You’ve put down your metaphorical pencil and taken a deep breath. The hard part is over; you’ve finished the bar exam. Before you worry about how to get a job after the bar exam, first take a second to think through the last few weeks. Perhaps you’re now feeling a curious sense of being let down; despite all of the hard work you’ve put in for the last few years, the innumerable hours of study, the isolation as you’ve focused your time and energy on reaching this point, you now face the realization that it is completely out of your hands. All you can do now is wait for the results.
Whether you have a job in hand or need to get back to job hunting, for the sake of your sanity and blood pressure, just take a step back and breathe. Nothing you can do now is going to affect your result, so resist all temptation to post mortem your exam experience. Avoid discussions with colleagues and friends about their experiences and do your best to avoid obsessing about your results. Go home, pack up your study materials, and do your best to apply the old maxim “out of sight, out of mind.”
Take a Much Needed Break
Now it’s time to take that break you’ve probably been anticipating. Do not feel guilty about taking a minute to slow down before trying to get a job after the bar exam. Catch up on your sleep, hit your local watering hole, do those things that normal people do when they have some time free. Whether you feel it or not, your work and study habits over the past few months have put a significant amount of stress on your system. Give yourself a chance to recover.
Whether it's two weeks in a tropical paradise, or a long weekend camping in the woods, find that happy place and decompress. Reconnect with friends you’ve been avoiding for the past few months, refresh your relationship with your loved ones, remind your partner why you fell in love in the first place. Find your center and gather your energy as you move forward with your life. Maintaining a positive outlook also means acknowledging you’ve now reached what will likely be your last opportunity for an extended summer break for a long time as you begin that career you have worked so long and hard to achieve.
After you finish your decompression, it’s time to face the realities of life. Without a job offer in hand or an existing job to go back to, it’s time to focus on the work of finding a job. If you haven’t already, get organized. If you’re like most graduates, you have a long list of things that need to be done, from managing the details and options for the repayment of the loans you have accumulated, to freshening your resume, to making sure that your online persona is one that appeals to potential employers.
5 Tips to Help You Get a Job After the Bar Exam
- If not already employed, continue to send out resumes. Don’t forget follow-up contact for firms already approached. Try to schedule coffee with someone in the firm to see if they can give you advice or leads on job opportunities.
- Gather up all necessary documentation for application to the state and local bar associations and plan to attend meetings. Arrive early to your first meeting and begin networking. Look into the young lawyers division.
- Create an online professional persona on LinkedIn. Start connecting with alumni from your law school or undergraduate college.
- Find ways to network; remember a business card with your credentials and contact info.
- Consider working as a temp legal hire. While this may not always lead to full-time employment, it is an opportunity to earn income and gain experience as you wait for the bar results.
The actions you take after the bar exam will help you succeed in finding legal employment. If you’re ready to launch your legal career or considering advancement in the legal profession, contact LHH today to learn more about opportunities available to you.