Saturday, November 17, 2007

California Bar Exam Results

I wish I could report entirely good news. You see, I'm one of those team players. Although I went into law school with an I-don't-need-any-new-friends attitude, truth be told I never would have survived without my study group, Paul and Delinda. We studied together at least once a week for three years. Honestly, I couldn't have done it without them.

So we had a plan. When results came out, we'd text each other. No matter what. And here's how it all happened:

Around 4:30pm, a bunch of people from the firm took the three of us awaiting our bar results to Karl Strauss for snacks and drinks. We called this the pre-bar-results Novocaine. I had planned to check my results online in the office because of afternoon traffic. But in the end, I didn't. I decided instead to drive home and check them. I figured the website would be all jammed up for the first 15 minutes or so anyway.

On my drive, the first text came in at about 6:04pm. It was Paul. He passed. Then, as I was dialing his number to congratulate him, a second text arrived, from Delinda. It said, "I'm not on the list." When you check your bar results, you get a notification that either says, "This name appears on the list of people passing the July 2007 bar exam" or "No record found" (or something like that).

I called Delinda. I asked her if she double-checked her numbers. If she'd had her husband type it in for her. I told her that it's not final-- the website. That I'd heard of two separate instances where there were glitches and upon checking results later the same evening, people who thought they'd failed really had passed. We talked about what might have gone wrong. I reminded her that this is a blip in her life. It won't matter in the end, even if it doesn't feel that way right now. I said everything I was thinking I'd want to hear if my name weren't on that list. And then we hung up.

On the remainder of the drive, I worried. If Delinda's name wasn't on that list, it was likely mine wasn't either. We studied for that test together. We quizzed each other. We wrote the essays together, took an extra course together. There is nothing I did that she didn't do. And vice versa. She was our team cheerleader. And of all of us, these results mattered-- really mattered to her because she has a job offer dependent on passing the bar exam. Which might explain why she was the most nervous of the three of us-- going into, during, and after the bar. We chatted very briefly following the last day of testing, and she and I seemed to say all the same things on our essays. So her missing name was very worrisome. Particularly because I didn't know my results yet.

When I got home, I didn't even say hello to Jason and the kids. I went straight to the computer. And wouldn't you know it, the Internet was down. I've been having trouble on my computer lately, but I wasn't expecting a glitch while checking bar results! Finally, we got Jason's computer up and running, and I checked my results there.

I passed. Alternately ecstatic and shocked for my friend Delinda, I began texting. By now, the kids were clamoring, and I was writing fast. I could only send the text to half my friends and then had to send a second text message to the other half. On the first half, apparently I wrote that I'd passed the car exam. And once I received a text back from a few people asking what the car exam was, I couldn't even send out a follow up correcting the mistake because I don't know which people I sent that message to and which people got the appropriately typed "bar" exam message. To those who replied to my car message, I responded that the good news was that cars everywhere would be able to receive great legal representation.

All of three of us first year associates at the firm passed. But all that success is slightly overshadowed by knowing Delinda will be taking the test again in February. I personally plan to offer to help her study again. Though I doubt she'll take me up on it since my presence during the summer obviously didn't help. Believe me, I feel such joy and relief that I passed the test. But I'd be much happier if Delinda did, too.

Anyway, I meant what I wrote yesterday-- about perspective. So if you're the praying type, and you feel like saying prayers for my friend, please do. Don't pray that she passes the test. Pray instead for her to have grace. Grace to accept what's happened and move forward. Grace to believe that this is just one test and doesn't define her academic abilities. Grace to focus as she begins studying again. And that she'll have grace during each day of the test. And if you've been praying for me to have grace during the wait-- thanks. I think it helped!


Rowena said...

Congratulations!!! And, I will pray for your friend.

Danielle said...

Hi. I'm a 2004 Hyundai Elantra who was recently involved in a fender bender. I was wondering if you could represent me in the litigation process? That is, if you passed the car exam.

There was never a doubt in my mind...never is with you.

Femeros said...

Woo-hoo... congratulations and GOOD TIMES!

Andrea said...

Congratulations! What a big relief that must be.

lauren + brent said...

Karen, congrats! You are a wonderful friend. Having passed the bar exam on the 2nd time myself, I can tell you that the best thing you can do for Delinda is just offer unconditional support. It sucks at first, but things do get better and life goes on. She is brilliant, I have no doubt that she will kick that test's ass the next time. xoxo lauren