Mental Struggles After Bar Exam Failure - JD Advising
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grief in law school, Mental Struggles After Bar Exam

Mental Struggles After Bar Exam Failure

With many states recently releasing bar exam results, some applicants are relieved that they passed while others are devastated when they find out they failed. For those of you who didn’t get the news you were hoping for, we want to assure you that you are not alone! Thousands of attorneys go on to have successful and fulfilling careers after passing the bar exam, even if they failed one (or more!) times before passing. We’re here to tell you that retaking and passing the bar exam is doable. In this post, we touch on how to handle the mental struggle after failing the bar exam.

Mental Struggles After Bar Exam Failure

Recognize Your Accomplishments

First and foremost, graduating from law school is a massive achievement that deserves to be celebrated. You successfully conquered a difficult academic path that many only talk about pursuing but ultimately never do. Similarly, take pride in the fact that you withstood months of studying and preparation for the bar exam. Again, not many people have that level of dedication and work ethic. Although you may not have come out on top this time around, the bar exam isn’t going anywhere. It’s an exam that you can take as many times as you please. Failure is often hard to accept, however, it only makes success taste that much sweeter. Revel in your success so far and look forward to your success to come.

Failing The Bar Exam Doesn’t Mean You Won’t Be A Great Lawyer

Remember when you took the LSAT, and everyone was freaking out and obsessing over their score? Now think back on how much of an impact your LSAT score had on your academic performance in law school. We’re guessing your LSAT score had little to no impact on your success in law school. We’ve seen students score a 180 on the LSAT and struggle to keep up in law school. Similarly, we’ve seen students score in the lower percentiles of the LSAT scoring distribution and flourish in law school.  The same can be said for the bar exam.

Whether you pass or fail the bar exam on your first attempt has little bearing on your future legal career. It does not indicate your self-worth or ability.  Your bar exam score is simply a representation of your performance on a specific date and time. Attorneys almost never bring up whether they passed the bar exam on their first, second, or third try. Why? Nobody really cares after so long as you ultimately pass. So, try not to let it shake your self-confidence.

Tap Into Your Support System

The people who love and care for you want nothing more than to see you succeed. Mom, dad, husband, wife, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin, second cousin twice removed on your father’s side – your support system is there. So, don’t be afraid to reach out to them and let them know that you’re going through a difficult time. While they may not understand the pain that comes along with failing the bar exam, they can help. Sometimes a chat, cry, scream, rant, and anything else you can think of is just what the doctor ordered. The people in your support system are in your support system for a reason, and it’s ok to lean on them as you figure out what to do next.

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