I struggled mightily with the bar exam, finally passing it on the fourth try. There's no excuse for my repeated failures. I just didn't get it. I was glad when I ultimately persevered.
But I've noticed that there's a real stigma to failing the bar exam once, let alone multiple times. It's like I walk around with a scarlet F on my forehead, even though I'm a licensed attorney.
I know there are ways for others to find out if they research my background that I failed it. But I have gone out of my way not to advertise my failures.
With that, I have the opportunity to waive in to another state, simply because I didn't want them to have a record that I had failed multiple times. The state where I am licensed keeps that record, but only in print form (we applied on paper).
Look, I know anyone can get that information if they seek it out. But it is painful for me to hand it over to someone, knowing that private records aren't always private and that it would make it easier for someone to find if they wanted it. I don't trust the information gatekeepers, and I'm bitter because I don't think it's any of their business to request that information.
Whether someone failed the bar exam shouldn't tail you around for the rest of your life. But don't kid yourself: failing the bar exam is a professional stain. If I had to pick, I'd think it would be easier to outrun a criminal conviction than failing the bar.
What do others think? Best to seek other licenses to practice, or best to not do so in order to stem the spread the record of my failures?
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