Monday, November 25, 2013

Should Law Schools Offer Bar Exam Prep Courses?

There has been a recent call for law schools to add bar prep courses to the curriculum in the third year. Greedy Associates noted that it might help fix the problem with the disparity in minority test taker passage rates.

As the blog noted, this "one significant barrier to diversity, divergent pass rates between minority and nonminority test takers, could be addressed with additional attention to the bar exam during school. This would have the side-benefit of making oft-criticized as superfluous third-year actually useful, rather than another year of casebooks and theoretical jurisprudence."

But this may not be a one-size-fits-all solution as "Elie Mystal, at Above the Law, points out that the proposal: while it may be useful for lower-tier schools, which have trouble producing grads that can pass the bar exam, for schools with high pass rates, the idea provides no value at all to those students, other than saving them from paying for a post-grad bar prep course (a minor expense in comparison to law school tuition)."

The law school where I work currently has three courses for bar prep that are offered in the third year -- one that is for credit, one that is free and no credit, and a three-day intensive essay writing workshop. The statistics show that the students who partake in all three of these course offerings fair well on the Michigan bar exam.

It may be a worthwhile effort for law schools to partner with proprietary post-grad bar prep courses to make it a part of the law school curriculum -- especially for student like me who could not afford the cost of a post-grad bar prep course.

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