What Happens to My Post-Graduate Offer If I Fail the Bar? - JD Advising
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Post-Graduate Offer

What Happens to My Post-Graduate Offer If I Fail the Bar?

Finding out that you didn’t pass the bar exam can be incredibly difficult. Students often wonder how failing the bar exam can impact offers of employment that these students have already received.  Are they completely rescinded? Does the employer look down on you because you were unsuccessful on your first time taking the bar exam? Do employers give second chances to pass the bar exam? These are all very popular questions and many students are uncomfortable asking them during job interviews. So, does the world really end if you have an offer lined up after law school and fail the bar? Nonsense! Many employers are understanding of an employee who has failed the bar exam. Most employers are willing to give second chances to those who failed the bar exam. It is very rare that a post-graduate offer is completely rescinded simply because someone failed the bar exam. Let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons why.

What Happens to My Post-Graduate Offer If I Fail the Bar?

An Employer’s Investment in You

If you are one of the lucky students to be graduating law school with a full-time employment offer – congratulations! That is a major accomplishment in and of itself and deserves to be recognized. Chances are you interviewed with your employer sometime during your 2L year and spent the summer working with them. Once they figured out you would be a good fit, they presented you with an offer for post-law school employment.

Those that have failed the bar exam almost instantly assume that an employment offer goes out the window. This isn’t true. Your employer has invested time, effort, and money into you because they believe you will be successful working with them. Employers want to attempt to get a return on their investment before abandoning ship. Many employers are more interested in your long-term success and want to do everything they can to help you. Remember, when you succeed, they succeed.

Most Employers Were in Your Shoes

Many people forget that failing the Bar Exam is a common occurrence in many states. Chances are, your employer understands just how difficult the bar exam is. The partner that hired you had to take the bar exam. The general counsel that hired you had to take the bar exam. The judge that hired you had to take the bar exam. They understand that people fail the bar exam and that the bar exam is an extremely difficult test. They may have even failed the bar exam! Again, employers understand the pressure of the bar exam and were in your shoes at one point.

Second Chances

It is an unwritten rule in the legal community that students are usually given one free pass to the exam. If you are unsuccessful on the bar exam, most employers will give you a second chance. Although this isn’t true for every employer, it is true for the majority. If you are unsuccessful on the bar exam, many employers will retain you in a non-lawyer capacity. Some employers also provide you with time off to study for the bar exam.  When you return after taking the bar exam for a second time, you will generally perform associate-level tasks.  After your second attempt at the bar exam, it’s up to the individual employer as to whether they retain you, and this tends to vary amongst employers.

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