During law school, at the end of each semester, it can feel like your life is hanging in the balance. You think to yourself, if you don’t do well on this exam, you’ll be considered a failure. Then to top off all that anxiety, after law school you are faced with taking the Bar Exam. Once again, your life hangs in the balance as you convince yourself that you MUST pass the bar on your first attempt.
Now I’m not going to tell you that your exams don’t matter or that passing the bar is no big deal, because that just wouldn’t be true. However, you should know that after practicing law for a few years, not many people will really care. What will matter more than your law school grades or when you passed the bar is whether or not you can produce a quality legal product and provide great customer service (your customer can be anything from a partner at your firm to a client of your very own firm).
So it’s important to keep the big picture in mind and RELAX. Just make it onto the playing field. Yes, you should strive to do exceptionally well on all of your exams as well as the Bar Exam. However, it’s not the end of the world if you slip here or there. Also, you’ll do better on exams when you aren’t paralyzed with fear. I’m not talking the healthy make you study harder fear. I’m talking the freeze up on the exam at the sight of any obstacle type of fear.
One caveat, your grades do matter when it comes to large firm recruiters. But the practice of law is a lot bigger than just large law firms. So again, I’m definitely not saying that grades and bar passage aren’t very important. I just want to make sure you focus on the forest instead of the trees. There was a saying at our law school (which was possibly a saying at all law schools) that “A students become law professors, B students become judges and C students become millionaires.” All of a sudden making a C doesn’t sound as bad any more does it? Work smart, work hard, but please keep it all in perspective. Happy studying!