NEW YORK -- John F. Kennedy Jr. is very happy that folks will stop calling him 'the hunk that flunked.'
The handsome Kennedy learned during the weekend that he passed the New York Bar examination after failing it the first two times.
'I got the word. I'm very relieved,' Kennedy, 29, said Wednesday, managing a grin at a crowd of reporters and photographers waiting for him as he arrived for work in at the Manhattan district attorney's office.
If Kennedy had failed the bar exam again, he would have lost his $30, 000-a-year job and his chances of passingon the third try were a point of conversation around town for weeks.
Once the state Appellate Division formally admits him to the bar, he will get a $1,000 raise.
The son of the late president and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis failed in two earlier attempts since graduating in 1989 from New York University Law school. As a newly hired assistant district attorney, he had to pass on his third try.
Kennedy also heard last weekend that he had passed the Connecticut Bar exam.
Kennedy has been assigned to a unit that concentrates on white-collar crime, low-level political corruption and other felonies and was part of a three-member team of prosecutors who investigated illegal wiring of drug money from storefronts to the Dominican Republic.
His cousin, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., failed the bar exam in 1982 and resigned as an assistant district attorney amid charges of drug abuse. He entered a drug treatment program and received a suspenxded sentence and probation, and eventually was admitted to the bar in 1985.
Kennedy's sister, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, 32, passed the bar exam on her first try three years ago. She is the mother of two small children and not currently practicing law.
A bachelor, Kennedy leads a relatively quiet life but attracts attention every time he shows up at a fashionable restaurant or nightspot.