This post was written by Kathleen Townley, an extern from the New Directions program who is working with our office over the summer.

Many law students strive to work towards the ideal of perfection.  After all, setting some lofty goals is what landed many of us in law school in the first place!  And the pursuit of perfection may have motivated many of you as you worked on papers during law school and studied for final exams.  Now, however, as Pace Law’s recent graduates are preparing for the Bar Exam, the idea of learning the law to perfection can be a daunting, if not impossible, goal. 

 Fortunately, the New York State Board of Law Examiners (NYS BOLE) couldn’t agree more!  They are not expecting perfection on the answers to the essay questions on the New York State Bar Exam.  According to the NYS BOLE, they adjust what they consider to be the “right” answer based on actual student responses from that exam.  The scoring is performance-based, because the examiners are looking for who is “better,” not who is “perfect.” 

If you would like to try your hand at practicing a few essays and having them scored for you in the same manner as the NYS BOLE, consider enrolling in the Supplemental Bar Skills Program.  Academic Support is piloting this program this year.  Meant to be a supplement to the commercial bar review programs, this class will meet four consecutive weeks for a one hour session.  Each week, students will be sent home with a released past essay question from the New York State Bar Exam.  The essays will be turned in and scored by more than one reader from Academic Support.  Some multistate practice questions will be done in class, as well.  Because the class is being piloted, it will essentially be offered as a free program this year.  Students will initially pay $100, which will be returned if you attend the classes and complete the essay assignments.

 In the time that I have been an extern at Pace Law School, I have been quite impressed watching Danielle and Elizabeth, your Academic Support team, work with you.  Danielle and Elizabeth were both top-notch law students at Pace.  Each pursued law practice after graduating, but then had a desire to return to academia.  They will surely make working through some of the bar exam questions a little more enjoyable and a little less painful than doing it on your own! 

 I have already enjoyed meeting a number of you in person.  I look forward to getting to know yet more of you this summer, hopefully though your participation in the Supplemental Bar Skills Program!

If you are interested in registering for the Supplemental Bar Skills Program, email Danielle at  The program begins this Friday, June 17th, at 2:00 and runs for four weeks.