Please join me in congratulating another horde of aspiring lawyers who completed California's three-day bar exam today. That includes frequent commenter and friend of Popehat Adam. I'm sure you'll all agree with me that the nation in general, and California in particular, needs more lawyers.
By the grace of God Adam will be already too drunk to read this, but I'm going to commemorate his endurance with a story.
I took the California bar on three days in July 18 years ago. I was using an electric typewriter with ribbons. Yes, I'm old. Screw you. Any moment Scott Greenfield will be in here to one-up me by talking about how his powdered wig fell off during his exam or something.
Anyway, I got to the third day of the three-day bar and my typewriter ribbon broke about ten minutes before the lunch break. I looked in my bag and saw I had forgotten the replacement. I finished the morning's portion of the exam by hand. As soon as the lunch break started, I climbed in my car for the short drive to my apartment to pick up the spare.
Several minutes into the drive a voice started talking to me. You could just go home and not come back, Ken, the voice said. You've probably done well enough to pass even if you blow off the last session. You'll pass even on 5/6 of the test. Just decide. Decide, and you're done with the bar. All you have to do is decide. If you decide, it's ALL OVER RIGHT NOW.
I pulled to the side of the freeway just by the rock that gives Eagle Rock its name and took a long, healthy series of very deep breaths. I told the voice to shut the fuck up. And I went and picked up my ribbon from my overlooking-the-trash-bins back apartment and went back and finished the last session of the bar. Because (1) no, I probably wasn't that good, and (2) you've got to finish what you start.
Then I went home, indulged myself on my very small budget by ordering HBO (if memory serves these were the days when they had to physically run cables to your house), and ate an epic takeout meal from Panda Inn.
I REGRET NOTHING.
So congrats, Adam and many others. Welcome to a profession that will . . . you know, never mind that now. Just enjoy yourself for a night.
Last 5 posts by Ken White
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