Cal. Bar Results Come Out Today: What Now?

By William Peacock, Esq. on May 16, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

6:00 p.m.

In twelve hours, you'll know. Until then, you wait.

But no big deal, right? It's only a test ... a big, expensive, three-day-long nightmare of a test with a just-over-half passage rate. Like we said, no big deal.

Here's what you need to know, once the results go live tonight on the California Bar's website.

If You Passed

This is the beginning of your legal career. Cue the epic music:

Best remix ever, right?

Anyway, if you have a job already, now is the weekend to go nuts. Accept our congratulations and stay safe.

If you don't have a job, once you sober up (Tuesday), you've got work to do. Your resume and cover letter need to be updated with your bar passage and bar number (if available). You can also start sending out applications with the confidence and knowledge of the fact that you, sir or ma'am, are licensed to practice law (so long as you pay those bar dues and pass the MPRE).

Maybe consider talking to a headhunter as well.

And if you're going solo, we literally just wrote a post on that yesterday. Literally. You're welcome. Stay tuned. We're full of good remixes and tips for young, solo, and tech-obsessed attorneys.

If You Failed

As my dear mother (and some 80s dude) would say, "Don't worry, be happy."

No, don't punch your computer screen. And we know, not worrying is easier said than done. It probably doesn't even help that much for us to argue that this really is no big deal, as many successful people have failed the bar exam and gone on to have amazing careers, including former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama. It's a big deal to you. We get it.

Take the weekend off. On Monday, start soul-searching: do you want to practice law in this economy? Does your bar exam prep course offer retakes? How are you going to change your approach to be more successful next time? In the long run, this will be a mere speed bump, even it it does feel like you just drove off a cliff.

But, if you keep at it, you will pass. See, for example, Brian Johnston, a model of perseverance who chronicled his epic eleven attempts to pass the bar, culminating in success in July 2012.

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