The *Other* Bar Exam Prep Guide

As many of you know, the results for the Bar exam will be released—if the Lord and the internet is willin’—at 5:00 p.m. this Friday. It has been about seven months since I had to endure this week myself, anxiously counting down the days, hours, and minutes until the scores were released. It wasn’t fun, and I remember it vividly.


And although the internet is busting at the seams with information about how to prepare to take the Bar, nobody talks much about the other part: How to actually prepare to receive your Bar exam scores. I’ve got a few pieces of advice.

1. Review the Rule Against Perpetuities. (Just kidding!)

Do not do this under any circumstances.

2. Spend some time this week thinking about the effort that you put into the test.

Seriously. If you studied hard and didn’t leave anything on the table, this should be a particularly encouraging thought. We’re often told that all that matters is whether you pass or fail, but I don’t think that is entirely true. As I took some time to reflect on Bar prep in the days before results released, I was strangely encouraged just by thinking about all the work I had done. Whatever happens on Friday, every person who set a study schedule, followed the schedule, and took the test should be proud of his or her accomplishment. If you can do that, there are many, many, many important things that you can do in this life, regardless of whether you’re a lawyer.

3. Make a careful decision about how you’re going to receive your scores.

Because I tend to be a particularly social person, I decided to actually go up to the Arkansas Justice Building, where the scores are posted on the window at 5:00 p.m. Several of my closest friends joined me, and so it was an extremely special time—one of my fondest memories of law school/Bar prep. The flip-side of this approach is that if you don’t pass, it would make for a pretty awkward situation unless you happen to have attended Julliard for undergrad. If you choose to get your scores in public, I would also advise you to bring along a person who is important to you for support. If you pass, you can celebrate; if you don’t, at least you won’t have to cry on your classmates’ shoulders.  This is a hard decision to make, so I’d give it some thought beforehand.

PSA: On that note, if you decide to forgo the public unveiling and get your scores on the internet, be advised that the website is prone to crash from too much traffic. We are planning to pull the scores off the website right at 5:00 p.m. and post them here.