The final months of my law school career are here! The excitement is almost uncontrollable, and questions about my life after law school have been coming in from everyone who has been apart of my academic journey since I first enrolled here. What kind of law do you want to specialize in? Will you stay in the Northwest or will you come back to Texas? Can you practice law in Texas even though you went to a law school in Idaho? The answer to some of these questions was not clear until recently. We all have plans for what we want in this world, but sometimes being able to reevaluate and give some wiggle room with those plans is what can open more doors for opportunity. I, almost by force of habit, try to ensure that my plans are more like guidelines so that I am able to adapt and evaluate all opportunities that are presented to me. This holds true with my decision on where I am applying to take the bar exam.
Not very surprising to those who know me, I plan on returning to Texas after graduation to prepare and take the Texas Bar exam. The most frequent question I would get of the ones listed above was: "How can you be prepared for the Texas bar if I went to law school in Idaho?" My answer is always the same, "I have been given all the tools I need, to prepare and pass any state bar exam that I wish to take, from the University of Idaho College of Law!" Many people believe, myself included at one point, that in order to practice law in any given state you must attend a law school there. This is not true at all. To sit for the Texas bar exam, I needed to receive a JD from an ABA accredited school, or be admitted to practice in another state and have been engaged in the practice of law for at least 3 of the past 5 years before applying. This kind of information can be found at a state's bar page or by looking at the ABA's Comprehensive Guide for Bar Admission Requirements.
The University of Idaho has not only been accredited by the ABA since 1925, but also offered me the opportunity to take many of the same courses that were offered at the law schools back in Texas. Now I must admit, there was one course I wanted to take that was understandably not available here at the University of Idaho, that was Texas Oil and Gas. Luckily, I was afforded an opportunity by our renowned natural resources and environmental law faculty to complete a directed study on Texas Oil and Gas to alleviate any anxiety I had about facing the subject on the Texas bar exam.
Over the course of the last three years I have contemplated where I would practice once I graduated from the University of Idaho College of Law. The possibilities were endless, but for me it came down to three solid options: Washington, Idaho, and Texas. Idaho was not really on my mind as a future home until I arrived and experienced the great people, landscape and scenery, and state pride that rivals what I am used to in Texas. Practicing in Washington was what I originally had in mind when I applied because it is where I took my first breath and I still have family living in different areas of the state. Last, but definitely not least is the Lone Star State, which has been my home since 1999. My Texas bar application is in with 3 days to spare, I have signed up to conduct my bar preparations this summer with Barbri, and now I focus on the final stretch. Graduation is in 108 days and it has been a great journey.