Whether you chalk it up to a rite of passage or a demonstration of the minimal degree of knowledge for the right to be responsible for other people’s lives, the bar exam must still be passed before you get to call yourself a lawyer. I believe it will be administered on July 27-28th in New York. Suddenly, all those smart-mouthed know-it-all kids who were busy telling lawyers all about their vision of the law are lying in their beds in the fetal position, praying that they don’t screw it up and reveal to the world, and their mothers, that they are are total, complete failures.
Calm down. Take a deep breath. Not because I’m sure you’ll do fine. I’m not. I don’t even know who you are, and you may well be the loser you fear you are. But getting yourself worked into a lather isn’t going to help you any. Nobody does better on the bar exam by hyperventilating.
Here’s the deal. Take the rest of the time off from your studies. If you don’t know it by now, it’s too late. No seriously, it’s too late. And chances are in your favor that you know more than you think. Most people pass the bar exam, and you fall into that category.
Your mind will work far better if you get a tan, take a swim, have a cool beer (preferably with a piece of citrus at the top of its long, long neck). Relax and trust that if you have not been a complete screw up all along, lying and cheating your way through law school, you’ve likely picked up a bit of knowledge. Not wisdom, mind you, but knowledge. And that’s all the bar exam asks of you. No biggie.
Cool heads work better. Worry too much and your brain will cramp. That could be painful. You don’t want pain, do you?
And no matter what your mother or Uncle Charlie thinks, anybody can blow the bar exam the first time. Anybody. No, I passed the first time, but that doesn’t mean that everybody does. Great minds, thinkers, people, lawyers fail the bar exam the first time. It happens. Stercus accidit (use this in an essay and you’re guaranteed an extra 2 points).
There is only one thing that you really need to know. While anybody can fail the bar exam the first time, nobody but a blithering idiot* fails it twice. No pressure though. Best of luck and enjoy your time taking the bar exam. Really.
* If you are reading this post and failed the bar exam twice, do not post a comment saying so or informing of great lawyers who failed the bar exam twice. Just trust me on this. Don’t do it.