Monday Morning Message 7.23.2018: “The Serenity Prayer for Bar Exam Takers”

Posted 2018-07-23 10:44am

The brick walls are there for a reason...they are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something."  - Randy Pauch, The Last Lecture

The Ohio Bar Exam is this week - July 24, 25 and 26 in Wilmington, Ohio.

Since 1738 when Delaware created the first bar exam, law graduates have gone through this rite of passage. The origin of “bar” is from the wooden bar that stood near the front of the courtroom at the ancient Inns of Court in London, separating the spectator area of the courtroom from the area reserved for judges and attorneys.

Our highest priority is to provide our students with the resources to help them succeed in law school, pass the bar exam, and develop strong practice and leadership skills.

The bar exam is not easy, but it’s worth it. To some, the bar exam is a barrier to entry to the legal profession. I prefer to see it as a gateway to a new career and a new, exciting chapter in life.

Our graduates have worked very hard to get this far. We want them to know that we believe in them.

I have written Serenity Prayers for our first year students and for final exam takers. Here’s my Serenity Prayer for Bar Takers.

Serenity Prayer for C|M|LAW Bar Takers

God grant me the serenity to accept that I have prepared the best I can. 

The courage to change from studying details to preparing my mind and body to breath, stay calm, and focus.

And the wisdom to know that exams not only test my knowledge but also my state of mind.

Taking each question one at a time.

Focusing on the moment, parking my worries and fears at the door, and visualizing success.

Accepting that the harder you want something, the greater you’ll feel when you achieve it.

Taking the bar exam as it is, not how I or others would have written it.

Trusting in my skills and surrendering to an unshakeable belief in myself.

Supremely happy that I am about to transition from learning law to living justice.


One final tip -make sure to get to know the area in Wilmington where the bar exam is scheduled to be taken, so you’ll know where you need to be and about how long it’s going to take to get there from your hotel. Arrive early.

I want to thank Mary Jane McGinty, our Director of Bar PreparationProfessor Heidi Robertson, our Director of Student Success, Professor Pam Daiker-Middaugh, who, with Mary Jane McGinty, travels to Wilmington this week to support our graduatesthe members of the Bar Passage Committee, the Academic Support Team led byNick DeSantis and Michelle Landever Bond, and the many faculty who helped teach, coach, and encourage our graduates over the summer, for their unflagging efforts to keep us focused on the need to prepare our students for this important test.

I am confident that some of our graduates who are taking the bar exam this week, will someday be inducted in ourCleveland-Marshall College of Law (C|M|LAW) Hall of Fame.

Please join us on Friday, October 26, 5:30-8pm for our 2nd Annual C|M|LAW Hall of Fame Celebration to honor our 2018 C|M|LAW Hall of Fame Honorees 

Please make a C|M|LAW Pacesetter contribution or a pledge by September 1 to our October Hall of Fame celebration of an amount ranging from $120 to $120,000. Please visit to purchase tickets or sponsorships.

Thank you!

Have a great week.

My best,

For copies of past messages, please go to this link: Monday Morning Messages

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My views in all my Monday Morning Messages are my personal views alone and do not reflect the views of our Law School or our University.

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