This summer was rough. In addition to working full time, I was also prepping for the Texas bar exam.
I was scared to tell many people that I was even taking the exam — I had been out of law school for six years and taking the exam in a different state. I wasn’t confident that my bar review course would power me through Texas oil and gas law. I was also worried that working 50 hours a week was cutting too much into my prep time.
I did well on the practice tests — but were they like the exam? I heard so many horror stories of people failing the bar one, two, three times even while studying full time. Was I doing enough? Was starting bar prep in April too early? Too late?
So I took the exam this July at the Irving convention center. (The picture above was the view during a break.) The test was three days long and I was worried that I was having a stroke the entire time.
I would arrive at a nearby Starbucks at 5 a.m. to beat traffic do last-minute cramming. I then got to the convention center parking garage, which was quite the sight — completely packed and everyone had their cars on to get last-minute studying in. Some people were even studying in the trunks of their SUVs! The fumes were terrible.
The garage was equally as packed during the lunch breaks. I decided to eat lunch in the back seat of my car and learned that I apparently have child locks. The people in the car next to me thought I had lost my mind when they saw me crawling to the front of the car.
After the bar exam we went to New Orleans. The trip was pre-planned but I was exhausted and not feeling comfortable with the results. I tried to forget the exam even happened.
Then came months of waiting.
We moved to Washington D.C., and I started the Georgetown Law tax LL.M. program. The issue of the bar exam results was in the back of my mind and an increasing sense of dread crept in as my classmates started getting their bar exam results.
Texas always releases bar exam results earlier than the anticipated date. Which meant that I almost lost it when I received an email from the Bar Examiners a few days ago stating that I had a message in my account.
It was a survey.
I then spent days refreshing the bar examiner’s website and trolling message boards for information.
I also repeatedly looked at the pass rates for my law school and other schools in Texas. Most people from the University of Minnesota pass the bar — but that’s Minnesota. Did I fuck up that oil and gas essay?
My friends and family kept telling me that I passed — but what did they know? They haven’t seen my work product. They haven’t graded any of my essays. Also — lots of very smart people fail the bar exam every year. Maybe I would be one of those?
I was inconsolable.
Then today came, and one of the Texas Supreme Court Justices announced on Twitter that the bar exam results would be released at 10:45 a.m.
They weren’t released at 10:45 a.m.
Everything was horrible.
Then one of my refreshed worked, I hit control+F and FOUND MY NAME.
All of the fees, random finger printing, hundreds of hours of studying, and stress paid off. I passed my first bar exam and wasn’t an idiot after all.
…with an asterisk — I am taking the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) this Saturday. That is one exam I feel substantially more prepared for. If things go as planned, I should be licensed before the end of the year. Halle-loo!