Law Students

Grads: School's Not Out for Summer

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After three years of hard work, the nation’s newly graduated law students aren’t done with their studies yet. The vast majority are still buried in the books as they put in long hours preparing for the next major hurdle in their lives—the bar exam, typically held in July.

That’s certainly true in California, where the bar exam is more difficult than in many other states and it isn’t unusual to fail it the first time around, reports the San Mateo County Times. Meghan Piano, a recent Santa Clara University law graduate, is among those now leading a “hermit’s existence” in the hope of passing the California bar on the first try later this month.

“Obviously, it’s hanging over my head every day,” says Piano, who tells the paper she is also avoiding stressed-out classmates to try to enhance her chance of passing. “I feel like I’ve worked so hard and had so much invested in my education. I feel like if I don’t pass, I’ll be really disappointed for more than myself, with all the support I’ve had from my family and my friends.”

Unlike some states, California doesn’t limit the number of times a law school graduate can re-take the bar after failing it. For Paulina Bandy, the 14th time was the charm. She passed the February exam this year, after nearly a decade of failed attempts to do so, reports the Orange County Register.

Ironically, Bandy may not even practice, at this point, because she has gone into business to help other repeat bar-takers study for the exam. However, passing the bar was nonetheless a critical milestone. “To me, it’s been such a big goal,” she says. “This is the journey. It’s the end.”

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