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Messages - Maintain FL 350

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Even if the exam has a high pass rate, it's useful if it keeps out the 10-20% who probably shouldn't have been admitted to law school in the first place. Law schools themselves are willing to admit just about anybody at this point, and will graduate them with minimally passing grades. Thus, the bar exam is serving an important gatekeeper function. Not everyone who manages to graduate from law school can automatically be entrusted to handle the public's legal needs.

Do you think a pilot should be able to fly commercially without taking the FAA checkrides as long as they graduate from flight school?

I do believe that there are plenty of modifications that could be made to both the bar exam and law school curricula which would result in better legal training. I'm all for that.

I agree that non ABA should have to sit it, but other than that. Meh.

Interestingly, I think the primary result of such a rule would be that the average non-ABA student would be more knowledgeable on bar topics than the average ABA grad. I don't know about you, but if I didn't have to take the bar, I wouldn't have bothered with learning 90% of that stuff. But I'm glad I did.

Honestly, I think only non ABA grads should have to take it. Wisconsin has the right idea.

I completely disagree.

Not everyone who manages to scrape by and earn their JD is fit to practice law. The bar exam serves as a weeding out process for those few who really should not be entrusted with handling the public's legal needs.

California has a notoriously difficult bar, but what about states with a 80-90% pass rate? If you can't pass an exam that 80-90% of your classmates passed, should you really be allowed to give legal advice?

How many lawyers actually orally argue cases in front of a judge, though?

It just depends on what you're practicing.

As Loki pointed out, civil transaction attorneys may never see the inside of a courtroom. But PDs, DAs, juvenile dependency lawyers, family lawyers, etc., are in court all the time. I worked at a fairly large city attorney's office during law school, and on any given day it seemed like half the office was in court for some or another hearing. As Citylaw stated, this may be a California thing.

If anything to make it more realistic there should be some kind of oral requirement on the bar I can't tell you how many times I have been in court and seen licensed attorneys unable to articulate a sentence in front of a judge.  Or ramble on so incoherently that all hope for the case is lost.

They could include a section titled "How Not to Piss off the Judge: a Primer". Here's a hint for newbies, when you see the judge go from merely rolling their eyes at you to turning red with veins popping on their forehead, stop talking. 

I guess people's perceptions and assessments vary according to their strengths or weaknesses. I found the PTs to be fairly straight forward, just time consuming. Conversely, I had to practice like crazy for the essays.

As far as being a realistic representation of what lawyers actually do, I'm not sure that it's any more or less realistic than the essays. I understand that drafting motions and client letters is a huge part practicing law, but I've never had a boss say to me "Here's a case you never heard of and a mountain of docs. Draft a Motion for Summary Judgement. You have precisely three hours." Just I've never had one hour to spot all the issues in a particular case, as the essays require.

I agree that losing one essay sucks, it's a mistake. Maybe keeping a three day exam schedule but with more essays or short answer questions along with one 3-hour PT would make more sense. But I won't bemoan the loss of two 3-hour PTs, it was overkill.

Holy cow, I come back from vacation and get greeted by THIS!

Like just about everyone here, I'll admit that I'm flat out jealous. Anyone who spent three days of feverish, stressful writing in some stupid convention center is bound to be jealous. It sucks.

But putting our jealousy aside for a moment, what is the actual substantive difference?

We're talking about the loss of one essay, and way less time spent on PTs (1.5 hrs vs 6 hrs). As far as I know, grading and the percentages required to pass will remain the same.

I'm against the loss of even one essay. They test substantive knowledge of the law, issue spotting, and the ability to form a cogent argument.

The PTs, on the other hand, are pretty much a waste of time in my opinion. It's just complicated busy work. Someone who has never attended law school but is reasonably smart could probably pass the PTs. Most of my law school classmates considered the PTs a gift, and figured they would help make up for the more difficult essays and MBE. I think most of us probably spent way less time preparing for the PTs than the essays.

The main issue here is simply TIME. Is it a better test because it's longer than others? If it was three full days of substantive legal testing, then I'd say yes. But when six hours are devoted to PTs I think you can trim that back and still have a good bar exam.

Politics and Law-Related News / Re: POTUS
« on: July 14, 2015, 11:26:13 AM »
Obama appointed Julian Castro, the Mayor of San Antonio, to a Cabinet position last year. This was widely viewed as a move to help prepare Castro for national office. Now, Castro is highly likely to be chosen as Hillary Clinton's VP. The idea being touted by Henry Cisneros and many others is that a Latino candidate will energize Latino voters. The Clinton campaign is very warm to this lobbying effort.

I assume you believe the campaign is mistaken in this assumption?

If so, then I commend you for having greater political insight than either the Obama administration or the Clinton campaign, that's very impressive. 

Politics and Law-Related News / Re: POTUS
« on: July 14, 2015, 10:45:22 AM »
"In 2008 we obviously had a historic candidacy", said Paul Taylor, executive vice president of the Pew Center. "That's certainly a plausible explanation for the spike in African American turnout."

It is not insulting to acknowledge that people who have been marginalized would find renewed interest when the system finally produces a candidate who they believe can sympathize with their particular issues. This isn't especially difficult to understand, nor controversial, nor does it ignore other contributing factors.

I'm not sure why you have such a hard time grasping it. The Pew Center gets it, the Democrats get it, maybe one day even the Republicans will get it.   

Politics and Law-Related News / Re: POTUS
« on: July 14, 2015, 10:06:36 AM »
Yes, a decrease in white voters PLUS an increase in minority voters combined to work in Obama's favor.

I wouldn't say that it's merely an argument based on abstract tokenism, however. The Democratic campaign actively sought to make full use of the excitement generated by the first black candidate, and it worked. They gained votes with black, Hispanic, Asian, and young (18-24) voters. I mean, do you honestly think that the increase in black voters was unrelated to Obama's status?


Politics and Law-Related News / Re: POTUS
« on: July 14, 2015, 08:49:23 AM »
It is worth noting, however, that black voter turnout in 2008 was up by 2 million. I think it's safe to say that this was due to the fact that a black candidate was running and the Democrats were able to build on that fact.

Given that the total number of voters was something like 130 million this may seem small, but it made the difference in states like North Carolina. 

Pie may have put it, er, a bit bluntly, but people who have been denied participation in the system for a long time are bound to get excited when they feel a connection to the candidate. All those Irish Catholics who voted for Eisenhower lined up around the block to vote for JFK, then voted for Nixon in '68.

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