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If You Have Failed the Bar Exam It Is Not the End of the World

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These examinations are the benchmark of the legal profession and, for many, the culmination of three years' hard work in law school. However, only 64 percent of bar candidates pass the exam, and many states have much lower passing rates. For example, only around 45 percent of test takers pass California's notoriously tough bar exam the first time they take it.

If you have joined the ranks of those who must retake the exam, be reminded that you are in good company. Throughout history, many governors, members of Congress, mayors, attorneys general, military generals, law school professors, and judges have failed the bar exam as first-time test takers.
 
Hillary Clinton and the late John F. Kennedy, Jr., were two of the more famous politicos who were exposed as having failed their first bar exams--JFK, Jr., failed his second time around, as well--and Kathleen Sullivan, Stanford Law School's former dean and a renowned attorney in her own right, was one of more than 4,000 examinees who did not pass the California Bar Exam.

Practical Academic Support Services (PASS), a law school study aid and bar review company, recommends on its website, "Be smart and be a detective; figure out what you did and why you failed. Only when you know your weaknesses can you turn them around and get strong enough to pass."

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