Virtual Coffee Date: October 2017

I haven’t written a virtual coffee date post in a year! A YEAR! So grab some coffee and listen up…

If we were having coffee today…..I’ve been anxious all month, as soon as October 1st hit because BAR RESULTS WERE COMING.  (I wrote about the bar exam process here.) So of course I stayed incredibly busy with a TON of things to do all month – 2 half-marathons, nights out with the girls, 1 trip to the South, etc.

I did the Staten Island Half (hated it) and the Myrtle Beach Half (loved it).  Staten Island was hilly and rainy while Myrtle Beach was flat with perfect weather. Plus look at this medal.

South Carolina was the perfect little getaway for pre-bar exam results.  It was still beach weather. It was super low-key since it was their off season plus it was close enough to NYC (1.5 hour flight).

If we were having coffee today…I’d tell you that every lawyer remembers how and when they found out they passed (and/or failed) the bar exam.  Doesn’t matter if they’ve been practicing for 3 years or 30 years, they all remember. So here goes my story…

I expected to hear about bar results at the end of the last week of October, instead the results came early – 4 days earlier than expected.  On the day that results got released, I had just gotten back from South Carolina. That night, I was making plans with friends for the week and weekend, trying to avoid doing anything Thursday or Friday because that’s when I expected results.

Around 10pm, I was journaling and my roommate came into the living room. We started talking about random things: her soccer game, my trip, our work, etc. Because I expected results to arrive via email, I turned off all my notifications on my phone except email notifications.  At 10:29pm, my phone lit up – “July 2017 New York Bar Results” read the email.  I went silent but started shaking.  I opened up the email and because the iPhone automatically opens up PDF attachments, I saw this….

Screen Shot 2017-11-04 at 8.47.16 PM

HOLY CRAP. I read it a least twice. The words just didn’t register in my brain. I PASSED.

My roommate also took the bar exam. I said “check your email.” Her: “why?” Me: “Just check it.” She checked. No new emails. No bar results.  Her: “you passed didn’t you?” Me: SILENT. I was mostly silent because I was busy texting screenshots of the email to my best friends and family.   But as I was silently celebrating, she was having a breakdown. I made her go shower while I refreshed her email.  Then the email finally came through, she also passed.  So I ran to the bathroom door and starting banging on it, “YOU PASSED.” There was a lot of tears (her) and screaming (me). The rest of the night was a barrage of texts and phone calls from my favorite people.  Because we were so hyped up, me and my friends just couldn’t sleep (I might have slept 3 hours that night). My roommate and I were face timing with my law school wife, who also passed the bar, until 2am.

If we were having coffee today…I’d tell you that the theme of October is “Jane, STFU.”  I never felt like I was going to fail but the closer we got to the end of October, I was starting to question everything I did. For example, I spaced out during the last part of the test (maybe for 20 minutes). So I’ve been talking to plenty of mentor lawyers about the test and everyone said “Jane, chill.” BUT GUYS WHAT IF I FAIL? Except that didn’t happen.  Here’s the thing – once you start doubting one thing in your life, everything starts to go with it. I’m generally a confident, assertive person but this whole month, I don’t even know. I haven’t been myself lately (too much overthinking) but with the passing of the bar, I finally feel like myself again.

If we were having coffee today...I’d tell you that I’ve been out and about too much lately. Actually the whole month of October and this whole past week.  Half of it was to distract myself from bar results and the other half was to celebrate bar results.  It’s been too much fun especially the past two weeks but I definitely need to not go out as much in November.

If we were having coffee today…you’d probably ask me “what’s next?” Well, I do have a full-time job doing civil rights things but it’s a one-year fellowship. I’ve already started interviewing for jobs for next fall here in NYC.  I need to file my application for admission to officially be a lawyer here in New York state.

But this is all very career driven. My whole life has revolved around this test for the past year.  So it’s weird that its no longer the bane of my existence.  My friend is going through a rough breakup and is in her last year of law school.  My advice to her last week, as someone who went through the same thing almost 11 months ago during my last year of school and just passed the bar on the first try is that this might be the best thing that happens to you.

When I went through the breakup last year, everyone- lawyers and non-lawyers alike, said to me the timing is perfect.  Plenty of time to get your life together, have fun your last semester of law school, get your s*** together, find a job and rock the bar exam. Of course, I didn’t believe anyone. I really didn’t. But it all worked out, 2017 has been an amazing year despite its ups and downs (I.e. the 10 weeks I was being tortured by this test, waiting for jobs, having to be single for both my birthday and Valentine’s Day for the first time in 5 years, losing close friends, etc.).

Now we’re in this “new chapter of life” as my roommate likes to call it. And I’m not sure what it’ll bring. But I can tell you one thing – I’m so glad the drama and pain of law school and the bar exam is done with forever.


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