The Annual Registration Angst, or, Do I Really Need to Take Income Tax?

I struggled a lot this year over my registration choices, not least because this is my last round of it. As a rising 3L, there are all sorts of concerns that I have to deal with when choosing my classes. Do I take bar classes? Do I take criminal law classes? Do I go light on myself because I’ll be a 3L, or do I cram in the last bit of high intensity academics that I will probably ever have in my life?

I spent hours staring at the little ‘planning packet’ that Academic Services handed out a few weeks ago – the list of classes that covered all the WA State Bar Exam topics, the list of “recommended” classes, the list of classes that will fulfill our advanced writing requirement, and so on and so forth, ad nauseum. Actually literally… I felt kinda nauseous after reading it. I realized that, no matter what I did, I wouldn’t be able to cram all of the bar classes into one year, even with three quarters to do it. So I had to prioritize – I realized that if I were to leave the corporate stuff until bar review, I know I would be totally screwed, because I need all the time I can get to learn that stuff.

After being reassured by a recent bar-passer in my office that you can learn most of the stuff in BarBri anyway, I decided to prioritize the bar classes based on what I’m worst at. I figured that those would be the subjects I would need to have already studied in law school in order to be able to re-learn in BarBri, so those were a must. But, I also realized I wouldn’t survive next year if I didn’t take one class per quarter that I am actually interested in. It looks like an LSAT problem doesn’t it? This is one area where I think the quarter system my school uses has the advantage over the traditional semester system – I get three chances to take classes, rather than two. The pressure is less in that sense, at least.

It’s all complicated by the fact that I am in a clinic next year – I’ll be participating in the Children and Youth Advocacy Clinic, which is super exciting, but takes up 6 of 16 credits first and second quarter. Thankfully my advanced writing requirement is satisfied by the corresponding class, Juvenile Justice Seminar, so I have that taken care of at least.

So for bar classes I ended up with the following list:

  • payment systems (AKA commercial paper)
  • business organizations
  • secured transactions
  • real estate transactions
  • administrative law
  • constitutional law II

For sanity-saving classes, I have these:

  • international law
  • privacy law

While that may not look like much in the way of fun, I count the Juvenile Justice class and my clinic in there with sanity classes, which round it out pretty well. What’s left, that I will have to learn in bar review class, is Transmission of Wealth, Community Property, WA Constitutional Law, and Civ Pro II, I think. That’s not so bad, and I really have faith that those are topics I can entrust to BarBri.