Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Bar Exam Question

As time draws ever nearer to taking the bar exam, important questions regarding it keep popping to mind. Like the following for example.

Now not that I'll be in this position, but when is the appropriate time to end a relationship when one of the parties to the relationship is preparing to take the bar exam?

One proposal is to not breakup with the person taking the bar until after the exam once that person has started studying for the bar. But that could lock a person into the relationship for quite awhile. In fact, one of the more popular bar prep courses at SWLAW started prepping students for the July bar a couple of weekends ago. That would mean ten months of being locked into a relationship someone doesn't want!

There has to be a better rule than that.

So again, I ask, what is the proper etiquette to breaking up with someone who is preparing to take the bar exam? Like how close to the exam are you allowed to breakp? Nothing closer than a month to the exam? Two months? Three? Depends on how long and serious the relationship is? For the legally inclined (i.e. law nerds) out there, is there a bright line rule or instead are there factors that must be weighed against one another?

This is important stuff people so drop whatever you're doing now and answer it.


paul said...

I think you should apply a variation of Learned Hand's formula:

Breakup is acceptable when B < PL

B = Bomb, as in the breakup's negative effect on the law student's chances of passing the bar - heavy drinking, negative attitude, lack of interest in things student used to enjoy -- can often be confused with the symptoms of attending law school.

P = Patent, as in obvious that a breakup is imminent - related to foreseeablity - the more foreseeable the breakup, the smaller the impact - this is an objective standard - if the law student is just clueless (eggshell plaintiff), then that's just too bad for the student (and a clueless law student is more likely to fail the bar anyway, so negative impact is reduced)

L = Lethargy, as in the law student doesn't give a rip - the greater the lethargy, the smaller the impact. Inversely related to unconscionability. If law student is highly lethargic with the relationship, it would almost be unconscionable to let the relationship continue.

Wayne said...

Somebody's been hitting the books a bit hard. Seriously, a variation of Learned Hand's formula? I like it though, but I hope the brilliance of this answer doesn't dissuade others' attempts at an answer.

Jessica Yaz said...

i searched my own name on the internet today, and found that you liked it. Just wanted to say hi, and thanks. :)
Jessica Yaz

Blonde Justice said...

I'm not sure, but maybe it'd be good to be dumped while studying for the bar? No distractions, throw yourself into it.

Well, except of course if you need to do a bunch of drunken nights out and strip clubs and whatnot, that might mess up the study schedule.

Wayne said...

If? Who questions the necessity of drunken nights out, strip clubs, and whatnot - and by whatnot I'm assuming you mean hookers and blow and if I'm wrong please excuse me - to get over a breakup? And really, what harm can they be if they're already in the study schedule?

But this notion of ending a relationship so you can focus on studying for the bar is intriguing.

Anonymous said...

I would agree with BJ. It's likely the person NOT taking the bar is gonna do the dumping, b/c a person taking the bar ain't gonna wanna rock the boat of a relationship that's lasted through law school. Why do I say that?
1) The bar-taker is more or less out of the picture studying and really isn't placing much demand on the non-taker in terms of "spend time with me." (if the bar-taker is seeking to fill time with a SO then it's likely that bar-taker is gonna be busy again in a few months prepping for another bar exam.)
2) An SO who has weathered the turmoil of a long relationship with a law student can see the light at the end of the tunnel and can probably stick it out for the next couple months. A recent SO is not going to be prepared and will want out.

I think a good time is once the bar-taker has created a study schedule. At that time the bar-taker may be pissed but has something to occupy his time. The longer the SO waits to do the deed the more time the bar-taker will have lost trying to maintain the doomed relationship. Time that could have been spent studying. Early is better than later.
--Boargart who's SO better NOT dump him when/if he takes the bar.

Blonde Justice said...

I think the bar taker might be more likely to initiate the break-up.

As in, "First of all, I'm busy studying, and I can't handle your crap anymore. Second of all, this studying crap is going to keep me busy enough that I probably won't notice you're gone, so I might as well do it now. And, third, and most importantly, I'm going to be making some serious money a few weeks from now and either (a) I won't need to mooch of you anymore or (b) I don't want you to mooch of me once I get the money, so we might as well end this now."

I've seen that happen. One guy in my law school got engaged to his already-working girlfriend and mooched off her all 3 years of law school. Finally, he was studying for the bar, a few weeks away from a 6 figures job, and just decided, "Eh, don't need her anymore."

And maybe it was good timing for her too. Not like she was planning on seeing much of him that summer anyway.