Monday, August 2, 2010

It's Over ... (for now)

I am SO excited to be done with the Bar Exam.  It is a huge relief and a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.  Before the exam, I felt extremely guilty when I wasn't studying and it was always looming over me like a giant black cloud.  Overall, the exam was exhausting.  I have never felt exhaustion like that before.  It's taken me three days to feel "normal" again.  

Day One was not too bad.  We had to be there between 6:30 and 7:25 a.m. to check-in and register.  We were given our seat assignment and we had until 7:35 to do whatever.  I found my seat and was very relieved to see that we had outlets, I was afraid that there might not be outlets and we'd have to use battery power only.  The test was administered in a convention center and the instructions suggested that we bring an extra battery.  I, of course, panicked when I read this and interpreted it to mean that we might not have outlets.  But, there were and my computer did not have one problem during the three days of testing.  We had three sessions that lasted 2 hours and 15 minutes each, with 3 essays to complete in each session.  Question #1 was my least favorite and least understood topic ... Commercial Paper.  I certainly do not think that I got full credit on that essay, but I think I managed to write enough to get the points that I needed.  The rest of Day One went really well.  When I walked out of the convention center that afternoon, I thought the exam was much better than I expected and that I could for sure pass.  I think I even wrote a blog post about it.  That feeling was very short-lived.

Day Two was BRUTAL.  I really can't think of any other way to describe it.  The room was huge.  The lighting was terrible.   My exhaustion was beginning to set in.  I had started to get a headache at the end of Day One and it stayed with me through Day Two.  And, the. essays. were. hard.  Nothing like Day One.  Through BarBri, we got copies of all the old essays given in the past ten years and also a list of the subjects tested in the past few years.  Using these tools, you could see which topics were emphasized on the bar exam and study accordingly.  Well, one of my worst subjects in law school was Constitutional Law and the charts made it pretty clear that Con Law was going to be in at least two of the essay questions.  So I studied and studied and studied Con Law.  And there was not even a full question on the bar exam related to Con Law.  It was half a question, in the last three essays that we got on Day Two.  So I feel like I really put a huge emphasis on some subjects and not enough on others.  I guess we will see in October.  But,  I really did not feel good when I left on Day Two.  I felt like there was no way that I got the amount of points that I needed to pass.  But mostly I felt like I could not do this again in February and I might need to consider alternative career paths.  Ugh.

Day Three was the Professional Responsibility portion of the exam.  The majority of the United States administers the MPRE, which I have taken and passed.  And scored high enough to practice law in any state.  And would never have to take again.  Or so I thought.  Washington does not accept the MPRE, they administer their own exam.  So there I was, on Day Three, writing 6 PR essays.  We had to be there at 6:30 a.m. to re-register, because it's separate from the bar, of course.  But it was just one short and sweet session and I was out of there by 10:15.  I feel like I did pretty well on that portion of the exam.  It's graded separately and if you pass it, but don't pass the bar, you only have to re-take the bar.  So that's good news.

All in all, the past two months have been an experience.  Well, really, the last three years have been an experience.  Some bad, some good.  I feel so lucky to have had such great support from my family and friends for the past three years, but especially during the past two months.  It was much more difficult than I expected to move across the country, adapt to a new climate, start making new friends and try to take the bar exam all in the span of two months.  If I don't pass the bar, I'm going to be extremely disappointed but I really won't be shocked.  I think I probably should have waited and taken the bar in February, but it's too late for that now!  Anyways, I've really appreciated all the emails, cards, notes, packages and words of encouragement over the past two months.  Thank you so so so much!!!!

Hope you are all having a great weekend!


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