vatsaleisha

Take Two: It’s just the beginning

Whew it’s December. This year has flown by rather quickly. I can’t believe that 2017 is almost over. I was just talking with a friend the other day about her birthday party, only to realize that it was five months ago. It’s crazy how time flies by (when you are having fun), but also when you are busy. I have to keep reminding myself what day it is because all the days mesh together.

Being a part of the Writers in Residence Program has taught me to appreciate what we have. There’s a saying that we want what we can’t have. But a smart person would look at those things and be appreciative of what they do have. Moreover, they would look to their experiences that brought them to where they are today. This also comes from reading, reading about the news or about experiences of others, which is what I’ve done this year. Through reading the posts every month, I have learned a lot about my fellow writers, but also the experiences and obstacles they face in the legal community. 

Every day, I read stories of attorneys fighting for immigration rights and gender equality, to name a couple. With the new administration, attorneys are coming together and fighting the fight, and I’m proud to say that I am part of the legal community. But we have a long way to go. We will continue to stand up for our rights and the rights of others, but I believe the greatest tool that we have is to learn from one another and grow stronger with this knowledge. Talk to someone new; learn about their story, their culture. Learn the struggles they face. Don’t ever stop learning, and I don’t mean by reading or taking classes.

I began this blog by breaking a taboo that retaking the bar should be something to feel ashamed about. I’m glad I did because it started the conversation and it provided support for others going through similar situations. It is time we break the taboos and talk about the topics that have been suppressed for so long. You don’t need to be an attorney to make a difference. You can be a law student and still make a difference. What matters is what you want to do.

2018 is right around the corner. We all have our “New Years Goals” but instead of adding goals that only benefit yourself, try adding some that benefit the community. Try giving back, volunteering, doing pro bono work. Get involved in politics or educate yourself so that when someone talks about the “taboos” of the legal field, you are ready to destroy them. And finally, learn. Learn new skills, new hobbies, and new experiences. Learn from one another and from yourself.

Remember: It’s just the beginning.

2 Comments

Priyanka Verma

Hi, Any advice for someone who failed the bar exam three times?

vatsaleisha

@Priyanka Verma What I’ve learned taking the same bar exam multiple times is that it doesn’t define me. I am not a multiple choice person, but I can write essays. If the exam was only essays, I would have rocked it the first time. Regardless, the exam doesn’t dictate who I am as an attorney and what I can do as one. It is an exam to weed out the good test takers from the bad. That being said, my advice for someone who failed the bar three times is to attack the exam a different way. If you’ve taken the exam every session without a break, maybe it’s time to take a break. Let your mind rest. Don’t take too long to rest because it makes studying that much harder. If you’ve done this, then look at the way you’ve been studying. Have you used the commercial study plans, such as Themis, Barbri, Kaplan? If so, I would suggest taking private tutoring, if feasible. I used a tutoring company called J.D. Advising. It’s locally based, but it’s an in-person class for 20 students. I found this much more helpful because the teachers geared their teachings to what has been on the exam, i.e. the trend. Unlike the commercial plans, they didn’t teach everything little nuance, whether it’s ever been taught or not. Additionally, they taught students how to attack an essay question when you have no idea what to write. I would suggest finding a tutoring company similar to what I used. I wouldn’t suggest changing everything about your studying habits. That’s a recipe for disaster. If you want to talk more, you are welcome to email me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)/*','a','/','','\"',' 109',' 111',' 99',' 46',' 108',' 105',' 97',' 109',' 103',' 64',' 97',' 104',' 115',' 105',' 101',' 108',' 97',' 115',' 116',' 97',' 118',':','o','t','l','i','a','m','\"','=','f','e','r','h','a ','= 0)out += unescape(l[i].replace(/^\s\s*/, '&#'));while (--j >= 0)if (el[j].getAttribute('data-eeEncEmail_fvParqAWSd'))el[j].innerHTML = out;/*]]>*/. Hope you don’t give up!

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