Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

The bar exam — one year later

Earlier this week, hundreds of lawyers-to-be feverishly typed on computers and scribbled in blue books, all while trying not to let the enormity of the task at hand overwhelm them. A year ago, I too was sitting in the Thurgood Marshall Law Library at the University of Maryland, praying that the last three years and close to a hundred thousand dollars were not all for naught.

Last summer, the bar exam was my world. I spent every waking hour studying or thinking about how guilty I felt for not studying, and nearly every person I associated with on a daily basis was mumbling about pass rates and the Rule Against Perpetuities. At the time, it felt like passing the bar exam would be the pinnacle of my legal career.

A year later, I have forgotten nearly everything I learned in BarBri and the subject matter of all the questions on the exam. In fact, I forgot until I was driving past the law school earlier this week that the bar exam was even happening.

Getting through the bar is just the start of many exciting things to come — first time in court (even if you’re just asking for a postponement)! first motion granted! first trial in district court! –- all tiny victories that feel even better than seeing “PASS” next to your seat number.

A year ago it felt like the bar was the end of the world, and now it is just a small blip on the radar screen. So for all of you who just finished taking the exam –- take a deep breath, do something really fun this weekend and know that a year from now, you probably won’t even remember what just happened.


  1. The Bar Exam is designed to weed out the dysfunctional, not identify genius. It is boring more than difficult. It could never be the pinnacle of anything. And BarBri (and every other Bar prep course) is designed to program one to free associate accurately when taking the Bar Exam. It is not intended to have lasting educational effects. This blog is ill advised. Young lawyers rarely have anything interesting to say.

  2. Grumpy strikes again! “Pushkin” might as well be scribbling these comments on a public restroom wall.