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How to Prepare Yourself for Bar Results: A Checklist

By Betty Wang, JD on November 14, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

How do you prepare for bar results? The test was awful and the wait was possibly worse, but now that states are rolling out their pass lists, the day you get your bar results might be its own kind of dreadful.

It doesn't have to be, though, future barrister.

While many states have already released their bar exam pass lists, one of the most monstrous states for bar exam takers, California, has not yet done so. So for those of you still waiting for bar results, here's a checklist to help you prepare:

  • Are you mentally prepared for the worst? Regardless of whether or not you felt like you rocked the exam, know that statistically and realistically, failure is a possibility. Prepare yourself for the worst possible outcome so that no matter what your results are, you're not in for the shock of a lifetime. But, of course, also remember that "worst" does not mean it's the end of the world, and you still have plenty of options.
  • Do you have a positive perspective? This almost goes hand-in-hand with being mentally prepared for the worst. In case you don't see your name on the pass list, remember to keep a positive perspective on things. You have your health, your family, your good looks, and a bright future ahead of you. This is just a very, very temporary bump in the road with an escape route in sight, and in the grand scheme of things, you still have it good.
  • Is your location picked out? This may not be important to some, but you may want to think about where you'll be checking results ahead of time. A quiet library, a dark corner of your room, or a very public Starbucks? Think about what you'll want to be surrounded by. You may even want to record a reaction video of your moment of victory, in which case, the proper location is also key.
  • Do you have your support system ready? Nobody wants to be lonely. Well, OK, maybe some people do. But think this one through carefully when it comes to checking your bar results. Some may consider it a very private moment, while others may prefer to have a spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend, mom or dad, or BFF nearby to either cry with or to celebrate with.
  • How will you celebrate? Pass or fail, rain or shine, you still survived every law student's version of war. This is worth acknowledging and celebrating, regardless of whether or not a list has your name placed onto it. Break out some libations, have a good meal with some close friends, or just vow to take the night off and relax before you tackle anything next.

No good luck is necessary at this point, as the results are out of your hands. However, remember that you still have control over what happens afterward, and it's always best to be prepared.

Have your own tips on how to prepare for bar results? Tweet it to us @FindLawLP.

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