Realizations and the Bar Exam

So this weekend’s pre-bar prep class freaked us all out just a little bit.  When you know for a fact that 20-30% of the people sitting in the room with you will fail, you just certainly hope you are not among that percentage.  When you watch a movie showing others who have tried, cried, screamed, and failed, you don’t want to be them, either.  You want to be one of the winners, one of the ones who walks into the Supreme Court of your state to have your oath of office and become a lawyer in your own right.  You want, like all lawyers, to win.

Tonight, I started filling out my bar application.  I had to pull out my law school application, just to make sure that I didn’t miss anything.  Not that I have much to miss.  Thankfully, I have never been arrested, haven’t had a traffic ticket since I was 16, and don’t have anything to really report to the ethics committee.  I’ve been a pretty good citizen, even if I am a bit grouchy from time to time.  Thankfully, they don’t ask about being grouchy!

This weekend has been emotional.  We are nearing the end of a long journey.  For some of us, this journey has been short – only the three or four years we have spent in law school itself.  For others, like me and most of my true close law school friends, it has been  a much longer journey, almost 20 years or more.  Regardless, I still county myself among the lucky in that I have accomplished what I set out to do – go to law school, make decent grades, and achieve my long-term dream.  Now comes the next step, and it is the most challenging and scariest of them all – the bar exam.

Everyone talks about it like it’s a really bad root canal.  I have had one of those, and it wasn’t nearly as bad as a crown.  I passed out during the crown, and the dentist thought I was like dead or something.  Hopefully, law school has been my crown, and the bar will be my root canal – just the opposite of what they are thought to be.

Three things made me weepy this evening.  One was the law school letter I had to write for admission.  I talked about my great-great-grandfather and his journey to the New World in a barrel on a ship, literally.  I talked about how ethics always wins, even in the face of great adversity.  The strong stay to their ethics; the weak forgo them and pay the price later.  Thankfully, I am among the strong in that regard.  I am truly ready, just as I was when I wrote that letter four years ago, to march ahead and pursue my dreams.

The second thing that struck me was my “Goal Setting Exercise” that I had to write during orientation.  We had to talk about our inspirations, why we were in law school, and what we hoped to accomplish, as well as what we would be able to “live with” as far as grades went. I put that my best would be a 3.5, and my worst would be a low C average.  I’m almost at the best, so I think that’s pretty good.  I am most definitely happy with my GPA, as given everything else I have going on in life, I think it’s most-excellent.

My inspiration, as always, is Ken.  At the very end of the exercise, I wrote that if he can survive a heart transplant, surely I can survive law school.  Surely the same goes for the bar exam.  This isn’t the worst thing that people ever face in life; heck, it’s not even the worst thing I’ve ever faced in life and certainly not the worst thing that my cancer-stricken friends have faced.  It’s not life or death.  But, even with that, I will try my hardest because I know that he would want me to.  He will be with me during those two days, I know, even if just in spirit.

The final thing that was really cool looking back tonight was the date that I took my LSAT.  I only took it once.  I only studied for about 3 weeks.  I made a really good score, and I got into law school at the last minute, just about.  I was lucky.  The coolest thing, though, was that the date I took it was exactly 4 years prior to the day (this week) that I will have 100 days left in law school before graduation.  Who knew that 4 years from then that I would be standing in this spot today, having accomplished so much?

I know one angel who probably did.

His name was Ken.  And he has been here with me, every step of the way.  He would be so very proud of me, and that makes me miss him all the more, but smile, knowing it to be true.

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