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Meet the Lawyer Who Shattered His Bar Exam on the First Attempt With a Score of 309 out of 400

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Matthew Graham, a Baltimore citizen and lawyer, displayed black excellence and determination by passing his bar test on the first try. Many people were moved by a video of him celebrating his victory.

Graham’s route to law, according to Black News, was not an easy one. He had to tackle numerous hurdles while juggling employment, school, and fatherly responsibilities. Refusing to let them weigh him down, he opted to see them as motivation to keep going.

Whereas the average exam score was 266 and many who struggled had to retake the exam three times, Graham scored in the 94th percentile on his first attempt, according to Essence.

He graduated from law school a year early in December 2022, ranking seventh in his class and earning honors with a 3.6 GPA.

Graham has been sworn in as a licensed attorney on the Maryland Bar. “I didn’t give myself the option of failing because there was too much at stake.” “I just told myself I wouldn’t do it again,” he explained.

When studying for the exam, the lawyer revealed that he remembered outlines and answered 50 multiple-choice questions daily, and that he also studied for 55-60 hours each week for nine weeks.

Graham and his wife shared their excitement on Facebook before seeing his bar exam score, and they afterwards shared their joy with the rest of the world.

He told Essence that he recognizes the significance of his success, and that he felt proud when he strolled around the courthouse and observed other Black people who had also passed the bar exam; historically, Black Americans have the lowest bar exam scores.

He added that it was not due to a lack of effort or intelligence, but rather to a racial system that makes the journey of Black persons taking the bar test more difficult. “So, it’s just a lot of pride knowing that regardless of what was put in my way, I was going to get this done,” he stated.

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