particular N.Y. crime not found on the multistate.

Funny quote from Prof. Kerr in the comments:

A cover up after the fact in order to hide your negligence does not make you an "accessory after the fact." . . . [S]ince you have the bar exam in a few days, note that the definition of "abet" is "to approve, urge, or encourage." That is, not just to objectively help, but to *intentionally* help. So feel free to say what you want on the Washington state bar exam, but if you pick David Kopel's answer you will just get that one wrong."

Thankfully, you can get quite a few wrong on the multistate and still be ok.

One More Thought on BarBri

Will Baude and Jason Czarnezki hint at one reason I was so happy to hear of the BarBri class action lawsuit. Besides truly despising the defendants, the lawsuit promised to make an interesting wrinkle in the class action settlement debate. As Will points out, there's a truly massive agency problem inherent in letting lawyers "represent" thousands of claims, and yet be paid in cash themselves while their "clients" get some trivial coupon. BarBri is different. Most people who subscribe to a BarBri course take it precisely once, and thus a coupon for future BarBri courses would be somewhat undesirable. So maybe, just maybe this case might settle for cold, hard cash? That would be fun.

Sadly, the West Publishing Corporation (owner of BarBri) has a diifferent coin o' the realm. As their never-ending stream of emails ceaselessly reminds me, after I (knock on wood) pass the bar, West will quite happily provide me with Continuing Legal Education courses from now until the fruits of my legal education wind up in probate. If no one has predicted this already, let me be the first to examine the messy entrails of this particularly grimy fowl and augur: when this one settles, we all get free CLE.

July 21, 2006

Like Latte-Swilling Locusts

As my last entry indicated, I'm spending my days--often 9AM to 11PM--in a Barnes and Noble/Starbucks coffee bar in northwest Virginia. Every day, there's at least six or seven of us here, easily identifiable by the BarBri books.

Starbucks is always coming up with new speciality drinks. They ought to come out with something specifically for us, since I'd imagine we descend upon them predictably at this time every year. Maybe a triple-shot mocha with extra caffiene. And some vodka mixed in, under the table. And maybe prozac.

In related news, Blonde Justice notes that Hallmark's missing a trick by not providing "Good Luck on the Bar" cards.

July 18, 2006

Bar Exam, Dahlia Lithwick, Orin Kerr, Attempt and Conspiracy

Prof. Kerr takes another swing at Dahlia Lithwick in her latest column, which she titles "Minority Report" in reference to the movie (and possibly short story) of the same name. Her hypothesis is that the recent arrests of two terror networks in their planning stages brings us "ever closer to criminalizing bad thoughts."

Prof. Kerr matches fact to Lithwick's musings and concludes that she's worried about an "expansion" of powers no more novel than bog-standard conspiracy. He's certainly right, but she's also misinterpreted the movie on which she bases her comparison.

While there is a conspiracy in Minority Report, if the movie represents any fundamental change in the law (besides the lack of a requirement of trial by jury), it's a change in the standards for attempt, not conspiracy. As my fellow bar exam sufferers know, in most jurisdictions conspiracy requires an agreement, an intent to agree and an overt action in pursuance of the conspiracy. On the other hand, attempt requires an intent to commit the crime and a substantial step beyond mere preparation in furtherance thereof. (These are quick definitions from my notes suitable for bar prep, of course, and not detailed outlines.)

According to Lithwick, the world of Minority Report is one in which "people are arrested for crimes they hope to commit in the future." But Department Chief Anderton (Cruise) runs from "justice" with no idea who his intended victim is or why he would want to kill him. In short, he's being "prosecuted" for attempt despite the lack not only of a substantial step, but without even intent. His accusers, the "Precogs," are so named because they see the future, not because they read minds. In the very strictest sense, they're not "thought police."

Also, unless I'm failing to remember the movie correctly, Anderton never really commits a conspiracy. Those who help him might rise to the level of solicitation or accomplices (Iris, for instance, encourages him to break into his old office), but they're not conspirators: they don't agree to a criminal objective. To the extent that there is a "conspiracy" in the non-legal sense, it's on the part of the fellow who sets up Anderton, and I don't recall him having much in the way of help.

This springs to mind not (merely) through an excess of geekery, but also because it's relevant for the bar exam. The substantial step analysis for attempt is much more demanding than the overt action of conspiracy, and the two crimes, while both inchoate, require separate consideration. Attempt requires the intent to commit the crime, while conspiracy requires the much broader intent to agree. Lithwick can make this error because she's already passed the exam, but those of us yet to take it can learn from the mistake.

