Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Through the Wringer: Part VII

*D doing his best explorer pose on our honeymoon in Key West.

D and I were finally married….and living with his parents. I love D’s parents dearly, but the fact of the matter is I was still living with my in-laws. D and I started looking for places to live in a nearby community. It was a great community near where his parents lived and D’s drive to work would be virtually the same. We found an apartment, and after about a week of living with his parents, we moved.

While looking for places to live, I was also applying for jobs. There wasn’t anything actually listed as a job opening for an attorney nearby, so I began sending out letters and resumes. One contact in Redwood seemed promising. D’s dad asked his friend’s brother (an attorney in town) if they had any openings. It turned out that an attorney had just left their office.

I set up an interview. The interview seemed to go well. Less than a week later, they hired me! Now that I had a job, I became even more nervous about the bar exam. I still hadn’t heard if I passed or not. In fact, I had to wait until October to find out. That was over a month away.

I started work right away. I did work for the other attorneys in the office until I knew if I passed the bar or not. The big day finally came. I took the day off, knowing I didn’t want to find out at work with everyone there. D went to work as usual, but planned to call me at the time the passing exam numbers were posted. D called a few minutes before the list was posted. We both had my exam number in front of us. I began frantically searching the list as it came up. I looked three times, but my number wasn’t there. I was devastated.

I began to cry as I realized I didn’t pass. What was I going to do now? I had a job, one that depended on my passing the bar. Over half of the people who graduated in my class didn’t have jobs yet, and I was going to lose mine before they even had one.

D realized how upset I was and asked if I wanted him to come home. At first, I thought I would tough it out, but quickly realized I didn’t want to be alone. D took the rest of the day off and drove the 20 minutes home. When he got there, all I could do was cry. He held me in his arms while I sobbed.

A few hours later, work called. They knew I was finding out today if I passed or not. I had the really hard task of telling them I had not passed. They told me to take it easy for the day and the firm would talk about the consequences later. I was sure I was going to lose my job. I began to doubt myself. Maybe I wasn’t cut out to be an attorney. Maybe I didn’t study hard enough. Maybe it was too much to take on the bar and a wedding in such a short amount of time.

Going to work the next day was agonizing. I was convinced they were going to ask me to pack my things and leave. Instead, the firm decided to give me another shot. They were pretty clear about what would happen if I didn’t pass. I was given the option to keep working for a few months, and then take some time off to study for the next bar in February. I took it.

I began studying during none busy moments at work. Starting in December, I began working only half days, working in the morning and studying in the afternoon. In January, I took the whole month off to take a live review class. In February, I took the bar. Then I had to wait until April to find out if I passed or not. This time, I felt more confident after I took the test. But I didn’t know if that confidence was due to the fact that I actually did better or if it was just wishful thinking.

Did I actually pass the bar this time? Find out tomorrow in Part VIII.

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