It’s OK if you didn’t pass

It’s OK if you didn’t pass

Bar results are in for many jurisdictions. Everyone didn’t pass and that’s okay. Just keep going. Whatever that means for you. For some that means taking a break and not re-testing right away. For others, that means jumping back in and gearing up for bar prep.

When you are ready to start prepping again, here are some tips.

  1. Do one thing at a time. I know, I’m a multitasker, but the bar exam is really selfish and requires most of your time. I know you cannot take a break from life and relinquish titles such as wife or mommy, but I do suggest reducing your workload. I admire a hustler, but now is not the time to work two and three jobs. I had to work during bar prep so I understand, but if at all possible, please work only one job and that’s if you need to work.
  2. Really Assess what you dd last time, not to beat yourself up,  but to determine what did not work. Everyone has tips for you when it comes to bar prep, but what works for one might not work for the other. We all learn differently. Assess whether or not you tried to follow someone else’s plan while neglecting what works best for you.
  3. Do the inner work to build your self confidence. Don’t give this test more power than it has. This is a test of endurance. This is as much of a mental test as it is one that test legal knowledge. You have to build yourself up mentally.
  4. Learn to listen to your intuition. Trust your gut & don’t second guess it. I noticed while practicing that when I second guessed myself, my first answer was usually the correct one. Also, listen to your intuition as far as test prep goes. If your intuition tells you to rest, rest. If your intuition tells you to review a subject or topic area, do it. On the MEE test day, I went back to my hotel room during the lunch break. We had just completed the MPT’s that morning. My intuition told me to review the dormant commerce clause, so I did. I despise the dormant commerce clause. I like the equal protection and first amendment stuff in con law not the dormant commerce clause. But guess what? One of the six essays was a con law essay and it had a dormant commerce clause issue.
  5. Avoid Debbie Downers & Negative Nathans. I do not see anything wrong with avoiding negative people in order to protect your sanity during this time. You need a support system, and should absolutely go to therapy if necessary, but do not feel obligated to talk to everyone.
  6. Reprogram the negative self talk. No more jokes about not passing. I believe there is power in the words you speak. I saw a quote recently that said “stop speaking negatively about yourself or your life, even as a joke. Your spirit doesn’t know the difference.” Don’t joke about failing it again, you spent too much money already. Again, this test is about endurance. You have to condition your mind. Pull out your positive affirmations and use them.
  7. Set your intention to pass and surrender to the process. In the words of my father, “There’s no easy way.” Don’t resist the process. Study and go with the flow. Speak life over the entire process.

For the licensed attorneys out there, what were some of your healthy habits to keep your cool during bar prep, specifically those of you who had to retest?

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