One year ago right now, I was sitting in a janky hotel room regretting my Quizno's dinner, trying to figure out how to cram more legal minutia into my already uber-fatigued and over-stuffed brain, and just generally freaking the fuck out. Why? Because one year ago tomorrow was the day I started taking the bar exam. And you know what? I am SOOOOOOOO glad that's an experience I will never, ever, EVER have to go through again. It was awful. I have never felt more drained, more exhausted, or more stoopid than I did at the end of day three.
The bar exam is hyped up to be this major, terrifying event, and it is. It consumes your life for 2.5 straight months after law school graduation (well, it should, anyway). It costs a ton of money (including classes, fees, and accommodations, but not lost wages, I sank about $3,000 into the bar). It carries the risk of grave public humiliation at least in this state, you can type in your law school into the results website and everyone who passes pops up...when the statistics released by the Supreme Court tell you 10 first-time takers from your school failed, it's not all that difficult to figure out who those 10 are). And worst of all, if you fail, you have to take it again or move on to a new career. The whole experience was brutal.
But now, a year later, I can say that I took the test and survived. I also passed on my first try, which is more impressive than just surviving the test. And now, I'm a hot-shot lawyer (or not so much...), and the terror of the bar is far behind me. I'm feeling serious pangs of empathy for all the poor saps who are panicking in their janky hotel rooms tonight, though. Good luck tomorrow to all the bar takers!