Why Doing Well In Law School Has Nothing To Do With The Bar Exam

Revenge of the Nerds: The Atomic Wedgie Collection
In high school, I got mostly A's, took advanced placement classes and was an all-around nerd. I'd sit back in class, soak up the lecture and then regurgitate it onto a test.  

My sister was far more social, joined several student groups and was an A/B student.  She received good grades, but really had to work.  She studied to get A's and studied even harder to get B's.  

This academic hierarchy changed in college.  In college, my sister got A's and I was getting C's. Seeing her first report card was a real awakening for me.  It was at that moment that I realized everything that I learned in high school wasn't worth much in college.  

Similarly, people that did well in law school shouldn't think they will do well on the bar exam.  They are two completely different animals.  Don't think so? When was the last time you took a multiple choice exam in law school?  How often do you think you're going to make a policy argument on the bar exam? The answer for both is the same: never.  What's important in law school is how you come to an answer. On the bar exam, its if you can read quickly, have good comprehension, organize an argument and come to the correct conclusion in a short amount of time.

While I received better grades in high school, my sister gained something much more valuable.  She learned to study.  In the same regard, law school isn't a total waste of time because it teaches you how to study for the bar exam.  Law school teaches you how to handle stress, to work under pressure and to turn mountains of material into something more manageable.

So, if you were at the bottom of your law school class, don't worry, the bar exam is a level playing field.