Let’s skip the pleasant notions here. I’ve said before that the man who got me through the bar both times was Jonathan Grossman and the woman who gave me a great plan was Kaci Line. And there is a reason for that. My bar essay class. A mandatory bar prep course we had my very last semester, was taught by one of the subjects of this piece, and frankly was horrid. His reposting of Daughters of the Confederacy videos aside, his incorrect information, unfocused technique, and frankly annoying teaching method are what I’m addressing here as his part in this. Barry and their part…well you’ve already read how I feel about my law school’s administration and faculty before. No one should be surprised.
The War on Men
I’m going to call this now. Because I both expect this to get to the MRAs of the world, and because I expect chaos to follow. This will branch out beyond the community involved into a Feminist v. MRA/MGTOW discussion of equality. How for the MRA this represents women getting a taste of their own medicine, and for the Feminist this is proof of entitlement. Just remember I called this now. Me. THE Ruthless Wonder. Now let’s get to it.
The Fault in our Bars
If you didn’t take the time to read the article above I’ll sum it up. David Mourey is the former person in charge of helping students pass the bar at Barry Law where I attended from 2010 to 2013. He was not the only one in charge. But at the end of his time it was on his shoulders. You may have noticed I don’t have a positive opinion of him. That’s for good reason. As a student who was not planning to take the Florida bar I felt he was uninterested in properly preparing myself, and the other students in the same boat for our versions of the exam. What do I mean? I had him for the out of state bar essay class. Having us look up the exact essay structure for our state is a smart idea. What isn’t a smart idea is then having us all do the exact same essays no matter what our structure was. I took a UBE exam, so I had 6, 30 minute essays. I was given hour long essay exams every class. Florida did not use the MPT format essays that are the second part of my exam’s essay format. Guess what we never even talked about much less did.
Now that’s on him. The class though. That’s on Barry. You readers who are also attorneys know full well most schools don’t have required bar prep. Barry had bar prep that wasn’t required, then became pass fail but essay was optional for out of state folks, and then mandatory but pass fail for my class, then graded. That’s right, grades for bar prep. Be angry. At the same time, as I said, they’ve gotten rid of the people who helped get the passage rate high. Kaci Line, gone. Jonathan Grossman, gone. But they expected the same to happen, that these people were replaceable. That as long as they kept pushing bar prep it would net higher scores. You can already see the problem right? It is the combination of amazing teaching skill, and the personal student investment that made things work. By making more and more of the admittedly cutting edge approach to bar prep a mandatory slog for the students it made the potential effectiveness drop like a rock. But it wasn’t all their fault.
Enemy of my enemy
The current situation then sounds like a great thing for me right? The monsters are fighting each other, I’m far from the fallout, and this shouldn’t effect anything I’m doing. You’re wrong, but I’m glad you’re still so hopeful after reading WDDIJ this long. The problem for me and thousands of other graduates of Barry Law is this is happening all the time. From law professors who send out emails to every single student faculty and alumni calling the people who failed the bar idiots. To students including the son of the Dean of the law school calling Karen Civil all manner of racial slurs. To the Barry Law CFO Arrested for Embezzlement. All the usual low tier law school jokes. All the professors who’ve escaped to better jobs. The location jokes. I could go on and on about this. You get the point though right? These things playing out in the general public and over on places like Above the law make it worse on grads like myself. And that’s before we get to Barry grads themselves being unprofessional on social media when speaking to alums and others. Usually I’d be fine with this because “either something at Barry would have the potential to change, or at least someone might get something they deserve,” would be my mindset. Not so here.
For myself, and many grads like me there is no winner. Either the school survives this, and uses it as a catalyst to keep the same people in power who’ve made regression the name of the game. Or David Mourey gets rewarded by the courts for what should be laughed at. Listen, I’m all for men having the ability to say there was gender discrimination in the workplace when there are no men in power positions and their termination and treatment has a clear basis in their being male. I’m all for looking at the systemic issues of a 70% female and majority culture administration and what potentially that means to men and women of color. I’ll even let you slide on the idea that there are more factors than the bar prep style and structure at Barry that caused these last few classes to have such low rates. But what I won’t do, what I refuse to do, is give a pass to man who’s job at Barry law was bar prep, and straight up and down wasn’t good at it. Harsh words? Maybe, but honest commentary on the subject. There isn’t a concerned Barry alumni group because everything is fine. It exists because of what has gone on. And continues to go on.
I wish I had a magic pill for this. If I thought anything other than complete change in administrative culture and approach to what should be the most lauded and publicized program at the school was needed I’d say it. If I thought somehow I could personally help solve the problem I would offer that in a second. The reality is I care so much about my school and the place it holds in the public eye that I am disgusted by all this. The reality is both sides are behaving like children. One trying to blame “Dem Uppity Womenfolk.” The other ignoring reality for their own pointlessly stubborn and clearly ineffective approach. There are no winners here. Perhaps if the school really committed to righting the ship. Hired back the folks that made it work. Really addressed issues like the out of state exam takers. Removed attendance requirements. Rolled part of the bar prep companies folks are using into the program. Let people who aren’t planning to take the bar immediately, opt out of the classes. And yes, hire staff to handle things like reading the essays so they are graded by people who have graded the bar exam somewhere. Instead of students or current faculty. Maybe with that there would be a change to things. The school would look better. At least on this front. Those other things take more work. I could probably put together a whole plan for that. But you know…Words Don’t Do it Justice!
– THE Ruthless Wonder
Class of 2013