Thursday, September 22, 2005

Things I Wish I'd Known Before Choosing a Law School

Today the law school hosted a presentation on the bar exam for all 3L students. It was, as predicted, basically useless. Here is an outline of the hour long presentation:

I. You have to take the bar exam before you can practice law.
A. It's really hard.
B. And takes a long time.
C. And is only good for the state you take it in.

II. You should take the bar exam right after you graduate.
A. So you don't forget the stuff you learned in law school.
B. And because that's just the way it is.

III. You will have to do a lot of stuff to get ready.
A. Like getting fingerprinted and gathering background information to prove that you're not a psychotic killer or something.
1. No, we won't tell you how to do that.
2. But we will tell you that it's really hard, just to freak you out.
B. You have to pay a lot of money to some company for a bar review course.
1. That doesn't mean that the law school didn't do it's job.
2. Even though it's our job to prepare you to practice law and take the bar exam.
C. You have to apply early.
1. Guess it sucks if you don't know what state you'll get a job in.
2. We really only care about the 70% of you who take the bar in this state.
D. If your grades suck, we'll embarass you by making you go to remedial law school
1. This will be announced by a letter in your student mailbox.

IV. If you have any questions, please see us on your own time.
A. If you can get an appointment.
B. Good luck with that.

But that's not what really piqued my interest. No, what piqued my interest was the offhand remark that if you graduate from an ABA-accredited law school in the state of Wisconsin with a certain GPA, you are not required to take the bar, but are eligible for "diploma privilege" in the state of Wisconsin.

Hmmm... Three years at Marquette or U of Wisconsin, but no bar exam necessary... and if you pass the bar of any state, you can waive into the DC bar... If only I'd known this before I picked my law school based on the amount of scholarship money they threw at me!

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At 4:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyway, I thought the bar was for the most part national? To practice in another state, don't you just have to pass the state specific part of the exam?

Kind of like the some states I don't qualify to take the PE exam because I don't have a B.S. in engineering. Unless of course I have a PE from another state, in which case I can practice as PE, because the PE exam is a national one (although some states, like CA and AK, have supplemental state specific exams.)

I can tell you are agitated, though, Ms. Errant-Apostrophe. I cite III.B.1.

At 7:30 PM , Blogger katze said...

Nope, there is no national bar. You have to take both parts-- the state and the multistate-- at the same test administration, so if you change states, you have to take the whole bar again UNLESS you get reciprocity, but in order to get reciprocity, you have to practice for a certain number of years in the state where you took the bar.

At 12:34 AM , Blogger pacatrue said...

Nice send up of a very common school response to things. I especially like that you need to pay someone to do the bar review right after you study with them for however many years. And no one sees anything odd about this.


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