Friday, April 19, 2024

If You Failed the February 2024 Bar Exam…

As results trickle in from the February administration of the bar exam, there are moments of joy and sorrow happening around the nation. If you passed the exam, CONGRATULATIONS! If you failed the exam, please know:

You are not a failure. You are a successful human being.

You know this. I’m just reminding you of the facts.

There are people you can lean on.

It can feel hard to share the disappointment, stress, and even shame you might be feeling. There are people in your life who can’t believe you did something as hard as graduating from law school. There are people in your life who look up to you – who think you are the smartest person they know. There are people in your life who are so proud of you, and they are even more proud of you now for trying. Let them in.

Your school is behind you.

With all the national attention on the bar exam and pass rates, it can feel like you are a statistic. You are not. I graduated from a big undergraduate institution and a large law school. As a student, it felt comfortable to blend into a crowd. I didn’t understand how my faculty members felt about their law school community. Now, as a faculty member, I can tell you, a student’s success is my joy, and their disappointment is my sorrow. I deeply care about my students passing the bar because I care about my students. And I have yet to meet a colleague who doesn’t share this sentiment. Ask for our help and support. We want to give it.

Your February results do not dictate how you will do in July.

It takes over 400 hours of studying, thousands of multiple-choice questions, hundreds of essays, and multiple, timed MPTs to pass the UBE. It also takes stress management. If there were things outside of your control that prevented you from hitting these targets, acknowledge that. Failing the bar exam doesn’t come down to a lack of intelligence or ability; it comes down to dedicating the right amount of time to the right activities for ten weeks.

The work you did studying this past winter is not a waste. It will only ease the burden as you prepare for July.

You will feel surprised at how much you remember when you crack open those books open again.

You are in good company.

Check out this list from JD Advising of impressive people who failed the bar exam.

Try again.

No one will ever ask how many times you took the bar exam, or what you scored. Even if you feel defeated, try again. Being an attorney will define your life. Taking the bar again will not.

(Ashley Cetnar)

Advice, Bar Exam Issues, Bar Exam Preparation | Permalink


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