Yesterday I had my first Boalt final (Securities Regulation), and my only in-class essay exam of the semester. The professor agreed to make it a two and a half hour exam instead of the usual three hours, and swore up and down that we'd be able to finish it in time. Well, I didn't, and neither the three people I informally surveyed afterwards. In addition I was thoroughly flabbergasted by the lack of an "Is it a security at all?" analysis (I had Howey, Foreman, Reves, and even Landreth steaming in my holster), as well as the fact that both fact patterns were based heavily on private litigation rather than straightforward Section 5 analysis. And the policy question came screaming out of left field like a gremlin driving a Gremlin. I was not pleased. Especially considering that Securities Regulation ended up being my favorite class this semester and I thought I had the shit down pretty well.
I'm told not to fret about my performance because of Boalt's pass/fail policy. Boalt's pass/fail policy is a filthy, wretched lie. It's not a pass/fail policy. It's a pass with high honors/pass with honors/pass/fail policy. We have grades here at Boalt, they're just set up differently. How can you have Order of the Coif if you don't have grades? Liars! All of you liars!
Two of my remaining three exams are 24-hour take-home essays. This also fails to please me. One professor even said that his exam was exactly the same kind of thing he'd give for a three-hour. Then why give us 24 hours? Sure, timed essay writing is a useless skill, but it's one that I happen to possess, and I'd like to enjoy some level of success before I enter the legal profession and transform from a pretty good law student into a crappy lawyer. Come on. Really. The people who need 24 hours to demonstrate their talents can make up for their low grades with their charming personalities during job interviews. Me, I got nothing except what the paper says.
The fourth exam is in-class multiple choice. And while the likes of Steve may relish the thought of such things, I see this as yet another way of hiding my useless, useless talent for hastily written complex legal analysis.
And so, Matt is not pleased with his final exams this semester, and will likely be less pleased when grades (yes, I said it, GRADES) arrive in January. But fortunately he'll be able to blame his multiple P's on his wedding planning duties, because nobody knows that Molly has done almost everything in that department.