This monster of an exam is nothing short of a hat trick. Truly. Day one lulls you in, and if you feel good about your performance, it’s almost like the Bar tees you up for a spectacular tumble downhill on Day numero dos. But Day three? Friends, Day 3 of the Texas Bar exam is the State’s Legal pièce de résistance
Day three is the Texas essays. If you’re not afraid, you should be. The sheer amount of law covered on these 12 (yes, twelve) essays is behemoth. I worried about this part of the exam. I kept thinking I wasn’t prepared, and there was just no way I would ever feel prepared. Without an eidetic memory, there’s just no way to guarantee you’ll memorize everything on each essay. Plus, sometimes your brain just freezes. Mine stuttered in the middle of typing a Business Associations essay and – I swear to you – I knew what I wanted to say, but suddenly experienced this Broca’s aphasia of sorts and typed “It’s a special suit, only a shareholder can file…” and that was it. I got frustrated and wasted several precious seconds just praying I would remember the freaking legal term. By the time I got through the last subpart of this particular question, I remembered the term: derivative.
I’m not going to lie. In the midst of my freakout, I prayed. Full on Our Father + Hail Mary because I couldn’t think of anything else to do and the image of my grandparents praying over me via face time on Monday was the only calming thing I could think of. If you’re prepping for the Bar in February, I strongly encourage you to have one thing, just one, that will instantly calm you. This exam pushes your brain to the brink of its limits, and then teases you to push yourself just a bit further. There are exceptions that I laughed about knowing because my brain was saying, “yes girl. Type that answer.” But really, my inner voice was questioning where the hell that knowledge was coming from. Turns out – because, yes, I sure as hell checked my answers when I went back to my hotel after submitting the exam – those ‘shots in the dark’ I thought I was taking, were 100% accurate. It’s amazing how much knowledge your brain can store in three years + 8 weeks of busting ass and studying.
Day three was stressful, but not nearly as terrible as Day 2. Multiple choice questions, especially on legal topics, are the shittiest way to test your knowledge of the law. I absolutely loathed giving multiple choice questions when I was teaching, and I detest them even more as a student. Give me a chance to apply myself any day. I felt much more in my element on day 3 and, if you’re a stronger writer, I imagine you’d be in the same boat.
In addition to making it through the Bar exam, I witnessed someone begin the process of tanking her legal career. Let me tell you – the Board of Law Examiners is not here to deal with your bullshit. They are tasked with ensuring that people who pass the Bar are, in fact, able to competently serve the legal community. So, when they tell you not to bring in study materials, effectively violating the honor pledge, they REALLY mean it. After three years of law school, on top of the undergraduate (and possibly master’s degree) you’ve earned, you should be well versed in exam etiquette. A student broke the rules and likely lost her Bar card in the process. Word to the wise: don’t be that student. Put the time in and study, hard. There’s no reason to attempt to cheat your way through this test. Like I said, there’s just too much damn material. Study it and do your absolute best. Don’t be the idiot who tries to cheat and loses their chance at a Bar card.
Just don’t do that.
Now that the Bar is over — as I write this advice from my airplane seat, a mere 3 hours after finishing my exam — do your best to stop thinking about the exam. I know, it’s really hard to do. But, try nonetheless. Enjoy spending a few days doing something you love. Take a trip (I wrangled 10 friends and we’re headed to New Orleans for the weekend), or lounge by the pool. Hell, spend time with your family and all the individuals you ignored this summer to study. Check in on those who encouraged you and supported you these past ten weeks. Do something that makes you happy.
You’ve earned this time. You can get back to working, clerking, or whatever you plan to do while waiting for results (which, ever so rudely do not get released until November). Let’s hope for passing scores and the opportunity to clink champagne flutes in a few months, friends!