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Dayton Docket

Creating a Rite of Passage

Years of classes, final exams and graduation day are behind them, but for most law graduates, the summer is anything but an opportunity to relax.

They must now pass the July Bar Exam in the state where they wish to practice law to officially become attorneys.

To give them the best shot at success, the University of Dayton School of Law has team of people in place.

It starts with Director of Bar Preparation Professor Micheline Kidwell and Assistant Director of Bar Preparation Marissa McCray, who work with students year round on bar prep.

Assisting them is the Academic Success team, led by Academic Success Program Director Professor Tamara Tabo. Professor Tabo along with Professor Daniel Craine and Professor Nicholas Seger assist with weekly check-ins with the more than 100 graduates doing bar prep to see how they’re progressing.

To help with the stress bar takers deal with, Adjunct Professor Barb Morsa will offer sessions each week on mindfulness techniques. Also Professor Ebony Davenport will provide opportunities for reflective journaling for bar takers, something that helped her while she prepared for the bar.

Through donations from One Day, One Dayton, students who study at the law school will have meals available each day. Clinic Coordinator Mary Boston will organize the breakfasts and lunches and plan out the menu.

The library staff is providing study spaces for the bar takers they can use until the exam. Also, Reference and Electronic Services Librarian Professor Paul Venard will proctor the writing sessions graduates have during the week.

In addition, Venard and a large number of area attorneys will act as graders for the essays and MPTs graduates submit and provide them with feedback to help them improve.

Bar takers will also have visits from a handful of guest speakers composed of 2021 and 2022 graduates who will talk about their process for preparing for the bar exam.

“We couldn’t do it without everyone pitching in and helping out,” says Kidwell. “We try to be involved just enough. We don’t want to take graduates away from what they’re doing with their bar vendors but want to provide an additional level of support.”

The Road to Bar Passage kickoff is on May 18. The program goes until mid-July.

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