Meet the young Black lawyer who shattered his bar exam on the first attempt with a score of 309 out of 400

Dollita Okine June 01, 2023
Graham said “I didn’t offer myself the choice to fail – there was too much at stake. I just told myself that I wouldn’t do this again.” Photo Credit: Facebook Matthew Graham

Baltimore resident and lawyer, Matthew Graham, demonstrated black excellence and determination when he passed his bar exam with flying colors on the first try. A video showing him celebrating his success has won the hearts of many.

According to Black News, Graham’s path to law was not an easy one. He had to face many challenges and juggle between work, school, and his fatherly duties. Refusing to let these weigh him down, he chose to view them as some kind of encouragement to push through.

Whereas the average score for the exam was 266 and many who struggled had to take the exam about three times, Graham found himself in the 94th percentile on his first try, Essence reported.

He completed law school a year early in December 2022, placed 7th in his class, and graduated with honors, boasting a 3.6 GPA.

Graham has been sworn in as a licensed attorney on the Bar in the State of Maryland. “I didn’t offer myself the choice to fail – there was too much at stake. I just told myself that I wouldn’t do this again,” he said.

The lawyer disclosed that he memorized outlines and completed 50 multiple-practice questions daily when preparing for the exam, and also invested 55-60 hours a week for nine weeks in his studies.

Graham and his wife shared his anticipation before he saw his score on the bar exam on Facebook, and later shared their joy with the world.

He told Essence that he understands the significance of his victory, adding that he felt proud when he walked around the courthouse and saw other Black people who had equally passed the bar exam; because historically, Black Americans tend to score the lowest on the exam.

He stated that it wasn’t because they didn’t work hard enough or weren’t smart enough, but because there is a racial system that makes the journey of Black people passing the bar exam 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 said.

Last Edited by:Editor Updated: June 11, 2023


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