3 Things to Stop Telling Yourself Before the Bar Exam

Have you reached success in other parts of your life? School, relationships, a new hobby, an extracurricular your mom forced you to do in middle school?

Why not the bar?

As you try to push through this final stretch, you might have some doubts, frustrations, and a general sense of uncertainty. You can’t wait to abandon the bar like a New Year’s resolution and just be done with it!

“That’s normal. I can’t help it.”

The future is full of hope, however, because you don’t need to be extraordinary to pass the bar (although I’ll try to get you there). You can be “normal” and still become an attorney. It’s just a matter of when.

But what you can’t do is self-sabotage. You can help it if you choose to.

Here are three things you should stop telling yourself (one week before the bar exam, two weeks before, anytime you’re doubting yourself during preparation):

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Passing Is Inevitable

As the exam gets closer, just remember that you are capable of passing the bar.

You may pass this time, or you may not. Let’s be honest and expect whatever your state’s pass rate is so that you can do your best anyway. But if you can graduate law school, you have it in you to make this your last time.

Like Kathleen who was a mother in her late 40s who graduated from a barely accredited law school.
Like Steph who was in prison for 32 years (who told me that checking for bar results was more stressful than checking on parole status).
Like Naoki and Ferdinand who never even went to an American law school.

Even if you fail the bar, it’s not going anywhere. It’s going to stay in the same spot, while you keep getting closer and closer like a predator moving in on a prey. Therefore, passing is inevitable.

It doesn’t matter where you start. This is an acquirable skill. You can always get better. It’s always a work in progress.

This will be over by this time next week. On the upside, it won’t be as bad as the months of waiting in anxiety and ennui you’ll have to go through. You can worry about that later.

Answering the Call of Nature (Listening to Yourself When Studying for the Bar)

What? Not potty humor again!

Lol no, this is different, although I can probably try to come up with something if you want… or you can just log out if you don’t want to hear it.

You’re pacing around the bathroom avoiding eye contact with yourself and thinking, “Wouldn’t it be crazy if the bar is coming up in just X weeks, but I’m just drained physically, emotionally and spiritually and I don’t want to think about this anymore?”

Or maybe you got into a routine by now and are feeling complacent with how things are going. Either way, your body is trying to tell you something—nature is calling! We weren’t meant to slave over shitty exams for months.

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