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In bar exam prep, TU Law sets students up for success

Three years of law school and the associated knowledge that accumulates during that time all culminate in the final challenge of a law student: The bar exam. Before a candidate can enter into the practice of law, conquering multiple hours of testing over two to three days is mandatory. As recent law graduate Preston Brasch (JD ’18) explains, “It becomes this really daunting, scary task. It’s this mountain we all have to climb in order to get into the profession of practicing law.”

TU Law’s Bar Skills prep course supports student success

Although most law programs give students the fundamental knowledge they need to be a lawyer, they do not teach students how to prepare for the bar exam. Like other comprehensive and concentrated licensing exams, the bar exam requires endurance, discipline and training. To support students in this rite of passage, TU College of Law offers a Bar Skills prep course during the final semester of law school.

The Bar Skills course addresses the mechanics of taking the exam and also provides substantial review of three of the areas in which students are tested. The course does not replace a formal bar review class typically taken after graduation, but does give students a critical head start in preparing for the exam in addition to an overview of what it takes to pass it. The course features a highly participative, learn-by-doing approach. For each skill, the professor demonstrates the skill, and students have an opportunity to practice and master that skill. Class activities include both written and oral assignments.

Associate Professor of Legal Writing Gina Nerger serves as Bar Support Director for TU College of Law and also teaches the Bar Skills course. “At TU,” she says, “we are committed to our students’ success — even after graduation — which is why we offer bar support to all students.” Her course focuses on study strategies and gives students the opportunity to practice multiple-choice and essay questions. She adds that, “I’m available after graduation to assist students with any needs that arise in their bar prep class.”

“I think one of the most important pieces of the whole process is that Professor Nerger and other students made it known that we could reach out to them,” says Brasch. He adds that alumni shared their own experiences studying for the bar and encouraged students to reach out to them with any questions. “TU Law, in true form, cares about its students. Faculty want to make sure we have the tools to succeed. They have developed this course, and it’s phenomenal. This is one of the things that really makes TU stand out and further demonstrates how they care about student success.”