The Diary of Jennifer Pohlman: Week 8

I’m in the final countdown for bar prep, and I’m not completely losing it, which is a shock to me.

Yes, I’ve got an ungodly amount of work to do (and I’m currently speed typing this column so I can get back to it), but I’ve come to a place where I’ve made some sort of peace with the bar. I’m feeling confident that I’ve done a lot of work to prepare, and I know that odds are definitely on my side. Because I’m taking the bar in a small Midwestern state, the passage rate percentage is routinely in the upper 80s and 90s. (My condolences to my friends in more populated states.) I’d venture to guess that in South Dakota, about 80 people are taking the bar. 

So, if this year the passage rate is extremely low and only 85 percent of takers pass, that means 12 people would fail. Am I in that group of 12? I’ve got no idea — but I know that chances are I’m not. Even if I am in that group of non-passers, what does this mean for my life, really?  I put off beginning my legal career for another six months and I strap up and do it again. That’s not an ideal situation, but my life will still be fine. I’m healthy, my family and friends are healthy, I’ve got a place to live, I’ve got food on the table every night and I’m happy. I don’t think that failing the bar becomes this definitive, life-ruining thing that strips away everything you are, unless you allow it to be.


That being said, I’m still working my butt off to make sure that this is the only time I’ve got to give up 12 weeks of my life to prepare for the bar. I’ve been locked in my bedroom drilling essays, practice tests, and giving my lecture notes a once over. I’m doing alright on everything — certainly not amazing, but definitely enough to pass, except for Secured Transactions and Commercial Paper. Those two subjects are the source of most of my bar anxiety, and of course, I did not take those courses in law school. Can someone tell me why Commercial Paper is even on the bar anymore? I haven’t written a check in about eight months. Get with the times, bar examiners!