Law students in this state would be allowed to take bar exam after five semesters if bill wins approval
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The Virginia House of Delegates on Friday passed a bill allowing students at approved law schools to take the bar exam after completing five semesters of full-time study.
Only one House lawmaker voted against the bill, which has yet to get a Senate vote, Law.com reports.
The bill would give students “a head start on job opportunities,” according to Catherine Crooks Hill, secretary-treasurer for the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners, who spoke with Law.com.
That can be helpful to law students who “carry such tremendous debt,” she said.
Current Virginia law requires applicants for the bar exam to have completed all degree requirements before they can take the bar.
Fifteen other states also allow 3Ls to take the bar exam before graduation, according to Law.com, which cited information from the National Conference of Bar Examiners. Most of those states add a time provision that requires early test-takers to take the exam no more than 30 to 120 days before graduation.
The Virginia bill does not establish a time window.