December 19, 2013
Kelly Gardner (L'13)
Who leaves the bar exam feeling good about it?
“I was doubting whether I even passed,” said Kelly Gardner, a 2013 Tulane Law School graduate who took the Florida exam in July.
In fact, she aced the exam so impressively that she was invited to speak on behalf of the newly admitted lawyers at the fall induction ceremony hosted by Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal located in West Palm Beach.
Gardner, an associate at Jones Foster Johnston & Stubbs in West Palm Beach, said she spent the summer in New Orleans studying full-time via an online review course. She said she wanted to give her best effort but wasn’t certain what it would take to pass. “I just went about studying for the test thinking I don’t want to do this again,” she said.
A Florida native, Gardner said she was persuaded to attend Tulane because of its nationally strong reputation and New Orleans location. “The school is very competitive,” she said. “It prepared me well for taking the bar exam. It helped me establish a good work ethic.”
Gardner said she told her fellow inductees that getting sworn in as new lawyers reflected their hard work, dedication and persistence and that they should put the same kind of effort into their careers.
Of more than 3,000 July test-takers, 77.2 percent passed, according to the Florida Board of Bar Examiners website. For test-takers who attended non-Florida law schools, 615 passed, a 72.2 percent rate.
At Jones Foster, Gardner joins fellow Tulane alumna Joanne O’Connor (L ’99), a partner with the firm.