A Note to Those who Pass the Bar Exam: Congratulations!….But Still Mind your Bar-Exam-Results-Have-been-Released Manners

bar exam resultsBar exam results should be out soon!  Many states have already found out and some states are still waiting for results. (We have a massive post on when results are released, whether a state offers regrades or appeals, if you’ll see your score, etc. here if you are interested!)

If you are reading this before you find out your results, perfect. It is best to read this when your mind is not as clouded by excitement (and maybe too much wine…)

This post is geared toward people who just found out they passed or will soon find out they pass the bar exam. We also have a post for those who fail the bar exam.  We have a couple of celebration tips for people who pass as well as tips to help you keep your friends. 

Celebration Tips for those who Pass the Bar Exam:

1. Take time to celebrate! Passing the bar exam is a great accomplishment that deserves recognition and celebration. It is the final step of your law school career and you can move on with the next stage of your life smoothly and happily without the bar exam obstacle in your way. You should be thrilled that you have accomplished a major milestone. It is truly something to take time to celebrate. Plan a nice dinner and live it up.

2. Find a good sponsor for your swearing in ceremony.  Many states require that you bring a sponsor to a swearing-in ceremony. If you are in Michigan, you will have to attend a swearing in ceremony (public or private) so that you can be sworn in to practice law. There are ceremonies in many different counties in Michigan and you can attend any one you want.  You will also have the option of bringing a sponsor with you (but you do not have to – the court will appoint someone if you do not bring your own). A sponsor can be any attorney you know who is eligible to practice law in Michigan.

Thus, if there is any attorney that you know that has been integral to your success (whether it is a relative, a boss, a coworker, or a friend) it is a good idea to ask him or her to be your sponsor. A sponsor usually attends the swearing in ceremony with you and makes a brief “motion” to have you admitted. The motion basically states why you will be a good addition to the bar and it usually lasts anywhere from 10 seconds to a few minutes – depending on where you get sworn in, the rules of the forum, and whether your ceremony is public or private.

Tips to Help you Keep Your Friends:

The next few points are also things you should keep in mind after you have passed the bar exam. While you may have passed, you will have plenty of friends or acquaintances that have failed.  These tips should help you keep those friends or acquaintances:

1. Don’t ask people in public or on Facebook (or even in private in 95% of cases) whether they passed the bar exam. My biyearly Facebook status update around this time is “Asking someone if they passed the bar exam is like asking someone if they’re pregnant. Don’t ask unless you already know the answer is yes.” Why not? If they passed, they will tell you if they want you to know. If they didn’t pass, you’re not going to be making it any easier on them by asking them. Put yourself in their place.

2. There is nothing wrong with a celebratory Facebook status if you pass. But you probably don’t need ten of them in a row. Just consider how those feel that did not pass.

3. If you have a friend that does not pass the bar exam, try to be a listening ear rather than bombarding them with advice right away. If you call them and tell them everything they did wrong when they studied, they will probably be more annoyed than grateful. And, to be honest, they probably don’t care about all of the study tactics you used to get your 136. They will need some time to sort through their thoughts themselves. So just listen to them. Spend time with them when they want to (some will not want to see you right away or at all). But if they do, grab a drink with them. Send some supportive emojis. Be a good friend. They may eventually ask you what techniques you found helpful and in that case, go all out and tell them. But that’s a conversation that it’s only fair to have them initiate.

Hopefully you found these tips helpful. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to post in the comments below or e-mail me directly at [email protected]

Congratulations if you have passed, and good luck to those still awaiting results!

Ashley-Heidemann-Profile-382x356Ashley Heidemann scored over a 180 on the Michigan Bar Exam in February of 2011. She, as well as a team of tutors offer private one-on-one tutoring for bar exam students nationwide as well as small-group courses and seminars for the Michigan bar exam.  For more information about her Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) or Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) tutoring services, please click here. Please click here to contact her company, with any questions or concerns.

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