小北的不老歌

Law School

新年新开始

二月份连度假带过年休息了大半个月,去年直到今年年初的疯狂工作仍然心有余悸,好不容易算是生理和心理上缓过来了。半个月以后要搬去香港,算是新的一年的新的开始,原本每天在东三环一站地铁距离上的早出晚归经过五年已然固定成型,现在又要打破了。

公历新年前收到母校的来信,说希望当年的奖学金获得者总结一下当年在校的情况和现状,以供后来者择校时参考。在农历新年前某天熬夜到凌晨准备收工的时候想起这件事还没有做,于是转入怀旧模式回了信。想来当年择校的时候也是正好十年前了,十年以后,在深夜里怀疑自己当年的选择的时候,重温一下当年的想法和心情,还是很有助于坚定信心继续走下去,或者说是再次提醒自己,路是自己选的。

回信的内容在这里:http://www.law.umich.edu/prospectivestudents/darrows/Pages/yangwang.aspx 

广而告之

如果有国内法学院大三的学生今年夏天愿意在一家外所的北京办公室实习,而且成绩拔尖英语过硬,愿意和一群优秀的同事经常熬夜,请速发电邮至littlenorth[*]gmail, 并附中英文简历(各限一页A4纸)及中文成绩单。本小广告有效期一周。

Names in the news

Barely a year out of law school I’ve seen some of my former classmates making news already. There were the two supreme court clerks, both of whom I know personally and thought I’d be surprised if they didn’t get the clerkships. Then there’s this headline from ATL today, which did surprise me. A good person caught in a bad situation that she did not create. Could have happened to anyone.

The Bar Exam (II)

For what it’s worth, my statistics on the simulated MBE and the real MBE is as follows:

Bar/Bri Simulated: 149.

PMBR Simulated: 120.

Real MBE scaled: 179.5.

Take-away point: the simulated tests are probably way too hard, so don’t panic like I did when I finished the PMBR simulated test.

心愿(II)

前些时候提到的另一个心愿,今天终于实现了。下面的留言,是给以后找到这里来的同学看的。

 

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南大的同学你好。你找到这个网站,大概是希望找到一些有关“南京大学阿尔蒙—王氏奖学金”和“南京大学阿尔蒙—王氏助学金”的信息。我是这两个项目的设立人,在这里向你简单介绍一下情况。

 

关于奖/助学金:

  本奖/助学金始设于零八年十一月份。奖学金每年三名,用于奖励南京大学数学系,经济系和计算机系的本科生各一名。希望你本专业学习成绩优秀,并尽可能多选修如文学、历史、哲学、艺术等非本专业课程。助学金每年四名,用于帮助家庭经济困难的本科生完成学业,专业不限,但希望你能够在学习之余积极参与学校的勤工俭学计划。

  奖/助学金具体实施办法请向你校学工处老师咨询。

 

关于设立者:

  我在南京长大,后来在美国学习和工作,现在是某公司里一名普通职员。当年来美国念书时受了阿尔蒙教授的个人慷慨资助,得以完成本科学业,同时也在学习生活等各方面得到他常年的帮助和指导。师恩常念,无以为报,于是设立这项奖学金和助学金,希望能以同样的方式去帮助别人,同时也希望你工作以后也能够拿出一部分收入来,用以奖励成绩优秀的学生或帮助家庭困难的学生完成学业,或者以其他方式去帮助别人,把始于阿尔蒙教授的这份善意继续传递下去。

小南轶事

早上象打仗一样,把小南安在餐桌前吃早饭,然后进卧室找衣服,期间萍儿打开吹风机吹干头发。一会儿出来检查小南吃饭情况,她仰着脸问,爸爸,你刚才是在给妈妈吸尘吗?

所里好像活还是有的,也好像没有人说天要塌下来。欢迎新同学的活动还是有声有色歌舞升平,只不过有细心的人发现,依然敞开供应的矿泉水,已经从去年的某意大利进口牌子换成了美国土产牌子了。

广而告之

诚心寻求资助对象,请各位朋友广而告之多多转发:

希望你是:中国大陆地区本专科院校在读学生,家庭经济困难,符合本校贫困生标准。籍贯户口不限,就读基础科学,外语,法律和师范专业者优先。

我会提供:如果你是国家免费师范生或享有贫困生免学费待遇,我会给你提供全部生活费用。如果你没有全免学费待遇,我会帮你缴纳所有学杂费,并视家庭经济情况和学校专业而提供适当的生活费用。每次资助一学年,期满可续,直到你毕业为止。全部资助无需偿还,但希望你能够作出书面承诺,工作以后在力所能及的范围内无偿给予其他人帮助。

关于我:现在美国一家律师事务所工作。自己当年念书的时候受人资助,无以回报,一直有资助他人念书的心愿。不是特别信得过各种募捐机构,也希望和受助者有一对一的交流,所以在这里独立寻找符合条件的受助者。

