Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The California Bar Exam, Part 1

My mother passed away and my son was born during Spring Break of my 3L year.

One of the benefits of law school is that it is a 3 year excuse from having to deal with anything in the real world. The following Wednesday I told my family that I was going back to class. I left my then-husband to deal with this small child that neither one of us knew how to work and I left my father to plan a funeral and I went off to class.

There, in class, everything followed the usual procedure and it was incredibly comforting to be sitting there. My return became, however, overwhelming - but I mean that in only the best way. Fellow classmates that I had never spoken to stopped me in the hall and said kind words. People that I had only just met in my classes that semester attended my mother's funeral and put together a baby shower in my honor. My law school classmates, the ones that were full of angst and suspicion and competition as 1Ls, ended up pulling together when it mattered.

I think I thanked all those people, but I honestly don't remember. What I did do, as a result of all that they did for me, was to make a promise to myself that I would never miss an opportunity to reach out to someone when I knew they were going through a tough time. I've said that I am going to do lots of things, but that's a promise that I really have tried to keep.

I wrote my final law school papers and studied for my final law school exams with my baby draped over my shoulder. I was the first one to finish my last law school exam. For a moment I sat there with my blue book and wondered whether I was done because I knew the subject matter really well, or if it was because I just wanted to be done. What I did know was that I didn't have the energy in me to go back through my exam. I turned it in and walked out the door. Law school was done.

There was only a week's break before bar review started. My ex's company was transferring us to California, so I ordered the study at home tapes from Bar-Bri for the California Bar.

There was one last hurrah before bar review - law school graduation. I felt like my mom was there, and my dad told me that he felt her standing right there beside him at the graduation ceremony.

My aunt flew into town and she took care of the baby so that I could go out and celebrate graduation. It had been almost a year since I had anything to drink. We all went out to a bar that was new since I had been a member of the going out scene. In the car on the way home I leaned over to the window and threw up. A couple of minutes later it occurred to me that I probably should have rolled down the window.

The next morning I resigned myself to knowing that those nights were over. I was a new mom and bar review started the next day.

1 comment:

  1. You probably know this already, and have probably heard it before, but I'm going to say it anyway:

    You are freaking incredible. A real-life superhero. I'm in awe at how tough and strong and yet full of grace and loveliness you are. I'm glad you had awesome people to support you through the loss of a parent and the gain of a child, because you deserve awesome people.