So you’ve finally taken the bar exam. For months, you were engulfed in reading materials and practice questions, barely finding time to sleep. Once it was all over, no doubt you were anxious about how you did, but you were also probably relieved—which really means that you couldn’t drop the textbooks fast enough.
But now that it’s getting closer to that time when bar exam results are released, you’re probably not quite sure what to do with yourself.
Start Taking Care of Your Application for Admission
No matter what state you are applying to, there is going to be plenty of paperwork involved, so you can start getting organized. Fill out your forms and start considering who you might for any character references (that is, if references were not part of your initial application to sit for the bar). This way, when you find out you passed the exam, you can get your application in immediately. You’ll should also double check that you’ve completed all of the requirements for admission to the bar. If you haven’t taken the MPRE, register to take it as soon as you can so that is not what holds.
Start Other Projects
Just as your mind was completely focused on the bar exam during your arduous preparation, you need to get that same focus from doing something else. It doesn’t necessarily have to be one all-consuming task that will last weeks. In fact, it might be better if you took on a list of smaller projects to keep you busy before that big day comes.
How long have you been telling yourself that you need to clean out your bedroom closet? Now is the time. Or maybe it’s the attic or your basement that desperately needs some TLC.
If you’re at a total loss for ideas on what to do with your time, here are some other ideas that can keep you occupied while you wait for your bar exam results:
Catch-up on your favorite TV shows – Between law school finals and bar exam prep, you probably fell behind. Here's your chance to binge-watch Game of Thrones to your heart's content.
Read a book – For those who wanted to get into the Harry Potter series, but stopped after the second book, now’s your chance to read them all. Hogwarts is calling.
Discover your green thumb – Start a small garden, whether you want to grow vegetables or flowers. Weeding will do you good. Or start composting.
Re-arrange your living room furniture – If you’ve been thinking about changing your living room, now you can give it that fresh look you've always wanted.
Make a scrapbook – Get your favorite pictures off your phone and create a scrapbook for safe-keeping.
Volunteer – You can do some good for someone else (and you’ll end up feeling good about yourself).
Look to the Future
Doing mini-projects is a great way to take your mind off the pending bar exam results, but you should also begin looking for a job if you haven’t already! Update your resume and tailor it to specific jobs for which you are applying. Passing the bar exam can put you at an advantage as you search for different attorney jobs, but some employers are more than willing to hire law school-graduates who fail.
If you are convinced that you did, in fact, fail the bar exam, it's not the end of the world. You just have to get yourself back into the study mindset. While you won’t know for sure until the results are released, it doesn’t hurt to begin taking out your old notes from the bar review. But don’t start stressing out and cramming right away. Go through them in an orderly fashion so you’ll be better prepared if you do have to take the bar exam again. Who knows? You could end up passing it after all.
Either way, relax and have a plan in place. This way, you’ll know what your next move will be after you find out your score, whether you'll be beginning a new job or looking for other bar review courses to help you prepare for the next time you take the bar exam.