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Law Grads Will Get More Credit for Clinic Hours, Externships to Qualify for Bar Exam

posted Jan 12, 2012, 10:19 AM by Pete Weinman

Law school graduates will be allowed to count more credit hours from clinics, field placement courses and externships toward establishing their eligibility to take the New York bar exam under new curriculum requirements issued by the state Court of Appeals on Jan. 12.

The new rules, the first modications to the Court's eligibility requirements since 1998, are intended "to reflect the realities of current legal education, provide greater flexibility to students in scheduling classes and promote clinical education to better prepare law school graduates for the practice of law," the State Board of Law Examiners said in a statement.

The changes to §520.3 of the high court's attorney admission rules, which were proposed by the law examiners after consultation with law school administrators and representatives of the state bar, will increase to 30 from 20 the permitted clinical hours beginning in the 2012-13 academic year.

The new rules also increase the minimum number of credit hours to 83 from 80. Finally, the former requirements mandating specified days and weeks of instruction have been replaced with a more generalized program and academic calendar requirements.

Read the new rules.