The results of the February 2010 Bar Examination will be posted on this page at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, April 23, 2010. Additionally, a letter notifying each bar applicant of the results will be mailed on Friday, April 23, 2010. Telephonic requests for information about these results will not be accepted until 9:00 a.m. on Monday, April 26, 2010.
I took the July 1999 SC Bar Exam. The exam lasted 3 days and entailed 2 days of state-specific-topic-sensitive essays and 1 day of multiple choice questions for the multi-state exam. It was a grueling time and I have finally overcome the tic when I speak or think of it.
(Seriously though, sleep is the best study aid! It allows you to concentrate and breathe – at the same time.)
At any rate, I began my job – not yet an attorney, but no longer a student. I always corrected people when they noted that I was an attorney – “not yet, I haven’t received the bar results.” Then August passed. September passed uneventfully. Then came October. The beginning of the month wasn’t so bad.
(Historically South Carolina announces its July Bar results at the end of October and the February results near the end of April.)
By mid-October though, the nightmares began. Fleeting thoughts of job searches would pop into my head, seemingly out of nowhere. And by the last week of October, law students began calling one another, sending emails and commiserating. Rumors abounded. Then someone at the court said results would be announced at the end of the week. Thursday it was hard to concentrate. I told my senior attorney that the results would be forthcoming on Friday. She was glad I told her.
Friday was almost untenable. At 4:00 p.m. on Friday, I walked into my office, closed the door, wiped the sweat from my brow and picked up the phone. I pulled up the call-in number and tried to dial. I exhaled and hands-shaking, I dialed the number. There was a familiar sound on the line – what WAS that sound? Why wasn’t it ringing? Oh yes, that’s the busy signal. Phew! At least I was able to dial. I tried again. No luck. Now I was shaking. I went back into my senior attorney’s office – “May I take off for the rest of the afternoon?” She was kind and smiled “yes, of course.” So, at 4:10 p.m. I slunk out of the office, trying not to meet anyone’s gaze. I drove home and picked up the phone to dial the number. I dialed and received a recording indicating that the information had been mailed and that I should receive the information the following day.
I don’t remember the rest of the evening. But early the next morning, 6:00 a.m.-ish, I awoke with a lump in my throat. I padded out of bed and upstairs to stare at papers on my home desk. My husband awoke a little later and offered to make coffee and breakfast. What? Oh yeah, please, that would be very nice.
Neither helped a nervous stomach. My husband, who had survived this process several years earlier, took pity on me and offered to take me out until the mail came. “No thanks.”
He started puttering in the garage. That way he’d be close to the mailbox. I had asked him to get the mail – just in case.
Everytime I heard a car or truck move past our home, I fluttered over to the window and peered out.
Then, around 10:00 a.m., my husband informed me that he had to pick up a part for his car, but he’d be right back. “After all” he said “mail usually arrives around 2:00 or 3:00 in the afternoon. It’s still early.”
I wasn’t convinced, but knew he had common sense at the moment. I acquiesced.
I tried to match his cheerful wave as I watched his car drive away, so with a toothy-grimace, I waved him on.
Exactly 22 seconds later, I heard a familiar engine. OH NO, it CAN’T be. It simply can’t be! Yup, the mail-truck. Sure, there wasn’t any sleet, rain or snow – but why couldn’t he be on time? Why early? Today of all days!
And I peered outside from the safety of my upstairs office. Mind you, I had left my glasses at my desk, so I had to squint. Squint I did! And then I saw him put a large manila-type package into the box. I burst into tears!
[NOTE: When you pass the SC Bar exam, typically you receive a regular envelope with a congratulatory letter. When you do NOT pass the SC Bar exam, typically you receive a manila envelope with an application enclosed.]
Back to the tears. I was inconsolable. My thoughts crowded:
Oh no, I’m going to have to look for a job!
How am I going to face my classmates.
Everyone will think I’m stupid.
OH NO! I studied for that exam like I’ve never studied before. If I can’t pass this one, what makes me think I can pass another?
THREE YEARS. Three years of my life. WASTED!
I could go on, but you get the picture.
I sat on the top stair. Nose running. Eyes flowing. Face buried in my hand. Sobbing. Gulping. Sobbing. My whole body convulsing.
I didn’t even hear my husband come in.
I didn’t hear him say “I’ll go pick up the mail.”
I didn’t hear him say “YOU’VE PASSED! YOU’VE PASSED! YOU’VE PASSED! – It’s a SMALL WHITE ENVELOPE! YOU’VE PASSED!”
He brought the letter to me. I pulled my head up. I tried to read the letters on the page, but they were all blurry. Why can’t I read? Oh yea, you have to stop crying. I did. Finally. My husband watched expectantly.
I felt jubilation. I passed.
Wait, what was that manila-envelope thing I’d seen the mailman deposit into our box? OH, Martha Stewart Living magazine with a paper cover. Sorry Martha, but I never renewed.
