It’s bar results season. That means that thousands of bar applicants will find out that they passed the bar exam, while thousands will find out they didn’t.
If you didn’t pass, you (literally) are not alone. We realize that this is a disappointing and frustrating time. But you can get through it.
How We Can Help
At the Bar Exam Toolbox, we’re here to help. In addition to the useful free content below, we offer a range of options from online courses to private tutoring to help you figure out what happened and pass on your next attempt.
- Essay and Performance Test Writing Workshops: If you know you need to practice your writing more, take a look at our economical Writing of the Week (WOW) bar essay workshops. Available for California and the UBE (MEE + MPT), they give you just enough legal knowledge to attack a practice problem, and can help ensure you’ll write regularly as you study.
- The Brainy Bar Bank: If you got disappointing results, you may not have focused on the law that was most likely to be tested. The Brainy Bar Bank can solve that problem! Available for California and the UBE (MEE + MPT), the Brainy Bar Bank sorts real bar questions by category, topic, and subtopic, so you can easily work on your weak areas or drill on subjects that are most likely to come up.
- Bar Exam Self-Study Program: The goal of the Bar Exam Self-Study Program is to give you the tools and support you need to pass the next bar exam at an affordable price. Available for California and the UBE, the Self-Study Program includes the relevant WOW and Brainy Bar Bank options, along with other useful tools and feedback from a Bar Exam Toolbox tutor on your study plan. (We’ll even set up a study schedule for you, if you like!)
- Private Bar Exam Tutoring: We also offer one-on-one bar exam tutoring in California, Florida, and all UBE/MEE/MPT jurisdictions. Working with a private bar tutor isn’t for everyone, but it can help you focus your study time on what really matters — writing passing answers!
If you have questions on any of these options or would like to discuss what’s best for your unique situation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you!
Strategies & Stories of Coming Back from a Bar Exam Failure
Here are some article collections which can help you get back on your feet and find bar exam success in the future. If you’re not sure where to start, check out this podcast episode on what to do if you fail the bar exam.
True-Life Stories of Failing the Bar Exam
- The Day I Failed the California Bar Exam We are pleased to welcome Jeff Curl, apprentice grader for the California bar exam and practicing attorney, to the Bar Exam Toolbox blog to talk about his experience when he learned he failed the California bar exam.
- Why You Won't Die If You Fail the Bar Exam Failing the bar exam can be an overwhelming experience. We have some advice on handling it from someone who went through the experience herself.
- The Question I've Never Been Asked About the Bar Exam In this post we welcome an attorney who shares her very personal story about failing the California bar exam and what she learned from the experience. She offers some great advice for those of you grappling with the same emotions!
- Famous People Who Failed the Bar But Did Okay in the End From Presidents to law school deans, many famous lawyers have not been stopped by bar failure. Here are just a few prominent attorneys who failed their first bar exam.
- Why I Hired a Bar Exam Tutor In this post we welcome an attorney who shares his story about failing the California bar exam and his decision to hire a bar exam tutor for his second studying attempt. He offers some great advice about the benefits of working with a tutor and how it can help you pass the exam.
- Bar Exam Perspective - What to do if Your Friend Doesn't Pass the Bar Exam If you have a friend who recently got some bad news about the bar exam, we have some advice to help you navigate through this very difficult but sensitive time in your friend’s life.
- How and When to Tell People You Failed the Bar Exam You can decide whether or not to tell others you failed the bar exam, but looking at why it can actually help you to be open about it.
- So You've Failed the Bar Exam? Here are Four Lesser Known People Who Failed But Survived We're looking at some stories of lesser known examples of high profile people who failed the bar exam.
- If at First You Don't Succeed...Cry, Whine, and Then TRY AGAIN! Bar exam failure is common! In this post we welcome Ciara Vesey of Confessions of a Law School Nobody Online to share what she learned while re-studying for the bar exam.
