The excruciating wait for the results of the bar exam ends today as the Board of Law Examiners releases the names of the successful applicants on its website after 2:00 p.m.
First, to those of you who are not on the list this time, please try to take some consolation in the fact that many successful members of the bar had to take the bar exam more than once. You graduated from law school; you can pass the bar. Accept comfort from friends and family who care about you for who you are. They know that a test is just a test, and that what counts is who you are. And don’t let anyone kid you that they had an easy time with the bar exam. It’s hard for everyone and there’s no shame or dishonor in having to take the exam more than once. You can do it.
To those of you on the list of passers, warmest congratulations. Try to hold on to the excitement and sense of promise that you are feeling today. You are entering a professional life that holds great potential for happiness and satisfaction, but neither is guaranteed by your bar card. They come only by hard work, perseverance through hard times and bad luck, and a positive attitude. I know lawyers who have achieved great professional success but along the way have lost the sense of possibility and idealism that they felt the day they learned they had passed the bar. They let themselves fall out of love with the law and the fault is theirs, not the law's.
Enough preaching -- here's some practical advice. The State Bar of Michigan is an invaluable resource for you, and a tremendous bargain. (No kidding; ask your friends in other professions, and your friends in other state bars.) Make sure that you take advantage of your membership -- not just discounts, and free services, but also involvement in sections and bar committees. And the heart of the value we offer is association with the other members of the State Bar of Michigan. You are now one of us. Welcome.