联系方法:请将你的个人简历,家庭经济情况简介,及联系方法发邮件至littlenorth*gmail。我会进一步和你联系,索取额外材料,并在逐一核实情况后择优资助。我保证对你发来的个人信息严加保密,除必要的核查外绝不传给他人,但也希望你以诚信为本,切勿作假或夸大事实。

谢谢关注。

Bar Exam Postmortem

Now that the bar exam is over, I am officially done with the hazing ritual that began three years ago. And I am bored again (and watching yet another Law & Order episode from probably 5 years ago that, unsurprisingly, follows the gruesome-discovery-to-arrest-to-trial routine, just like every other episode). I know I said I’d stop writing for this blog, but I am bored. And I figured I could at least write down a few thoughts about the bar exam to complete my rite of passage, from pre-law days to post bar exam. Hopefully what I have to write down next will one day prove helpful to future foreign students taking the NY bar, like that prior recorded recollection exception to the hearsay rule–or is the “memory refreshed” exception more applicable? I don’t know, and don’t care any more.

1. NY Essays. I had been dreading the NY essays for the longest time. I didn’t take family law or trust & estates in law school, and NY practice is a whole lot different from FRCP. I did take secured transactions and negotiable instruments, so that helped a lot. But it turns out that although BarBri doesn’t teach you everything that’s going to be on the bar exam (my secured transactions notes from law school span 200 pages; only ~10% of the topics were covered in BarBri), it actually does teach you everything you need to know. It’s just a matter of memorizing a sufficient percentage of the lectures so that you can at least get a substantial percentage of the questions right. The issues are fairly straight forward once you spot them and know the law. Heck, even if you don’t know the law you can make some up, and you will probably get some points too for that too if you are sufficiently close. I skimmed probably 30-40 practice essay questions in the barbri material in the weeks before the exam, and thought the actual questions on the exam were quite similar. The real thing was somewhat easier, although not by a whole lot.

As a side note, I freaking hate having to write those essays in IRAC format. Reminds me of my elementary school diary entries that invariably started with “This morning the sun came out” or something to that effect, followed by “I played with my friends,” and concluded with “It was a very eventful day.” Disgusting, but people do certain things at certain stages of their life, and sometimes you have to do what you have to do, so…

2. NY Multiple Choice. Who cares. I did all the practice questions, scored pretty badly, and wasn’t too concerned. The actual exam questions were very similar to the practice questions too. They test you on a discrete legal issue or a NY special rule that you either know or you don’t. I had quite a few “WTF is that” moments during the real thing, but couldn’t care less.

3. MBE. This is where I find BarBri and PMBR to be a big disappointment. The real MBE is so different! The fact patterns on the real MBE test are actually MUCH shorter than BarBri’s and PMBR’s, and vastly better worded. When I was doing the practice tests I found it hugely frustrating that the BarBri and PMBR (especially PMBR) fact patterns were 1) long 2) often irrelevant, 3) poorly worded, and 4) call for the type of judgment call that is typically left to the jury (e.g., whether D’s action was reasonable, whether P’s injury was foreseeable). On the real exam, the questions are 1) short (most have just one short paragraph, the longest ones tend to be conveyance and mortgage questions, and they take up no more space than necessary) 2) most of the facts are relevant to the ultimate issue (or the decoys) in some way, 3) very well drafted and easy to spot what’s being tested, and 4) except for well-settled precedents (e.g., danger invites rescue, so negligence during rescue is foreseeable), no personal judgment calls are required.

The real MBE, at least to me, seemed also a whole lot easier than the BarBri and PMBR simulated exams. I got close to a 150 on the BarBri one and about a 130 on the PMBR one–probably in the 90th percentile or something–and still felt they were very difficult. I even nearly panicked during the couple of days before hte bar exam and was bracing for a brutal MBE day if the real thing would turn out to be PMBR-like. It turns out to be just the opposite. It’s probably the easiest part of the bar exam, and easier than the so-called BarBri intermediate practice questions.

But this doesn’t mean the practice questions aren’t helpful. They are very helpful in the sense that they do in fact test the very same legal issues that will be tested on the real bar. If I have to do this all over again (let’s hope not), I’d probably still do a lot of those practice questions, but will learn to ignore the annoyance of those elong-and-winding fact patterns, while keeping in mind that the real test will be vastly better drafted and more cleverly crafted.

4. MPT. Everyone seems to agree that it’s easy. It just takes a lot of time to write that thing. Ugh.

So that’s it for now. In other news, I managed to squeeze in three side trips–one to Washington (state), one to Montana/Wyoming, and one to Colorado in the two months between law school graduation and the bar exam. I’ve moved to New Jersey. Ping has started working. And I am now officially a full-time stay-at-home dad, for six weeks.

And I was told today that I officially graduated with a m.c.l. So, like my elementary school diary entries always concluded, it’s been a very eventful day.