Of the more than 3,000 law graduates taking the Florida bar exam in July 2012, Florida Coastal alumni Lydia Zbrzeznj and Nick Zbrzeznj each scored within the top 10 of the graduates sitting for the exam.
Nick earned the highest score of any graduate taking the exam, while wife Lydia received the highest score on the Trusts and Estates essay. Because of their hard work and dedication, Nick earned an invitation to speak at the Florida Supreme Court and Lydia at the Second District Court of Appeals.
“When I received a call from Chief Justice Polston’s judicial assistant, at first I thought I was getting prank called – I thought it was a joke,” Nick said. “I was just happy and grateful to have passed, anything above that was a plus. It was kind of surreal – I never would have thought that I had the highest score.”
Throughout their study prep, the couple remained devoted to the Bar Coaching Program and met weekly with their Academic Success Counselor, Doug Helsing. At their meetings, Professor Helsing would assess the Zbrzeznjs’ progress and make certain the couple was on track to pass the Florida Bar, which is known for being among the more demanding state exams.
The Zbrzeznjs recommend law graduates stick with the study methods that they know and have refined through three years of law school in addition to utilizing the meetings with their Academic Success Counselor when prepping for the exam. The couple took advantage of their personal strengths and used techniques like keeping a manageable schedule, setting daily goals, and taking frequent breaks – even just a walk outside for a few minutes. They also credited their Coastal foundational courses as part of their successful performances where they utilized their coursework from first year classes like torts and contracts.
“It was a neat feeling to have done well on an objective playing field,” said Lydia. “We always did well at Florida Coastal, but sometimes people take that with a grain of salt because it’s not a tier-one school. For both of us to have done so well makes it an especially gratifying experience.”