Mid-June and approximately six weeks to the bar exam.  If you are only mildly stressed right now, don’t worry, it will get worse, and worse, and yet worse, with, if you are like me, successive panic apexes interspersed with periods of apathy.  A wonderful cycle.  

This column doesn’t usually come with advice, but for your sanity I recommend taking a week off after your bar review course during which you don’t crack the books at all. It might help to have a facilitator ensuring you are perpetually inebriated during that time, so you won’t be tempted. All I can say is it worked for me….

At the Bar Exam

Wiping the puke off my shoes,
I realized I should have seen it coming.
Day 1, California bar exam, hot as hell in line to get in,
And it’s all riding on keeping it together for the next 72 hours.

$150K in loans, interest already accruing,
Three years of your life gone, never going to get those back.
I’d like to say I was sympathetic to the other poor bastards around me,
But the truth is it’s all about you right then.
All you have to do is score better than 50% of the others,
And you’re golden.  Not so easy in the moment.

Then suddenly this poor fuck just starts puking,
Eggs and sausage and carrots or something,
Splattering all around and on my shoes.
Girls screaming “gross!” and guys shouting,
He’s running to the bathroom, hand over his mouth.

And right then I know I’m gonna be fine,
I’m scared, my mind’s been blanking,
But that’s all it took to see I’m better off than most.
Thanks buddy, you really helped me out,
And don’t worry, they were crappy old shoes anyway.


Qui Tam, a weekly column of poetry about the legal profession, is penned by an arrogant T1 law graduate, former Biglaw associate, and current in-house lawyer. You can reach Qui Tam by email: quitammer@hotmail.com.


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