You don't get this with MicroMash

Today I received my legal notice of the class action suit against BarBri and Kaplan for violation of the anti-trust laws. I checked: it conforms with what little they taught us about class actions.

Couldn't happen to nicer people. Unlike the Netflix settlement, I don't think I'll be writing in to complain about fees received by the plaintiff's attorneys.

July 12, 2006

The End of BarBri

Dear Wormwood:

Yesterday was the last of the BarBri classes.

Barbri now joins the collection of things that "all law students do" that in hindsight I consider to be a mistake. For a couple of thousand dollars, I received seven books from which I've done all my studying, a "PaceProgram" schedule of repetitive tasks and a little purple membership card. The card in turn provided me with access to hours of taped lectures, the vast majority of which were less informative than simply reading the handouts.

That wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the penchant of some Barbri lecturers to mistake their shiny blue podium for the stage of the Dave Chappelle show. Don't get me wrong, my dear Wormwood: the lecture by Prof. Torts caused much of the audience to split their sides with laughter. But he also turned four hours of material into three days of presentation. I would have been better off if Barbri provided me with a drier lecturer and a $200 rebate so that I could use the spare time and money at the Improv. On the other hand, Prof. Torts stood out as the best of a bad bunch: many of the other Jack Black wannabees succeeded in producing only groans. (A particular mental scar remains from the rendition of "It Wasn't Me" to illustrate a point of Property.) Out of the whole course, precisely one joke has stuck with me as a mnemonic. [1]

I've loathed the course. I'll freely admit I've skipped quite a few classes, gathering notes from prior years or other students and sitting at home calmly reading through them rather than sweating in a classroom. At least according to their mock MBE, it hasn't hurt me much. In the meantime, I've been following my own course of study for the last few months, having transformed their PaceProgram into a project plan, used the good ol' project management triage to figure out what was necessary, trimmed the fat and--more or less--stuck to it.

I'll have to agree with Ambimb, however: the StudySmart software is fun. But that just makes me wonder if I would have been better off with MicroMash.

In any event, maybe I'll fail the bar because I've failed to follow BarBri's prescriptions. We'll have to see, dear Wormwood. I do know, however, that it didn't have to be so painful to get to where I am now.

[1]: In evidence, a prior present recollection can be refreshed by anything, not just a writing. The joke involved refreshing Homer Simpson's memory while he was on the stand by giving him a beer. (Update: I guess the mnemonic didn't help all that much.)

July 11, 2006

Room at the Inn?

The final countdown has now commenced, and as you'll notice the Exam Stress Indicator has bumped up a notch. One bit of preparation that I haven't managed yet: finding a place to stay.

If one of my readers happens to know of crash space that's going begging on the nights of July 24th, 25th and 26th, I'd be very grateful to know about it. It's amazing what hotels in the area are charging. (Update: Forgot to say, I'm taking the exam in New York City, not Albany.)

June 30, 2006

Accessorize Your BarBri™

Dear Wormwood:

Right now, a virtual cornucopia of study materials threatens to overwhelm me. My bar review course has provided me with seven weighty tomes, the vast majority of which I shall never read. I've half-heartedly attended six weeks of courses, becoming ever better at Freecell with each passing day. And yet at every turn I seem confronted by one more product designed to prey upon my insecurity. More multiple choice questions? I should sign up for a two week cram course. Thinking of driving up to NY for the bar? Well, of course I need a set of study tapes. Maybe there's a podcast or two out there I could purchase? Not since childhood, dear Wormwood, have I been so set upon by marketers insisting that I accessorize. Any moment now I expect to see this offer appear in my email:

Dear student:

It's less than a month to that all important exam, and we know you want every possible advantage. Make sure that after your review course ends, you keep yourself free of distraction by leasing your very own BarBri Dream House™. The Dream House comes complete with six main rooms (one for each of the multistate subjects!) and a master bath with a full set of your state bar's reading material for those "quiet moments." But of course we know that all your moments should be spent in quiet contemplation of the bar examiner's plans for you, and that's why the doors of the BarBri dream house lock behind you from the moment you enter until the last possible moment (calculated at our BarBri headquarters) that you might leave to for the testing center. The walls of the DreamHome have been lined with special radio-absorbing polymers to drown out any distracting wireless internet signals that might happen into the area. And our special BarBri "Little Lawyer" StudyPhone™ connects you immediately with a study advisor--whatever number you dial!

