@import url('http:// I Passed....but The Bar Exam is Still a Bitch: Round 1: February Bar Exam 2005
I Passed....but The Bar Exam is Still a Bitch
I took the Bar Exam more than once, several times actually, and lived to tell the tale....retakers take heart...the bar is a bitch...but not impossible...
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Round 1: February Bar Exam 2005
I'm a three time NC bar exam taker. I found out Monday that I had failed the NC bar for the third consecutive time. Ummmmm, yes, I am bitter about all of this. Ummm, no I really am not a freakin idiot. At least, I don't think I am......

I graduated in the top third of my class from UNC at Chapel Hill in 2000. I had a chance to go in state to a private NC law school but opted against it when I got a scholarship offer from a small, newly accredited law school in sunny FL. It took me four years to do law school because I had a baby in the middle and almost died. (I swear I'm not making this stuff up) Said law school revoked scholarship for not going full time during the mandatory bedrest baby-induced drama. (apparently that was in the small print that I did not read) So I popped out the kid and finished school, at night. Super Hot Marine Hubby began having a series of one night stand affairs shortly afterwards, although I didn't know about them quite yet. When I found the damning cell phone messages, I did my best to damage to his military career, had a huge fit, (completely useless) sold our home in sunny FL, packed the 24 month old, the dog, the cat and all his possessions in a moving van, and moved back to my tiny hometown in NC about three months prior to the February 2005 Bar.

I won't lie. I was heartbroken and I was pretty damned clueless about the Bar the first time around. I needed a job more than anything so I showed up on the doorstep of the only lawyer in my one horse town and convinced him I was the best thing ever. He agreed and put me straight to work. In fact he thought I was so fabulous that he decided I was indispensable and he never really got around to giving me time off to study and I never really got the balls to demand it. So I studied a little at night and figured that since I'd had a good LSAT score and been a teacher for Kaplan while in law school that I'd do okay. I was using Micromash and maybe I put in 5 hours total.

Exam 1 was a disaster. I'm sure no one is surprised by that and frankly I got what I deserved. I was so consumed with the problems in my personal life that I didn't even bother to research the exam, I just assumed that I would "get by" like I have my entire life. It didn't occur to me that the test really would give me a run for my money. That sounds completely asinine now, but the point of writing here is to tell the truth, not make up stories to make myself feel better.

By the time I sat for the exam I had already told Cheating Husband that I wanted a divorce, even though my small town attorney job was not enough to pay any kind of bills and hubby was my only source of health insurance. Probably a bad move since his lack of ability to keep it in his pants had left me with high blood pressure at age 25 and migraines serious enough for a regular neuro man. My mother insisted that dating and looking for a "new daddy" for my baby girl was what any good mother would do and I was so jacked up that I couldn't even argue with her about it. I was stressed, depressed and not really even thinking about the bar.

My laptop had a meltdown on Day One of the test. I had to handwrite as if it wasn't enough that I was vastly unprepared. The girl across the table cried and cried (I guess because my computer broke, she was such a freak....) The proctor asked for the woman who was handwriting to raise her hand about 6 times that day and everyone in the room would turn to look at me. Yeah. It was a complete disaster.

Day Two wasn't much better. I was so unfamiliar with the MBE's I had no idea how to pace. Not only did I run out of time, I decided to wait to transfer my answers till the end. You can guess how that turned out.....

In spite of all that, I was hoping against hope that the news in that letter would be good. When I read that I'd failed, part of me just collapsed. I'm still not sure if I've recovered. I was dumbfounded. I don't know that those of us who go all the way through law school are really prepared to become failures. I just wasn't. And for me, it was so public. In my hometown, everyone knew I was taking the test. I lost track of how many people I had to tell about failing. I think even the mailman was waiting for my letter to come from Raleigh.

I had posted a 316 and had needed a 346 to pass. My MBE's were dismal, a 123. The essays were off the wall, and suprisingly I had done well on half of them. I scored 8/10 on half of them but completely blown the other half, with scores as bad a 2 on a few. Very bad news indeed.

So I did the worst possible thing.....I practiced much denial, cried a whole lot, didn't buy a new bar review and figured I had failed only because I hadn't spent enough time studying.......

I charged into July 2005.......
posted by Bar Bitch @ 4:48 PM  
  • At 8:23 PM, March 29, 2006, Blogger Galactichero said…


    Normally I would say something cynical and sarcastic, but I am stunned by your persistence. I still wonder why anyone wants INTO this field...

    Your state's bar deals with the multistate and: "Business Association (including agency, corporations, and partnerships), Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, Family Law, Legal Ethics, Real Property,Secured Transactions including The Uniform Commercial Code, Taxation, Torts, Trusts, Wills, Decedents' Estates and Equity." Taken from their website. This is pretty similar to my state's bar. The people I know who did poorly on the VA bar were all frozen by the unfamiliarity of it, and they tried to study some way other than how they studied before that.

    My completely unwanted advice is 1)that you study the way you studied before. You got through high school, college, and law school by studying one way. Why change that because of a test that only lasts two days? 2) study using the test format, under conditions as close to real as you can get, including being in a crowded room, with a clock running, blah, blah, blah. Sounds like your best shot at major, quick improvement is the MBE, and perhaps those areas of law where you're getting 2s. Captain Obvious, reporting for duty...

    Go forth and conquer. We anticipate sending you your secret club card soon.

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