Congratulations! You have made it through the hardest exam of your life! You survived the bar exam. I remember how I felt after I was done with the bar exam – like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. I was finally done with something that caused me so much stress and anxiety. However, what awaited me following the bar was the waiting period, one of the most anxious times of my life. In order to make your life better post-bar, I have curated a list of things that I did following the bar exam that helped me through the waiting period. Here are ten things for you to do after you take the bar exam. I hope that this list helps you transition from bar prep life to the waiting period!
Take a deep breath! You made it! Several months of prep and distress led you to this day. I remember feeling so much stress leading up to the bar exam and felt like I could finally breathe when it was over. So take a moment to just take it all in and breathe.
You did it! Surviving the bar exam is definitely something you should celebrate. You have worked so hard to get to this point and you deserve to enjoy this moment. The night I was done with the bar exam my husband took me out to a nice dinner (this was before the pandemic). It was so nice to get out and do something not related to the bar. So treat yourself to something you enjoy because you are worth it.
3. Not Think About the Bar Exam
I know this is going to be difficult but you need to NOT think about the bar exam. This is a very important thing for you to do. The more you think about the bar exam, the more you will second guess yourself and over analyze your answers. And the more you do this, the more you will convince yourself that you failed the exam. It is best to recognize that the exam is in the past and, thus, there is nothing you can do to change your results. Be confident in yourself and your abilities.
4. Talk To Your Loved Ones
Your loved ones are as anxious as you are awaiting for the results. They want you to pass as much as you do. Unfortunately, their excitement can turn into annoying you about your results and making you more stressed. I remember when I was waiting for my results and constantly got asked “did you pass the bar yet?” much to my dismay. Thus, it is important during this time to have a conversation with your loved ones about how you want to approach your waiting period. Decide whether or not you want to talk about the exam and tell your friends and family when you should expect your results. This will save you stress during the in-between time.
5. Stay Informed
Every state has a different timeline of how exams are graded and when you can expect results. Also, each state has their own licensing process following passing the bar exam. Thus, it is important to figure out the things you need to do after the bar exam. This will help you be prepared for your next steps to becoming a licensed attorney.
6. Take a Trip
One thing that many people do following the bar is to take a post bar trip. I did not take a trip as I had to get back to work and was preparing for my wedding later that year. However, many of my friends did and were very happy that they took the time to take a well-deserved vacation! These trips are great ways to destress after the bar exam and allow you to start your practice feeling refreshed.
Now that you are finally done with the bar exam, it is time to kick back and relax! Even if you don’t have the opportunity to take a full-blown vacation, it is still important to spend some time relaxing and rejuvenating yourself. Take time to do things that you enjoy and will allow you to de-stress.
8. Go to Work or Find a Job
It is important to take a break following the bar exam, however you will eventually need to get back to work or go on the job hunt. I went back to work the week following the bar exam since I had taken a month off for bar prep. It felt good to get back to work and have a distraction during the waiting period. So now is a great time to gain some experience in the workforce or secure a position following bar passage.
An important thing to do after the bar exam is to catch-up. This can mean anything you want it to be. Maybe you have been putting off some projects or things on your to-do list. Or maybe you haven’t seen friends and family for weeks because you were prepping for the bar exam. In any case, you should spend some time catching up and getting ready to jump into practice.
10. Be Mentally Prepared for the Next Steps
Eventually you will get your results and will have to be prepared for what happens next. You will have to make sure you are mentally ready for the next steps. You may get positive results and have additional steps you need to take to become a licensed attorney. However, you may get negative results and have to get ready to retake the exam again. Both are possibilities, and you should be ready for what is to come after the results come out. In any case, you will be okay and you will be able to pass the bar exam. Keep your head up, relax a bit, and you’ve got this.