Biglaw and failing bar... if you were/are a subpar applicant

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TheProsecutor

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Re: Biglaw and failing bar... if you were/are a subpar applicant

Postby TheProsecutor » Sun Aug 07, 2016 7:15 pm

I wouldn't sweat it. Every year, at most firms, someone fails the bar and they almost universally pass the second time. Firms understand first time gitters or something going wrong during the test and won't think anything of it the first time. If you fail a second time, they will fire you no if ands or buts about it.

thegrayman

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Re: Biglaw and failing bar... if you were/are a subpar applicant

Postby thegrayman » Sun Aug 07, 2016 7:36 pm

kellyfrost wrote:
thegrayman wrote:Your firm will make things exceptionally awkward for you if you fail the bar and it will probably light the fuse on your career there. My firm held a cocktail hour for everyone who passed the bar (we all did), I can only imagine how bad that would have been if I hadn't passed. So, if it happens, I think the advice to start looking for a lateral move asap is credited.

That said, I would never look down on someone for failing the bar once, it can happen to anyone.


So you would begin to look down on them after their second failure?


Yes, and like the poster above I don't think that's unreasonable. After the second failure you get fired, so you have your biglaw career riding on passing it the second time. When the stakes are that high you need to do whatever the hell it takes to pass, no excuses.

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star fox

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Re: Biglaw and failing bar... if you were/are a subpar applicant

Postby star fox » Sun Aug 07, 2016 9:15 pm

It turned out ok for Hillary Clinton.

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Re: Biglaw and failing bar... if you were/are a subpar applicant

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:33 am

Don't worry. I was in the same boat. 3L hire, got lucky - networked my way in. Senior associate basically vouched for me and put his name on the line. v20 firm. Prepare to bust your ass and you'll be fine.

What generally ends up forcing people out who fail the bar is not that they have some black mark, but its that they have to take time off and inevitably end up with lower hours at the year end and likely crappier assignments because you have compeltely regear and restart in March when you come abck from the exam.

Just know that the firm doesnt care that you failed, but they also don't care that you had to take time off from work to study. To the firm, you basically just took a 3 week vacation in the middle of february. so be prepared to make up the hours for that and you will be fine.

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Re: Biglaw and failing bar... if you were/are a subpar applicant

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:50 am

Policies may vary, but at my V10, several people failed the bar each year. No one was axed for that reason and, as far as I could tell, it was not a major strike against you. If you failed twice, however, you would be let go. Also, my understanding was that they gave you a few weeks (2-3) to study. Everyone that I knew who failed, passed the second time around.

As far as being a marginal candidate--I don't think they would fire you on that account. They have already lost money on you in the hopes you will eventually become profitable, and they would have to expend even more money to go out and hire someone else to fill your spot. That said, there may be a small number of attorneys who are familiar with your credentials, and you may have a reputation on that basis. I'm not saying this is certain, but it's possible. Failing the bar will reinforce that, and you will have to work hard to overcome that perception. It may be difficult, or impossible, to do that with some people.

Wait until you get your results to worry about all this, though. You may be pleasantly surprised to find out you passed.

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Re: Biglaw and failing bar... if you were/are a subpar applicant

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:25 am

Anonymous User wrote:Don't worry. I was in the same boat. 3L hire, got lucky - networked my way in. Senior associate basically vouched for me and put his name on the line. v20 firm. Prepare to bust your ass and you'll be fine.

What generally ends up forcing people out who fail the bar is not that they have some black mark, but its that they have to take time off and inevitably end up with lower hours at the year end and likely crappier assignments because you have compeltely regear and restart in March when you come abck from the exam.

Just know that the firm doesnt care that you failed, but they also don't care that you had to take time off from work to study. To the firm, you basically just took a 3 week vacation in the middle of february. so be prepared to make up the hours for that and you will be fine.


How common is it for people to get let go after only 1 year at the firm for low hours?

tyroneslothrop1

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Re: Biglaw and failing bar... if you were/are a subpar applicant

Postby tyroneslothrop1 » Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:09 pm

Honestly if you're working at a V10 (whatever your grades) the chances of you failing the bar are extremely low. Everyone in this thread should relax, stop having impostor syndrome, and move on with their lives.

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Re: Biglaw and failing bar... if you were/are a subpar applicant

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Don't worry. I was in the same boat. 3L hire, got lucky - networked my way in. Senior associate basically vouched for me and put his name on the line. v20 firm. Prepare to bust your ass and you'll be fine.

What generally ends up forcing people out who fail the bar is not that they have some black mark, but its that they have to take time off and inevitably end up with lower hours at the year end and likely crappier assignments because you have compeltely regear and restart in March when you come abck from the exam.

Just know that the firm doesnt care that you failed, but they also don't care that you had to take time off from work to study. To the firm, you basically just took a 3 week vacation in the middle of february. so be prepared to make up the hours for that and you will be fine.


How common is it for people to get let go after only 1 year at the firm for low hours?


It's not common at all and doesnt happen unless you do something egregious. the failing bar problem is that you come back in March and you have no ongoing projects and likely won't be fully staffed on things and busy until a few more weeks. In addition, you probably had to take a backseat in Jan. and early Feb as you prepared to disappear for 3 weeks.

Your colleagues have all been going strong since October. Inevitably, youre going to be behind and it will snowball. But will you actually be told to leave? no.

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Avian

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Re: Biglaw and failing bar... if you were/are a subpar applicant

Postby Avian » Mon Aug 08, 2016 1:09 pm

star fox wrote:It turned out ok for Hillary Clinton.

She worked in a university funded position doing research her first year and then went to work for public interest organization. So pretty much failed at life by TLS standards. /s

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Single-Malt-Liquor

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Re: Biglaw and failing bar... if you were/are a subpar applicant

Postby Single-Malt-Liquor » Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:24 pm

Avian wrote:
star fox wrote:It turned out ok for Hillary Clinton.

She worked in a university funded position doing research her first year and then went to work for public interest organization. So pretty much failed at life by TLS standards. /s


Yale outed as being a TTT school that fluffs its employment numbers.

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84651846190

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Re: Biglaw and failing bar... if you were/are a subpar applicant

Postby 84651846190 » Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:39 pm

Bluem_11 wrote:It's a real shame firms do this. The numbers reflect extremely high passage rates from top schools or top students at mediocre schools (the people who end up in big firms). Either you fooled everyone along the way about your study skills or something went horribly wrong/unlucky in your bar prep or test. I firmly believe there should be a mulligan on first fail if you've clearly shown up to then you're the real deal.

I'm aware reality is different from my preference.


Yeah, I think it's fair to give someone a second shot. But I don't understand how anyone can argue that writing someone off after failing twice is unjustified.



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