By 7 a.m. Tuesday, the sun was already beginning to beat down as the parking lots filled up at the fairgrounds in Raleigh. No one wanted to be late. No one wanted to miss out because they couldn’t get a parking spot. It was bar exam time.
Chris Mickler of Pickens, S.C., was one of the ones who came early. He sipped orange juice under a tent provided by the Charlotte School of Law for its students, who also took advantage of coffee, pastries and several cases of Mountain Dew (isn’t that the most caffeinated soft drink out there?).
Mickler, who brought a friend (“for moral support”) said he wasn’t nervous. He’s been studying 70 hours a week, and by now, he figures he’s got it.
Indeed, there wasn’t any last-minute studying in the cars parked near the building. Most of the students in line looked like they either knew it or they didn’t. The conversations were casual – no “Hey, could you explain that respondeat superior thing again?”
They wore comfortable clothing – the last time that might happen at any sort of official bar function. Flip-flops were fine, cell phones were not (no pens, pencils or watches either). The students who wore T-shirts from their alma maters tended to come from the smaller schools (N.C. Central, Campbell).
A Brinks truck pulled up. Was that the exam? Surely they didn’t need to guard the questions using a guy wearing a holster. Right?
By the time everyone was inside, the parking lot was full, and no one would have guessed that an event that would affect so many careers was taking place inside a building where farmers show their livestock at the State Fair every year.
– By Sylvia Adcock, Staff Writer