April 20, 2020

GRADS SHOULD BE GIVEN A ONE-YEAR TEMPORARY LICENSE, LETTING THEM TAKE THE BAR AS LATE AS JULY 2021. Law Students In ‘No Man’s Land’ As Coronavirus Delays Bar Exams.

Related: Bar Exam Group, Which Gets $27 Million/Year From Bar Exam, Opposes Granting Diploma Privileges To 2020 Law Grads.

Shocking that the profiteers would oppose anything that cuts into their monopoly. To be fair, they’re a “nonprofit” whose president makes a mere $340K+ per year.

UPDATE: Lots of interesting back and forth in the comments. So my views on the bar exam in general are mixed. I think it’s pretty awful as a tool for weeding out incompetent lawyers. When we analyzed the data some years ago, 98% of Tennessee takers passed by the third try. And the skills required to pass an exam don’t overlap hugely with those required to practice law. (As I used to tell people when I taught the bar review course, if you get discouraged just go down to General Sessions court for an hour or two, then remind yourself that every lawyer there passed the bar).

On the other hand, it’s good for legal education in that our grads ultimately have to pass an exam written and graded by people other than us. I think that’s kept us from becoming as disconnected from reality as some other parts of the academy. But I have students who want to hang out their shingle after graduation, only to see their ability to be licensed pushed back into the future, perhaps indefinitely.

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