As comfortable as the Dream House is, though, we know that sleep will come ever harder in the next few weeks. That's why we encourage you to make use of our Barbri StudyBuddies™, especially in areas where you think you might have difficulty. For instance, if you're struggling with Con Law, why not snuggle up at night with Ermin Chemeruxpin? This fully animatronic plush companion comes equiped with audiotapes to ensure you have plenty of dormant commerce by the day of the bar.

And on that all important Exam Day, when the doors of the Dream House spring open, what better way to get to your testing location than in your own California Barbri Convertible™? Not only will you arrive in stylish blue and yellow (to match your review books!), but we'll provide your own driver so that every second that you're stuck on the highway can be productively used reviewing the peculiarities of your state's no-fault insurance laws!

Yes, such things these dayse are my nightmares made of, dearest Wormwood. Though I suppose I should be thankful for small favors. I can't imagine the convertible ever coming in a box inscribed with those horrifying words: "Some assembly required."

June 05, 2006

Barbri Depression

Today began week three of the Barbri preparation for the bar exam, and already it seems like forever. The course makes me wish I had internet access on the George Washington campus. (Apparently the lecturers believe me incapable of taking notes on the first go, because every point is repeated at least twice, and on average three times. I really only need to be there one hour out of every three. The problem is, it's not one contiguous hour.)

I walked in late today and found out that the instructor was using Shaggy as a mnemonic.

Frankly, the course has me depressed. It's not just the cotton-candy atmosphere of the lectures. (Though if I'm paying upwards of $2,000 for a set of courses, professors shouldn't try to make it "entertaining." I can easily pay $1,000 for education and use the other $1,000 to invite several dozen of my closest and even not-very-close friends to a Tom Petty concert. Not to say that I could mix black letter law with stand up comedy myself, but I know my limitations and wouldn't try.)

It's not just the endless dull hours of memorization. I went through this same process to pass my exams back in my undergraduate days, so this is nothing new. Rather, the whole process has me down. The last in a series of hoops to jump through in order to get that precious "Esq," there's nothing in this long, tedious journey that makes me a better lawyer. My clients will be no better served by me a year from now because in the next two months I half-crammed a litany of unconsidered [1] rules into my head and vomited them onto paper. Almost every taped lecture includes some bit of advice tailor made for mediocrity: Don't overthink the exam. Don't try to learn everything because you can't. You only have to get sixty percent or so right. You only just have to pass.

My clients would be better served if I were to start work tomorrow and thus be mentored by accomplished lawyers actually doing some law. After all, they wouldn't have to pay hourly rates that support my salary payments that then pay off my bar loan.

And that's the really depressing part of this. Long-term readers of TYoH will know that I'm skeptical of the requirement of professional status for lawyers. Well, sitting in that class every day reminds me that this rather nonsensical confection of a test will, come September, provide quite a dividing line. If I pass, then any advice I give to a client is blessed by the brotherhood and entitled to all the protections that go along with it. If I fail, the same piece of advice--no matter how well-researched, and no matter how little access my client has to "real" lawyers--could make me a felon. The determinant of whether my words are felicitous or felonious? A hopped-up SAT on steroids.

Don't get me wrong. It'll be a little late and a little cramped, but I'll do the work. I'm not cocky: I know there's a real possibility (if not probability) that I could fail, and as the exam nears I'm sure that terror will have a serious motivating effect. But the Alice in Wonderland foolishness of this process means that I get no joy from the work. On the one hand, I'm not learning anything (or at least, anything worth knowing). On the other hand, it's impossible for me to believe that this exam weeds the good lawyers from the bad, thus ensuring the protection of the public.

I'd be much happier if I showed up one morning and one of the taped lectures started out: "Let's be serious, folks. This is a difficult exam that the Bar puts here to make sure that anyone who gets through it gets a fatter salary than they would otherwise. That's why you're here, so let's get to it."

[1]: The rules are not only unconsidered but half-fictional. In criminal law, the professor spent a great deal of time explaining that the multistate bar exam tests common law crimes that have been almost entirely superseded by statute in most states.

May 25, 2006

Not Quite Technically Competent Enough To Know If They're Lying To Me

As I've mentioned, I won't have internet access in my apartment here in Arlington until Sunday at the very best. In the meantime, I'm making daily use of T-Mobile wireless access in Starbucks. My consistently lousy connection drops about every three minutes, so it's hardly suitable for streaming audio. Nevertheless, BarBri would like me to listen to a "Testing Drill Audio Lecture" on Criminal Law.

No problem, I thought, I'll download it and listen at home.

