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Congratulations; you've graduated from law school! Three years of hard work and dedication have finally paid off. At long last, you'll be able to take a break from late-night studying sessions.

Just kidding! You have one more teensy-weensy hurdle to overcome before you become a lawyer: THE BAR EXAM. With any luck, you'll only have to take this thing once and then it will be smooth sailing. Here are some tips to make sure your first time is your last time.

Congrats to the 3L's, 4L's and LLM's set to graduate this spring. You're finally ready to start learning about the law -- the actual, nitty-gritty laws of where you expect to practice. It's time for the bar exam.

Complaints over the bar exam are nothing new -- it's too high stakes, it's not an accurate measure of knowledge, it harms diversity, etc. These arguments are getting more attention recently, according to The New York Times, after the 2014 summer bar exams produced the worst results in over a decade.

Brain Drain: Are Law Schools Taking Less Qualified Students?

We know that law school demand is down. We know that fewer people are taking the LSAT, applying to law school, and actually going. The trend is inarguable at this point, with schools enrolling the fewest number of 1Ls since 1974 -- when there were 53 fewer ABA-accredited law schools.

One might think that the smallest class sizes in decades would mean that most law schools' admissions standards are holding steady. One would be terribly wrong, it seems.

Obvious Bar Stress Study Says Waiting for Results Is Stressful

You know what the worst time of my life was? Waiting for bar results. Waiting for bar results while unemployed, knowing that if I failed, it would all but guarantee ongoing unemployment until another testing cycle (February exam, plus a few months of waiting for results) had passed.

So yes, waiting for bar results is stressful. And now, if that obvious assertion isn't obvious enough, there is a study to back it up.

Congrats to the Adult Film Star Who Passed the Calif. Bar!

There is something surprising about this story, and it is not that an adult film star passed the California bar exam.

Women go into porn for many reasons: empowerment, desperation, enjoyment, and everything in between. There are intelligent women in the adult film industry just as there are intelligent women in every industry.

No, what is surprising is that a for-profit, unranked law school has nearly the same bar passage rates as "superior" California state schools. Well done, Western State College of Law at Argosy University, and well done Heather Swift a.k.a. Holly Price.

Most states have already disclosed their July bar exam results (sorry, California, you've got to wait a little longer), and the results are pretty grim. July 2014 had the lowest passage rates in recent memory, and the MBE looks to be the culprit.

Why? Well, it could be NCBE's fault for failing to normalize the scores. It could be due to an increase in the number of repeat test-takers, who generally score worse with each re-taking. Or, it could be the thing that is obvious but no one wants to say: The test-takers this time just weren't very smart.

10 Things to Do After Getting Bar Results, Pass or Fail

It's bar results season! On Tuesday, New York dropped results a day earlier last year, and weeks earlier than expected, reports Above the Law. Californians are going to be waiting in agony for at least a few more weeks. If you're from one of the flyover states, the length of your torture may vary, but the significance of the moment won't: This is the biggest test of your life.

And while many are understandably excited, others are recovering from a hangover with nothing but sorrow and months of bar prep ahead of them. Once the caffeine and aspirin kicks in, you're going to want to get to work, whether you passed or failed.

Here's the game plan for both:

25 Things You'll Need When Applying for the Bar Exam

The bar exam sucks. But you know what sucks almost as much? Filling out the application for the bar exam.

Because states want to make sure they aren't admitting a three-time felon or any other deviants, they make you provide an insane amount of personal information that you probably don't have access to, like the name of your supervisor at your two-month-long pizza delivery gig back in high school (a guy who certainly doesn't work there anymore).

It's a nightmare. And it's expensive as hell, even more so if you take the time to fill out your application carefully and the deadline passes. We've been through it, some of us multiple times, so we thought that a big list of (hopefully) everything you'll need for the application (besides cash) would come in handy. (H/T to the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners for providing many of these.) Of course, each state has its own requirements, but this checklist should cover almost everything:

As N.Y. Considers Uniform Bar Exam (With a Twist), Iowa Declines

This came out of nowhere: The New York State Bar is considering adopting the Uniform Bar Exam (with a small twist). If it does, New York will be the largest state, by far, to do so, and it'll mean big things for the future of the UBE. It'll also mean big things for law grads and lawyers who want more job portability, as the UBE would cover 15 states if adopted in New York.

Meantime, Iowa, which was considering the UBE and a diploma privilege for in-state graduates, declined to adopt either. It'll be an old-fashioned, state-specific bar exam, at least for now.

Studying for the Bar While Working Full-Time: 3 Tips

Here's a tip for first-timers who are planning on working full-time while studying for the bar: Don't do it. Failing doesn't guarantee that you'll have a crappy career, but it certainly doesn't help your short-term and long-term earning potential. Do anything and everything in your power to, at minimum, work just part-time, with a week off before the actual test.

But, if you wish to proceed, or if you're a retaker, a second state/Uniform Bar Exam taker, or a candlestick maker, we've got a few ideas on how to balance your full-time with your bar study time. Here are three tips that can pay off: