The Atlanta community just gained two incredible and determined attorneys. We are excited to announce that Sarah Morris and Morgan McFall, provisional attorneys at Bader Scott, passed the Georgia Bar Exam. We asked them both some questions so you can get a glimpse of their journey as well as receive some advice if you have a big exam approaching:
- What school did you go to for Undergrad and Law School?
Morgan– Undergrad: Flagler College in Saint Augustine, Florida // Law School: Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama
Sarah– Undergrad: University of Alabama-Birmingham // Law School: Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama
- When did you know that you wanted to be a lawyer?
Sarah– “I knew in high school I wanted to be a lawyer. When I was growing up, adults always told me I’d make a good attorney one day— I tended to argue a lot and often times was able to talk myself out of trouble. When I was older, I knew I wanted to be in a role where I could help people and being an attorney felt like the right career path for me.”
- What was one of the biggest challenges you encountered during law school, and how did you overcome it?
Morgan– “My biggest challenge in law school was studying more than 1-3 days before exams (like I did a lot in undergrad) I never studied at home, I always went to the library to a private study room, I made my own outlines, I wrote on white boards to help me memorize—Motivation for going to library = Starbucks & fun colored expo markers!”
- What was your study strategy for the bar exam?
Morgan– “DO WHAT’S BEST FOR YOU– I am not a morning person so I couldn’t follow the typical schedule of “treating it like a 9-5 job” – I woke up, ate breakfast, drank my coffee, cleaned the apartment then I started studying and would go into the evening. People who are studying for the bar need to do what’s best for them, not what other bar takers are doing. Someone who is taking the bar has gone through college and law school so they know their study routine and it shouldn’t change.”
- How did you stay motivated throughout the process? Did you rely on any specific people/mentors?
Sarah– “Keeping up the motivation was extremely difficult. The bar exam was originally supposed to happen in late July—it was pushed to early September because of COVID and then pushed again to early October. So, what was supposed to be two months of studying turned into more like 4-5 months and it’s hard to stay motivated when it seems like there is no end in sight. I relied heavily on my husband and family who constantly reminded me that once I get through this, all the long hours will be so worth it and it definitely was!”
- The day of the exam, was it what you expected?
Sarah– “The good thing about the bar exam is that you take so many practice tests beforehand, you should have a good idea of what to expect on exam day. However, the pressure that comes with knowing you’re finally sitting down for the real exam is crazy! All you can do is trust your preparation and do your best. But the nerves that came with the exam itself were unreal.
- What was the best piece of advice given to you as you prepared for the bar exam?
Morgan– “’Short term sacrifices, long term gain’ –My dad kept telling me this because all I was doing was studying and working and I was feeling drained. I wanted to take a break to enjoy the summer. Studying for months at a time and having no social life can be hard, but it pays off in the end!”
- What is the best advice you would give to someone looking to take the bar exam?
Sarah– “Prep hard! I played soccer in college and we would spend 4 days a week training, practicing, and preparing. We only spent 2 days playing in actual competitive games. So, I treated this like one of my games—put the work in, prepare, study hard beforehand and then on game day (or exam day!), you’re ready to go and you can trust yourself to perform.”
- What is next in your career?
Morgan– “To be a great lawyer and fully understand the Workers’ Compensation process by learning from all of the great attorneys here at Bader Scott!”
Sarah– “The next step in my career is being the best advocate I can be for my clients at Bader Scott. I’m extremely thankful I get to help people who have been injured on the job and fight for the rights they’re entitled to by law.”
- Lastly, and most importantly… best study spot in Atlanta?
Morgan– “I studied at Eleanor’s Place—this is a women’s only study office and it was amazing! I wish I had access to a library but unfortunately due to COVID I could not get access. I need quiet working spaces and coffee shops are very distracting to me. Eleanor’s Place is the best!”
Sarah– “I spent WEEKS going to Eleanor’s Place—an all-women’s workspace in Atlanta. I was surrounded by focused, determined, motivated women and it gave me a place to study without distraction.”