Why don’t law schools offer bar review courses?

Gerard Magliocca

Gerard N. Magliocca is the Samuel R. Rosen Professor at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Professor Magliocca is the author of three books and over twenty articles on constitutional law and intellectual property. He received his undergraduate degree from Stanford, his law degree from Yale, and joined the faculty after two years as an attorney at Covington and Burling and one year as a law clerk for Judge Guido Calabresi on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Professor Magliocca has received the Best New Professor Award and the Black Cane (Most Outstanding Professor) from the student body, and in 2008 held the Fulbright-Dow Distinguished Research Chair of the Roosevelt Study Center in Middelburg, The Netherlands. He was elected to the American Law Institute (ALI) in 2013.

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7 Responses

  1. Dan Cole says:

    My guess is that law schools do not offer their own bar review courses because they couldn’t do it cost-competitively with the existing national firms.


  2. Might work for in-state essay test, but I can’t see it working for out-of-state prep. There is an economy of scale there for the national prep firms.

    Also building up a bank of practice multistate questions is a high fixed cost, but low marginal cost, activity (once you have the bank, adding a test-taker costs very little). This gives a national firm a huge advantage over a local competitor.

  3. mls says:

    Maybe a better question would be why BAR/BRI can’t award a JD

  4. Diane says:

    Law schools do offer bar review courses for credit — approximately half of them, according to this survey of law school curricula published this past June — http://www.ncbex.org/assets/media_files/Bar…/810212beCarpenter.pdf.

    This is impressive, given that until 4 years ago, the ABA accreditation standards prohibited schools from offering bar prep courses for academic credit.

  5. A school that offered bar review courses would be labelled a “trade school,” and forever remitted to the last circle of hell. IOTW–union rules

  6. Jimbino says:

    The real question is: why don’t we get rid of certification via JD or bar exam, as Milton Friedman advocated?

    We might then end up with some lawyers who understood math and science. I tried teaching pre-meds and pre-laws Baby Physics and Baby Math, which were the most advanced courses they could afford to take while maintaining their GPAs.

    Ignorance of math and science shows even at the SCOTUS level, where only Breyer has shown any sophistication in STEM. The rest are a bunch of History, English, Poly Sci and International Studies majors!

    It’s a good thing that the real movers and shakers, like Michael Dell, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs skipped the graduation and certification nonsense altogether.

  7. David says:

    – “Teaching to a test is different from teaching.”

    I wish that sentence, so obviously true to those of us who teach in higher ed, would get through to primary and secondary school officials and educational foundations, most of whom would dispute that premise.