November 19, 2008

"It's a weird test. I think when you go to a different school than Yale you are better prepared for it."

Elizabeth Wurtzel, awkwardly confronted about failing the New York Bar exam, has the wit to say something quotable and suitably hostile. Actually, the first thing she said was: "Wow, really? I had no idea. I didn't even see that. That's interesting," which means fuck you.

Then she came up with the quote I put in the title, which means your law school sucks.

After that, she said, "It was definitely hard. I guess when I should have been studying, I was kind of having a good time," which means my life is so much more interesting than yours, you tiny little insect.

All of which was totally justified. Then the insectoid interviewer probed her about whether she was getting any literary writing done anymore and how she felt about not looking like the way she looked in that old photograph that was taken of her 2 decades ago. In answer to the latter question, Wurtzel said: "I'm actually thinking of writing about it, though I don't want to write yet another miserable book that lots of people can relate to." Which also means fuck you.

62 comments:

Original George said...

"I'm actually thinking of writing about it, though I don't want to write yet another miserable book that lots of people can relate to. But it's a worthwhile subject."

Translation: I have no idea what to write a book about. I got lucky once, but no one's going to be fooled again by my bullshit, especially since the book biz is tanking. I myself am miserable because agents tell me my proposals are awful. At least I still have some of my looks left and can get interviews with pretentious bozo rags. Maybe some sucker will see this article and offer me work."

blogging cockroach said...

...my life is so much more interesting than yours, you tiny little insect.
...Then the insectoid interviewer probed her....


i beg your pardon

Ron said...

Althouse, you could have a radio show or a YouTube channel where you translate the news for us. Fireside Deconstruction as it were.

Proper setting, wine, good lighting...it'd be a hit!

tim maguire said...

Ya know, Elizabeth Wurtzel sounds much more interesting through your words than through hers. For instance, when I read "I think when you go to a different school than Yale you are better prepared for it," I hear "I went to Yale, I don't have to do anything else, you loser."

I bet she mentions she went to Yale at every opportunity.

mccullough said...

Funny how the headline from the story says "lawyer." A lawyer is someone admitted to practice law in a state, which she's not.

She's a law school graduate.

LarsPorsena said...

"Funny how the headline from the story says "lawyer." A lawyer is someone admitted to practice law in a state, which she's not.

She's a law school graduate."

Like Michelle Obama?

David said...

Yet another intellectually lazy self-absorbed twit. Fuck you too, Lady.

J said...

"Then she came up with the quote I put in the title, which means your law school sucks"

To which the response is, "Yours certainly doesn't; 91.2% of Yale grads who take the NY bar exam actually pass"

http://www.ilrg.com/rankings/law/index.php/1/desc/Bar

BTW, U of W is tops on that list. Good job Ann!

mccullough said...

Lars,

Michelle Obama passed the bar, eventually. She let her law license lapse, but she had a license at one time.

Wurlitzer has nothing yet.

ricpic said...

For a depressive she's a very energetic self-promoter.

dmfoiemjsof said...

J said: "BTW, U of W is tops on that list. Good job Ann!"

Or, it could be the Wisconsin bar privilege.

jdeeripper said...

David said...Yet another intellectually lazy self-absorbed twit. Fuck you too, Lady.

No she isn't. Ann's not lazy at all.

You know some people have passed the Bar exam without going to law school. I think if you have at least a PhD in anything you can take the test. Something like that. I know the late great David Brudnoy did that.

Woman Speak Translation

Bissage said...

Looking at crouching Wurtzel the thick eye-liner photo well-touched of decades old makes Bissage to wish having shared the drug-excited sexing of bodies uncommitted.

Alex said...

This is another example of how we dehumanize each other on a daily basis. I preferred the fantasy of "Spongebob Squarepants" where everyone got along.

Christy said...

Just out of curiosity, how does the NY Bar exam rank in terms of how hard it is to pass? Not in terms of % who pass, but by word of mouth from those who've taken more than one state's exam.

Lem said...

which means my life is so much more interesting than yours, you tiny little insect.

Whoever is going to interview astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper when she comes back to earth better be on his best behavior ;)

The briefcase-sized tool bag drifted away from astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper on Tuesday as she cleaned and lubed a gummed-up joint on a wing of solar panels on the space station...

The tool bag was one of the largest items ever lost by a spacewalker.


BTW, JFK jr failed the bar twice.

holdfast said...

I had no idea who this little bunt was until I read this - then I went to her bio:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Wurtzel

So I guess her claim to fame is saying something stupid about 9/11? Wow how very special - I suspect that all the prozac just burned out her emotional centres.

As to law schools - I didn't go to Yale, my wife and I went to a Canadian school (essentially a state school), and yet we both were able to pass the NY Bar Exam on the first try, despite the fact that we were working full time until the last month before the exam and went to law school in another country.

