What should I do while I wait for bar exam results?

By Ashley Heidemann

Ashley Heidemann is the owner and founder of JD Advising, a law school and bar exam prep company offering services ranging from LSAT tutoring and application assistance to bar exam tutoring, courses and seminars.

The months between taking the bar exam and getting your results can be stressful. While you no longer have to study, you probably find yourself wondering:  Did I pass?  Did I fail?  What comes next?  The answers to the first two questions are out of your control, so try not to worry about those. The third question, however, is something you can focus on. Here, we give you some tips on what to do while you wait for bar exam results.

Here are some specific things to do while waiting for bar exam results:

  • Take a break!

Completely forget about the bar exam for a while. Don’t think about that essay question you didn’t know the answer to or the multiple-choice question that your friends have been debating.  Go on a vacation. Spend some time with the family and friends that you didn’t get to see while you were studying. Just relax and take a well-deserved break! 

  • Reflect on what you want for your future

One wonderful thing about a law degree is that it is very versatile. Use this time while you wait for bar exam results to think about what you want in a career. What type of law are you most interested in? Would you rather work for the government or pursue a career in private practice? Maybe you don’t want to “practice” law at all! All of these (and more) are options with their pros and cons, so you need to figure out what is best for you.

In addition to thinking about the type of law you may want to practice, you may also want to consider the lifestyle you want. What do you value in a career? A high salary? A flexible schedule? Being your own boss?  While you’re waiting for results, start thinking about what career path you would find most fulfilling. 

  • Update your resume and start networking

Make sure that your resume is updated with everything you accomplished during school. Think about the skills you developed that will help you succeed in your career path. Take the time to update your LinkedIn page at the same time you update your resume.

It is also never too early to start networking!  Attend events where you can interact with those in the profession. Speak to your family or friends who are lawyers and ask them for advice.  See if they know anyone who might be involved in a particular field that interests you. You never know who can serve as a valuable connection.

  • Develop a “Plan A” and a “Plan B”

Of course, we hope that you pass the bar exam. Unfortunately, the reality is that not everyone is going to pass. So, while waiting for bar exam results, be sure to develop two plans: one for if you pass and one for if you fail. 

If you already have a plan of attack in place for the worst-case scenario, then if that worst does come to pass, you will be well-equipped to handle it. That outcome will hopefully be less scary if you know exactly what to do moving forward. Failing the bar exam is not the end of the world! Plenty of people who failed the bar exam have gone on to be incredibly successful. You just have to plan for the next step to get yourself back on the track you want to be on. Make these plans now so you don’t have to worry about it later.

Good luck waiting for bar exam results!

You can follow Ms. Heidemann and the JD Advising team on FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn. Additional resources (including a blog which is updated daily) are available on JD Advising’s website at www.JDAdvising.com.