What to Do If You Don't Pass the Bar Exam
Take Some Time for YourselfIt’s easy to say not passing the bar isn’t the end of the world, but that doesn’t change the unique brand of shame and disappointment someone feels when it happens. Let’s face it: You wouldn’t have gone to law school if you didn’t have high expectations of yourself. If you do not pass the exam, don’t dismiss those feelings – just don’t stay in them too long.
Think About AlternativesWe know you’ve heard that having a J.D. can get you far, and it likely sounds like a marketing tactic at this point. But it’s true. Mine has helped me make a living as a writer – something I always wanted to do. Whatever your interests, there’s probably an alternative legal career for you. From government to social justice to journalism, thinking about the possibilities can help take your mind off your feelings about the bar exam. And who knows, maybe you’ll find your true calling.
Re-Evaluate Your Study PlanIf you decide to retake the exam, avoid falling into the trap of using the same study tactics in larger quantities. Odds are, you didn’t fail because of a lack of legal knowledge. As many study programs like to emphasize, it’s all about the strategies you use to get through the test. Maybe you ran out of time on one of the essays or second-guessed all your multiple-choice answers. Focus on resolving these issues instead of trying to cram more statutes in your head. (But, you know, still review the rules.)
- 10 Things to Do After Getting Bar Exam Results, Pass or Fail (FindLaw’s Greedy Associates)
- 101 Things to Do With Your J.D., Besides Practice Law (FindLaw’s Greedy Associates)
- What Alternative Legal Career is Right for You? (FindLaw’s Greedy Associates)
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.
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