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mpt bar exam tips, transfer law schools, mee guidesWhat if I Pass the Bar Exam? Making Your “Plan A”

We talk about how to make a Plan B if you fail the bar exam here. However, you should also come up with a “Plan A” for if you pass the bar exam! It sounds silly, but some examinees are just as anxious about passing the bar exam as they are about failing it. Passing the bar means you are eligible to become a “real” attorney and not a student. Some examinees find themselves stressed out by this prospect — either they don’t have a job lined up or they are anxious about starting their job!

Here are a few things you can do to make your “Plan A.” 

What if I Pass the Bar Exam? Making Your “Plan A”

First, reflect on what kind of job you want (and what kind of life you want).

Do not just think in the short term but think in the long term too. And think big. Maybe you want to be a Supreme Court justice? Maybe you want to become a senator? Maybe you want to own your own probate firm? Maybe you want a job that has decent pay and flexible hours.

Sometimes you may not care about the “what” so much as the lifestyle — e.g., you may value high pay, flexible hours, a good boss, a good working environment, an intellectually stimulating job, a job that allows you to write or to public speak, etc.

It is much easier to achieve whatever your definition of “success” is if you envision it. And this requires some careful thought.

Next, walk backward and figure out the stepping stones to your goal. 

If you want to own your own firm, for example, you will probably want to gain experience in that area of law. And you may want some business coaching and learn more about setting up a website, getting business cards, etc. You may also want to start networking with other local attorneys or potential clients who may need your services. Breaking down a goal into manageable chunks is a great way to (a) feel like it is doable and (b) make it more likely to happen!

Some steps you can take now — e.g., it is never too early to start networking! Others may have to wait until you are licensed — e.g., getting business cards with “Attorney at Law” or “Esq.” on them!

Third, make your transition to a lawyer easier. 

Other things you will want to make part of your Plan A is:

  • Make sure to polish up your LinkedIn profile
  • Work on your resume and add any relevant accomplishments from recent years that may be missing
  • Make a list of potential jobs that interest you
  • Buy a new suit (or dry clean the one you have!)
  • Reach out to connections that may be helpful
  • Join your bar association or take advantage of other networking opportunities

As part of your “Plan A” you can start all of this now. Some things may not go into full swing until you are actually licensed. But you can take the initial steps — thinking about what you want to do, breaking down your goal, and working on your transition to a lawyer — sooner rather than later.

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