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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 16, 2003 10:54 PM. The previous post in this blog was The old block. The next post in this blog is On his desk. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, June 16, 2003

Hosted bar

It's that time again. All over the country, people who want a license to practice law (mostly newly minted law school graduates) are cramming for the bar exam. The exam tests applicants on a broad variety of legal topics over the course of a two-day ordeal (or longer, depending on the state) at the end of July. The preparation process typically involves a privately run exam preparation course known as the "bar review," which meets five or six days a week for about two months.

Here in Oregon, the test sometimes includes questions about federal income tax law. That's where I come in. Each summer, I give lectures on that subject in Portland, Eugene, and Salem to prospective bar examinees. I pick up some good dough for the college fund.

The format for my labors is straight, stand-up lecture. No questions, just the professor up there rattling it off. I get four hours to try to tell a condensed version of the stories that I spend 56 hours on during a regular semester.

It's tough on the audience, and tough on the lecturer. Plus, for me, unlike them, the speech can be bracketed by hours of driving back and forth from Portland to Eugene or Salem.

Even after a half-dozen years at this, I'm still worn out after each lecture -- particularly Eugene, which is two hours away on I-5. I schlepped down there last evening and got back this afternoon. To make matters worse, somehow I managed to run over my allotted time by 15 minutes, so my "rap" was actually 4 hours and 15 minutes long. The audience was polite, but they really dislike it when you run over. I'm sure I'll be reading about that on the evaluations.

I blame it in part on Bush and his congressional cronies. They just changed the rules (again!) 2 weeks ago, and the written materials that the students have are all out of date. The only one left to steer them straight on the new stuff is me. That's a good 5-10 minutes extra right there.

Besides, there are some topics that I just have to cover. If I left them out and they wound up being on the test, I'd never forgive myself.

At least they got their money's worth.

Anyhow, Eugene's done, with Salem and Portland still to go. Time to open the windows, let in the delicious, cool, Portland summer night breeze, and count some sheep.




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