The bar exam is finally over (for now, but let's not be Debbie Downers too soon). So, what now?
You've devoted the last 3, maybe 4 years of your life to pursuing your legal degree, and then more recently, the last 2-3 grueling, hellish months to the grueling, hellish process that is bar-study.
First things, first -- congratulations! There is, indeed, much to celebrate. Now go ahead and enjoy with many, many libations. Also, though, here are 5 things to keep in mind about the post-bar period:
1. Post-bar trip? You may not be ready to jet-set right away. Many of you may have planned an exotic getaway to take off the minute the bar exam is over. Understandably, because halfway across the world is exactly where any of us would want to be after being released from purgatory. But, before you grab your passport and jet off -- keep in mind that not only is traveling itself exhausting, but your mind and body's resources have already been depleted from the last couple of months. While you probably don't want to cancel your flight, maybe a really, really long nap would be a good start.
2. People still aren't going to get it. We've mentioned that non-law folks in your life, bless them, just weren't able to fully comprehend what bar-study and the bar is really like for you. Well, even though the exam is over, that will still hold true. Expect many inaccurately framed reactions, from "congrats on passing the bar!" (before results come out, cringe) to silence (because, remember, some still think it's 'just' a test, and not the 'the closest you will ever come to war.')
3. Job prospects may be halted. The waiting period for bar results is often not the time for employers to bite. Understandably, as firms would obviously prefer someone who has passed the bar, versus someone who might have. Try to be productive during this time and offer services that you can perform, such as document review, volunteering, or just networking in general to keep connections open.
4. Keep yourself distracted. Again, the waiting period sucks. It will often feel like a constant battle of wanting to never find out or wanting to know results, like, yesterday. The best thing you can do is to focus on what you can to keep yourself distracted and productive. Also, remember those things called friends and family? Now might be a good time to welcome them back into your life.
5. You've accomplished a lot. Regardless of whether or not the people in your life or even you yourself are able to comprehend what you just went through, know this: you took on a huge feat. Many people don't have the endurance, the mental and physical capacity, and the fight in them like you did to study and take the bar exam. You did it, and you should be very, very proud.
Again, because it bears repeating: congratulations!
- Post-Bar Exam Relaxation Tips: 5 Ways to Chill After it's Done (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)
- Will Relaxing Make You a Better Attorney? (FindLaw's Strategist)
- Unemployed Law Grads: 5 Ways to Become More Marketable (FindLaw's Strategist)