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Summary: While we are not saying you will fail the bar exam, we don’t want you to give up if you end up failing. Take a look at all of these people who failed at least once and still became successful later on.
A lot of people never make it in the legal industry. In fact, a whopping 21 percent fail the bar the first time they take it. They spend three or more years sacrificing their personal life to study law books. Then they graduate from law school only to be stopped by the bar exam. It doesn’t matter where you go to law school either. Yale has a 5.5 percent fail rate, Berkeley has a fail rate more than double that at 12.5 percent, and Georgetown has a 10 percent fail rate.
Many go on the take the bar again and again until they finally pass the bar. Would you believe us if we told you that Hillary Clinton failed it the first time she took it? Here are several other famous people that failed the bar exam the first go-around. This list goes to show that if you fail the bar exam the first time you attempt it you should not be discouraged:
Michelle Obama – As a Harvard graduate, Michelle struggled with the Illinois bar.
John F. Kennedy Jr. – Good looks didn’t help JFK Jr. pass the bar except on his third try.
Governor Jerry Brown – He failed once and went on to an Attorney General and Governor of California
Kathleen Sullivan – She passed the New York and Massachusetts bars but struggled with the California test. She eventually passed and became the dean of Stanford and a named partner at Quinn Emannuel Urquhart & Sullivan.
Governor Deval Patrick – He graduated from Harvard but failed the California bar exam twice.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt – He may have failed the bar but he had to deal with bigger tests later like signing a declaration of against Germany.
Governor Pete Wilson – Pete is yet another California governor that failed the bar exam three times before passing on the fourth attempt.
Governor David Paterson – David’s experience failing the bar has led to his attempts to reform the test.
Governor Charlie Crist – A former Florida governor who failed the bar twice but went on to become a state attorney general and governor.
Mayor Ed Koch – Failing the bar exam was just a small setback for Ed. He went on to be New York’s mayor and served on The People’s Court.
Mayor Richard M. Daley – Not everyone is perfect but you can still get elected as mayor of Chicago six times.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa – Antonio failed four times before settling as Mayor of Los Angeles.
Pat Robertson – He failed the bar exam and a 1988 bid for president, but he is very well known.
Congressman Harold Ford Jr. – The Tennessee bar exam tripped this guy up.
Emily Pataki – She may be the attractive daughter of former NY Governor George Pataki and a Columbia Law School graduate but she still failed the bar once.