The bar exam is tomorrow! I’m praying that what everyone has told me about law school and bar exam prep being harder than the bar exam is true. I’m ready to kick this test’s ass and to get it behind me.
I have met some amazing legal minds during law school. I asked a few of them to share some final words of wisdom.
“Don’t try too hard. All you have to do is pass; you don’t have to ace the test.”
Sam Glover, Lawyerist editor-in-chief and ABA Legal Rebel
“Trust your preparation. I had the good fortune of studying for the 1997 New York and New Jersey bar exams with my wife (my girlfriend at the time) who was the smartest law student I knew (and is now the most gifted lawyer I know). If you sincerely completed all of the practice questions and tests the course required, and trained yourself to respond (correctly as often as possible) within the allotted time, you should pass. That said, I still remember feeling intimidated after seeing the person sitting next to me smiling widely before the exam began on the first day at the Javits Center. In response, I lowered my head and simply tried to concentrate on the test. Block out all distractions and solely focus on your goal of passing. Then, once it is over, let it go and enjoy some time off.”
Ari Kaplan, founder of Ari Kaplan Advisors and author of Reinventing Professional Services: Building Your Business in the Digital Marketplace
“It is a stupid test. Most of the time, people less intelligent than you pass it. Sometimes people smarter than you fail it. If you pass, you get to be an attorney. If you fail, you cannot immediately be an attorney. Either way, you are a winner of sorts. Eat a decent breakfast and completely wipe the test out of your mind after the last question. Most people use the bar exam as another reason to be unhappy and stressed out. Don’t do that.”
Tyler Coulson, former associate of Sidley Austin, left his law firm to walk across the US with his dog
“Hyperventilating won’t help. Really. The day before the VA bar exam (my first bar exam), I had this mini-panic attack. I suddenly felt the weight of it. However, after a glimpse of rationale thought, I decided that, with less than 24 hours to go, I was better just taking the day easy and letting fate – or rather all of my hard work – take its course. Worrying can be productive but not when it is time to perform. If you have studied, then simply go out and play your legal instrument. This is one of the last tests of your life where 75-90% will pass. Listen to the symphony in your head and play elegantly.”
Mark Britton, founder of Avvo and ABA Legal Rebel
At this point, there’s nothing more we can do but to walk into the test and do what we know how to do: kick ass.
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