A novel concept: Law school graduates ready to practice law, and serve as law clerks

Students taking the Bar examination

Students taking the Bar examination

All three Arizona law schools have joined together to request that the Arizona Supreme Court allow them to modify the third-year law school curriculum for those students who opt in.  The modifications would allow third-year law students to take the Bar exam in February of their final semester of law school instead of after they graduate.  January and February of 3L year thus would consist of Bar preparation courses, and March, April, and May would consist of career preparation courses that provide practical experience, including clinic programs, externships, and courses designed to teach such things as law practice management.This sounds to me like a win-win-win-win. Law students get Bar preparation as part of their tuition-paid law school education and they leave law school actually ready to practice law. Law schools get to boast to recruits of this cutting-edge program that has a solid foundation in common sense and they would likely be able to report an increase in the number of students who leave law school with a job.  Law firms and practitioners would have a larger pool of well-trained candidates from which to choose.  Bar exam preparation course providers would be able to align themselves with law schools, a guaranteed source of revenue, to provide the January-February Bar preparation courses directly to the school rather than charging individual students.This also might help law students to obtain judicial clerkships.  More and more, judges are looking for law clerks who have some experience as practicing attorneys.  As proposed, the modified 3L curriculum would provide at least some of the practical experience that judges and other employers value.Reducing the three-year law school timeframe has support from lawyers and law students all over the spectrum who have argued that the third year of law school is unnecessary.  One thing that lends credibility to the argument is that law school is not the end of the story for the majority of law school graduates who intend to practice.  After three years in law school, students must begin anew to learn a dense set of state-specific concepts in order to pass the Bar.  Folding this last part of the legal education trajectory into three years of law school would be a good step toward streamlining legal education and graduating students who are ready, immediately upon graduation, to be lawyers.

4 thoughts on “A novel concept: Law school graduates ready to practice law, and serve as law clerks

  1. Pingback: Arizona Supreme Court approves law schools’ request to let 3Ls take the bar | Judicial Clerk Review (www.judicialclerkreview.com)

  2. Pingback: Law School Top-Secret » Working while in law school

  3. Pingback: Analyst Says that Going to Law School Might be a Huge Mistake Due to Oversupply of Attorneys | Techyville « Habari Gani, America!

  4. Pingback: Law Students Are “Voting With Their Feet” | thelegalreformer

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