Examining the Bar

The Wall Street Journal reports the ABA is proposing an accreditation requirement that 75% of a law school’s graduates sitting for a bar exam must pass it within two years. The article recounts several arguments for and against this proposal, but does not question the underlying assumption that passing a bar exam indicates preparedness for practice.

Obviously, as long as licensure is required and can be obtained only by succeeding on this test, it seems reasonable to require that most graduates be able to pass it. But a fuller discussion of the issue would ask whether aspects of bar exams themselves are a problem that needs to be addressed. Ben Bratman has written insightfully on this issue, both on this blog and elsewhere.

One Response

  1. Your post raises interesting concerns. Yes, if bar exams will remain the gateway to practicing law, surely our students need to be able to pass those tests. Are they testing the skills and knowledge necessary to be effective practitioners, or do most bar exams skirt examination of key skill sets employed on a daily basis by many lawyers engaged in active law practice? The skills of “daily practice” can and should be learned in law school and tested on any exam that will determine who gets a law license.

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