Before I share my news, I’m so happy to report that I crossed the 130 follower threshold and I’m currently at 132 followers! I can’t believe it. When I started this blog, I was quite scared. I still find blogging very intimidating. But there are so many bloggers who I admire, and I’m inspired by their bravery to write and publish their thoughts to the world. Although I enjoy writing very much, I have a lot of insecurities. Sometimes I don’t update the blog because I feel embarrassed or unworthy to share my thoughts. This is something I’m working on, so bear with me!
I was going to blog about my news yesterday, but when I received the email from Mercy For Animals regarding the dairy farm abuse, I decided to share the video instead. The video of the abuse definitely put a damper on my day, but it also reminded me why I was motivated to start this blog in the first place, and what I want to use my education for.
Today I feel comfortable in announcing that I am now an attorney in the state of New York! Yesterday was my swearing in ceremony. I’m so excited!
Most of the readers of my blog have no idea of the process that I went through to get to this point. A lot of my friends don’t even know. Many people already thought I was an attorney because I graduated law school in 2012. It took a long time to get here, and it was never easy. I took the LSAT (the test you take for law school admissions) twice. Law school itself was difficult, frustrating, upsetting, but also exciting and satisfying in many ways. At times it was even fun! I had some great professors and made some lifelong friends.
And then after law school was the bar exam. I took it immediately after graduating, in July. That turned out to be a huge mistake. I took a bar exam study program, and my bank account took a nosedive into the negative. Without a close, amazing friend covering my rent during that time, I don’t know what I would have done. When I found out that I failed the exam, which wasn’t until November, it was not a shock. I still cried, but it was not a shock. By then, I was working in television and preparing myself mentally to have to take the exam again. I had worked as a transcriber in my pre-law school days, and was using transcribing to pay my bills and to get back on my feet.
Even though I decided to take the bar exam again in February, I wasn’t so confident about my future. Even if I passed, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. Failing the first time and having money problems damaged my self-esteem for a long time and the healing took a long time. I wanted to pass the exam to prove that I could do it and to get closure on the whole process. I kept my jobs while I studied, and a few weeks before I took the exam, I started dog walking. I was so frustrated and upset about the hard work that went into getting my degree, only to fail and to be left with a horrifying amount of debt. At the time, I wanted to get away from the legal field as far as possible. Dog walking was like therapy to me. I was with happy, sweet animals who adored me regardless of my failures in life. I also gained physical strength from all the walking I was doing (and holding leashes of four dogs at a time!) and bought a bicycle. I started running occasionally. It was amazing: I actually felt really good about myself!
Oh yeah — I had also officially went vegan in January 2013, so to have energy and feel great in my early days of veganism was incredible.
So when I took the February bar exam, I felt different than the first time I took it. The first time, I had a slight panic attack during the exam. I couldn’t handle the crowds. It was hard to breathe and I just wanted out.
But not the second time. The testing location was different, and I only saw a handful of familiar faces. There were large windows in the room. I had a better seat during the test. I brought an actual lunch. I finished the exam early, actually. When I left, I wasn’t sure if I passed. But I also wasn’t confident that I failed.
Months went by. And then the results: I passed. I screamed when I saw the email and immediately called my mother, crying and screaming into the phone. She called me back, crying and screaming into the phone. I was so happy to make her proud! You see, right before I went to law school, my mother had been diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer. By the time I finished law school, she had completed chemo and radiation and was in good health. So for her to beat the cancer and to be there when I achieved my goal was amazing to me.
I finally felt truly excited about the thought of being a practicing attorney. Suddenly, my future didn’t seem so bleak.
The next hurdle involved the application process and the character and fitness interview. Those are both really long stories… Let’s just say it took many more months, more financial hardship, and a terrible interview. But I made it!
So many factors go into whether you succeed or fail in law school and the bar exam. It’s not a coincidence that the people who did very well in school and on the exam were mostly the people who didn’t have to worry about money, or family problems, or working. So for anyone who is considering law school, is currently in law school, or taking the bar exam, or waiting for bar exam results — do not let any of that process affect your self-worth! Yes, you may stumble or fail. But you have to — and will — get back up!
Anyway, thanks for letting me share my thoughts with you, readers. I really appreciate the support!