A FUNNY THING
by Christal Olivia Wood
HAPPENED on the way
to the BAR EXAM
The Seventh Time Is the
Charm for This Test-Taker
As a new crop of legal beagles prepares for the bar exam this month, I reflect on my own trials and tribulations.
For me, the seventh time was the
charm. I probably know more about
taking the bar exam than anyone I
know. I’ve concluded that the WSBA
bar exam (and perhaps testing in general) is 10 percent cognitive and 90
percent psychological. My obstacles
were all in my head. On my journey
to passing the bar exam, I learned
lessons that not just every test-taker
should know, but that every lawyer
should know, too.
Pass or fail, I don’t know a single colleague who had an easy or enjoyable
time sitting for the bar exam. In fact, I
submit that “examination” is a misnomer. The test should be called a “hazing”
or perhaps even an “initiation.” During
my first few attempts, every molecule
in my body rejected the notion that I
must be a sheep and move with the herd.
When speaking of the bar exam, professors and classmates alike advised to
regurgitate — a concept which I found
deplorable. I am not a parakeet! I am a
lawyer! I thought to myself.
When the major bar prep companies
courted my class during our third year
in law school, I attended a free BarBri®
preview session. The subject was contracts. The sample worksheet distributed during the class looked to me like
MadLibs™: “A contract exists when
there is _______ (noun), and ______
(noun), and ______ (noun).” I slipped
out before the program ended.
Hordes of Rigos® test-takers appeared wearing grey t-shirts that read
“I’m Here to Pass.” I mused at how
one might improve upon them with a