If you love some one who took the bar exam this week, show them some love and follow these tips.
- Buy them a drink or a shot, if you fancy, but do not mention or talk about the bar exam. Let them bring it up.
- Take them to lunch or dinner, but do not mention or talk about the bar exam. Let them bring it up.
- Gift them a massage.
- Talk to them about anything unrelated to the bar exam.
- Catch them up on any news they missed while studying.
- Do not ask them how they did.
- Do not call weekly and ask if they passed or found out yet. In my jurisdiction, it takes about a month to find out if you passed the bar, but other jurisdictions may take months to give test takers the results. Allow them to forget that they took the test (if that’s possible). Do not constantly remind them that they are waiting on results.
- Do not share stories of people who have failed multiple times and ask them why they think that is; they’re trying not to be on that list.
- Do not tell them that they are stressed. It takes a while to adjust to life without studying. I legit did not know what to do with all of my new found free time, so I picked up another job.
- Do not tell them they’re so smart and always pass everything, although it may be nice and true. The Bar exam is not really about how smart you are and smart people have failed multiple times.
Help your loved one relax. A lot rides on this exam. Some cannot find work as an attorney until they get word that they have passed. Meaning job applications want your actual license number and you need not apply if you do not have one. Which may mean for some that they are still struggling financially.
Some are blessed to get attorney positions before finding out if they passed, BUT keeping the job is contingent on them passing the test. Imagine having your dream job only to lose upon getting your results.
I do not know how to make the entire bar exam experience better. It is truly a nerve wreaking process. One thing that will certainly help is having an adequate support system. A support system that understands all the caveats of a legal career. Yes, you may have had the graduation and been celebrated; yes, you have the letters behind your name, but not much else has changed.
So be kind and show your loved ones some support. Try not to add to their anxiety.