Skyler said...

Yale no longer deserves a good reputation as a school of law. It's just a repository for smart people to hang out. No grades, no attendance necessary. It's not really a school.

So, there's no wonder she didn't pass the bar. That any pass from Yale is essentially a testament to the effectiveness of BarBRI.

SteveR said...

BTW, JFK jr failed the bar twice.

Should have learned how to pass exams from Uncle Teddy.

Matt Eckert said...

"BTW, JFK jr failed the bar twice."

How many times did he fail the test for his pilot's license?

former law student said...

I read her comments as cover for embarrassment. I'm prepared to believe that one doesn't have to know bar-passing skills to do adequately at Yale. I suspect IRAC is not necessary to pass a Yale Law School exam. Nor are they likely to test using multiple choice questions. Hubris enables one to blow off BarBri review, thinking that the brain that took you that far should suffice, or that only a couple of weeks of work are sufficient, as many people claim. When you have only your own slackness to blame, you tend to minimize your responsibility for your failure.

former law student said...

And the "interesting" part was that Gawker would have chronicled her failure, not her failure in itself.

Ann Althouse said...

"I read her comments as cover for embarrassment."

I agree, but observe that her instant response to embarrassment is hostility (justified hostility). That's not a bad thing. If you can get straight to anger when someone is trying to humiliate you, you may do better in this world.

John said...

Christy,

Anecdotally, most people say Cali is the hardest, then New York.

As to Wurtzel, some people just aren't good at tests. I passed the NY bar despite spending the summer teaching in Spain. But I always did well on LSAT and all that crap. I am having an awful time finishing a dissertation, and Wurtzel seems to be able to bang out books a lot more easily than me.

What's interesting is that even after going to Yale and writing popular books, she still feels she has to jsutify herself. We humans are kind of pathetic.

AJ Lynch said...

"Please don't tell me I should be blogging about some other subject."

That is how Althouse says FU. Heh.

Chip Ahoy said...

Odd. I read that line about Yale and understood her to have said that nearly any other law school might have actually prepared her to, you know, pass the bar. And that her first book, although successful, was miserable, an experience she chooses not to repeat -- to be literarily miserable. Forchrist'ssake, her boyfriend, OK Fine!, the guy she was screwing, committed suicide, and she has matured. This article actually made me ever so slightly interested in her for the first time. Plus, I like her more mature self.

Big Mike said...

I think tim mcquire is directly on point. I hate it when I have to hire an Ivy League or MIT graduate for some opening, and avoid it whenever I can. A graduate from a state school or some second-tier college understands that they have to prove themselves when they come on board. Too many Ivy Leaguers think that having proved themselves to their college's admissions committee should be enough for everybody the rest of their lives.

David said...

Ripper:

I think you were kidding me, but to be clear, I was trying to say that Wurtzel is an intellectually lazy twit, not Ann.

On reading that over 91% of Yale grads pass the bar (or just the NY bar?) I think Wurtzel just lazy overall.

Or perhaps she had "other priorities."

Passing the bar exam is not all that hard, if you study.

David said...

Ann says:

"I agree, but observe that her instant response to embarrassment is hostility (justified hostility)."

Correct, but what if your response to just about everything is hostility?

And if you react to all embarrassments with hostility, do you ever learn from the mistakes that lead to the embarrassment?

Trooper York said...

"I think you were kidding me, but to be clear, I was trying to say that Wurtzel is an intellectually lazy twat, not Ann."

Fixed.

You welcome.

Triangle Man said...

I was thinking, "she's an inherently hostile miserable person, what's to admire?" Then I thought, since the Shaolin monks cultivated imitations of physical hostility they observed in nature, why not this?

Now, can someone help me size a turkey for Thanksgiving? What is the rule of thumb? A pound and a half per person? Two?

Eli Blake said...

triangle man:

Unless you are going to have a really big bunch at Thanksgiving, you will have left over turkey.

So I tend to consider for how long I want to eat turkey casserole, turkey soup and reheated turkey for dinner after thanksgiving.

Also, turkey is loaded with allopurinals so if you have any problems with uric acid you may want to start taking your gout medicine a few days ahead of time.

Eli Blake said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Richard Fagin said...

Give Ms. Wurtzel an "A" for an exceptionally well phrased "fuck you." I probably would have asked the insectoid in which state did he take the bar exam.

I agree with Big Mike's comments when the candidate in question is a "humanities" (MIT-speak for everything but hard science and engineering) grad. My experience has been that engineers and hard science people are a bit better grounded.

Cedarford said...

I thought it was a classy response by Wurtzel on getting ambushed by a dickhead questioner on a matter outside her being there to do a reading..."Yes you are a dickhead, my isn't this interesting..."

The media has learned to use the "Bar Exam Failure" as a way to embarass a celebrity and political oppo to discredit an opponent.

