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Arizona to permit 3Ls to take spring bar
The College of Law submitted a joint proposal adopted by the Arizona Supreme Court that will allow students to take the bar exam in February of their final year of law school.
The Court’s order enables the state’s three law schools to create standards that permit students graduating in May to sit for the February bar exam prior to graduation, rather than wait to take the July bar exam.
“The fact that our students will be able to take the bar exam before they graduate is another way that the College of Law stands apart,” said Dean
of ASU. “We have long thought of ourselves as creating among the most practice-ready lawyers in the country, and the Court’s decision will help reinforce this.
“We expect this decision will give our students a leg up in the job market by effectively making them more employable more quickly.”
The proposal will take effect in the spring 2014 term.
, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the College of Law, echoed Sylvester’s comments about the advantages that the rule change will provide students.
“It is a win-win for everyone involved,” Stinson said. “This rule change will make our students more employable earlier and give them the ability to offset the cost of their legal education sooner as well. It will also allow students to take the bar exam in Arizona in the spring and take another state’s bar exam in the summer, should they choose to do so.”
Third-year students who are allowed to sit for the February bar will already have completed more than 90 percent of their coursework prior to taking the exam, which will give the College of Law flexibility in crafting the final weeks of their law school education.
The revised rule permits third-year students who have fulfilled all but eight hours of coursework toward graduation to sit for the spring bar. They would be limited to taking two credit hours while studying for the exam.
The College of Law is designing a curriculum to prepare students interested in taking the spring bar exam, which likely will include hands-on, practical courses taken in the latter part of their last semester.
The proposal has received wide support from College of Law students.
“The Arizona Supreme Court's decision to allow motivated and qualified third-year law students to sit for the February bar has been met with wide enthusiasm among the student community,” said Sean McGarvey, president of ASU’s Student Bar Association. “Affording such students an opportunity to expedite the bar admission process and to become employable sooner is a net benefit to the entire legal community, and students look forward to seizing it.”