My secrets in passing the bar… (Part 2.3)

Let’s deal with the solutions to the two other major factors why one fails the bar first before I tackle handwriting since these are short topics anyway…

3. Lose that Excess Baggage

Again, taking the bar exams demands your full attention. All your energies should be devoted to these four Sundays of September. The bar exams should be your only serious problem when you take it.

Any other concern should be secondary and should not be prioritized. If you have any other serious problem or concern at this time that could not be solved immediately (say, within this month), you should consider giving the bar exams a miss for this year.

Believe me, this advice has been foolproof. I have advised several people to take the bar next year given the baggage they were carrying. They all passed when they took it with a Zen-like attitude the year after. One of them, I advised to pass up a relatively “easy” bar exam given his personal family problems that year. Even the supposed “very hard” bar exam the year after did not stop him from becoming a lawyer when he took it without serious problems.

This is simple but prudent advice. Why go through with a physically, emotionally, intellectually, financially and psychologically taxing exam carrying excess or additional baggage when you can take it the next year without it? Why give yourself a handicap? Remember, the new “five strikes and you’re out” rule. Choose a year where you feel that you can give the bar exams your number one priority because this exam demands nothing less. Otherwise, the odds are already against you from the very start.

4. Determining Fate

Of course there is no solution if it is not destiny to become a lawyer.

The key here, however, is to determine if this is not your destiny early enough so you’ll not waste your life in a futile endeavor. This discernment is the key.

I have always encouraged people planning to take up law to go for it. It only takes four months (or a semester) to see if you’re destined to become a lawyer. Given the hell you’ll be putting yourself through, I feel the first semester is enough to know if lawyering is for you.

Like a highway to a destination, I know there would be signs that say you’re destined to become a lawyer. Let me tell you a personal experience as an example…

The results of my first ever mid-term exams in law school were horrible. I was getting very low grades (failing ones, at that), in levels I am utterly not used to. Mind you, I never failed in high school or college. Suddenly, I was getting grades in the 60s, in the major subjects at that.

I told myself, if I fail this last major mid-term, I will file a leave of absence from the school to take a year and sort things out. I already discussed this with my parents and they were supportive. When I got my exam results, I got a 74 (passing was 75). Ooohhhh… by one point…

So I took that as a sign and calmly walked to the administration office to file my leave. While browsing the test paper, I noticed that I got zero in one question where I was correct.

The professor in that subject was a terror and rarely granted corrections, even if correct. But since I had nothing to lose anyway, I decided to approach him.

Not only did this teacher miraculously correct my grade, he even apologized to me citing his old age (he was approaching his nineties at that time). In short, from a 74, my grade was adjusted to 84!

From that time on, I know it was my destiny to become a lawyer. Even with utterly horrendous handwriting.

Which gives a good segue to tackle the handwriting problem…next blog


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