I feel like this blog has finally come full circle. I originally started the blog to chronicle my experience after I failed the bar exam. I wrote about a lot of things that I did differently in my second time around. I also wrote a long post about what to expect on the dates of the exam. I really hope you all have found the information helpful, but most importantly, I hope that my experience inspires you and gives you hope. You can overcome failing the bar. Life goes on. You study again, but in a different way, and then you pass.
When I found out I passed, I cried tears of sweet relief. I probably cried for a solid 10 minutes. I couldn’t even open my eyes long enough to see my name on the pass list. My husband asked me to rank my feelings from strongest to weakest. The order I came up with was: 1) relief 2) disbelief 3) accomplishment, at a distant third place.
Onto the numbers:
Old, failing score: 263 (133.6 written, 129.8 MBE = 263)
New, passing score: 283 (136.6 written, 146.6 MBE = 283)
On my passing exam, I ended up doing just 3 points better on the writing portion but I did 17 points better on the MBE. I really only needed to do 10 points better overall, since I had failed the exam by only 10 points to begin with. But, I beat my old score by a total of 20 points, and ended up getting a score high enough to pass me in every UBE state. So far, as of October 2013, that’s 10 states if I’m not mistaken. That’s 20% of the states in the country. If that’s not success, I don’t know what is. I am ecstatic, but still pretty shocked. I walked out of the exam feeling that I had done a little better, but not that much better. All I wanted was to pass in my own jurisdiction, Arizona, with a 273. I ended up getting a whole lot more than that. I learned about myself and about perseverance, and the importance of remaining calm under all circumstances to really reach my true potential.
So for those of you who want to read about logistics:
How do results get released? Well, every jurisdiction does it differently, but I found that many, if not most, jurisdictions pick a date and time in which to post a list names of examinees who have received a satisfactory score on the exam. They list the date and time on the Committee on Examinations’ website a few weeks in advance so that you will know what date to come back and check. My jurisdiction, Arizona, said that the July 2013 results list will be posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 4:30pm. Most of the time the results are released late on a Friday. Basically, a lot of people try to leave work early and just have some peace and quiet in the privacy of their own home to check the results. You don’t want to have a meltdown in the car or in the office, anyway. On results day, a list of names of everyone who received a passing score in the jurisdiction is posted in a PDF file uploaded to the AZ Supreme Court website. On that same day, the Committee mails every examinee a letter listing the test results and what next steps should be taken. Since I live very close to the office of the Committee on Examinations, I received the letter the very next day – Saturday.
If you FAIL the UBE:
It lists what the passing score is in the jurisdiction where you sat for the exam. (273 in Arizona) It also lists a breakdown of what you scored in the written portion (MEE and MPT combined) and what you scored in the MBE portion. Then it lists what your total combined score was. Your letter will let you know that your score, although not passing for the jurisdiction in which you sat for the exam, may still be eligible (portable) to other UBE jurisdictions. The letter directs you to a website where you can find more information on that. In case you want to give the exam another go, the letter includes a short application form for the next administration of the exam. It gives you a pretty quick deadline, so you have to mail in your application and your $580 fee as soon as you wipe your tears dry. You don’t have to pay a late application fee to re-sit for the exam if you failed, at least not in Arizona. You don’t have to send in a new passport photo and all those other formalities you had to comply with the last time. They re-use all that stuff for the next time you sit for the exam.
I wanted to share with you my FAIL letter:
If you PASS the UBE:
The first word in your letter is: Congratulations. It has a checklist of what items are still outstanding in your application for admission to practice law. There are four items on the checklist: 1) you have not submitted your character report to the Committee on Character and Fitness 2) Your report is being processed by staff, or your file is being reviewed by the Committee. 3) You have not completed the Course on Arizona Law 4) You have not submitted a valid MPRE score. If none of these boxes are checked, then you should be eligible for admission to the practice of law in the state, and the Committee on Character and Fitness will contact you about that.
I also wanted to share with you my PASS letter:
Any questions? Please feel free to leave me a comment.