Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Bar Exam

These days, the most frequently asked question I get asked is: When is the bar exam? People just assume I am taking it in July. Most of the time I don't correct them because I don't want to spend the next ten minutes explaining why I'm not taking the exam. It's far easier to answer "July" and let them think what they like. But I will tell you: I am not taking the bar exam in July.

I am not taking it for several reasons. First, I don't have a job so there is no pressure for me to be admitted to the bar by a certain time. Second, it's summer. My kids are out of school right now and it would be impossible to study with even one of them home let alone all three. Third, I just don't want to take it right now. I need a mental break from the minutia of the law after which I can return with a refreshed and with a renewed sense of purpose.

Summer is for spending long afternoons at the pool, lounging on the patio, impromptu visits with friends, and sipping sangria while watching the sun set. Summer is not the time to be cooped up inside a classroom learning black letter law and practicing poorly worded multiple-choice questions. Last Saturday, several of my former classmates willingly sacrificed four hours of their lives to take a mock bar exam. I'm sure I can imagine worst ways to spend a Saturday, but taking a mock bar exam would rank pretty high on my list.

Because there are so many factors, the February exam just works better for me. I can dive right into bar prep when the kids go back to school in January. The weather will (most likely) be dreary, I will have fewer distractions, I can dedicate at least six solid hours per day to prepping for the exam, and I will have a better frame of mind. The break will do me good. In the meantime, I'm enjoying summer with my family and friends. I hope you are too!

6 comments:

teasinglydiverse said...

I've thought about this...assuming I end up taking the Bar at all (which I'm not certain about yet, depends on where/what I want to do in 2 years), I'm leaning toward Feb. as long I don't *have* to do it in July.
It just sounds horrible. What a way to ruin a good summer (and the joy of graduating).
Hope you enjoy your summer!

jodifur said...

I don't know what state you are in, but in mine the Feb passage rates are MUCH HIGHER than the july ones. So that is another reason.

I took July and I started studying before I even graduated and it sucked. So if you don't have to do it, don't. There is no magic. Do whatever works for you.

The Gori Wife said...

Hmm... I don't have a job either. Wonder why I felt the need to take the July bar? Perhaps I should have thought this through more...

Lawfrog said...

I took the bar in February during my last semester of 3L. You can do that in Texas if you're within 4 credits of graduating when you take the exam. It was SO much better than having to sit through a hot Houston summer cooped up in BarBri.

I say take the bar when you feel comfortable doing so. Not everyone has to follow the "graduate, take bar" formula.

Gina said...

I am taking it this July. I literally cry each day when I get home from Bar Bri and realize I didn't learn anything in law school. I wish I waited until Feb.

Rebecca said...

i am glad i found your blog. i found it by googling. right now i have an 8 month old, graduated in may, and i am dreading studying for the bar this february. i don't know why i'd take it, i don't intend to practice...i just want to be a mom. the best i reason i can come up with is that it will suck the least right now, with one child and caregivers in the house. but i just feel as if i will be missing so much in my baby's life--first claps, first "mama," first steps... the jobs that i will want down the road won't even require the license... i'm truly at a loss.