Monday Morning Message 7.29.19 Bar Exam Inspiration

Posted 2019-07-29 10:03am

 “Celebrate what you’ve accomplished, but raise the bar a little higher each time you succeed.” – Mia Hamm

The Ohio Bar Exam is this week - July 30, 31, and August 1, 2019 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus.

Last year’s graduating class raised the bar. Our bar passage rate was 93%, the highest of Ohio’s nine law schools. At Commencement, I challenged our talented 2019 graduates to celebrate what they had accomplished, but to raise the bar again and exceed 93%!

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.

My note to our 2019 Graduates:

You have been preparing for this exam since the first day of law school. You built the foundation you need and these past weeks of focused study helped solidify what you have learned.

First, take good care of yourself.  Eat well.  Exercise.  Sleep. Second, make sure to get to know 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.  Third, believe in yourself as we believe in youSee My Secret Sauce to Passing the Bar Exam

I wrote this Serenity Prayer for you.

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.


Special thanks to John Calabrese ‘12, President of the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association (CMLAA) and the CMLAA Board for generously sponsoring the food and  hospitality suite for our graduates. 

I also 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 Columbus this week to support our graduatesthe members of the faculty Bar Passage Committee, the Academic Support Team led by Nick 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.


*This Week’s Monday Moment: C|M|LAW 2019 Graduates Share Their Memories 

Have a great day. Have a great week.

 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.

My best,


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