March 20, 2015

"Many law school deans, bristling from criticism that they are replenishing their ranks with less academically qualified students as the number of law school applicants has fallen sharply..."

"... began to openly question the mechanics of the bar exam. About 80 law school deans last November jointly asked, for the first time anyone remembers, for details on how test questions were chosen and scored. The situation was already touchy after remarks made the previous month by a top bar exam official, who defended the results as indisputably correct, and then, in what the deans viewed as verbal dynamite, labeled the test takers as 'less able' than their predecessors."

From a NYT article titled "Bar Exam, the Standard to Become a Lawyer, Comes Under Fire," which contains the juicy nugget: "All states but one, Wisconsin, require passing the bar exam to become a licensed lawyer...".

21 comments:

mccullough said...

Some of the deans don't want a bar exam to be a lawyer, but want a law degree to be required.

traditionalguy said...

The Education Industry's golden flow is slowing to a trickle now. So it's time to move the goal posts.

D.D. Driver said...

"Some of the deans don't want a bar exam to be a lawyer, but want a law degree to be required."

If we are going to get rid of one of the two requirements, it makes much more sense to get rid of the J.D. requirement and keep the bar exam requirement. It costs $3-5k to take a bar review course and $120-200k (of nondischargable debt) to get a law degree. Of course, you won't get three years of "learning to think like a 'lawyer'". <>

Better yet, let anyone be a lawyer as long as they can get sufficient malpractice insurance. If you can get clients who trust you, and can convince an insurer to stand behind you from a risk perspective, let the market do its job.

Gusty Winds said...

Law school deans want to lower the bar exam.

David said...

Don't like the results? Discredit the test. It's a standard ploy.

dreams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

This post has something in common with the Austin sticker fraud post above. Things are changing in ways the liberals don't like, and can't control. So they are thrashing about trying regain control and destroying what's left of their credibility in the process. Schadenfreude is a guilty pleasure.

Brando said...

Their long running scam starting to unravel, law schools are lashing out at the symptoms and not the causes of substandard law grads.

John Holland said...

Are there any states that permit you to write the bar exam and practice law without a law degree?

Didn't Abraham Lincoln obtain his law license that way?

Gabriel said...

Standardized testing broke a lot of social barriers, because the evaluators could not take your social standing into account, the exam spoke for itself.

This is its strength and its weakness--the easiest way to improve the test scores is to lower the standards.

Sebastian said...

Deal for deans: corrupt the bar exam any way you like, if you first help enact a state law that passing the exam is not required for practice.

The Drill SGT said...

D.D. Driver said...
If we are going to get rid of one of the two requirements, it makes much more sense to get rid of the J.D. requirement and keep the bar exam requirement.

John Holland said...
Are there any states that permit you to write the bar exam and practice law without a law degree?


California, in my day, had many non-ABA accredited law schools, and made up for it with a tough bar exam and a low pass rate.

Wisconsin sort of goes the other way. 2 good law schools and no bar exam for their grads. but only those 2 instate schools

MaxedOutMama said...

In five states, you don't have to get a J.D. before taking the bar exam:
http://www.shareable.net/blog/how-to-become-a-lawyer-without-going-to-law-school

VT, WA, VA, CA, WY. In NY you only need the first year.

One suspects that this may become a more common strategy where permitted.

FleetUSA said...

We might be headed back to the apprentice style of education in which a person reads law within a firm of qualified lawyers. After several years they take an exam of some sort.

Of course this leads to slave like conditions, etc.

James Pawlak said...

+
For the protection of the People, should bar exam and law school grades be a part of public record?

Zach said...

Well, of course the pool is worse. There's been something like a 30% drop in the number of applications to law school in the last few years. You would have to have the worst admissions staff in the world if a 30% decline in applications didn't affect the quality of the incoming class.

Michael K said...

This is what happened to the SAT. I still don't know my SAT score because, in those days, they didn't tell you. There were no review courses. It was what it was.

We can't have that in the age of AA.

PianoLessons said...

I must know at least twenty folks with law school degrees who went into other areas after realizing their actual degree and bar exam proficiency allowed them to become bill collectors and ambulance chasers .

Mick said...

We would have enough "lawyers" if there were no new ones for ten years, and much better off as a society. Lawyers have killed the Republic.

Think said...

I think the bar exam in most states is too easy. From my experience in dealing with other lawyers, I don't think we want to lower the amount of general legal knowledge required to be lawyer. Currently, most bars only require a fairly basic understanding of law.

Think said...

"The bar exam “does nothing to measure lawyering skills,” said Kristin Booth Glen, a law professor and former dean of the City University of New York School of Law..."

Except for the lawyering skill of being capable of understanding the law and applying it to differing facts. But who needs that?