Delay taking Bar Exam?

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olugnapper

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Delay taking Bar Exam?

Postby olugnapper » Wed Jan 23, 2019 10:33 am

I have a question about the bar exam and our Office of Student of Affairs is worthless so I'm turning to ya'll for advice. I am a 3L graduating this May. Following graduation I have two clerkships lined up (which doesn't require bar certification).

More relevant, I have the opportunity to do some research abroad this spring. I am considering staying abroad and just traveling until my clerkship begins in August (instead of studying for and taking the bar). What are the consequences of delaying the bar exam until July 2021? Will I be 'less marketable' when I begin searching for a post-clerkship job? Is it possible to study for the bar while working?

I know nothing about the bar exam so any guidance you can provide would be very appreciated!

Edit: I should note that I'm leaning heavily towards traveling; I'm OK with some headaches down the road to make this possible.

albanach

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Re: Delay taking Bar Exam?

Postby albanach » Wed Jan 23, 2019 12:40 pm

olugnapper wrote:I have a question about the bar exam and our Office of Student of Affairs is worthless so I'm turning to ya'll for advice. I am a 3L graduating this May. Following graduation I have two clerkships lined up (which doesn't require bar certification).

More relevant, I have the opportunity to do some research abroad this spring. I am considering staying abroad and just traveling until my clerkship begins in August (instead of studying for and taking the bar). What are the consequences of delaying the bar exam until July 2021? Will I be 'less marketable' when I begin searching for a post-clerkship job? Is it possible to study for the bar while working?


No, you won't be less marketable.

olugnapper wrote:I know nothing about the bar exam so any guidance you can provide would be very appreciated!


The exam is hard. In some states it's very hard. People from great schools still fail. In 2016, almost 1 in 20 Harvard Law grads failed the bar exam at the first attempt.

olugnapper wrote:Edit: I should note that I'm leaning heavily towards traveling; I'm OK with some headaches down the road to make this possible.


Given the exam has a non-negligible failure rate, you want to do everything in your power to pass. Studying when you have no other obligations is much easier than studying while employed.

If you fail the bar in February, you will be less marketable. Your clerkship gives you an advantage in that you get two shots at passing before you are in employment that needs you admitted. by skipping the July administration, you give up one of those opportunities. Personally I don't think it's worth the risk.

On top of that, until you pass the exam you can't pass yourself off as a lawyer. That has the potential to create awkward situations where someone that knows you introduces you to others as a lawyer. Now you have to say "actually I'm a clerk" which makes it sound to non-lawyers like you do typing and filing.



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