The random thoughts of an architect-turned- lawyer from the deep south living in Washington, DC...

Saturday, July 28, 2007



As one of my dear friend's away message says right now "there are no words." There really are not. But I'll try. I've been decompressing and talking things over with other fellow bar exam takers and one thing is certain, we all feel pretty much the same. Since we won't get our results until October or November, there is an anti-climactic feel to being finished. I mean, I'm "done" as in I don't have to study every day or go to classes anymore. But I'm not "done" as in I'm a lawyer. I don't know if I passed the Bar Exam. For the first time since this hellish 8+week process began, I honestly don't know.
All along, I felt okay. I worked really hard, knew the law better than a lot of people and felt confident going in. Now, I really just don't know. That's a pretty unsettling feeling.

The VA Bar was every bit as bad as they said it would be. Day 1 was VA specific questions. The morning session was 5 essays at 36 minutes a piece. Of course, one can never know every single thing for such a comprehensive exam, but I felt pretty good. I spent my lunch sitting in my car with a good friend. We narrowed down what would be tested on the afternoon portion and reviewed for an hour. Then we made the mistake of saying out loud that it wasn't so bad.

The world got turned upside down when we went back inside. The afternoon session consisted of 4 essays (some with a few subparts) and 20 short answers. I hammered out the short answers in less than 10 minutes and settled into the essays. It was like entering the twilight zone. As if they gave us an exam for another state. For 2 of the 4 essays, I stared at my blank screen for quite some time. In some instances, I honestly had no clue what the law was. None. Other times, the questions were worded in ways that I had (well, still have) no idea what they were asking of me. When faced with questions like this, I could do one of two things: I could ramble on and on just laying out every piece of law I could think of or I could just make up the law. Well, I did a little bit of both. I sure hope I get points for creativity on some of those ethics laws I invented.

I walked out of that afternoon exam and for the first time this summer my spirit was broken. The VA Bar broke me. I went to dinner with some friends and did something I usually never do. We talked about the exam. I mean an all out "what did you put?" conversation. It came to light that of the four of us sitting at the table, none of us put the same thing. We all made up laws. We all rambled on. We all stared at blank screens. Between the four of us, we still couldn't figure out what some of the questions were asking of us. At least we were all in the same boat, even though it did seem to be sinking.

The next day was the Multistate Bar Exam. That one was a little less intimidating going in because I had already done two practice run-throughs and also countless practice questions over the summer. I'm not quite sure how I felt about it except to say it was pretty much exactly what I expected. I didn't think it was especially difficult, nor did I think it was especially easy. It was just what I expected. The thing with those 200 multiple choice questions is that I never can tell how I did until I turn around and score myself right afterwards. Well, they didn't let us do that, so I guess I have to wait. If I performed as I have been averaging all summer, I should be okay. I just have to hope that it was well enough to overcome my performance on Day 1. I guess only time will tell.

I really am in a state of limbo right now. I'm sure this will fade over the next few days and I will definitely leave these feelings at home when I travel around the world! I do predict they will resurface around October and I can deal with them then. Because at least for now, I'm done with the Bar Exam.