African-American Baltimore resident Matthew Graham is ecstatic about his recent bar test success. The video of his emotional response to his score of 309 out of 400 has gone viral and attracted the attention of the national media.
In his pursuit to become a lawyer, Graham encountered several obstacles while attending law school at the University of Baltimore. He was a full-time worker, a newlywed, and a full-time student. But he used it as an incentive to keep going.
Graham finished law school a semester early in December 2022 and walked across the stage at the commencement ceremony earlier this month. Magna Cum Laude and graduated in the top seven in his class.
In addition, he passed the state bar exam with a score of 309 after just one attempt, placing him in the 94th percentile. Reportedly, the median passing score is 266 (after at least three attempts at the exam).
Graham recorded his emotional response to hearing his bar test results in April and shared the video on his Facebook page. Many people were moved by it, and it received widespread media coverage.
Graham told Essence, “I understand how significant this is.” “Ever since I took the bar exam, it’s been nothing but pride whenever I see Black employees or parents of other successful individuals who pass the bar, as when I was strolling around the courtroom today. All they do is grin.
We know how challenging it will be for us to pass this test. The African-American community has traditionally performed poorly on the bar exam, which is one of the obstacles standing in our way. And I don’t believe it’s sufficient to say, Oh, it’s simply because you folks didn’t work as hard or aren’t as clever. No. The racial tensions there only serve to complicate our efforts. So, it’s simply a lot of pleasure in knowing that “I was going to get this done regardless of what was put in my way,” he said.
Graham was just sworn in as an attorney in good standing with the Maryland State Bar.