The bar exam is over. Years of school and months of focused preparation came down to 2+ days. You did everything you could and now you have to believe it was enough. You’ve got a few months before bar exam results will be released so what are you supposed to do now?
Do not look back and wonder if you should have done more or done something differently. It won’t change the results. Do not dissect the test and assess perceived mistakes. It will only cause unnecessary worry. Do get back into *normal* life- socialize with family and friends, go shopping for professional work clothes, try out new restaurants and local entertainment, enjoy the wonderful summer weather.
Results will post soon enough and then you will celebrate formal admission into the profession. You can spend the next 2-3 months being miserable with worry or you can focus on moving forward.
Most states have released February bar exam results and while many are celebrating, some are not. Not everyone passed which means the journey is not over. When you don’t pass the bar exam, you not only have to do it all over again but you have to do it differently. In order to change the outcome, you have to change the input.
Failure is simply the opportunity to start again. This time more intelligently.
Instead of identifying all the things you did “wrong,” start with what DID work. For example: you put in 50-60 hours a week for 10 weeks, completed all of the commercial bar prep lectures, submitted all the graded essays, etc. From there you can take a look at areas where you can improve: was your MBE score below average, were your essays ok but not great, did you get low scores on any particular essays? The next step is to ask “why?” and trying to do this yourself is not easy. Get feedback from someone- the bar support person at your school, a bar examiner, the bar coach from commercial bar prep, a good friend who was successful.
Through all of this, remember that you are not starting from zero. You did a lot of things right. You can pass the bar exam and you will pass the bar exam.
Failing the Bar Exam: how to regroup, refocus, move forward
Time for an Attitude Adjustment
Studying for the bar exam was stressful but so is waiting for results. Ohio results post on Friday and this last week is the worst. You can only remember your perceived mistakes and friends and family who dare have faith in your abilities just get on your nerves. However, you don’t have to completely miserable. You can make the choice to adjust your attitude and make the best of it. Try this 7-day positive attitude challenge:
Day One: Make a list of five things in your life that you are thankful for.
Day Two: Smile at everyone you meet. No exceptions.
Day Three: Reach out to one person in your life and express gratitude.
Day Four: Choose an activity that makes you truly happy and spend at least thirty minutes doing it.
Day Five: Spend at least fifteen minutes outside. At one time (not two minutes walking from your car to the office, five minutes running across the street for lunch).
Day Six: No complaining. Go the entire day without a single complaint.
Day Seven: Look in the mirror and give yourself an old school Daily Affirmation talk, Michael Jordan style.
You’re good enough. You’re smart enough. And gosh darn it, people like you.