- The Day I Failed the New York Bar Exam What do you do if you fail the bar exam? Well the first thing you need to realize is that you're not alone. Jeena Cho, a successful San Francisco attorney, shares her very personal story about failing the bar exam and offers great advice to those facing the same predicament.
- Bouncing Back from Bar Exam Failure If you recently failed the bar exam, we're talking about how you can reframe things to move forward.
- Five Famous People Who Failed the Bar We hope that by reading this post, seeing the names of famous attorneys who failed the bar, will help you to comfort that uncomfortability that comes with failing the bar.
- Bar Exam Toolbox Podcast Episode 40: Tips For Repeat Bar Takers (w/Alexandra Muskat) We're talking with Alexandra Muskat about her experiences finding success after a bar exam failure.
Strategies for Success After Failing the Bar Exam
- Yikes! I Failed the Bar Exam. Should I Take It Again? If you're one of the thousands upon thousands of disappointed bar takers around the country, we've got some advice to help you navigate your post-results situation and set yourself up for bar exam success in the future!
- I Failed the Bar Exam. Should I Try to Take the Exam in a Different State? This is a common question that comes up for bar applicants who have failed the bar exam. And like most topics in the legal realm, the answer is: it depends. Find out what's right for you in this post.
- MBE Trouble? Tips for Studying Again If you recently found out that you didn’t pass the bar exam, we're sorry to hear that. But as you get ready to study again, we want you to make the best preparation plans possible. To help, MBE expert Sean Silverman shares some tips on how to study to raise your MBE scores.
- Is Taking BARBRI a Second Time a Good Idea? Too often bar studiers think that if they take the same bar review course and study the same way a second time, they're suddenly, magically going to pass the bar exam. If you took BARBRI the first time around and didn’t pass, you shouldn't take it again.
- You Failed the Bar Exam: Eight Tips to Figure Out What Went Wrong If you received bad bar exam news, one of the first things you need to do is identify what went wrong. You'll be amazed at how much you can learn by looking at your score report and thinking back to the exam experience. Read our step-by-step guide!
- Failed the Bar? Call a Therapist How you deal with post-bar result stress is the primary determinant of how quickly you'll pick yourself up and try again. Here's why we think seeking professional help during this period of time is a great idea.
- Are You Feeling Like the Only Person Who Failed the Bar Exam? Bar results are coming out all over the country these days, leading to elation in some and disappointment in others. Many students who fail the exam feel all alone or like they are the only ones in their (admittedly miserable) position. But trust us, you are not alone!
- How Do You Tell Your Boss You Failed the Bar Exam? Let's be clear: you need to tell your boss about your results as soon as possible. In this post, Jeff Curl, a former apprentice grader for the California bar exam and current attorney, shares his advice about how to tell your boss you didn’t pass the bar.
- Yikes! I Need to Improve My MBE Scores If you got disappointing bar results over the past few weeks, you're likely going through the important process of determining what went wrong. For some of you, that might be the MBE. If so, we have some resources that will help you develop a study plan to improve your MBE scores.
- I Just Failed the Bar. Should I Take the Next Bar Offered or Take a Break? If you failed the bar exam, you probably have a deadline to sign up for the next test. In this post we explain why we think you should take the next bar exam offered instead of waiting. Read our thoughts on this important decision!
- Tips if You Just Found Out You Failed the California Bar Exam California bar results are being released, and the pass rates mean there will be thousands of disappointed bar takers out there. If you're one of those people wondering what to do next, here are some steps for dealing with a bar exam failure.
- So You Failed the New York Bar Exam, Now What? Given the rough pass rates for the New York bar exam, there are a huge number of folks who are sad, frustrated, and not sure what to do next. If you are one of these people, here are some tips for moving forward.
- Slaying the Dragon: A Hard Look at What It Takes to Conquer the Bar Exam as a Repeat Test Taker You failed the bar exam. That's a fact. Whether or not you let that be the end of your bar experience, however, is a choice. In this post we give you steps to overcome your current mindset and move forward towards passing!
