All Family Law, All Around the WorldSM

Law School, the Bar Exam, and Other Things that Keep Future Lawyers Up at Night

by | Jun 4, 2024 | Family Law

Every May of each year, a new wave of hopeful law students cross their graduation stage. Along with the applause and congratulations from professors, peers, and family members, you also will certainly be asked this question: so when do you have to take the bar?

I have already had two friends approach me about the bar exam; one is a hopeful applicant to law school and the other has just graduated from law school with a promising job offer. Often times when lawyers are approached by hopeful future attorneys, their strategy is to give them a “realistic” view of the profession, which often involves recounting sleepless nights studying for finals and/or that they still have nightmares about taking the bar. While I believe providing an honest, balanced review of law school is important to aspiring attorneys, I also like to provide them with details of my good experiences with law school and now with practicing.

When I first started law school, I had no idea what practice area I would eventually fit into. During my law school experience, I tried various areas including intellectual property, immigration, and family law. I took every practical skills course that I could in order to develop skills that you can only gain from being in front of a judge. For example, I was a student attorney in the Jane W. Wilson Family Justice Clinic where I often appeared in front of Superior Court judges representing my clients in Temporary Protective Order matters. Getting experience beyond textbooks and by working with clients face to face is what tremendously boosted my confidence to where I love being in the courtroom. It’s also where I found my calling for my family law.

Like law school, the bar exam seems like an insurmountable giant when you begin. But as I told my friend who recently graduated, it is conquerable. You have to know yourself and your work ethic because during those two days of the exam it is you and the test (and hundreds of other hopeful applicants typing furiously).

If you have a family member or a friend who wants to be an attorney, whether they just took the LSAT or if they have already chosen which bar prep suits their needs best, help them to acknowledge how much they have already achieved by taking steps towards their goal. Becoming a lawyer does not have to be the nightmare many people make it out to be.

Kaitlin Hocker