Friday, September 3rd, 2010
I failed the Arkansas Bar Exam. I expected this result, but to be honest I’m still kind of hurt by it. It’s one thing to intellectually analyze your own likelihood of passing – even to come to the conclusion that passing is very unlikely. It’s another thing to absorb the realization of your own failure in the context of so many years of so many bad things happening, unrelentingly, like a torrent of horror. So many terrible things have happened to Laura and I that I scarcely know how to handle myself when confronted with them.
Perhaps the most distressing thing about this experience is how much it makes me doubt my future plans. Not about the bar exam; I have a better study plan, and a better place to study in, and I’m confident I will triumph in February. No, what I doubt is my ability to accomplish all the other things I want to do with my career. For all of the reading that is sure to come, will I ever write anything remotely publishable? Will I ever establish myself as a good candidate for an LL.M. program? Will I, if accepted into such a program, succeed there – or will I fail again? It is an old question, and a common one in times of great difficulty: How many more times must my dreams be smashed against the rocks before I let them sink to the bottom?
Even amidst this horrible circumstance, however, I recognize that I am fortunate in many respects. I am fortunate to have my beautiful wife standing by my side, helping and guiding me through terrible times. I am fortunate to have entered and completed law school. I am fortunate to have friends. Though this experience has shattered what little confidence I still had in my own mind and abilities, I fervently hope that these are enough to live on.