Sunday, September 27, 2009

The waiting is over.

I started law school in January 2005 at age 51. I graduated in May 2009. At the end of July, I took the Bar exam along with 609 other people. We had to wait - though not patiently, I'm sure - until September 25 for the results.

I went to work on Friday as usual. I had an office day planned. I was not sure I would be in any kind of emotional condition to be around others after the results came out. I stayed in my office and worked quietly passing the time. My officemate - Ty - asked what time the results would be available as he came in. I told him about 9 . He said he would wait for my shout to let him know I passed. I had my doubts.

A parent called about 8:30 and I got involved in finding an answer for him in the Code of Alabama. Just as I got to the website, my cell phone rang - my classmate and fellow examinee Jeff calling. I swallowed and answered the phone. He asked if I knew anything yet. I said no. He told me he had been checking the bar directory and named some friends who had passed. He finally said it didn't look good for him or me. I took a deep breath and said we should start our study plan for February.

For some reason, I decided to look for myself and opened the Alabama Bar website. There was a new icon on the home page called "Did I Pass the Bar?" I clicked on that and entered my Social security number. A new screen popped up that said "Congratulations. Your name has been certified to the Alabama Supreme Court as having passed all parts of the Bar Exam. Further information will be mailed to you soon."

I did a double take. "Hold on, Jeff," I said. I backed out and enetered my SSN again. The same screen popped up again. I told him. We chatted for another minute about those who passed and those who did not and ended the call.

I gave a shout for Ty. He came over and I told him I passed. We hugged. Then we headed across the hall to tell my other co-workers. As I started through the door - hands raised in victory - two nurses were trying to exit. They asked after my health as I was acting very out of character. I said I was fine. I turned to the boss's office and called to her secretary, "I passed." I saw a co-worker in the boss's office who jumped up and came toward me. The boss and another co-worker came as well. I broke up that meeting. Several others entered from the other office. They all applauded me, hugged me, congratulated me.

After that hoopla, I returned to my office and began calling my family and friends. Everyone was so excited for me - and I was quite proud of myself.

When I arrived home, there was an envelope in the mail from the Bar with my exam scores. I sincerely doubt that I knocked the top out of the test, but it was a respectable passing score.

We celebrated at Sol Azteca - as usual - with margaritas.

On Saturday, my certificate arrived from the Alabama Supreme Court, allowing me to begin the practice of law.


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