It’s over! Do a little dance, make a little noise, get down tonight… etc. etc. As most of you probably know, the bar exam was last week. Duh. Our three Bar Review Diarists thankfully made it through the test without dealing with nightmares like rats or murdered cats, but they do have some interesting stories to tell.

Jeanette, Nathan, and Andrew, you just took the bar exam… how does it feel?

First, let’s check in with Jeanette:

July 25th is over and done. It’s been about five days since I finished the New York bar exam and I’m still alive and kicking.

I flew into New York on Sunday the 22nd — about 2 days before the bar exam. I’m glad I didn’t fly in the day before because I heard some horror stories of people missing flights and ending up getting into their hotel rooms at midnight the night before the exam. I also stayed with a good friend of mine who didn’t go to law school. It was nice being around someone who was supportive and respectful of my stress level, but also wasn’t taking the bar exam herself so we never really discussed it. It forced me to talk about other things, and therefore, to relax in the days leading up to the bar. I thank her for this.

On the actual day of the exam, I set my alarm to wake me up at 5am to be able to get to the Javits Center by 7am. But of course, I managed to sleep through it an woke up at 6am. I flew out of there, tore into a Starbucks and ordered a Trenta coffee (I told them I was about to take the bar to which they responded, “yeah it’s only lawyers and the Olsen twins who order this size”) and jumped in a cab. I got to the Javits Center at 7 exactly only to find that we would have to wait for an hour before they started letting people in. Needless to say, I wasn’t panicked when I got there a little bit late the next day.

I gotta say, saying the worst coffee addicts in America are lawyers and the Olsen twins is an unexpected combination. But I’m glad you made it alive out of the test, because at least one unlucky feline in Albany, New York, did not.

When I finished Day Two of the bar exam, I emerged from the Javits Center looking like a crazy person. I barely ate anything in those two days because I was too nervous to put down a proper meal. My lips had turned a sickening shade of purple because the Javits Center is absolutely freezing. My eyes were red from staring at a computer screen/piece of paper for two days straight. I was exhausted from an unparalleled lack of sleep and I was dizzy from not drinking enough water. I also literally had no idea how to feel about the test itself; half of me was so happy and relieved that I was done, while the other half of me was terrified that I had messed up.

Oy vey. That sounds terrible. It sounds like you had less of a test-taking experience and more of a mild case of the flu.

I got home and turns out many fellow law students felt the same way. One of my friends said she wanted to sue her bar exam prep course company but she’d have to hire a lawyer because she didn’t pass the bar exam. Another said he heard Starbucks had excellent benefits and did not require any of their employees to pass the bar exam. We laughed but these jokes made it clear we all felt uneasy about our performance.

The last few days have been great, and I’m looking forward to going on a 3-week long roadtrip across the country with my childhood best friend. I look forward to not thinking or reading or writing about fertile octogenarians, implied warranties, and felony murder. I look forward to spending the next few months relaxing.

On the road again, on the road again, I don’t ever want to take the bar again, so I’m going on the road again…

Other than some minor social faux pas, Nathan had a slightly less stressful experience, thanks in part to the extraordinarily comfortable chairs at the Kellogg School of Management:

I walked into the bar exam about five minutes before we were supposed to be in our seats and judging by the looks that I drew from the packed room, I was inappropriately late, by many people’s standards. I knew absolutely no one in my room. This wouldn’t have bothered me if it weren’t for the relatively strict no cell phones policy that made meeting up with people for lunch and post-test drinks particularly difficult. Overall, I didn’t find the test itself too stressful. It was really a much easier test with respect to the time constraints than any exam I’ve taken since college. This gave me plenty of time to adjust the settings on my chair (shoutout to Northwestern Kellogg School of Management for the nice chairs) and to consider who else I would allow in the Fraternal Order of the Bathroom Break Sign-Out Sheet.

Go U! NU! Our football team may be mediocre, but we have comfy-ass chairs.

Plus, it was a situation where I either knew each answer or I didn’t. I definitely didn’t know quite a few things, but there was nothing I was going to somehow remember while taking the exam.

The first day was definitely much harder than the second. On the first day, we took the Illinois essays and some multi-state essays. A lot more topics were covered and the essays are just generally a lot harder than the multiple choice. In between the two days, I saw Dark Knight Rises with some fellow test-takers and I’d highly recommend that kind of break to any future test-takers. The only thing I could have done otherwise is cram multiple choice questions down my own throat, dreaming of 4:30 on Wednesday.

The amount of people sitting for the bar in Illinois was really shocking to me. Every test site was in a tight little half-mile area in downtown Chicago and every lunch spot was completely packed with future lawyers holding Ziploc bags. I recognized a good amount of characters from high school and college at the exam. It was comforting to see that we were all at a stage in our life where we don’t acknowledge people from our past lives who we never spoke to in those past lives (compare, for example, college blackouts, age 19-21).

Anyways, since Wednesday, things have been fun. I honestly can’t think of a story that would interest anyone that I could also share with the employers who Google my name, though.

Ahh, isn’t my adult life fun? I love being “mature.”

On the next page, let’s hear Andrew’s description of the test, including his new brilliant time-wasting game, “Anxiety Bingo”…


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