This summer Santa Clara University School of Law will launch a new program to support recent graduates who are studying for the California Bar Exam. Called “BRICS” (Bar Resources, Instruction, Coaching, and Support,) the new program is designed to supplement the traditional Bar study process.
“Most Santa Clara students will be preparing for the examination with a commercial Bar review company,” said Professor Joan Harrington, a BRICS faculty member. “BRICS will provide additional academic support so that our students are as ready as they can be.”
The program will provide occasional lectures on approaches to Bar-tested subjects, individual coaching appointments with BRICS faculty, and feedback on assigned practice questions throughout the Bar study period. Faculty members are available to offer advice to students on-campus, by email, and through Skype appointments. The Law School has also contracted to provide free access to the BarEssays.com database for all SCU Bar-takers.
The program will also support students’ well-being during the stressful Bar study period, including a visit by local therapy dogs during the summer. “Successful Bar students take a balanced approach to their study, ensuring that their mind and body are ready for the Exam experience,” said Professor Adam Ferber, a BRICS faculty member and former examinations director at the State Bar of California.
Such summer programs are becoming the new norm at law schools around the country. Earlier this year, an article in the Daily Journal reported that nearly half of ABA law schools offered a Bar preparation curriculum. Don J. DeBenedictis, Law schools embrace bar exam prep courses, Los Angeles Daily Journal, Feb. 14, 2014.
BRICS builds on Santa Clara’s extensive California Bar Exam programming. All subjects tested on the Exam are offered, and a number are a required part of the JD curriculum. Students can participate in a specialized Advanced Legal Writing course in their final year that focuses on the essay and performance exam portions of the Bar Exam. The Law School also offers an overview course on the Bar, and a structured study group for students in need of additional support.