Individual tickets are $75 each and include an open bar, dancing and a seated dinner (it isn’t your typical rubber chicken, either!). There also will be a silent auction with sports memorabilia (Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Derek Jeter, Mickey Mantle, USC’s John Roche), spa certificates, music/film/TV mementos, beach stays, hotel weekends and more!
Gala 2010 is being held to help the Foundation in its efforts as the only statewide entity that funds the advancement of justice by improving access, education and accountability.
Please make plans to attend. For additional information you may RSVP via (803) 765-0517 or email@example.com.
Spring into Summer 2009. The SCATJ Commission’s Pro Bono Committee and its Rule 608 Work Group meet to study and review the Rule. The Rule 608 Work Group invites interested parties to meet to discuss issues related to Rule 608. The Rule 608 Work Group meets with the SCBar’s Board of Governors, the SCBar’s Rule 608 Task Force, and others.
December 17, 2009. The Supreme Court of South Carolina amends Rule 608, effective July 1, 2010, adopting a number of the recommended appointments. The Supreme Court notes that it will continue to analyze and scrutinize appointments to determine whether further changes are necessary. Specifically the Court will continue to gather data regarding the appointments.
Highlights of the Amendments:
Modifications to the Regional List from which attorneys may be selected to assist in handling appointments in other counties – 6 Regional Lists (Region 6 split 1/2 year);
Reduced number of appointments in an appointment year – from 10 to 7;
Increased the pool of eligible attorneys by raising the age exemption to 65 years of age;
Technology advances – attorneys may attend certain hearings by telephone or videoconference;
Increased reporting requirements to the SC Bar so that the Court may accurately analyze the appointments by county and type of appointment.
And while the Court graciously thanked all who served on the Rule 608 study group, I too would like to thank the Commissioners, the SC Bar, Court Administration, Court IT personnel, and others who spent numerous hours reviewing data and rerunning data for our study. Thank you!
Welcome to the Profession! And congratulations, you are now officially an attorney.
And here are my “starting out” tips:
When you are in your next meeting and someone notes that the particular issue sounds like it may have legal ramifications and then they say, “well, let’s ask the attorney:” that’s NOT the time to look around the room for the attorney. That’s YOU! (true story)
When a distant family member calls to ask you for an opinion about something that doesn’t exactly appear to have a basis in law, beware. More than likely they are looking for free legal advice. (again, based on actual incidents – note plural)
When someone asks you to do something that doesn’t “feel” right, take a moment to analyze what it is they’re asking. And if you still don’t “feel” good about it, DON’T DO IT.
Attend Ethics CLEs and take good notes. Then apply your notes to your practice. There’s a reason that we’re required to have Ethics CLE credits in addition to our regular CLE credit.
Read the Lawyer’s OATH. Now reread it. (see below for the Oath) Note that it is an oath, meaning that you have sworn/affirmed to uphold the charges within.
Follow the principles outlined in the Lawyer’s Oath.
In addition to the mentor you will receive via the Mentor Program, keep in touch with people you admire and seek them out for advice and company every now and then.
Network, for many reasons: (1) to stay in touch with colleagues, (2) to meet potential clients, (3) for job opportunities, (4) to keep abreast of change in your community and within the legal profession, and (5) for your health.
Participate in Pro Bono. There are many ways to participate through your firm’s program, county bar programs or via the SC Bar’s Pro Bono Program.
Take your role seriously, but have a good time. You are an officer of the court. You are a leader, whether you think so or not. People will look to you for guidance, especially when times are tough. Maintain your professional demeanor, but keep your humanity.
Remember, you’re not alone. There are thousands of attorneys still licensed to practice in this state. I’ve not yet met one who isn’t willing to give advice to or befriend a starting attorney. Even if you don’t “know” us, contact us. It could be the start of a lifelong friendship.
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that:
I am duly qualified, according to the Constitution of this State, to exercise the duties of the office to which I have been appointed, and that I will, to the best of my ability, discharge those duties and will preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of this State and of the United States;
I will maintain the respect and courtesy due to courts of justice, judicial officers, and those who assist them;
To my clients, I pledge faithfulness, competence, diligence, good judgment and prompt communication;
To opposing parties and their counsel, I pledge fairness, integrity, and civility, not only in court, but also in all written and oral communications;
I will not pursue or maintain any suit or proceeding which appears to me to be unjust nor maintain any defenses except those I believe to be honestly debatable under the law of the land, but this obligation shall not prevent me from defending a person charged with a crime;
I will employ for the purpose of maintaining the causes confided to me only such means as are consistent with trust and honor and the principles of professionalism, and will never seek to mislead an opposing party, the judge or jury by a false statement of fact or law;
I will respect and preserve inviolate the confidences of my clients, and will accept no compensation in connection with a client’s business except from the client or with the client’s knowledge and approval;
I will maintain the dignity of the legal system and advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or reputation of a party or witness, unless required by the justice of the cause with which I am charged;
I will assist the defenseless or oppressed by ensuring that justice is available to all citizens and will not delay any person’s cause for profit or malice;