On December 10, the Arizona Supreme Court said that third-year law students are allowed to take the bar exam prior to them graduating from law school, according to The National Law Journal. With the new rule, third-year students are permitted to take the bar in February, months prior to graduation.
The project has been temporarily approved to operate from January 2013 to the end of December 2015. The court will need reports filed by law school officials by November 1, 2015.
“It addresses several criticisms of legal education: it’s too expensive, the third-year students are unfocused and students have to wait so long after graduation until they can take the bar and be ready to practice,” said University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law associate dean Sally Rider. “It addresses all those concerns.”
With the rule change, Arizona becomes the first state to permit its law school students to take the bar exam prior to graduating. The associate dean for academic affairs at Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Judy Stinson, said the following:
“It’s a nice step by the Supreme Court to allow us to really help our students.”
Rider noted that after they take the exam, students will be aided by law schools in determining a curriculum that can prepare them for work after graduation.
“Students have supported it, they’re very excited,” Rider said.