run26.2 wrote:While some of the bar does end up being about memorization, it is not exactly in the way you say. WRT the essays, at least in CA (but I know in other states as well), you can make the law up and analyze that and still get a passing grade.
Nevertheless, I think memorization IS important in being a lawyer. The lawyers that can recite the law without looking it up tend to be the ones that are consulted frequently. And BTW - you use Con Law (Iqbal/Twombly) more that you might expect, at least in litigation. Evidence is one you use pretty frequently in litigation. Contracts as well. So it is not like the material tested on the bar has no bearing on your future practice.
I am not arguing the bar is perfect, but it tests skills that are more similar to what you would do as a lawyer (apply legal reasoning to facts to make arguments in a written work product within a limited time) than the LSAT.
Maybe because I'm sitting here doing real property multiple choice questions my hatred of the bar is clouding my judgment. And it sounds like you might be a practitioner, so maybe your views trump mine. But from what experience with the bar and with practice I do have, I disagree with basically every point you've made.
First, I'm not saying memorization isn't important to the practice of law, just that it is substantially less important than analytic intelligence. The proposition that lawyers who can recite the law from memory get consulted more frequently is obviously unverifiable but sounds wildly implausible. In any event, good lawyers become familiar with an area of law because they spend time working with it at a high level. They are then able to explain the law from memory. This is not the same as rote memorization of fifteen areas of the law at a highly simplistic level.
Second, of course con law and other bar-tested subject areas come up in practice. Note, however, that Twombly/Iqbal are civil procedure cases decided under Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and in any event are not part of the multistate con law curriculum. The majority of the multistate con law curriculum concerns high level matters of the functioning of the federal government that most lawyers will never encounter in practice--the President's pardon power, the Supreme Court's original jurisdiction, etc.
But the most important point is that even to the extent the multistate subject areas are nominally relevant, you are not actually learning those subject areas. You are rote memorizing massive amounts of highly simplified blackletter rules. This is just not the work of lawyers in my experience.