I have such wonderful friends. They inspire me on a daily basis to not only be a better person but to keep reaching for my goals. Today, the results of the Arkansas Bar Exam were released. I had so many friends who passed! I also had a few who did not. The latter is the group to which I dedicate this blog today.
I have heard, and can totally understand, that the bar exam is the hardest test that you can possibly imagine. Taken over 2 or 3 days, depending on your jurisdiction, it is a full-on, 3-years’ worth of material, endeavor. Yes, many have passed. Many more have tried and not passed, but they have not failed. Merely by maintaining their sanity in law school, they have prevailed over demons most cannot imagine.
Law school is hard. It’s not for wussies. I get really peeved when people say that it’s not as hard as medical school. I think it is. Medical school is scientific. There are facts and things that don’t change. There are challenges that do. Law school has the same facts and challenges. They are more “feeling” and not as scientific, in some regards. But, they are still very difficult concepts to wrap one’s head around and come out on the other side smiling with an understanding of what just happened.
Our profession is also life and death. It’s not just doctors who have all that fun. Take, for instance, my professors this semester who are federal habeas defense attorneys. Talk about life and death! They deal with it on a daily basis. They are trying to save someone, not from a horrid disease, but from their deeds and their government’s retribution for those deeds (if they did, in fact, commit them). Once their appeals and habeas processes are complete, only the governor or a committee stand between them and the death chair/table/firing squad. It’s life and death at its most horrific hour.
Today’s results make me think about my own bar exam, less than two years away. Every moment, it grows closer. Every moment, I get a bit more nervous. What if I don’t pass? What if I don’t ever pass? What will these four years as a part-timer have been for in the end?
I can only move ahead, and hope that I, too, will pass. I know there are some folks I know who have passed that I wonder how they ever did! People from my hometown who one wouldn’t have thought could find their way out of a box, much less pass the bar! I’m very happy to say that I think I’m a bit smarter than they are. But, unfortunately, smarts is not the only thing that one needs. One needs commitment, talent, and writing skills, as well as total analytical skills, to get through it all. I think I have it, but we’ll see in about two years.
Cheers today to all of those who passed the bar. Hugs to those who did not. Your time is in February. You will prevail.