This February is your bar exam to pass. Just do your best. And, “break a pencil!”
If any of you have seen The Producers, you remember the scene where they warn that it’s bad luck to say “Good Luck” before a theatrical performance. Instead, you say, “Break a leg.”
Before a recent bar exam, I spoke with one of my former students just before her bar exam, a student who happened to have a strong theater background. When I told her, “I won’t say “Good Luck,” she knew why! She laughed out loud and suggested that instead of “Break a leg,” I tell her to “Break a pencil.” So, the morning of her first bar exam day, I texted, “Break a pencil!” She passed the first time, of course!
What I want to tell all of you, any of you who might be reading this blog post now for extra inspiration, is that you do not need“luck” anyway. You need to go in there and do your best, just like you have done each and every day now, day in and day out, some of you for three years, and those of you who were part time students for four full years.
Law school transitions right into the bar success. The bar exam and law school differ, of course. And, I have dozens of blog posts here, and pages in Pass the Bar Exam (ABA Publishing 2013), illustrating those differences. But hard work in law school lays the foundation for success on the bar exam.
And, you are not going to go in there, to your bar exam, and find something completely different than what you have been studying, assuming you took a reputable bar review course. You practiced with real exams, you did the actual kind of work you will be doing on this test. They release past exams. The National Conference of Bar Examiners publish Subject Matter Outlines that say what areas they test on. You should not have big surprises if you studied comprehensively.
So, hang in. Relax. Breathe deeply. Concentrate. Read carefully. Stay calm, confident, and focused. This February is your bar exam to pass. Just do your best. And, “break a pencil!”