News - Capital University Law School

Bar Exam Trifecta!

1/24/2018  -  Alicia Walters, L’16, had always dreamed of becoming an attorney.

Little did she know that she would do it in triplicate.

Alicia recently passed the Kentucky Bar exam (July 2017). While that alone is a notable accomplishment, licensure is becoming old hat for Alicia. She also passed the Ohio Bar Exam (July 2016) and the West Virginia Bar exam (February 2017), giving her a bar pass “triple crown” in 2016-17.

Alicia lives and works in Ironton, Ohio, which is located on the Ohio River, just minutes from Kentucky and West Virginia. The firm where she is employed has offices in all 3 states so Alicia determined that it would be helpful for her to be licensed in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia.

As Alicia puts it, “So many attorneys in my area are licensed in more than one state. Kentucky has reciprocity with Ohio and West Virginia, but an attorney must practice for 5 years before applying for admission without taking the bar exam. I felt that 5 years was too long to wait.”

Of course, Alicia had to complete a rigorous study schedule in order to take and pass 3 consecutive bar exams. During her third year of law school, she took Advanced Bar Studies with Professor Yvonne Twiss, where she learned to master many different study methods. She also purchased a commercial bar preparation course from Themis Bar Review.

She began studying shortly before graduating and continued until the day before the Ohio bar exam—putting in 8-10 hours a day, including weekends. Alicia focused heavily on the MBE, which paid off, because she was able to transfer her MBE score to West Virginia and Kentucky. Because of this, she only had to sit for one day of essays for both of those states.

Her study methods changed for West Virginia and Kentucky. She purchased Themis again for the West Virginia Bar, but only focused on essays and MPTs. By the time she got to work on the Kentucky bar, she did not purchase another bar review course, and instead studied by focusing on numerous essays covering local law topics. However, she did work part-time while studying for both West Virginia and Kentucky. She considered herself fortunate to have an employer that was very understanding and allowed her ample time to study in the office.

When asked about her advice for students who intend to take multiple bar exams, she said “First, get a strong foundation by learning the bar-tested courses well in law school. Then, focus heavily on the MBE so that you can transfer that score to other jurisdictions. It’s also important not to slack off on studying for subsequent bar exams. It was a relief not to be studying for the MBE a second and third time, but I still had to be disciplined—reading through several essays on various areas of local law, writing rule statements, and testing my understanding using note cards.”

Alicia currently practices Real Estate law and Probate law. However, in the future, she would also like to practice business law. She plans to stay with the title company and its affiliated law firm where she currently works. She has worked for the title company for 17 years now, starting right after high school and working part-time while attending Ohio University majoring in communications, with an emphasis in public advocacy. “I always had law school in mind. Undergrad was just stepping stone toward my dream of becoming an attorney, which Capital helped to make a reality.”