Incorporating Bar Pass Strategies into Routine Teaching Practices

Suzanne Darrow-Kleinhaus, Incorporating Bar Pass Strategies into Routine Teaching Practices, 37 Gonz. L. Rev. 17 (2002).

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In answering Robert MacCrate’s call for legal educators to promote the basic skills and values new lawyers need to acquire, no one would be more pleased with what the National Conference of Bar Examiners (“NCBE”) have done than even Benjamin Franklin himself. The MacCrate Report’ has had a tremendous impact on the legal community; his vision is as fundamental to the profession as Benjamin Franklin’s was to the nation over two centuries ago-that the theoretical must be wedded to the practical to be useful and effective. Whether creating a lawyer who is capable of leadership and competence or molding a nation that is able to survive the competing forces of liberty and control, one must deal with the exigencies of the real world. Bar examiners have taken up this challenge and continued the American tradition of valuing the practical by implementing an exam that tests the technical skills and abilities a new attorney is presumed to possess.

Currently, twenty-seven states test lawyering skills, in addition to substantive legal knowledge, through the addition of the Multi-State Performance Test (the “MPT”). In July of 2001, New York State joined twenty-six other states in administering the MPT, the most substantive change to New York’s bar exam in more than twenty years. There are other states that plan to add the MPT in the future4 and some have already adopted their own version of the MPT. Apparently, the trend toward making the bar exam a test of a candidate’s “practical” lawyering skills is gaining momentum and even if it is not currently part of your own state’s licensing exam, chances are that it will be in the near future. . . Read More

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