End of July. Time for all wannabe lawyers to sit through what will inevitably be three of the most trying days of their lives. Followed by three months of excruciating waiting for the results to come out.
Part of my job allows me to help hand out lunches to recent law school grads on the first day of the Bar exam. I actually really enjoy the chance to pass on some encouragement to them and check to make sure everything is going ok. But as I walked in today, I couldn't help but think about how I felt three years ago, during my Bar summer...
Bar Review (May 13- July 4- miss first week of extra multi-state review (multi-state exam, or MBE, is the multiple choice section of the Bar that everyone around the country takes- basically covers material from first year of law school) to attend Francie's wedding in Ohio. Spend early part of Bar Review afternoons at the pool doing notecards with friends. Head to the gym, then spend evenings doing multistate questions on computer.
July 2-7- attend Theta Grand Convention in Texas, spend 4th of July with Richard and Hannah at Mi Tierra and watching the fireworks at the Navy base in San Antonio. Study Payment Systems by pool at the Menger hotel. Start to make my friends really nervous about the potential of me passing because, really, who goes on vacation less than a month before the Bar?!
July 8-24- start intense study of State Bar material. Am thankful that Jill and Mary Madison have adopted similar approach. Start crying in Bar Review at final day of state review when Probate instructor gives pep talk involving his belief that a monkey could pass the exam.
Monday- Day 1- head to the fairgrounds early, cooler packed with diet mountain dews and snacks for breaks and lunch out at the car, feeling nervousness mixed with excitement over finally getting this thing over with. Take sections covering domestic relations and equity, wills, trusts and estates, and insurance. Ends up not being too bad- despite having to start and re-start a section because the wrong questions were handed out to a small group of people in my room. Thankful to have not the guy who looked past the entire equity question, leaving it completely blank (no worries- he still passed, but that made for one dramatic realization). Leave fairgrounds exhilarated that I have survived Day 1. Feeling quickly fades when I think about returning home to study.
Monday night- still Day 1- visit good friend Jen to go over questions regarding Day 2 material, realize that I understand absolutely nothing about the UCC, despite having a whole class on Secured Transactions and going through a great deal of Bar review on the very subject. Leave in total panicked state. Listen to theme song of the week "If You"re Going Through Hell..."
Tuesday- Day 2- Return to Fairgrounds, dreading what is to come. Harder subjects, more hand writing. Cooler still packed with diet mountain dews. Encounter train on the way to exam. Alternate between being freaked out over not making it to fairgrounds and hoping for a reprieve and excuse from having to go back. Make check-in with just a few minutes to spare. Am ok with Business Corporations, Civil Procedure, but am thrown a complete curveball on Secured Transactions section. Will never know if I indeed passed that section (you can fail one).
Tuesday night- Say 2- Should be studying for MBE, but instead spend better part of evening on phone with Richard, who was out in Texas doing a rotation at the time. We are not dating at that point, but I am thrilled to talk to someone not going through the Bar misery. Ask him to pick me up some eye shadow from the San Antonio Sephora.
Wednesday, Day 3- Drive to Fairgrounds thinking Hallelujah, it's the last day! I don't even care if I pass, I just want to be DONE! Take first section of MBE, which is way harder than I thought it would be. Go to lunch at Groucho's with Jill and Jen, only friends who were brave enough to leave test-taking site. Discuss questions over lunch and freak out over different answers and the potential of returning late back to exam.
Wednesday, Day 3, 5:15 pm- finish Bar exam, frantically text/call friends to find out where everyone is. Head to Yo Burrito, then to Salty Nut, finally fall into bed about 11 pm.
Thursday, 9:30 am- Wake up and start thumbing through multi-state books to try and figure out what questions I got right and wrong. Don't know what to do with myself without having something to study. Spend next few days at beach with friends, but obsessively think about questions for next three months...at football tailgates, before bed time, during work, etc. etc. Want to discuss questions with fellow Bar takers. Am completely certain I have failed multi-state exam and will be taking it again in February.
Friday, October 27th- Go to work, but spend morning on pins and needles. Results supposed to be posted at 4 pm, so I leave around 2 pm (after having lunch with a friend from out-of-town, I must have been really terrible company!).
3:30 pm- Crawl in bed, turn off all the lights, unplug the house phone, turn off cell phone. Climb under covers with laptop. Begin refreshing results page over and over until....
3:57 pm- LIST IS UP! IT'S EARLY! AND MY NAME'S ON IT!!!!! I have never been so relieved in my life. Turn cell back on, start calling friends and family. Funny enough, I get so caught up in talking that I forget to call Richard, who I am now dating, and who is in the OR at Greenville on yet another away rotation. He happens to be operating with someone who's wife has taken the exam and who has called to let him know she passed. Richard begins to worry if I failed. Oops. I do talk to him eventually.
Later that evening- We gather back at the Yo Burrito to celebrate. Thankful that God has gotten us through, thankful to not have to take it again, and thankful to finally be able to add Esq. behind our names.