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Arizona Supreme Court Approves Provisional Project Allowing Qualified 3L Students to Take February Bar

The Arizona Supreme Court has approved, on a provisional basis, the proposal to allow qualified 3L students to take the February bar exam starting in February 2014.

The Court’s action amends Rule 34 temporarily – until December 2015. At that time, the pilot project will be evaluated to determine whether the rule should be permanently changed. You can read the order at: http://www.azcourts.gov/Portals/20/2012Rules/120512/R120002.pdf.

This plan – which is receiving national attention as an important step in addressing the challenges that law students face – means that most students in the 1L and 2L classes will be able to select between two 3L study tracks, depending on preferences and circumstances. The traditional third-year curriculum remains unchanged, with the typical array of courses and experiential opportunities. Under the “early bar” plan, the first semester of the 3L year would not change. After finals in December, students would prepare for the bar in January and February, and take a specially-created two-unit writing class. After the exam, students would spend 8 to 10 weeks in an intensive “theory-to-practice” residency, a capstone program that will explore:

  • Serving the needs of clients;
  • Applied ethics and professionalism;
  • Cutting-edge issues in law and policy;
  • The economics of modern legal practice; and
  • Issues at the intersection of doctrine and practice.

The February bar proposal and the associated theory-to-practice residency are part of Arizona Law's continuing effort, working together, to respond to fundamental changes in the practice of law and to respond creatively to national debates about legal education.


Posted:12/11/2012
Updated: 12/11/2012