We know them. They are the lost souls who never passed the bar, although they earned the JD. Their pain is palpable. And their underachievement continues to replicate itself whatever they do. Fortunately, for them, the good news from research by Jane Yakowitz is that the worst is over by time they are 35. However, they never catch up to lawyers who did pass the bar. They do outstrip the earnings of college graduates in general.
My hunch is that failing the bar seems to them so end of the world after that big investment in law school that they can't get their arms around it. Given how aggressive and competitive the field of law is there are bound to be few former classmates who will help them get on the other side of this trauma.
Abovethelaw.com reports the results of the Massachusetts bar were mailed out in time for Halloween. One who was notified of failure noted that it was a terrrible trick or treat, given three years of study and spending $100,000.