All in the family: Father and daughter graduate law school

Tim and Sarah Smith have taken father-and-daughter bonding to a whole new level. They went to law school together. At night, after their day jobs. For more than three years. This past December, together they graduated from The University of Akron School of Law.

Coincidences abound in this unique family, J.D. journey. Tim Smith was a patent agent, but felt he needed a law degree to move forward in his career. He flirted with the idea for years, but family and job issues came up, which stalled his ambitions.

Later, he finally found time for the opportunity and began working on practice LSAT questions. Sarah, a 2013 grad from the University of Akron, saw him and asked what was up. She tried some. “They seemed to come fairly naturally to me,” Sarah told the school’s news service. “I was getting a lot of them right, and I liked working through them. They were fun to me.”

She happened to work in human resources, and in that role, she worked with in-house counsel. She figured a law degree would help her in her career, as well. They took the LSAT at the same time. They both applied to Akron Law. (Tim graduated from the undergrad school in ’97) They both got in. They started evening classes in the fall of 2015.

It’s the first time Akron Law has ever had a parent-child go through law school at the same time and graduate at the same time. The school did a Google search and found only one other similar circumstance. A father and son graduated from U.C. Berkeley Law as members of the Class of 2018. They got LL.M. degrees, though, which don’t take as long.

No, during law school, Sarah did not pretend her dad didn’t exist. Far from it. “We studied together and sat together in classes,” Sarah said. “From law school orientation, Dad and I joined a study group of seven that stayed together all through law school. The students who picked up on the fact that we’re father-daughter thought it was really neat.”







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