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Jeffrey R. Waxman, hired recently at the Wilmington, Del., office of Klett Rooney Lieber & Schorling, has made a name for himself by managing to experience the anguish of failing the Delaware bar examination and the euphoria of passing it — all within two days. Waxman was out of town on business Thursday when the examination results were listed by secret numbers, known only to the applicants themselves. He gave his number to a secretary, who checked the list and reported back with the grim news. Waxman had failed. Senior partners harrumphed and tut-tutted. “That’s all right,” they told him, according to William E. Manning, who was one of them. “You’re not going to get an infinite number of shots [to pass], but you’re not going to get fired.” Poor Waxman. It wasn’t until Friday that he realized that what he thought was his secret number actually was his seat number when he sat for the bar examination, a three-day exercise in excruciation given July 29-31. Nor was he sure what his secret number was. The names of those who passed finally were posted publicly late Friday afternoon. Waxman was one of them. “He goes down as the dumbest guy to have passed a bar exam in the history of the Delaware bar, but we love him dearly. He is on permanent latrine duty,” Manning said. Along with latrine duty, however, Waxman got a bottle of champagne. He was one of three lawyers at Klett Rooney to take and pass the Delaware exam, along with Kerri King Mumford in the Wilmington office and Brian Edward Farnan, who works in the Philadelphia office. Overall 157 out of 260 candidates passed the rigorous bar examination. Farnan is the son of U.S. District Judge Joseph J. Farnan Jr. Another notable son also made the “pass” list — Joseph R. “Beau” Biden III, an assistant U.S. attorney in Philadelphia and the son of U.S. Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., a five-term Democrat. The examination was administered by the Board of Bar Examiners, a 16-member panel appointed by the Delaware Supreme Court. Its chairman is Donald J. Wolfe Jr. of Potter Anderson & Corroon in Wilmington. The modern admission procedures largely have been in place since 1931, according to “The Delaware Bar in the Twentieth Century,” a bench and bar history published by the Delaware State Bar Association. At that time the Delaware Supreme Court adopted rules setting up a statewide Board of Bar Examiners to replace a county-based system in which there were separate boards, each with its own procedures, in New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties.

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