Bar exam results are near: Time to relax

Bar results are almost here and I would imagine you’re probably nervous about it. That’s normal. But you needn’t be. There are four good reasons to relax (or at least try):

1. You actually may have passed. Don’t jump the gun! Somewhere around 40% of those who took the exam are going to pass. I know that statistics show that multiple repeaters fare worse than first time takers, or those at ABA accredited law schools pass with higher frequency than those from non-accredited law schools. But those statistics apply to large groups. You are a sample of one and you may very well have accomplished your goal this time around.

2. You did the best you could do preparing last winter. Whatever life’s circumstances you tried your hardest, you did whatever you could do as you perceived it at the time. All we can ever ask of ourselves is that we do our best and only we know what our best is. I try my hardest to get the best out of my students, but because each student is different with unique challenges, they don’t all do the same amount of work, but I am proud of each of them for what they did. So long as you made a genuine effort, be proud.

3. If results are disappointing, you still can pass. We work with students who have taken the bar upwards of 10 times and they pass. I’m not suggesting that you should aspire to take it repeatedly of course, but doing so doesn’t mean you can’t pass. The fact that you didn’t pass the last time doesn’t mean you can’t pass the next time. It simply means you’re doing something wrong in your preparation. It can be fixed. We do that all the time.

4. You aren’t judged by bar results. Your value as a person isn’t dependent on bar results. Your friends and family will love you and respect you any way. All they care about is that you tried to improve yourself, something most people shy away from. But not you. You are a winner and you will always be a winner regardless of whether this time was the charm.

So relax. Time will tell and then you’ll have an opportunity to react. Until then, remember to take a deep breath and relax.