Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Bar

Today and tomorrow, all across the country, people are taking the bar exam. Many of my friends are these unlucky individuals who happened to have graduated from law school this past May.

I truly feel for them. At the same time, I'm beyond happy that I'm not in their shoes. You couldn't pay me enough.

I still can't believe that I took the bar. What's more is I can't believe that I passed. I still pinch myself sometimes ... did that really happen? Did I actually pass?

It was the absolute worst two months of my life. Worse than that time I got my tonsils taken out, and it literally hurt to breathe for an entire week. Those two months were such a mixed bag of being terrified and at the same time not being able to care, that I spent more time watching TV than studying (we're talking MediumUnbreakable Kimmy SchmidtI Love LucyGhost Whisperer, other shows with lots of seasons). I just couldn't force myself to study all day, even though I knew that I had to, even though I knew that I couldn't be a lawyer without passing, even though I knew I wouldn't take it again if I failed. And then what was it all for?

... maybe I'd take it again in February.

At times, I felt angry. Angry that I had just finished three less-than-happy years of law school, just took final exams, and now I had to pass this beast of a test to prove that I'm ready to be an attorney.  Even though I had already represented real clients and had real cases in school! I was mad at the guild structure of the profession.

I was also convinced that this was the first sure step to producing anxiety-ridden, depressed lawyers. Poor Nate had to deal with me frequently sobbing and saying, "I can't do it." The last month was especially hard. There were a lot of tears. A friend of mine (who, by the way, I had no idea was also taking the bar in the same city!) gave me a ride home after the first day was done. He was so jumpy and restless when he got in the car, I thought he was having a panic attack. Honestly, I'm not convinced that the bar is the best rite of passage to becoming a licensed attorney.

The day the results came out, I woke up early and opened up my computer. Nate was also up, lying quietly on the couch. My hands were trembling. My heart was pounding. I typed in my log in and incessantly pressed refresh. And then the numbers appeared. I couldn't even figure out if I had passed at first, because the numbers were divided between two parts of the exam (day 1 and day 2). I did the math and said uncertainly, "I think I passed."

"I think I passed!" Nate came over to look at the computer, and with a shaking finger I pointed at the numbers.
"You passed!"
"I passed!"

I leaped off the couch and started running around the house, screaming "I passed!" "I passed!" It really riled up the dogs. I called my mom and yelled at the top of my lungs "I PASSED! God must've switched out my answer sheet!"

I even came up with a tune that I kept singing the entire day: iiiii passed the bar, (pause) i passed the bar, iiiii passed the bar, (pause) i passed the bar. Let's be serious, though. I sang that song for an entire month.

And that, folks, is the story of how I got the right to practice legal magic.

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