February bar exam takers must wait until the May following the exam for results, and July examinees must cope with sleepless nights and wait until the November following the exam for their results.
So, how do bar exam participants cope with the anguish of waiting several months before learning the results of what most would consider the most important test of their academic lives? Well, there are many ways to pass this time, some productive and some not so productive.
Get a Job!
After living off friends and family for the past few years, many law school graduates are eager to begin earning much needed cash. I was one of those people. So, I jumped at my cousin’s invitation to join him in working at a residential facility for youth with behavioral or emotional issues.
While such work is extremely important and noble, I quickly realized that my torts and contracts law classes left me ill prepared to effectively deal with my precious clients. Some of my top 5% classmates were much more fortunate in finding employment that better suited their skills. Many of the top 5% crew were invited to join law firms at lucrative salaries (entry level) on the condition that the new “ law clerk” would pass the bar exam on the first or at the very least second attempt.
Some law school graduates chose neither of the above, but still found a job. Many graduates who have the time and financial resources decide to volunteer or “intern” with law firms or employers with law related tasks. This is an invaluable opportunity for those law school graduates who can afford to do so.
I even encourage my paralegal students to volunteer in law related jobs. This gives graduates the opportunity to “test the water” before actually being on the payroll. Employers tend to be more nurturing towards and patient with “interns.” The graduate also gets the benefit of immediate on the job training.
Do Nothing at All
After years of grueling law school studies, some graduates decide to high tail it to the beach or the closest thing to the beach and take it easy before beginning their legal careers.
No matter how you decide to handle the waiting game, it is a long and stressful wait. But great job on successfully completing the bar exam!