Bar Exam Takers Think Hard - and Positively
By Csaba Sukosd | July 27, 2018
Ohio's next potential crop of attorneys traveled to Wilmington for their final feat that, if successful, will allow them to practice law.
Law school graduates - 831 in all -- took the three-day Ohio Bar Examination this week, with 838 of the applicants testing at the Roberts Centre, a hotel and convention complex in Wilmington.
"It's kind of like we're all in the same boat in there. Everyone's very friendly," said Justine Allen, who graduated from Capital Law School in May.
The test takers attended five sessions, answering question after question, including essays and multiple choice versions.
Ms. Allen said that while one essay question can leave her feeling like she doesn't "know what's happening," but then another question can come along that allows her to understand them both, giving her a confidence boost.
"It kind of puts you in the zone a little bit," she said, "You're like, "I got this.' "
Approaches to ease tension between rounds varied. One participant chose to wear something familiar - Hawaiian garb.
"I've worn this shirt for all 33 of my law school exams over the last four years. So, even just having some form of visual consistency to look down, it doesn't trigger anything substantively, but it kind of grounds you in the moment," said Thomas Spyker, a Capital University Law School graduate.
Those who prepared for the exam for the first time said they realized increasingly over the months just how challenging it would be to pass.
One way to boost confidence is by taking stock in what prospective attorneys have accomplished to date.
"Remembering what you've been through is crucial. You've received your undergraduate degree, you survived law school. All of those things are a preparation for this huge test that you have to take," said Gina Palmer, director of Attorney Services for the Ohio Supreme Court, which administers the exam twice a year.
It also might help test-takers to know that a much-needed break from studying is on the horizon.
"I'm going to drive home to Columbus, and then I'm probably going to sleep for the next 18 hours or so," Spyker said.
Applicants will find out if they passed the exam on the Supreme Court's website in October.
A swearing-in ceremony for those admitted to the bar will be held at the Palace Theatre in Columbus on Nov. 13.