The NYPost, on JFK Jr's first Bar Exam failure, ran it as their front page, banner headline:

THE HUNK FLUNKS!!

With a photo of the Kennedy Princeling caught with his mouth open at some past trendy party he attended...

Then for years after he was dogged with the image that he was a half-witted pretty boy. Something I rather liked after his decades of expecting glitterati to kiss his ass and that no Manhattan dinner or party would be "top level" without him being there.
When he finally died, and questions came up on his judgment in flying without clear weather and not being instrument-rated..of course the expected comment came up...

"Well, you know, the poor kid failed his Bar Exam twice, maybe it was 3 times..I understand he worked for years as a "legal assistant" doing papers for smarter people.

And it sucks when you fail and you aren't even a celebrity, but become one later..and have people happy not only to cut you down but to show the Ivys or Stanford or UC Berkeley Boalt Law graduate undeserving people that can't hack it like a UCSD law grad or a Holy Cross one can..
Witness Hillary and Michelle Obama.

"We can't seriously think of Hillary on SCOTUS! She isn't as smart as people think. You know, she failed her DC Bar Exam..had to take the multiple choice Arkansas one instead after learning about legal precedent about watermelon patch disputes among sharecroppers..You know, the Arkansas exam where you could sign at the end or make your own "X-Mark" "

"Michelle Obama was affirmative action all the way. She isn't that bright, you know. Harvard grad at a prestigious law firm, couldn't pass her Bar Exam until her 3rd try with white people from Sidley assigned to tutor her. Then she found the work well above her head and had to quit law, dropping her Bar license after 2 years. Instead becoming a "diversity" Queen safe in Chicago City Hall, then carried along by Barack's U of CHicago mentors and sponsors, particularly the billionaire Crowns and Pritzkers that run the Board of Trustees. Calling that dumbass a lawyer is a mistake. Former lawyer who barely got in the door, then couldn't hack the job. Not every marriage has both spouses equally smart and talented, you know.. She should drop to her knees and thank god for America allowing her to advance far beyond her own brains and talents, just on skin color, everyday of her adult life..."

Whereas if she had passed her Bar Exam on 1st try, the whole "Michelle is an ungrateful, affirmative action dumbass" would not be as credible a trope.

Pete said...

Christy-
John's right. California and New York are considered the two toughest bar exams.

I just took and passed the NY Bar exam this year. I found it to be very difficult.

I did not go to Yale.

former law student said...

[michelle obama] couldn't pass her Bar Exam until her 3rd try

Extremely doubtful. Michelle Obama graduated ls in 1988, and was admitted to the Illinois Bar May 12, 1989. At most there were two bar administrations between her graduation and admission.

Michelle went inactive in 1993.

$9,000,000,000 Write Off said...

"And law is actually a little bit like literary criticism because when you look at cases, you're looking for the detail in the case that will help you prove your point."

That's eee-zactly what lawyers do all day.

David said...

Trooper--My five daughters do not like it if I say say "twat." So I don't. But thanks for the correction.

David said...

Former Law Student:

If Michelle went inactive in 1993, where did those kids come from?

Mark O said...

Not every Yale Law School graduate is a gifted lawyer or even particularly smart. From reliable percipient witnesses I understand that Bill Clinton, gifted in many ways, was not a great law student nor would he necessarily have been a good lawyer.

The bar exam is a particular type of exam for which there are preparatory classes. Only a fool would fail to take those classes and, this woman is apparently a fool. But, if Yale does not prepare one even to pass the bar, what ‘s the point of it?

The Drill SGT said...

the embarrassment more properly belongs to Yale or having admitted the Twit.

She's a law school graduate."

Like Michelle Obama?


Like Bernadine Dohrn, who can't pass the State Bar morals questionaire.

But can serve as an example to future lawyers as a Law Professor and non-lawyer.

holdfast said...

Anyone can have a bad day on the bar exam - but I guess when it is an oh-so-smart, ivy-educated, celeb-type that muffs it, us working stiffs get to enjoy a little schadenfreude.

Sure it's déclassé, but what else do we have in our miserable, biglaw-slave lives?

Lem said...

if Yale does not prepare one even to pass the bar, what‘s the point of it?

Barhopping was not a problem for her ;)

Trooper York said...

It just fits David.

mrs whatsit said...

Christy -- I took and passed three bar exams: Maine, Massachusetts, and New York. (I did not go to Yale.) New York was far and away the hardest. California and the District of Columbia are also supposed to be very difficult.

holdfast said...

..but you can waive into DC if you get a halfways decent score on the multistate.

Meade said...

blogging cockroach said...
"...my life is so much more interesting than yours, you tiny little insect.
...Then the insectoid interviewer probed her...."

i beg your pardon


Don't worry, Roach, I'm sure the interviewer was using protection. So as not to pick up her big boola boola cooties.

amba said...

