“Anybody can definitely do anything they set their minds to,” Blind OCU Law graduate passes bar exam on fourth try

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Any lawyer will tell you that passing the bar exam is tough, but it was an even harder task for a recent OCU graduate who is blind.

It took him four tries but he finally passed the bar this year.

James Blaise decided early on in life that he was going to become a lawyer.

“The fact that I could just study, work hard and be able to do something worthwhile inspired me to want to do it,” he said. 

The hard work is just one of the challenges he’s faced on this journey.

He says it was hard to find a school that would make accommodations for him since he is blind.

“I applied to a lot of different law schools. I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to get into any of them and OCU sent me an email and said,’We would like you to apply,'” said Blaise. 

At OCU, he found a home away from his home state of Texas.

“They did everything they could to make it as easy as possible,” Blaise said. 

However, it still wasn’t easy.

Blaise used special software to convert his books to audio, adding to the already heavy workload for aspiring lawyers.

“What you do is you scan the individual pages of books and then you can have access to the textbook on the computer,” Blaise said.

After graduating in 2018, he took the bar exam. He didn’t pass, but didn’t give up.

On his fourth try this year, he found success.

“I was just glad that I didn’t have to take it again because it is just such a daunting task,” said Blaise. 

He knows he will continue to face obstacles in his career.

“I know that it’s going to be harder to persuade attorneys to take a chance on me since my story is a little bit different but I think my biggest challenge is going to be to pave my own path,” said Blaise.

He hopes his story will serve as an inspiration to others.

“That anybody can definitely do anything they set their minds to do. It might not be easy, it might not be the most fun but at the end, it’s definitely a sweet reward to get,” said Blaise. 

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