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Myth: You are Stupid Because You Failed The Bar

Myth Buster: You Are Not Stupid

Trust me on this. I 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 me, since I WILL tell students when they are performing below expectations. I am not a “rah rah you can do it” if I feel you are not performing, but I am 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 I’m quite serious when I 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 can not start out from a place of defeat. Wipe the slate clean.

Don’t Just Pass the Bar… Raise It!

The pass rate in Massachusetts this past February was 62% overall! That’s down a considerable amount from what it normally is, so if you were not successful this time, that is something else to consider – you are not alone. In fact, 38% of test takers are in the same boat!

After you tell yourself you are going to kick butt – 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 – I’ll be happy to welcome you as a colleague!


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