By Jacqueline Leung • July 05, 2017•Writers in Residence, Careers, Nonprofits and the Public Interest, Other Career Issues, Law School, Choosing a Career and Landing a Job, Issues, Balancing Private and Professional Life
The past month and a half has been a difficult time for me. We have had illnesses (my children, my partner, and I), sadness, stress, and transition difficulties. In addition, the number of work hours from my current job dropped, and I am working less than part-time. After several agonizing weeks, and consultation with several individuals, I made an important, yet difficult decision to postpone taking the bar. It came down to finances and personal health issues impacting my family and I -- I chose my family.
The decision was not easy to make. I still feel slightly disappointed. Yet, when I hold my youngest, or kiss my second, or play a quick game of “M.A.S.H.” with my oldest, I feel at ease. I know I am not the first to cancel my bar exam application, and I know I will not be the last. I had to decide what was more important, and ultimately, no matter what others say to me, the bar exam is not my life. My children are.
However, due to already having access to bar preparation materials, despite not even utilizing any of it, this counts as my first bar prep access. This means my bar prep program will allow me one ‘make-up’ session, which I was able to schedule to Summer 2018. Now that I have a little over a year to prepare for the bar more effectively, this will give me time to prepare a study schedule, find a new job, and decide once and for all, whether the bar exam is in my future. I know two things though: (1) I will not sacrifice my family for the bar exam and (2) the bar exam is an exam. It does not dictate my life or who or what I will become.
In short, July will still be a busy month for me, even without bar preparation. I am preparing additional job applications. With reduced work hours, it means less income to pay bills. I am also working on developing programming and obtaining funding for the local non-profit I am a Board of Director with. While July did not turn out the way I hoped it would, I will do my best to remain optimistic.