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When did law exams become open-book open-notes (and/or outline heavy)? For the older folks in the room, when did you realize exam format had changed to open?

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“You will not be able to reference a book on the bar exam, we are preparing you for the future” I think of this often as I sit in trial with my IPad, and the collective legal knowledge of the world at my disposal instantly.


Not what you would consider older, but have noticed many of my peer-level colleagues went to schools where closed book exams were unheard of. Seems like many schools are allowing folks to do take-home or open books exams. They also seem relatively short (e.g., the exams at my school were usually 4+ hours long and closed book).


I am 72 and didn’t know this until you mentioned it. However, it does make sense. Even now, I always look up the elements of a cause of action or an affirmative defense before drafting b


I think it really depends on the law school. I’m 27 and half my exams were open but the other half were closed. Most bar classes had closed book exams. Also never had a bar class exam less than 3 hours some were longer (5 for Civ pro). Test length was usually dictated by credit hours.


The practice of law is open book. The bar exam is not an accurate measure of a good lawyer. That said, anyone that needs to read the outline during the time-limited test to know basic concepts is already screwed.


I graduated this past May and I had tons of open book or open note/outline tests. I also had a lot of take home (varying from 4 to 48hours in available time). Honestly, most of the closed book exams only happened in 1L year when they were still weeding people out.


UNC Law does that. It's sad.

“Does that” meaning give open book exams?

Agreed. Anachronistic and very academic, like everything else they do in law schools.

I graduated from law school this past May. I didn't have any open-book exams during law school. Although it wasn't fun, I think I was in a better place for the bar exam (CA) than other applicants.

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