Silly me, that would make it easy. BarBri has made sure that my only option is an audio stream. So I could either stay in an overcooled Starbucks for another hour fighting dropped packets in hopes of hearing whatever's in this lecture, or I could go home and be with the girlfriend in my apartment.

Before choosing the latter, I flicked over to their frequently-asked questions to see if maybe there was a download function. The answer was somewhat illuminating:

I want to download the lectures but I cannot. Why?

The audio files are large and cannot be downloaded.


Now, I can understand BarBri wanting to stream audio files in order to keep them from being copied. But if the files can't be downloaded, how am I listening to them? Does it really take up less storage space and bandwidth to stream media files than it does to download them and decompress them at the other end?

Perhaps my more technically-minded friends can help, but this sounds a bit...curious to me.

Giving The Devil His Due

Could Be Worse (0)
Why the New York Times Can't Prepare You For the Bar Exam (or your CrimLaw Final) (3)
Anthony wrote: Sean: Your example will be relevan... [more]

So that was the bar exam (0)
Quite a few of us (0)
Quite a few of us (0)
A Tale of Two Task Lists, and Other Bar Exam Madness (3)
Leyla wrote: OK...shaving your head is a common ... [more]

Bar Exam EVERYWHERE (2)
Bateleur wrote: The actual examination will be anti... [more]

One More Thought on BarBri (0)
Like Latte-Swilling Locusts (2)
Katherine wrote: you're in NoVa? and you didn't tel... [more]

Bar Exam, Dahlia Lithwick, Orin Kerr, Attempt and Conspiracy (1)
fellow sufferer wrote: That's it. You have officially cros... [more]

You don't get this with MicroMash (1)
Avi wrote: Nice you finally got the notice. Yo... [more]

The End of BarBri (6)
Jonathan wrote: Amen. I'd describe Barbri's Perfor... [more]

Room at the Inn? (2)
J wrote: Hey I'm taking the bar and throwing... [more]

Accessorize Your BarBri™ (0)
Barbri Depression (2)
A. Rickey wrote: Simon: Thanks for that laugh. You ... [more]

Not Quite Technically Competent Enough To Know If They're Lying To Me (3)
A. Rickey wrote: Luis: I think the word you may be ... [more]

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What I'm Reading

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D.C. Noir

My city. But darker.
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A Clockwork Orange

About time I read this...


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Althouse
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Civil unions pass New Hampshire House:
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Hillary II
Hillary
Politics and Principal/Agents


Law Dork
Election Approaches
Following Lewis
New Jersey High Court: 'Same Rights and Benefits'


IrishLaw
Homecoming
Surveying the revival
Birds of paradise


Half the Sins of Mankind
Cheney Has Spoken Religious conservatives who may ...
Does Ahmadinejad Know Christianity Better Than MSN...
Borders as Genocide In discussions of climate chan...


pf.org
Progress
For lovers of garden gnomes...and any China-freaks out there
We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Programming


Ideoblog
Does SOX explain the flight from NY?
More Litvak on SOX effect on cross-listed firms
What did the market learn from internal controls reporting?


The Yin Blog
Iowa City = Riyadh
Jeffrey Rosen's "The Supreme Court"
Geek alert -- who would win between Battlestar Galactica and the U.S.S. Enterprise?


Letters of Marque
Graduation
And there we are
Oil!


BuffaloWings&Vodka
Signing Off


Dark Bilious Vapors
Jim (The Waco Kid): Where you headed, cowboy?
Bart: Nowhere special.
Jim: Nowhere special. I always wanted to go there.
Bart: Come on.
--"Blazing Saddles"

Technical Difficulties... please stand by....
The Onion should have gotten a patent first....


Legal Ethics Forum
Interesting new Expert DQ case
Decency, Due Care, and The Yoo-Delahunty Memorandum
Thinking About the Fired U.S. Attorneys


Ex Post
Student Symposium- Chicago!
More Hmong - Now at Law School
Good Samaritan Laws: Good For America?


Appellate Law & Practice
Those turned over documents
CA1: courts can’t help people acquitted of crimes purge the taint of acquitted conduct
CA1: restrictions on chain liquor stores in Rhode Island are STILL okay


the imbroglio
High schoolers turn in plagiarism screeners for copyright infringement
talisman
Paris to offer 20,600 bikes at 1,450 stations to rent by the end of the year


The Republic of T.
The Secret of the Snack Attack
links for 2007-04-04
Where You Link is What You Get

Distractions for stressed law students

The Other Side: Twisted AnimationsSomething Positive, a truly good webcomic

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