Saturday, May 26, 2007

My Son the Lawyer

Have you ever heard of someone who studied for the California bar exam for one week before taking it the first time... and passed? This would be my son D, who moved to San Francisco around the end of last year and took the bar exam in February.

He had passed the bar in Arizona, where he went to school, but decided not to accept a job offer there and moved to California instead. With no income at the time, he opted to acquire a set of used bar review books from 3 years ago and do his own prep in lieu of taking one of those intensive expensive bar review courses. The person who provided the books had finally passed on her fourth attempt.

Through January our conversation with D was always, “I’m going to start studying for the bar... soon. Don’t worry.” And we had no choice.

After the test, however, he learned that instead of the percentages from 2005 depicted above, the recent pass rate was more like 39%. He warned us that he probably had not passed and would definitely study more before taking the exam again in July.

Then the wait commenced. It is almost 12 weeks to the day from the time of the exam until you find out how you did. During that time he mentioned several times that the exam had been more difficult that he had expected and that he was going to start studying again... soon.

I knew May 25 was the day when the results were available. I assumed that the lack of a phone call all day long meant a negative report. However, last night D called to say he had checked the bar exam website to learn that he had passed. It was only then that he admitted to having studied just one week prior to the February exam.

This type of thing is so typical of this kid. He is the same kid who couldn’t read one day in the first grade and then could read everything, and I mean everything, the next day. One day he couldn’t ride a bike; after the next he never fell again. He took standardized tests sometimes after only a few hours of sleep and always got an almost perfect score. So why should I be surprised?

So now the real question is whether he should admit to a prospective employer his preparation strategy and its results. Truthfully I would be impressed with his self-confidence and willingness to take a risk, but someone else might call this behavior insane or at least foolhardy in light of the current 39% pass rate.

I am a proud Mom today, wishing my young genius lived a little closer to home so I could give him a congratulatory hug. He has once again proven that he can do anything he sets his mind to do. Now that he is officially credentialed, I hope his mind is set on finding a job!

If you are perchance a lawyer in California and you have any employment advice, please share it with me and I will convey it to D.


Blogger Kristin said...

Congrats to your son. However... unorthodox his preparation might have been. He did it! And by all accounts, that is not an easy exam.

I wouldn't worry too much about prospective employers. I was never much of a studier. Things just came to me and I've done surprisingly well in the working world.

3:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a two-time bar-taker, I don't know whether to congratulate your son or kick him in the head! ;-)

Clearly, MANY congratulations are in order, not only to your son--who did it his own way, and was heartily rewarded--but also to you and your husband. So, congrats!!!

5:18 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

I believe only another mother or father can know how relieved you and David must be. Proud? Of course! But now may be the time to stop fretting about this young son of yours! :) Right! Like that ever happens with any parent.

Hugs to all the Diskins.......job well done.


5:53 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Thanks to everyone! The congratulations definitely go to D.

7:02 PM  
Anonymous debi said...

I have been waiting by the phone for my best friend to call with her results.... this is time #3 and she said it was the hardest exam yet for her. I am just hoping and praying that is waiting to surprise me with a big "I DID IT!" I am trying really hard to not call her and let her do the telling... UGH

12:26 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Debi -- I would have been more anxious if I had thought he had passed. It's nice to get a surprise. I hope your friend made it this time.

7:36 AM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

Kate's right that you can stop worrying about Daniel right now. He's going to be fine, suddenly and overnight he'll have a fabulous job.

8:25 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Reya -- You are right. But Moms are just programmed to worry about their children no matter what. That's part of our job description!

9:06 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

Congratulations to D!

I guess this takes a significant weight off your mind.

No. He definitely should not advertise his studying strategy. He just just market himself as a quick learner and adaptable. If prompted for an example of quick learning ,he could bring forth the 1 week study time.

I find, as a general rule, most tasks are assigned too much time rather than too little. It is one of the problems I have discovered in my life - when I was younger, I was more likely to jump right in and do it without much planning. Now I find myself planning to death. Got to get rid of that. Work teaches you bad habits.

10:43 AM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Congrats to D.! I actually think his work strategy will serve him well in law as you often have to get a lot done at the last minute and have short timelines.
(I was so unnerved watching my husband cram for Doc. of Chiropractic Boards, but he more or less did what your son did as wasn't worried at all!)

5:47 PM  
Blogger GEWELS said...

Barbara- Don't worry!! Sounds like the mintue he decides on a job he'll get it.
Conratulations on raising such a brilliant boy.
P.S. Tell him not to mention his study strategy- who needs to know anyway? All they need to know is that he passed.

7:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm pretty darn sure a kid this smart would have absolutely no problem finding a job on his own.

6:49 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Anonymous -- I hope you are right. He is going to make a great lawyer!

10:11 PM  

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