Law School Discussion

Chemerinsky Advocates Replacing CA Bar Exam

Re: Chemerinsky Advocates Replacing CA Bar Exam
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2015, 03:29:04 PM »
Good point with attrition. The pass rates are low, but factor in how many fail the minibar, or don't even make it that far, it would be interesting to see the REAL numbers.

loki13

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Re: Chemerinsky Advocates Replacing CA Bar Exam
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2015, 12:45:36 PM »
I think most of the posters on this thread are missing the point-

the Bar is pure protectionism. Now that we have licenses, we should want to keep the pass rates as low as possible. Barrier to entry and all that.

Instead of asking how to make the CalBar easier, you should be asking how to make it much, much harder. After all, three days is nothing. Why not five?

Re: Chemerinsky Advocates Replacing CA Bar Exam
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2015, 02:05:08 PM »
It is a valid point once you have the license why make it is easier for more competition, but I am not that big of an a-hole and I think if I was able to pass the current exam then it is certainly possible.  I am not Einstein and there are a number of people less competent than me out there that  passed the bar exam so it can be done, but it is hard and it is supposed to be.

I would also argue it is far easier than it was people before 2000 who did not have internet access to get quick answers and had to handwritte, etc.

I don't think the exam structure is wrong. One change I would advocate for is not making law students wait four months to get bar results.

You know why the employment rate for grads 9 months after graduation is so low? Because  you cannot possibly be a licensed attorney until 7 months after graduation and the results come out Thanksgiving and from Thanksgiving to Christmas is not exactly a hiring frenzy in the legal market and so you can't even really look for a licensed attorney job until 9 months after graduation.

I have heard reasonable arguments that students could take the bar exam after 2L and the 3rd year could be a much more practical experience for those that pass and those that do not pass the first time around could use the third year to go into a law school bar-exam program.

That aspect could certainly be changed, but the difficulty of the exam is fair in my anonymous internet poster opinion. 




Re: Chemerinsky Advocates Replacing CA Bar Exam
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2015, 02:28:14 PM »
I think most of the posters on this thread are missing the point-

the Bar is pure protectionism. Now that we have licenses, we should want to keep the pass rates as low as possible. Barrier to entry and all that.

Instead of asking how to make the CalBar easier, you should be asking how to make it much, much harder. After all, three days is nothing. Why not five?
And THIS children, is conspiracy theories proven true...............

If you want to weed out new lawyers, just shut down the non ABA schools. Or force them to require a full undergrad degree. Heck make the LSAT harder somehow, but don't screw over those who are already at the finish line. Sheesh.

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Re: Chemerinsky Advocates Replacing CA Bar Exam
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2015, 02:29:43 PM »
Well, first I would argue that there is nothing wrong with being an a-hole. But, in all seriousness, the bar exam does function as a barrier to entry, and it would be remiss to have this conversation without noting the elephant in the room.

Moving on, there are a number of interrelated questions-
1. Should there be a licensing requirement?
-The answer to this depends, I think, on how one feels about ULP (unauthorized practice of law). Personally, I think that the rules should be somewhat lessened (many paralegals and others could help with small-scale things in order to lower costs, and software to help pro se individuals shouldn't be so ... frowned upon); that said, I do believe in guarding against ULP and in appropriate licensing. So, if you think that there should be a licensing requirement...

2. Should a "bar exam" be a part of the licensing requirement-
-Again, in America today we tend to frown on high-stakes exams, and, to be frank, meritocracy in general. It's a gold-star society. But requiring some type of licensing exam which (to be honest) is a mix of natural ability and application of learned skills is useful. No, it's not a perfect fit, especially the MBE parts (the criminal law parts, by their nature, have to not work in any given state). But it's good enough. I have yet to meet someone who I knew was perfect attorney material who could not pass a bar.

3. So, how to calibrate-
-I would argue that California calibrates a little harder than other states for a number of reasons (protectionism, non-ABA accreditation, and number of takers to begin with); I would also argue that the overall passage rate in California is more desirable than other states. While I joke about making it harder, kind of, I don't think making the passage rate approximately 50% nationwide is unreasonable, *given the current makeup of who is taking the tests, etc.* In many other countries, it is more difficult to become an attorney- I recently looked at the requirements for Japan (litigation), and, let's face it- we have it easy.

