It’s almost that time for some of our readers. The day that seems to bring about fear, anticipation and dread simultaneously. The day when one of two words will (seemingly) determine your entire future:
PASS or FAIL.
Bar results will be posted in less than a month. If you’re waiting for results, it probably seems as if the hands of time have stopped and everyone around you is obsessed with talking about Nov. 6. Most likely, you feel as if you’re stuck in limbo: you’re not a law student but the Rules of Professional Conduct preclude you from actually calling yourself a lawyer.
So what does one do until the results are in?
1. Don’t obsess. Contrary to what you may have heard, your entire future will not be determined by one word. Remind yourself that, no matter the result, you will be successful in your legal career.
2. Make the most of your free time. You may not have much of it when you begin practicing. Attend festivals, visit family, develop a hobby, etc. In addition to enjoying your free time, your mind will not be focused on Nov 6.
3. Become well versed in your firm’s practice. If you’ve lined up a job, congratulations! Once you’re sworn in, law life may come at you very fast. The period immediately before Bar results are released is perfect for reading case law and publications specific to your firm’s practice area, as well as some of the legal writing that has been submitted by your firm’s partners.
4. Ask to grab lunch with practicing attorneys. If you don’t have anything lined up, this is a great networking tool. You’ll be able to hear war stories from legal practitioners and perhaps meet a future mentor. Moreover, you have just added a personal touch to your resume if you elect to apply for an open position.
5. Observe. If you’re still looking for a job, use your free time to attend court proceedings in the area of law that you’re interested in. Don’t be afraid to ask to attend depositions, hearings and other proceedings with an attorney. Most would be happy to have you join.
Most importantly, don’t stress. Stressing won’t make the day come any quicker. Take time to do all of those things that you wished you had time to do while you were in law school.
I wish you well!