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Law School Offers Free Semester if Students Postpone July Bar Exam

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on February 08, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Besides the obvious reasons -- avoiding real life, student loans and the terrible job market -- why would anyone want to spend a seventh semester in law school?

They wouldn't, right? Even so, administrators at City University of New York Law School think some of their graduating 3Ls should. Those students are being offered an additional semester of "intensive, structured, Bar-oriented coursework" -- for free!

As long as they skip the July 2012 bar exam, that is.

The school's bar passage rate fell to 67% last year, reports the Wall Street Journal. A second consecutive year could lead to sanctions from the state and American Bar Association.

In a letter sent to students, Dean Michelle Anderson explained that there is a correlation between a high GPA, bar-related coursework and success on the bar exam. CUNY Law School has thus decided to "reach out to those 3L students who were most at risk."

Some students think the administration is trying to pad this year's bar results. One called it bribery, telling the New York Post that the school is basically offering students "an incentive to artificially inflate July test scores."

But the school may actually be offering students an incentive to deflate its February test scores.

Myth, or perhaps reality, has it that the February bar exam is the more difficult test. Bar examiners are said to use the poor retakers as guinea pigs, making them work through obscure MBE topics and essays on civil procedure. That certainly sounds less than appealing.

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