WVU College of Law alumni Ben Vanston and Jacob Trombley became friends through an unlikely matchmaker: the West Virginia bar exam. They met through a new College of Law initiative that pairs recent graduates with newer alumni to mentor them and provide support as the bar exam approaches. About 40 WVU Law graduates participated in the pilot Peer Bar Exam Consultant project.
Vanston, who graduated in 2021 and now works for a Charleston law firm, was paired with Trombley, a 2023 graduate now working in Kingwood. Beginning in May, they talked weekly —sometimes for up to two hours — about the rigor of the test and the effort needed to pass the July exam.
About halfway through the summer study marathon, Vanston said he realized that Trombley was scoring well on practice tests and was likely to pass, so he shifted his attention to helping ease the stress and mental exhaustion of preparing for a three-day exam.