If at first you don’t succeed…

…try, try again.

Word on the street is Washington Redskins defensive tackle, Albert Haynesworth failed the new conditioning test not once, but twice.  Apparently, Haynesworth is having trouble running 25-yd shuttles fast enough.  These tests aren’t a walk in the park for a guy Haynesworth’s size, but it isn’t his size that’s holding him back—it’s his work ethic, in my opinion.

Yesterday, thousands of law student grads took the very last day of the bar exam.  Some of my friends are taking it for the second, some for the third time.  Some of them graduated with me in 2007 and still haven’t passed, taking that horrible exam twice a year.  I made a deal with myself back in my third year of law school—if I didn’t pass on the first try, I wasn’t going to take it again.  I did this because I am a terrible test taker and my chances won’t necessarily improve with time.  Also, as much as I love my job now, I really dislike lawyering.  I don’t know if I would want to be a lawyer if I didn’t get to do the EXACT kind of lawyering I’m doing right now. 

Keeping that in mind, I think about all those people who are taking the bar exam for the upteenth time and all that runs through my mind is that they must really want to be lawyers.  To put yourself through the expensive, painful process year after year, you must really NEED to pass it, for yourself.  I read an article and saw a documentary about a man, Donald Baumeister, who failed the California Bar exam 42 times.  At the end of the documentary, it was 43.  He said it was personal now.  It was between him and the bar examiners and it was something he felt he needed to accomplish to feel proud of himself again.

So I read the Washington Post article about Haynesworth and I think about it again.  I wonder how hard Haynesworth is trying.  I’m sure he’s trying, but apparently, he sabotaged one of his shuttle runs by taking an excessively long bathroom break.  The article said he may not pass, AT ALL, at this rate.  And then I wonder if he cares.  Given his past attitude (“but I don’t wanna do a 3-4 defense!”), I’m not so sure he’s trying as hard as he could be.  But he’ll probably pass eventually, or coaching staff will cave in and give him some modified test.  In the end, it will probably work out for Haynesworth.  If only the bar exam was so simple.  Good luck to all those bar-takers out there! 

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