Thursday, March 6, 2014

Post Bar Exam Blues

Now that the celebrations and champagne toasts have faded, bar examinees may feel lost, deflated, or generally lacking direction.  This state of mind is what I refer to as the "Post Bar Exam Blues."  As with other challenging life transitions, processing their bar exam experience will take time.  They have been on a roller coaster ride with extreme highs and lows for the last eight weeks.  Once the ride ends, it is hard to remember who you were before you got on.   

In order to best move through this period, I suggest that students first reflect on their experience.  Sharing their feelings with someone they trust can help them work through their fears, their doubts, and acknowledge the incredible accomplishment of getting through this test.  Writing out their feelings is also helpful.  Once they get these emotions out into the universe, it is easier for them to put the experience behind them and avoid replaying it over and over again in their mind.

Results generally take several months to be released.  Thus, once they have the opportunity to reflect on their experience, it is best to redirect them toward something positive and productive.  Second guessing their performance, or holding their breath until results are posted is fruitless.  Instead, having them create a list of current projects or ways to use their free time can help them see that there is life outside of bar review.  Also, jumping head first into a new job or a job search can help remind them why they wanted to become a lawyer.  Ultimately, getting them to understand that they are not defined by their MBE score will help them remedy their blues.

(lby)

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