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August 7, 2015

What to do Post Bar Exam... The Dreaded Wait

bar exam; law school; law blog; lawyer blog; career advice; waiting for bar exam results; leave law behind

Good morning and happy Friday!!  I have received a ton of emails lately asking about law school and the Bar Exam, so I decided to do a series addressing several law-related topics that I get asked about on a regular basis.  I love hearing from everyone, so keep the emails and comments coming!  Since a lot of readers just took the July Bar (bless your hearts!!), I thought I would start the series with a few tips on what to do post Bar Exam while waiting for your results.  I don’t know which was worse, studying for the Bar, or waiting for results.  Both are miserable, but at least while you are waiting you do not have to work Multistate problems.  With that being said, here are a few bits of advice on what to do for the next couple of months:   

1.  Spend as much time as possible with friends and family
Now is the time to catch up on life and visit the people that you neglected over the last 3-4 years.  Spend as much time as possible with your friends and family while you wait for your results.  Go to birthday dinners, movie nights, reunions, showers, and any other gatherings that may come up now that you have extra time on your hands.  You do not know how life will pan out once you get your results and you may not get this time back, so take advantage of it to catch up on life!  

2. Travel wherever you can, whenever you can
Ready, jet, set!  I highly recommend traveling as much as possible during that three-month interval if you are able to do so.  I went to visit my best friend in Portland and we also went to Seattle and Vancouver.  It was one of the best trips of my life (see here).  My friend did a wonderful job babysitting distracting me from worrying myself to death about whether or not I passed. Haha!!  Again, you may not get this freedom and flexibility back, so go see the world while you can and do not feel guilty for one second!! 


3. Network, Network, Network
You have most likely had your head in the books for the last three years so now it’s time to start meeting folks outside of the law library.  One thing I did was join the Tennessee Bar Association as a student while in law school and went to several Continuing Legal Education (“CLE”) courses while I was still in school.  I met a lot of attorneys and got a lot of useful and up-to-date information (the handouts are goldmines!).  Also, I recommend going to Chamber of Commerce events and meeting folks in all industries.  Everyone needs an attorney at some point, and it could open doors down the road for other opportunities.   
**Tip: Most Bar associations offer a killer student discount to join.  I think I paid $50/year as a student and could attend as many CLEs as I wanted.  Totally worth it!

4. Get your Limited License to Practice
One of the best things you can do during this time is get your limited license to practice law to get hands-on experience.  I got my limited license to practice per Rule 7, Sec. 10.04 of the Tennessee Supreme Court during my last year of law school.  Basically, a limited license allows you to practice under the supervision of an attorney and conduct hearings, examine witnesses and make motions in court.  I highly recommend doing this if you plan on practicing because it is great experience, and the judges are pretty lenient.  With that being said, you will be just fine without it.  You have the rest of your life to practice, so there is absolutely no harm in not getting it- especially if you are out traveling the world (see 2 above) instead.
(**I would assume most, if not all states have some sort of limited license, but I am only licensed in Tennessee, so I am not sure what other states do.  Check your state's Supreme Court rules).

 5. Work on getting a game plan together
I used to hate it when folks would ask me what I planned on doing once I passed the Bar.  Let's face it, studying for the Bar is stressful enough.  Let me get through that first before I worry about planning the rest of my life out!  After you have some time to recuperate, you will really want to start thinking about your next career move.  It’s ok if you aren’t sure about what you want to do next.  A lot of folks have no clue and that is totally normal. In the meantime, work on updating your resume, create a LinkedIn profile, and reconnect with former professors and colleagues because you may need to use them as references down the line.  Also, find someone with the same career you think you might want and ask them to coffee for advice and what steps they took. Most folks are usually more than willing to meet with you and oftentimes, you will learn a lot about what you want and see things through an entirely different perspective.  
**Tip: Don't forget about your law school and college career center.  They are extremely helpful with reviewing your resume and putting you in contact with the right people.

6. "Let it be..." 
As The Beatles would say, “Let it Be..”  The exam is over and there is absolutely nothing you can do to go back and/or change anything.  Do not waste your time worrying about something you cannot change because it is a totally unproductive waste of your time.  With that being said, you will worry to death for the first month or so.  That is totally normal.  I had sleepless nights convinced that I failed the MBE.  I beat myself up over whether I wrote enough in my MPT response.  The worst thing I did???  I asked some of my classmates how they responded to certain questions...  Huge no no!!  If there is one piece of advice I can pass along it is do not discuss the exam with your classmates, no matter how tempting it is.  That is basically the blind leading the blind and will only make you feel worse about everything.  Besides, how do you know who is right???  Let it be and move on.

I hope this helps and didn't completely put you to sleep!  As always, thanks so much for reading and all the emails, I love hearing from everyone!

Thanks for stopping by, have a great weekend!

7 comments:

  1. Love this post! I remember the wait all too well

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  2. Great post! The bar sounds so intense!!

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  3. Brittany, I know that you will pass the bar exam! So proud of you, and thank you for this beautiful post! I can only agree to spend as much time with friends and family as you are waiting!
    Sending you much love & I hope your weekend is as fabulous as you are!!!
    xoxo, Vanessa
    www.WhatWouldVWear.net

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  4. Great advices, nice that you wrote about it!

    Tanya
    www.StripesNVibes.com
    BlogLovin

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  5. I know some friends that have taken the bar. Sounds so intense!

    Tina
    www.justatinabit.com

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  6. Oh bar exam is so intense.
    I'm hoping for all your success ms lawyer :)
    Love those tips too

    The Bandwagon Chic | Instagram | Bloglovin | Snapchat: bandwagonchic

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  7. This was an intense time for people I knew! All you can do it wait and try to distract yourself

    http://www.racheldinh.com

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