I often get asked “I failed the bar, am I an idiot? Should I even bother taking it again?” The answer is you are NOT an idiot, and YES, take it again.
Trust us on this. We have had so many students come to me stating that they are stupid due to the fact that they failed the bar. Maybe they missed it by 25 points, maybe by 2. Either way, they are not stupid. And you have to trust us, since WE WILL tell students when they are performing below expectations. We are not a “rah rah you can do it” if we feel you are not performing, but we are going to tell you that it is a MYTH, a downright dirty one, that students who fail the bar on the first try are somehow less able to practice law than their colleagues who passed on the first try.
The thing is, the bar exam does not test intelligence. In part, it tests your test taking ability. That is NOT the same as intelligence, as many really smart people just don’t take tests all that well.
Please remember that many successful attorneys did not pass the bar on the first try, and it does not impact their performance as a lawyer. The important thing is that you can’t let this affect your confidence. (I know, easier said than done, right?) But we are quite serious when we say that if you think you are stupid, if you think you will fail, if you think you will do less than your best, it really DOES hurt your chances of success. Instead, pick yourself up after this and tell yourself you are going to go kick the butt of the bar exam. Fake the confidence if you have to, but you NEED to begin the study process with that confidence. You cannot start out from a place of defeat. Wipe the slate clean.
After you tell yourself you are going to kick butt – come to us and find a NEW way to study, don’t fall back on the same old habits. And then go pass the second, or third, or fourth time around (and yes, we have tutored students who have taken it many more times that that). – we will be happy to welcome you first as a student, then as a colleague!
NOW WHAT? Email our President, Tania Shah, personally at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office at 617-332-4800. In the email subject, put: Repeat Bar Exam Taker. She will personally get back to you. We promise. She told us!