How I Almost Threw Away My Golden Ticket to Practice Law

Amanda Lynch Elliott

by Amanda Lynch Elliott

Amanda Lynch Elliott is a native of Pensacola and an associate attorney with My Pink Lawyer®. Amanda and her husband recently became new parents for the first time. Amanda enjoys running, yoga and paddle boarding, and has a twin sister.

Every year, about 5,000 applicants head to Tampa to sit through a grueling 2-day administration of the Florida Bar Exam.

Bar Exam

This final test comes after successfully completing a four year undergraduate program, three years of law school, an ethics exam, and a character and fitness evaluation.

 

If an applicant has made it this far, this exam is all that stands between her/him and practicing law.

 

While Florida’s bar exam is not the most challenging state exam, it’s up there! Only eight states have lower pass rates.

 

With an average pass rate of 55%, it’s no wonder the atmosphere inside the room is so intense.

 

Applicants are allowed to bring only a jacket, money, keys, and a picture ID.

 

The jacket is a real plus since the room is about 60 degrees.

The process begins with an official photo badge distribution that is more akin to cattle call at 7:45 am where applicants receive identifying badges on a lanyard that must be worn for the duration of the test.

 

This little lanyard is your entry and your exit to the testing center – your quintessential “golden key” to the legal profession.

 

So, imagine my horror when I threw my lanyard in the trash can with my empty container during the lunch break.

 

In my defense, it was windy outside (where I was defrosting) and I was worried it might blow away so I tucked it under my Tupperware.

 

My brain, undoubtedly fried from the morning’s essays, was likely too busy overthinking all of the information it just regurgitated to notice that my badge was still under my container as I tossed it into the garbage can.

 

As I was walked back to the testing center sans badge and the realization of what I’d just done hit me, I completely panicked.

 

I turned and full on sprinted – averting traffic in the process - in the direction of the trash can that contained the remnants of my lunch.

 

I arrived just in time to see the employee reach for the garbage bag to empty it.

 

With tears in my eyes, I hurriedly explained my situation and before I could be stopped, I reached into the trash and grabbed my badge. I thanked him, turned, and ran back into the testing center.

 

Crisis averted.

 

What if years of preparation had all been ruined by my one careless mistake?

 

Life is like that.

 

One little innocent, thoughtless action can have rippling effects.

 

Estate planning, or rather the failure to plan, is like that, too!

 

We see it all the time.

 

It’s the little things - that one bank account that our client forgot to tell us about – the one lone asset that wasn’t properly titled or didn’t have beneficiaries named that will unfortunately require a probate; it’s the person who passed away with a “Will” that they wrote themselves, or the well-meaning parent who named a minor child as a beneficiary.

 

While the above examples may seem small in the grand scheme of things, all have far-reaching effects that unfortunately require legal intervention.

 

All of the above examples are also very easily avoided or corrected so long as they are identified before said person becomes incapacitated or dies.

 

When you schedule a consultation with the attorneys at My Pink Lawyer®, Kristen or I will thoroughly review your assets to make sure that you’ve got a plan for all of them, and make sure you aren’t creating any pitfalls for your future beneficiaries.

 

Moreover, it is recommended that all estate plans are reviewed every 3-5 years to make sure that nothing has changed and that the plan still accomplishes the client's goals.

 

You work hard for your family and we recognize that. Don’t let one simple mistake thwart all of your well-intentioned efforts.

 

Amanda “That Memory Still Makes Me Sweat” Lynch Elliott

 

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