Public Interest in Legal Education: Evaluating Arizona’s Early Bar Initiative

The Arizona Supreme Court recently considered a petition from the three Arizona law schools asking the court to modify the rule that regulates admission to the Arizona State Bar. The petition proposed that the court allow students to sit for the Arizona Bar Examination during the second semester of their third year of law school. The court provisionally approved the change for two years. This Essay attempts to evaluate what interests the Arizona Supreme Court should consider in 2015, when it reevaluates its decision. The Essay examines how and why the American Bar Association’s accreditation objectives provide a useful framework for evaluating the amendment’s effect on the public interest in quality legal education, and asserts that only after the public interest is satisfied should the court consider individual interests.