Sixteen Points

December 5th, 2012 | Rachel

Sixteen points out of 2000.

That is how close I was to passing the California bar exam. It was so close they graded it twice, and if you took the high scores from the two gradings, I would have passed. Alas, they averaged the scores, and now I find myself in the tough spot of deciding whether it’d be worth it to give it another go.

I was surprised to see that I did fine on the multi-state multiple choice section. True, if I had gotten five more of the 200 questions correct I would have passed, but I didn’t bomb the criminal procedure questions like I had predicted. Instead, I think it was actually the format of my essay answers that held me back. All of those new graduates who spent the summer taking BarBri classes had a leg up on me. I should have practiced more.

After two weeks of soul searching and talking to two of the most important men in my life, my boyfriend and my business partner, I’ve decided to give it another go in February. The thought of having to buckle down and study again is annoying, and of course there is the fear that I’ll fail again and prove myself to be even more incompetent than I’m presently feeling after failing a first time, but I think the time is still right, and I know what I need to do.

It’ll be a little sticky with the new business. I might have to forgo my paying job and dive into my emergency savings to pay the bills while Arthur and I still aren’t making any money, but I will do what I have to do to do it right. I get one last hurrah in December when I travel to India with my mom for three weeks, and then it is all business.

Having my plans shifted all because of sixteen subjective points really gets me thinking about life and plans and control. Sometimes we don’t get what we want because we didn’t prepare adequately. But sometimes we don’t get what we want because someone else was having a bad day or a driver a half an hour in front of us was reckless and caused a wreck that jammed the whole northbound highway for two hours.

“Stuff” happens, and the question is what do we do with it. There’s that worn out saying about how every time God closes a door he opens a window. But what about the times where we’re really supposed to just kick down the door and keep moving forward?

There are people out there who experience adversity and see it as the Universe’s way of telling them that they are headed in the wrong direction. But I think there’s also something to the old adage that if it was easy, everybody would do it. I do think that many of the people that experience great success were willing to put in exponentially more effort than those around them.

So what is the answer?

As someone who sees interesting opportunities everywhere I look, the best I can do is to take a realistic assessment of the circumstances and then do a frank and honest evaluation of my heart. If my heart says move forward, even though the path is ridden with pot holes and sharp turns, then that is what I am going to do. I will plow forward, full steam, until I either run into a brick wall, arrive at a junction with new opportunities, or succeed.

This bar exam business has been tricky because its not something that I need right now. I’m not planning on practicing law until well after this food business has lived a healthy life and given birth to several other projects. So why do it? I can’t say in any definite terms, but I just feel like it is something I need to do now rather than later. For all of you people who need a more rational answer, then lets just call it a back up plan.

If I called the shots, I would have passed the first time around, my efforts would have been immediately rewarded, and I would not have to divide my focus these next few months. But, I don’t, so here we go one more time. I’m interested to see how the next few months go and what insights I gain while preparing to take the exam. I have a sneaking suspicion that the lesson(s) I learn will make it all seem worth it.

Anyway, moving on.

Did I mention I’m going to India in less than a week?!!

4 Responses to “Sixteen Points”

  1. Dad says:

    Some random thoughts. We must learn from our failures. Not easily passing the CA BAR makes you realize it’s not a given, and maybe increases its value to you; like Josh and his math ability. Another worn out adage: Getting knocked down doesn’t make you a loser. Failing to get up does. Love you.

  2. Adam says:

    I’m also a NY corporate lawyer taking the CA bar in Feb. 2013. Would love to ask you a few questions about your experiences and approach. Email me if you have a second. Thanks!

    • Rachel says:

      Sure, I’d be happy to share my insights from the first go around. I’m not seeing a link to your email, so maybe you can email me at rachel [at] idratherbeinfrance [dot] com.

  3. […] to me tonight that while I wrote about taking the California bar exam, then failing it (by just a few miserable points), and taking it again, I haven’t written anything about the fact that I passed! In fact, […]

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