Workshop C

How Clinical Experiences Can Help Students Pass the Bar Exam

Clinics excel at training students in the practical, day-to-day skills necessary to function as attorneys. Clinical experience can also enhance a student’s employability. But in order to make use of the skills and experience they gain in Clinics, students must first pass the Bar exam. Obviously, passing the exam is a central motivator in both students’ choices of classes and the amount of time and energy they devote to them. Equally obviously, Bar passage rate is also a central motivator – perhaps THE central motivator – for law schools and professors.

Given this focus, some students question the utility of clinics compared to more Bar-focused classes. A challenge for Clinics in recruiting students is combating this attitude by making it clear that the experience students gain in Clinics not only prepares them to be lawyers, it also plays a crucial role in developing the skills necessary to succeed at the Bar Exam.

This session will focus on the nexus of clinical experience and Bar passage. The presenters will lead a discussion that will include the following ways in which Clinics can help students prepare for the Bar Exam:

  • Quickly and efficiently identifying salient versus peripheral facts:
  • Identifying legal issues and relating facts to them
  • Synthesizing legal rules and applying them to the facts
  • Writing well-organized, succinct and well-reasoned legal analyses under pressure of time



  • Steve Castleman, Golden Gate School of Law
  • Connie de la Vega, USF School of Law



Session 1
Location: Room 280B Date: February 10, 2018 Time: 11:30 am - 12:40 pm Steve Castleman Connie de la Vega