The MoneyLaw point, however, doesn't lie so much in the movie as it does in Ilya Somin's commentary on The Volokh Conspiracy:
I think many law school graduates get overly stressed out and obsessed about taking the bar, and spend too much time studying. Most bar exams are primarily just tests of memorization. They're not much of an intellectual challenge, and require far less thinking than most law school exams.Sorry, Ilya. Though I'm often sympathetic to your views on the market economy, this simply is not good advice. Many law school graduates do get "stressed out and obsessed about taking the bar," but that's because many law school graduates flunk the bar. Yes, it's also true that "all you have to do is pass." Actual bar passage numbers show that this is more readily said than done. Every year, a not insubstantial number of recent law school graduates stride up to the bar and fail. These failures matter for a reason that is as important as it is simple: law school graduates who don't pass the bar can't practice law.
Most important, all you have to do is pass. Unlike on the SAT or the LSAT, there is no need to maximize your score. As one of my law school classmates put it, every point you score above the minimum needed to pass is evidence that you spent too much time studying. I took this excellent advice to heart, and saved a lot of time and aggravation as a result (primarily by not attending any Bar/Bri lectures, and confining my preparation efforts to reading the books and taking some practice tests). If you're reasonably good at managing your time and memorizing legal rules, you can probably do the same thing.
It's not often that a professor tells students to spend less time studying. But when it comes to the bar exam, for many students it's the best pedagogical advice I can give.
The vast majority of law school graduates lead lives and face realities that are not the lot assigned to their teachers. An academic appointment is an immense privilege in a world of finite resources and constrained opportunities, and those of us lucky enough to hold a winning ticket should refrain from treating our life circumstances as realistic benchmarks for the legal profession as a whole. Students attend law school in order ultimately to work. That is the market that counts, and the bar exam, for better or for worse, represents a very real and economically crucial first step.