When I sit down with students for the first time, especially students coming back from a bar exam failure, I often ask, “Why do you want to be a lawyer?” Sometimes I get a very traditional answer. But more often than not, instead, I get an answer that shows doubt in the desire or ability to become a lawyer. For example, “I am not sure I want to practice law or be a lawyer, but I should take the test anyway.” Or, “I am not sure I am going to be a good lawyer, so I might not practice.”
Do you find yourself saying something like this? If so, it is time to put on the breaks and re-evaluate.
Why do you want to be a lawyer?
This is not like asking what you want to be when you grow up. This is a question you must ask yourself if you want to succeed on the bar exam. You went to law school for a reason. What was it? Is that still the reason that you want to become a lawyer? If not, why did you graduate from law school? What do you want to do with your time? Even if you choose a less traditional career path, how can your law degree help you further your career goals?
These are just a few questions to ask yourself. And it may take some time to think through the answers, but you do need to answer them. Because if you don’t have a reason to study for this test, you are setting yourself up not to pass.
Why is it important to know why you want to pass?
This is the pure motivation that keeps us going. We have talked about how “One and Done” is your best motto, but you also need to have drive or a reason for trying to reach this goal. This law license needs to mean something to you.
Let’s take an example from another realm. Have you ever met a woman (or a man) who is getting ready for her/his wedding? Have you noticed that she/he may be visiting the gym more than usual? Why? They have motivation! They have a goal of how they want to look and feel on their wedding day. So that makes you so much more accountable, right?
Why would the bar exam be any different? It is not! You need to remember why this is important to you and use this to help motivate you to find exam success.
If you don’t know why you want to pass the bar exam, take a break from your studies and sit with these questions. Finding the answers to these questions will make you a better bar studier and likely happier when you get your results on exam day.
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Check out these helpful posts:
- Tips on what to do after you find out you failed the bar exam.
- Coming Back After a Bar Exam Failure — Gearing Up to Study Again.
- Many students wonder if a bar failure means that they won’t become a great lawyer. It doesn’t!
- Tips on whether or not you should take the next bar offered or take a break.
- Although it may sound like a great idea at first, things you should consider before deciding to take a different jurisdiction’s bar exam.