You just got the results of the bar exam. You’ve failed. Don’t panic. Failing the bar examination is the moral equivalent of breaking your leg. It hurts a lot, and it’s a great burden to live through. But it will heal itself (in most cases) and after it does, you’ll be indistinguishable from your compatriots.

First things first: You must tell your firm that you didn’t pass the bar. It’s easy for most firms to check this information from public sources, so it’s better for you to raise the issue discreetly with an office coordinator on your own. The firm needs to know that you cannot hold yourself out as a lawyer (although you can perform a number of tasks, under the supervision of admitted lawyers).

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