It's been almost two years (July 2015) since I first took the Florida Bar Exam (an awful experience), and then a few months later found out that I had failed . . . by 1/2 of a point . . . not even a full question. At that point, I took it as a sign and a blessing from God that I didn't HAVE to be an attorney . . . seeing as I've never wanted to practice law. While my immediate family and closest friends understood that and didn't really pressure me to retake it, I spent many months fending off inquiries, motivational speeches, and guilt trips from pretty much everyone else. And all that pressure? Nobody wanted to accept that I was completely and utterly FINE with not passing. They just couldn't wrap their heads around the fact that my goal in life was (and still is) to be a wife and mother.
Fast forward to September or October 2016. I'd spent the last YEAR explaining and re-explaining my attitude towards the bar exam and how I was absolutely, positively NOT retaking it. Ever. And while many people would love to take credit for what happened in the past six months, it was my decision, on my time, and for my reasons. See, the first time I took the bar exam . . . it was like pulling teeth. I didn't want to take it at all, but everyone convinced me that if I was graduating from law school, I had to at least try. So I did. I studied diligently. I completed 100% of the bar prep program. And I failed. By 1/2 a point. When people asked afterwards why I failed, I said it was (a) reading too fast and missing one of the triple or quadruple negatives PLUS (b) the fact that my heart wasn't in it. Anyway, back to six months ago, I finally had my own reasons for retaking the exam - I wanted a backup plan in a worst case scenario, and I wanted to be able to help my husband with legal matters if we ever started our own firm. So I looked at my old paperwork . . . and it turns out I only had to retake one portion of the exam, and my other scores were still good. So I took the plunge, signed up, and started studying. Of course, I wasn't going to spend $$$$$ on another bar prep program, but I did use many resources in the library to study - mainly hundreds of multiple choice questions.
Fast forward to February 2017. I'd mostly forgotten the reasons WHY I decided to retake the exam, but it was too late to back out. So there I was . . . sitting in the same room again, forcing myself to read "slowly." I still finished with almost an hour to spare, and that freaked a lot of people out. But whatever. I've always finished exams super early. When I walked out, people asked how I thought it went. I very confidently told them that I got two questions right . . . out of two hundred. And that was it. I didn't have my hopes set on passing. I didn't think I passed. I didn't care if I did or not. I'd tried again, and that was that.
Fast forward to April 10, 2017. Bar exam scores were released. I checked. And double-checked. And checked about another hundred times. Yep. The file number was correct. The sheet said I passed and was ready to be admitted to the bar. I admit I was shaking when I first read it . . . I mean, I passed the Florida Bar Exam! Yahoo! But I still don't plan on really practicing . . . except in an assistatory capacity with my husband. And everyone so far that I've told has been far more excited than I am. But I do feel blessed, and I'm sure God's got a reason for why I passed now.
Anyway, I did it in MY time (and God's) . . . not bending to the peer pressure to retake it immediately. I waited. I relaxed. I got past the bad taste of law school and the bar exam. And, most importantly, I WANTED to retake it. I wasn't being forced to do it. And that made all the difference, I'm sure.