Waiting For Bar Results-ARRGGHHH!

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Recent law school graduate, Adrianne Thompson, writes about waiting for her bar results:

Our country is in a “state” with pivotal elections looming. There’s a lot riding on these elections. I am in a “state” just hours away from receiving my Georgia Bar results. There’s a lot riding on these results. AND, just days ago an associate position I’ve been counting on since before graduation fell through, so I’m in a bit of a funk. A true “Swing” state. I swing between a state of cool confidence, “I did all I was supposed to do, I quit my job to study, I took the premier Bar review course, I studied 8-10 hours a day, I forsook all that mattered for 10 weeks! I am going to pass,” to a state of frenetic panic, “But, I ran into several people on their third try, what if I’m on that track. . .the embarrassment . . .no job . . . no money . . .” Hour by hour. . . minute by minute. . . second by second . . . for the next 24 hours! Whew! Craziness.

I’m an older, second-career, non-traditional law student, so, to say I’m not marketable in this economy is an understatement.

What am I going to do if I don’t pass the Bar?

What am I going to do if I DO pass the Bar?

I don’t have a job, and I don’t have a clue.

Doing nothing isn’t an option. Panicking isn’t an option, and FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION.

What I do have is tenacity, perseverance, faith, a host of mentors and a plan. A plan is imperative. A plan to do what? Looks like I’m going solo. There are lots of solos out there, and though many strongly discourage new grads from going straight to solo, what else am I supposed to do at this moment in our country’s economic history? My other option is to return to my former career as a dialysis clinic administrator. I left on good terms, and it would have been so easy to remain there, but I want to be a lawyer. More specifically, a child advocate, and I couldn’t do that while managing clinics. And should things not turn out well October 29, it would be fairly easy to return. Several things lead me to this conclusion. My former boss is opening a fourth clinic and hasn’t replaced me… hasn’t removed me from his website . . . and in conversations with managers that remain there is an assumption that I’m coming back. It would be easy to go back . . . predictable schedule . . . predictable, comfortable income . . . familiar territory . . .

A voice is yelling:

SNAP OUT OF IT!

Whew! It would be so easy to give up a dream.

My 16 year old daughter, who is more sagacious than she knows, wants to be a dancer, and gets more discouragement than encouragement, wisely said, “Someone told me not to have a fallback plan, because you will fallback.” So, I’m moving forward as if I don’t have a fallback plan. (I really do, because I have four kids, a mortgage, SCHOOL LOANS, etc.) However, my greatest motivator in moving forward with plans to become a lawyer is this same daughter also said, after I verbalized the possibility of remaining a dialysis clinic administrator, “You mean, you’re not going to be a lawyer after all we’ve sacrificed!” I had to think about ALL the meaning inherent in that statement. It was rough going getting here. I did law school with a husband, four children, a job, and in the last year an ill parent who subsequently passed away. My family sacrificed a lot to get me to where we are now, as tortuous as it is at this moment, and I have to move forward no matter what. FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION.

So I’m doing it, but not blindly. I’ve signed up for CLE’s/trainings and looking for more. Georgia has a mandatory “Transition Into Law Practice” program for all new lawyers with CLE requirements that will carry into the next year. Again, assuming I pass. My resource library which includes Foonberg’s “How to Start and Build a Law Practice,” is growing. I’m interning with a non-profit that offers legal services to incarcerated mothers. I’m returning to Juvenile Court in my county to volunteer as a Guardian Ad Litem, or intern depending on results. My mentors are ready to help. Friends and family are ready to help, and a host of classmates are ready, too. My brother, who runs my late father’s antique furniture business, is bringing office furniture at Thanksgiving, which will initially go into my home office. A friend who hosts a radioblogtalk show will show me how to create my own blog and radio show. Another friend’s computer tech daughter will build my website, and I’ve signed up for the American Bar Association’s premier listserv for solo practitioners- SOLOsez. I’ve begun business plans and marketing plans. I’m moving ahead, no matter what.

But, what will I do if I don’t pass?

Aside from being embarrassed because my entire universe is also waiting for the news. (My pastor is waiting for the news. What was I thinking?!) People tell me “I know someone who failed the first time, and they made it.” I also know people who failed the first time, AND I DON’T CARE THAT THEY EVENTUALLY PASSED! There, I said it. As selfish, insensitive, or politically incorrect as it sounds, I don’t care. I don’t want to be part of that fraternity. I want to pass the first time so I can move on. Our life is in limbo and it’s draining. At this moment I wish I had clandestinely attended law school, taken the Bar, and then just said “Surprise! I’m a lawyer!” Yes, lunacy, but I’m bordering on lunacy, right now. This waiting is driving me mad.

Seriously, what I will do is prepare to take the Mercedes of Bar prep courses, again. I enrolled in Barbri and will take advantage of the free course for repeaters. I will figure out what I did wrong, and correct those mistakes. I will also immerse myself in the real world of the law, and gain a perspective I didn’t have the chance to acquire before because I was working. I will do whatever I need to do to succeed. I may have to try again, but I, ultimately, will NOT FAIL. All roads lead back to my children, and I will teach them more by seeing this to the end than taking the sure route and returning to what’s comfortable and easy. Sure, they would have newer cars, clothes, spending money, and all the trappings that comfortable parental income would buy, but what would they draw from when they are auditioning for Broadway, or facing the stiff, gastronomic competition when opening a ritzy restaurant in downtown Atlanta?

I must do this, I will do this. Failure is just not an option. I don’t care what the voices are telling me!

Contact or find out more about Adrianne Thompson on her LinkedIn profile.

UPDATE 10/29/10 3:17 PM:  I just heard from Adrianne….

SHE PASSED!!!!!!


  • Ladyt

    OMG! This had me in tears for myself and all of the other ambitious women who have sacrificed so much in the present in hopes of better things for their children in the future! Keep in mind, that there really is no such thing as failure. With your ambition alll roads will still take you to success.

    I think I feel a blog post coming on!

    • Azthom

      Thanks, Teisha! Keep doing what you’re doing for us mompreneurs, and we’ll all, eventually, get there.

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