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New Associate Dean Exemplifies Increased Emphasis on Bar Preparation

October 2018

As Associate Dean for Bar Success, Cassie Christopher spearheads Texas Tech Law’s various initiatives to help students prepare for the mental endurance test otherwise known as the bar exam.

Having passed two bar exams herself—Pennsylvania in 2006 and Texas in 2012—Christopher can relate to those who are on the cusp of launching into nearly three months of study. Laughing, she recalls her bar study experiences. “Of course I remember how awful the bar exam was! Doesn’t every attorney? I have incredible respect for what our alums are going through as they prepare for the bar exam.”

Christopher puts on various bar preparation events, such as information sessions, essay-writing workshops, and video tutorials. She also teaches two courses aimed specifically at preparing for the bar exam: Texas Practice, a course designed to help students improve their essay-writing skills, and Advanced Legal Analysis, an online course that gives students a leg up on the bar exam’s multiple-choice questions.

Christopher also provides individual attention, meeting with students throughout law school and after graduation to assess their strengths, study habits, and test-taking skills. She looks for potential issues, such as academic performance, upcoming moves or financial issues, and documented disabilities that could impact performance or divert focus, and she then helps student develop a customized study plan.

“I focus primarily on how students prepare for the bar exam, rather than focus on the testing days themselves,” Christopher said. “A student’s preparation for the bar exam begins the first day of law school. Students must learn the framework of the law, and learn how to teach themselves new concepts—that’s true for law school, the bar exam, and the practice of law. The whole faculty at Texas Tech Law is committed to helping our students learn and succeed.”

Christopher chairs the new bar passage committee, working with 9 other professors to expand institutional efforts to support student success on the bar exam. She also served as a member of the Texas Supreme Court task force studying the bar exam and recommending the adoption of the Uniform Bar Exam.

“Cassie has done a tremendous job helping our students prepare for the bar exam, and she continues to find new ways each semester to help our students succeed,” said Dean Nowlin. “This new title is both a recognition of the great work Cassie has done for students in past years and a foundation for much more great work to come in future years as Cassie leads our bar preparation program and our students to even greater success.”

In addition to her bar preparation responsibilities, Christopher teaches Legal Practice I and II, Advanced Legal Analysis, Constitutional Law, and Banking Law. She received the Texas Tech Alumni Association New Faculty Award in 2015 and has taught International Banking Law as a visiting professor at Vytautas Magnus University in Lithuania.

Christopher writes and presents on a variety of subjects, including bar passage, academic support, Bitcoin and the blockchain, and legal writing. Her book on the Texas bar exam, Tackling the Texas Essays, was published by Carolina Academic Press in 2018.

Before joining Texas Tech Law, Christopher practiced law with a boutique firm in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she represented regional banks and focused on commercial real-estate loan transactions. She also handled bankruptcies, loan workouts, foreclosures, loan-portfolio sales, and title-insurance matters for institutional clients, and helped individual clients develop estate plans. She moved to Lubbock with her husband Gordon, an Assistant Professor in the College of Engineering, in 2010.

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