Elizabeth Wurtzel is even more of a nonentity than Britney Spears.

Meade said...

Wow, that IS depressing.

Ralph said...

If she'd gone to a different school, she might have learned it's "different from", not "different than."

LoafingOaf said...

Anyone who got thru law school can pass the bar exam. But the thing with the bar exam is you cannot cram for it at the last minute, or even in the last couple weeks. That's the main reason people fail it. They have MONTHS set aside to study, but they PROCRASTINATE away those months (it's easy to do, because studying for a bar exam is so freaking boring). If you're not pretty much ready for the bar exam two weeks before the exam actually takes place, you might as well skip it and re-apply to take it 6 months later. The older a person is, or the more things they have going in in their lives, the harder it is, IMO.

I don't think failing the bar exam is something humiliating. Everything on the bar exam is something Wurtzel knew at some point in law school (*). She just didn't study for the exam properly. I know lots of people who failed it and then went on to become very good lawyers.

(*) Well, the bar exam I took has a part that gives you fake case law, fake statutes, and fictional facts and you have to draft, say, a memo based on that. That part is just a matter of taking a lot of practice exams. So, again, it's just a question of whether you procrastinated too much.

Bar exams are tough, but mostly just because of the amount of prepration they require, not because you actually have to be brilliant to pass them. Almost everyone who got thru law school but flunked the bar exam flunked it because of how they studied. She'll take i again and probably pass. I wonder if the people trying to humiliate her could pass the "character and fitness" applications required to even have a seat at such an exam (they're only slightly less rigorous applications than the questionaires Obama is passing out to people who wanna work for him), let alone actually pass the exam themselves.

holdfast said...

You can do most of the necessary studying in the final month, but you're talking 14 hour days of studying at that point - good prep for being a first year associate.

Seven Machos said...

I used the Holdfast method. On July 4th, I realized that I had better get my shit together. It was study and sleep for about three weeks. It worked, but it sucked. I don't recommend it.

LoafingOaf said...

Yes, who was it in the BAr/Bri course? I think it was Professor Whitebread, who prepped us for Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure. He was like a stand-up comedian and his comic relief went so far in relaxing me in my prep!! I love that man for that -- he relaxed me. Anyway, I think he's the one who told us, when the fireworks go off on the Fourth of July, that's when it gets DEADLY SERIOUS. No more fucking around.

LoafingOaf said...

If a loafing oaf like me could pass that shit, certainly this bright woman can. HAHAHA ---- LoafingOaf passed the bar exam and Wurtzel failed it! New York's is probably tougher, but Ohio has made theirs really tough too. Come on, Wurtzel -- if a dumb ass like me can pass that shit, you can too!!!! That's why I know you don't have to be so smart to pass it - because I passed it!!!

LoafingOaf said...

Ear plugs are key. Put in ear plugs during the Multistate multiple choice section. Tell yourself you're a robot. You're a machine. Don't get bored readind those long Property questions. That's pretty much the key to passing the multiple choice section -- keeping your concentration when you hit those long and boring property questions.

Seven Machos said...

Process of elimination, Liz, babe. Remember: four of those answers have to something in them that some lackey who didn't go to Yale can point to that's manifestly wrong.

Stephen Snell said...

I found Nevada's exam more difficult than California's. Of course, I wanted to stab myself in the eye during the MBE while taking NV, and got a 164.

The NV phony file thing was a huge help -- my informal survey indicated that most people didn't actually respond directly to the question asked, and I did.

I never studied more than 4 hours a day, but those were serious hours. Reading essay questions and answers proved far more efficient than writing practice essays.

Wurzel probably got in because she wrote PN more than anything else.

Daryl said...

"My main thought was: What a pain in the ass... I had not the slightest emotional reaction. I thought, this is a really strange art project... It was a most amazing sight in terms of sheer elegance. It fell like water. It just slid, like a turtleneck going over someone's head... It was just beautiful. You can't tell people this. I'm talking to you because you're Canadian... I just felt like everyone was overreacting. People were going on about it. That part really annoyed me... I cried about all the animals left there in the neighborhood... I think I have some kind of emotional block. I think I should join some support group for people who were there... You know what was really funny? After the fact, like, all these different writers were writing these things about what it was like, and nobody bothered to call me."

That's Elizabeth Wurtzel talking about 9/11.

I mean, she would probably do a great job being a total bitch at a deposition (interrupting, making speaking objections, etc.) but I can't see her doing any of the other lawyer stuff with any competence.

Now, nobody will see her doing any of the lawyer stuff, in a literal sense. This is sweet, indeed.

amba said...

That was her reaction to 9/11? The ultimate empty narcissist.

amba said...

Exhibitionism of the void within, seems to be her specialty. Why does she have an audience? Is it like people rubbernecking at auto wrecks?