Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Family Ties: Father, Daughter Make History at Ohio Bar Exam

It’s the most critical week in a prospective attorney’s life. While everyone has a story on how they got to the Ohio bar exam, one Akron duo has a uniquely shared path.

Tim and Sarah Smith became the first father and daughter to take the exam at the same time.

The last hurdle before they can practice law happened due to a mere suggestion Tim, a patent engineer, had for his daughter, who was working in human resources. He was prepping for the LSAT when he recommended she read some of the problems.

“So, I picked up the book, and a tried a few, and I actually really liked them. They were kind of fun to me,” said Sarah.

After both successfully applied to the University of Akron School of Law, they began to navigate their unusual – and at times awkward – circumstance.

“What’s it going to be like to be in class together, and ‘Do you want to sit with me?’ That was kind of odd,” Tim said.

As time passed, their comfort level with their newfound dynamic grew, especially when it came to confiding about the stresses of studying.

“I think it was really helpful because you’ll feel a little more apt to share with somebody about how you’re feeling,” Tim said.

However, there were times when they took that venting too far.

“We were at times banned from speaking anything law-related at family gatherings,” said Sarah. “It’s the only thing on your mind, sometimes. So, they would relegate us to a special table during Thanksgiving.”

The focus for Tim is to implement his law degree in the area of patents. Sarah – who currently works as a law clerk for the Eleventh District Court of Appeals – has her eyes on continuing her work as a judicial clerk. However, they’re not completely ruling out being side-by-side, again.

“I don’t know that a common law firm will ever happen, but never say never,” said Tim.

“Right, because here we are,” added Sarah.