- The Next Bar Exam: Should You Run the Race or Sit this One Out? If you failed the bar exam, you may be considering taking some time off. If you’re a first-time taker, you may be wondering if taking this upcoming exam is right for you. For all of you who haven’t determined what your next few months will look like, here are some red flags to consider in deciding whether to take the next bar exam.
- How Can Parents Help a Child Who Failed the Bar Exam? After someone fails the bar, they need all the support they can get, especially from their parents. In this post we answer an email from a concerned parent wondering how she can help her son after he failed the bar exam.
- I Failed the California Bar Exam! Here's Some Encouragement To Help California bar results will be released soon, and while some will receive great news, many will not. For those receiving disappointing news, do not fear! Check out these posts of encouragement and next steps for dealing with bar exam failure.
- Top 4 Reasons Students Don't Pass the Florida Bar Exam Florida bar exam results have been released and there were plenty of students who didn't receive good news. If this is you, it's crucial to understand what went wrong. In this post we count down the top four reasons students don't pass the Florida bar exam.
- You Failed the Bar Exam, But You Can Still Become a Great Lawyer! When bar results are released it's a certainty that many people will be disappointed when their name doesn't appear on the pass list. If you're one of those students, you may be thinking that your failing score means you're not going to be a good lawyer, but this couldn't be further from the truth.
- Failed the Bar Exam? How to Be the Ultimate Sore Loser (to Pass the Bar Exam Next Time) Methodical and deliberate - these are the keywords for any person retaking the bar exam. In this post we welcome Brian Hahn, founder of Make This Your Last Time and a second-time passer of the California bar exam, who gives his advice on how to pass the bar exam the next time around.
- Stuck on Where to Begin? 3 Myths to Discard and 3 Systems to Adopt to Improve Your Bar Exam Study In this post we welcome back Brian Hahn, founder of Make This Your Last Time and a second-time passer of the California bar exam, to talk about the myths to discard and systems to adopt to improve your bar exam studying.
- I Can't Believe I Failed the Pennsylvania Bar Exam! The results are posted and your name isn’t on the pass list. Is this really happening?!? Don't overreact: you're not alone and there are plenty of attorneys who have recovered from a bar exam failure and gone on to have great careers!
- 5 Things I Did Differently the Second Time to Pass the Bar Exam When you retake the bar exam, you can't prepare the same way and expect different results. In this post, we welcome back Brian Hahn, founder of Make This Your Last Time, to share five things he did differently the second time around.
- Nine Elements to Review if you Failed the Bar Exam If you failed the bar exam, the last thing you want to do is relive the experience. But in order to pass the bar, you need to examine your process of studying and exam taking from start to finish to identify what went wrong and what you can improve next time. Take charge of factors in your control, and learn from past experience.
- The Five Steps of Mourning a Disappointing Bar Exam Result There are few events in life that seem to carry as much pressure as the bar exam. In other words, the bar exam is a really, really big deal – both personally and professionally – to most students. We cover the five steps of mourning this difficult time.
- 6 Tips for Bar Exam Retakers If you’re preparing to retake the bar exam after a disappointing result from a prior test administration, you should have one goal in mind: to pass the exam no matter what! It’s not easy, but you have to find a way to put the disappointing result behind you and focus solely on preparing for the upcoming exam.
- Mentally Preparing to Study for the Bar Exam After a Failure (or Two) We're looking at what you can do to prepare for re-taking the bar exam.
- I Failed the Bar. Can I Still Get a Legal-Related Job? If you’ve failed the bar exam after your first or even your third try, it’s understood that you may be a bit hopeless on the job hunting front. The next question is whether you plan to take the bar again or want to find a job that does not require it. Read on to hear more ideas!
- Moving Forward After a Bar Exam Failure Failing the bar exam can be devastating, but in the grand scheme of things, this is only a temporary setback. You can come back from this! If you’re having trouble moving past your bar exam results, here are 5 steps to help you build forward momentum and prepare to pass the next time around.
