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September 26, 2013

To the 727

by WSBA
proud hero
Dan Orphadt offers advice to the 727 candidates who passed the July bar exam: be proud and celebrate.

proud heroWe’ve all had about two weeks to digest that little word “pass” next to our UBE score. To some over-worriers, it may have come as a surprise — a surprise we double-checked on the public list on Saturday, just to be sure. To others, it was a relief. To the few laid-back and living-under-a-rock among us, it may still be news waiting for the originally announced date of Sept. 27. To all, however, it should invoke one particular feeling: pride.

I hate to stereotype recent law graduates, but since everyone else stereotypes us, I should get a pass to do it once in a while. We make up a group that has been working towards this week for years. Many times in those years, we have accomplished big things. Many of us have just kept working towards the next step, barely taking time to reflect on our accomplishments. I’m guilty: I didn’t attend my college graduation. After my quick law school graduation, I ate dinner with some family and friends, and then I proceeded to calmly pack my three years of Chicago life into my car and leave shortly thereafter. Even this week, I’ve had a tough time thanking co-workers for their words of congratulations, choosing to go with the “no big deal” approach. But it is a big deal.

Undoubtedly, we will all continue to work towards the next thing. Undoubtedly, we will all accomplish more big deals. Undoubtedly, in a few years we will look at this as just another one of the steps that we took on the way to where we are then. But now, in this moment, congratulate yourself and let yourself feel pride. This wasn’t easy. To say it was would be to belittle your work and that of those who haven’t made it to this point yet.

So take advantage of the fact that our bar association scored our exams and returned our scores much faster than many states. Use this time before work gets intense to reflect and celebrate your accomplishment. If you don’t, then you have fewer excuses to delay those PREP videos any longer. (And while we’re on that subject, can we just talk about that for a moment? “Congratulations! Here are four more hours of class!”) But seriously, they’re actually pretty good, and they give you an idea of the type of people in the association we have the honor of joining. And they’ve even got checkpoints to keep you on task. Where were my checkpoints during Paula’s Property lectures in BARBRI?

To the 727: congratulations. This is a big deal. I’m happy for you, and I’m happy to be part of the group with you. And I’m definitely happy to write something out of the C-I-R-A-C format.

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