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Approaching an attorney’s day of destiny

When I sat down to write this, I planned to tackle a light-hearted topic. It had been a while since my last such post, so I thought it would be nice to lighten the mood a bit. However, when I glanced at the digital clock in the corner of my screen, I noticed just how close we are to the end of October, and I realized what that means for the legal community.


No, not Halloween (though my school’s chapter of the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity was famous for our awesome Halloween party). I’m referring, of course, to the release of the July bar exam results in the first week of November.

That’s right. Newly minted law school graduates across Maryland have about a week and a half left before one of the most stressful days of their lives — the day they find out whether their years-long quest to become a lawyer has ended in success or failure. When they learn if their next big decision will involve picking out the best drapes for their new office or weighing the pros and cons of trying again next year.

That realization made me want to share the story of my own day of destiny three years ago. Thus, this blog post was born.

The interesting part of my story is that most of my day was spent doing something completely unrelated to the bar exam. In my downtime between sitting for the exam and finding out the results, I started volunteering with a few political campaigns, and it just so happened that in 2010 the release of the July bar exam results landed on Election Day, Nov. 5.

Instead of sitting at home on my couch hitting refresh until the Bar Examiners website finally updated, I spent most of the morning handing out campaign literature in front of Pleasant Plains Elementary School in Loch Raven. It was actually very helpful at keeping my anxiety level low by giving me something else that completely occupied my mind. After I finished my shift, I grabbed some lunch to eat at home alone as the appointed hour neared.

You read right: alone. At the beginning of November, my sister was midway through her pregnancy, so my parents decided to take her and my brother-in-law on a short cruise while she could still travel. The only problem was that they booked the cruise without realizing that it coincided with the release of the bar exam results. And while we joke about it now, it did feel strange at the time having no one but our dog with whom to share the biggest news of my life.

Eventually, I got to share the news with many people, as I spent my evening at an election results party, where it seemed like every new person who showed up was subjected to some variation of, “Did you hear? Nick passed the bar exam!” It was a nice way to end the day, especially given that many of those people were lawyers themselves and understood exactly what that meant for me.

If you’ve seen the movie “V for Vendetta,” you’re familiar with the British rhyme imploring people to “Remember, remember the fifth of November.” In that instance, it was a plot to overthrow the government — just a bit more important than one guy passing the bar exam, but I hope this blog post has helped you understand why, to me, Nov. 5 is a day that will never be forgotten.