- Why You Must Review Your Essay Answers If You Failed the Bar If you failed the bar exam, one new thing you get to do (and unequivocally should do) is review your essay answers as part of your study regimen. The thought of carefully looking at an exam you didn’t pass may make you cringe and want to run away and hide. But cringing and hiding won’t help you pass the bar. Confronting and identifying your areas of weakness through critical evaluation, however, definitely can!
- How to Avoid Failing the Bar Again If you’re serious about passing the bar exam time around, you’re going to have to let that go completely or risk getting hung up on it and wasting time. Take your time to feel bad, grieve, stay in your pjs all day, maybe even listen to our podcast about what to do if you failed the bar, but then get over it because you’ve got a lot of work to do. We want you to move on to productivity.
- Can a Bar Exam Failure Make Me More Prepared for the Next Time Around? 3 Ways to Prepare for Next Time We will cover three ways that a bar exam failure can make you more prepared for the next time you sit for the exam
- 4 Paths to Consider After a Bar Exam Failure As you’re contemplating your next step after a bar exam failure, you may want to consider if any of the following paths are right for you.
- Bar Exam Toolbox Podcast Episode 8: What Happens If You Fail the Bar Exam (w/Ariel Salzer) Today we are discussing a difficult reality for many law graduates. What happens if you fail the bar exam? If you’ve just gotten disappointing news, we have tips in this podcast to help you regroup. If you are in law school right now, this podcast can offer you tips on how to make sure you are as prepared as possible for the bar exam. So, hopefully this will be the only attempt that you need!
- Regrouping After a Bar Exam Failure: Simple (But Profound) Wisdom Here are a few cliches that actually have some kernels of simple wisdom to hold on to after a bar exam failure.
- How to Handle a Bar Exam Failure The unbelievable happened – you failed the bar exam. Now what? While you are entitled to a little “pity me” time, how you move on from this set back will determine whether you can hope for a different result the next time around.
- How to Interpret Your Bar Exam Score Report One of the best ways to handle a bar exam failure is to look carefully at your bar exam score report. We explain how to interpret the report.
- Bar Exam Toolbox Podcast Episode 25: How to Interpret Your Bar Exam Score Report We’re discussing what you can learn from your score report if you failed the bar exam. Don’t just put it in a drawer!
- So, You Failed the Bar Exam! Now What? So, you failed the bar exam. Depending on what you want to do next, you might have to get right back on that horse. Before you do that, however, ask yourself some important questions.
- Fail and Tell: Why It's Helpful to Talk About Failing the Bar Exam We're looking at why being open and honest about a bar exam failure can be helpful.
- Failing the Bar Exam During COVID-19 If you’re dealing with bad news about the bar during the Coronavirus, this post is for you! Here are some things you can do to start feeling better.
- So You Failed the Bar Exam, Have You Thanked Yourself Yet? We're looking at how self-compassion can be an important strategy when dealing with a bar exam failure.
- Your Frequently Asked Questions Answered: Failing and Retaking the Bar Exam We're looking at how to handle a bar exam failure and what to do next.
- Should I Wait Until After the COVID-19 Pandemic to Re-Sit if I Failed the Bar Exam? We're talking about what to do if you failed the bar exam during COVID-19 and may be unsure of which bar exam to take next.
- Re-Taker Advice If you are a re-taker and courageously going at it again, here are some tips to get you on the right track so you can make this your final round.
- Balancing Real Life as a Retaker If you feel like your life must be on hold every time you prepare for the test, these tips may help you through it.
- You Failed the Bar. Hit the Gas? Or Foot on the Brake? If you recently failed the bar exam, you may be unsure about taking the next exam or waiting longer. We're talking about what to consider when making this decision.
Interested in tutoring help as a repeat taker? Want to learn more about one of our economical courses? Please contact us. We look forward to hearing from you!