After results for the 2020 October California Bar Exam came out, my inboxes were flooded with over 100 messages and DMs.
I individually responded to almost all of those over the course of a week and a half. It’s part of a post-mortem ritual that involves celebrating my community’s wins, greeting new readers and followers, and commiserating with the reality some have to face.
One of the messages was from Tracy, who was completely overwhelmed as she planned to take the next exam (click to enlarge, text version below):
This was an opportunity to reframe the way she described herself. The words you use matter. Mindset is huge. I teach this in Mental Engines.
I sent her this response (click to enlarge, text version below):
BTW, don’t email me willy nilly like I’m some kind of ATM just because I tend to answer them. Pls put some thought into your email. You’ll get the same back.
Four days later, I got this reply (click to enlarge, text version below):
As it turns out, she simply didn’t want to take the bar exam—or be a lawyer.
Sometimes you just don’t want to do this stuff! You actually don’t HAVE to take the bar exam or be a lawyer. No one’s forcing you (hopefully).
Of course, in this case, Tracy was fortunate enough to have tried being a lawyer already and no longer had the pressure to pursue a legal career. But I know people who passed the bar exam and then went on to pursue what THEY wanted to do (which was emphatically NOT law). There are people out there who want to leave the law.
Remember that you always have a choice. Making this your last time doesn’t always mean you pass the bar exam. It may mean that you move on to other things. That’s fine too! In fact, it’s admirable if you make a conscious decision that the law is not for you.
But if you ARE determined to make this your last time taking the bar by PASSING it, there are resources that can support your preparation process.