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Re: Chemerinsky Advocates Replacing CA Bar Exam
« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2015, 02:32:31 PM »
"but don't screw over those who are already at the finish line."

If you can't pass the Bar, you don't deserve to practice.

Given the quality of practice I see on a regular basis, the Bar doesn't act as much of a screen, so I assume that the only people that have failed the Bar are the lazy and the incompetent.

Re: Chemerinsky Advocates Replacing CA Bar Exam
« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2015, 02:35:53 PM »
I'm not saying not to have a bar, I was responding to your post about making it harder.

My thoughts are that ABA grad who are in state grads should be exempt if they have a high enough GPA (deans list I guess)
WI has a lower standard than that, and Iowa was talking about doing the same.

Those with a 4.0 GPA tend to get 150 or above MBE scores anyways. And there could be an extra required in state elective to be exempt too with a final equate to the bar exam essays. Just get it out of the way pre graduation for those who qualify.

WILL It happen? No. SHOULD it happen? Yes. IMHO.

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Re: Chemerinsky Advocates Replacing CA Bar Exam
« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2015, 02:47:16 PM »
i VIII-

To be more specific, the states that have formerly had a degree privilege had it for the State University; it used to be somewhat more prevalent, but died out in the 1950s-60s, and now only Wisconsin has (had? there was a federal case about it) the degree privilege.

I think the degree privilege is a terrible idea for a number of reasons, and even more terrible for states where very many people would want to practice. As you might note, states like California and Florida tend to have the most restrictive policies for bar membership (and reciprocity!) for a reason. They don't need to attract more attorneys- they attorneys already want to practice there. North Dakota, on the other hand....

Each state sets its own standards. Most states, rightfully, have a bar exam. The overall trend has been to allow more reciprocity, easier licensing, etc. IMO, that isn't a great trend. Just because a school is ABA-accredited does it make it good.

Re: Chemerinsky Advocates Replacing CA Bar Exam
« Reply #18 on: June 01, 2015, 03:04:01 PM »
I think most of the posters on this thread are missing the point-

the Bar is pure protectionism. Now that we have licenses, we should want to keep the pass rates as low as possible. Barrier to entry and all that.

Instead of asking how to make the CalBar easier, you should be asking how to make it much, much harder. After all, three days is nothing. Why not five?

I agree that protectionism is a key function of the bar. The point is certainly not lost on me. The thing is, I'm generally against protectionism. As a consumer, I love competition in every single other field. Why be blatantly hypocritical and argue that the laws of supply and demand shouldn't apply to lawyers? If we're going to argue that the public should only have such  limited access to lawyers as we see fit to give them, should the public in turn have a say in limiting the lawyers fees?   

Chemerinsky isn't arguing that the bar should be dumbed down, he's arguing for the adoption of the Uniform Bar Exam. As far as I know, the UBE is still a demanding test and requires brains and skill to pass. The primary benefits would be greater economic and geographical mobility for lawyers, and yes, greater choices for the consumer. 

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Re: Chemerinsky Advocates Replacing CA Bar Exam
« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2015, 03:14:12 PM »
MaintainFL,

No offense, but.... (I love that opening!)....

Your argument is completely, totally, 100% muddled. If you're against protectionism, and you are for consumer choice, then you should be fine with doing away with the Bar Exam completely and, for that matter, getting rid of UPL. After all, in libertopia, bad advocates will eventually be weeded out, maybe by Yelp and/or tort suits, so we don't need any barriers to entry. Let real competition flow- why restrict it to fancy book-learnin' types who went to law school and passed a test (and/or moral character and fitness)?

On the other hand, you appear to be advocating for barriers to entry- just, you know, easier ones. Ones that aren't too taxing on would-be attorneys, and (bonus!) would allow attorneys to practice in multiple states regardless of their knowledge of the local state's laws.

Either have the courage of your convictions, or don't. What do you want- real competition, or an actual barrier to entry? And, by the way, I don't believe the current barriers to entry amount to much, because, as we are all aware, even with the requirements, there were far too many licensed practitioners and far too few jobs.