New York's Exam: The Biggest Baddest Bar

( 395 votes, average: 4.2 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.
An unblinking look at what it's like to sit for the world's toughest bar exam. Ready? You may begin.

It's 6 A.M., three hours before the start of the July 24, 2001, New York State bar exam at Manhattan's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, and the first arrivals are pacing.

Andrew Gershon, a Hofstra law school alum, mills around a hallway above the still-locked exam rooms. He has decided he'd rather come here at this early hour than continue tossing and turning in his hotel room bed.

"You have the rest of your life going through your head," he says. "Sleep doesn't come easy." Jessica Greenberg, a University of Pennsylvania law grad, is Gershon's sole companion at the moment. She says she would have shown up even earlier had her father not suggested she attempt to get some more rest.

In the scheme of things, Gershon and Greenberg really aren't that early. In years past, jittery candidates have arrived at the Javits Center at 5 A.M. and waited outside for an hour before the security guards opened the doors. To soothe their nerves and kill some time, Gershon reads the New York Post. Greenberg listens to Kermit the Frog warble "The Rainbow Connection" through her headphones.

By 7:30, the corridor is thick with jumpy bar takers. Just down the hall from Gershon and Greenberg, Mary Devin clutches a string of rosary beads blessed by the pope. Her boyfriend, John Hewitt, sits next to her. Despite the soupy July weather, Hewitt has outfitted himself in a frayed gray sweatshirt. "He wore that same Duke sweatshirt to every exam he took during law school," says Devin, who earned her JD from New York Law School. "He looks like a homeless person, but he thinks it retains knowledge. What can you do?"

Want to continue reading ?

Become a subscriber to LawCrossing's Job Seeker articles.

Once you become a subscriber you will have unlimited access to all of LawCrossing Job Seeker's articles.

There is absolutely no cost!

Javits Convention Center


Featured Testimonials

I really found LawCrossing useful and it wasy very easy for me to navigate around the website.


LawCrossing Fact #160: Our database is massive; sign up to see what job options you really have!

Let's Do It!

Only LawCrossing consolidates every job it can find in the legal industry and puts all of the job listings it locates in one place.

  • We have more than 25 times as many legal jobs as any other job board.
  • We list jobs you will not find elsewhere that are hidden in small regional publications and employer websites.
  • We collect jobs from more than 250,000 websites and post them on our site.
  • Increase your chances of being seen! Employers on public job boards get flooded with applications. Our private job boards ensure that only members can apply to our job postings.

Success Stories

Out of all the other job boards I have used, LawCrossing was definitely the most impressive. I have received many job interviews from jobs I applied to on your site.
  • Mark Herskovitz Los Angeles, CA