Posted Dec 04, 2012 12:00 pm CST
The Arizona Supreme Court is scheduled to consider a proposal Wednesday to allow third-year law students to take the bar exam before graduation.
All three law schools in Arizona support the proposal, the National Law Journal reports. If the idea is approved, Arizona would become the only state to allow students to take the bar at the middle of their final school year.
Other states have tried bar exams in the third year of law school, including Missouri, Oregon and Virginia. According to the Arizona Supreme Court’s Attorney Regulation Advisory Committee, which opposes the idea, those states abandoned 3L bar exams because they were “disruptive and distracting.”
Under the Arizona proposal, students preparing for the February bar exam would take a bar preparation class in January and February, the story says. Students could not take the exam unless they had completed required coursework and obtained a certification from their law school. Afterward, they could participate in externships or clinics to develop practice experience, as well as classes in law office management or professionalism.
University of Arizona law dean Marc Miller told the NLJ that an early bar exam could “essentially reduce the cost of a legal education by five months.” He also says the change would offer an opportunity for schools to experiment with their third-year curriculum.