Fall is in the air, and as the leaves turn from verdant green to the orange, red, and brown colors of death, sometimes with a sprinkling of yellow just so the New Yorkers will drive through and comment about how beautiful things are, so too do the hopes of the July bar exam takers wither and die as each state releases results. Most recently, for example, Mississippi decided this week was the perfect time to destroy the self-esteem and crush the dreams of a whopping 47% of the poor morons that sat for the exam this past summer. I mean, as if living in, and wanting to continue living in, Mississippi wasn’t enough of a punishment, those poor kids now have to suck it up and admit they aren’t going to become “Like one of those guys in a John Grisham book” anytime in the near future while staring down a mountain of student loan debt in the state that ranks the lowest in the nation on that “we’re dirt poor” scale.
So yeah, Mississippi bar exam takers in that 47%, good fucking luck. For the rest of you, though, now you probably understand why the whole of the South has a phrase that goes “Thank God for Mississippi!” But don’t get too cocky, because there are a lot of fucking states that haven’t released their bar exam results yet, and we’re still waiting to see whether the bump in pass rates from the July 2016 examination is a fluke or if that shit’s really on the climb again. So, you know, you could find yourself sobbing gently into a pillow as you start to wonder how long you’ll be chasing the elusive “Esquire” you so desperately wish to append to your signature line like a Grade A Asshole.
Me, however? Oh, I passed the bar exam years ago, so I get to take a certain amount of devilish delight in watching and wondering who’s next on the hit list of bar exam failures. But, you know, I’m not entirely heartless (that doesn’t happen until you make partner), so let’s have an open and honest conversation about all of the things you folks who find yourself on the wrong side of a pass/fail rate can do now that the long wait to find out if you’re a disappointment has ended.