Law School Discussion

Chemerinsky Advocates Replacing CA Bar Exam

Re: Chemerinsky Advocates Replacing CA Bar Exam
« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2015, 04:34:06 PM »
Nonsense, it's a straw man argument. I've never claimed to advocate a libertarian or pure free market approach to the practice of law.

I'm in favor of some restrictions and opposed to others, as we all appear to be. If a restriction legitimately serves the interests of the public by weeding out crooks and incompetents, I'm generally in favor. If a restriction has no demonstrable purpose other than seeking to keep lawyers' fees inflated, than I'm generally opposed.

When I say that I'm opposed to protectionism, it is with the assumption that the actors involved are competent to practice law and don't pose a risk to the public.

Yes, you should need a law degree, bar passage, and a positive C&F determination to prove  that you are competent to practice and aren't a criminal. I'm completely in favor of that. What seems ridiculous to me is the notion that someone who has done all of those things is able to practice in say, 35 states (by taking advantage of reciprocity agreements) but not all 50. Again, am I supposed to believe that the average lawyer in Ohio is drastically inferior to the average lawyer in California?

Has anyone here actually read the article? The UBE is still a bar exam, and still allows for state-specific questions. It would simply make your degree more portable. Why would any of us be opposed to that?

Re: Chemerinsky Advocates Replacing CA Bar Exam
« Reply #21 on: June 01, 2015, 04:54:00 PM »
I have read it and he doesn't make bad points, but the reality is if you were an Oregon attorney that wanted to get licensed in California you do not need to even take the full California Bar Exam you need to only take the Attorney Exam. This exam does not require you to do the MBE and you only have two days of essay so it is significantly easier.

Also, many states have reciprocity etc. Plenty of states do the Uniform Bar Exam, which is fine, but I think California having a slightly harder exam considering it is the most marketable state to be licensed in makes sense.

As for the 50% statistic cited in the article I believe California is one of the most if not the most liberal about allowing people to take the exam. We allow unaccredited law school graduates to take the exam and if they can pass the bar more power to them. New York does not allow non-aba grads to sit and you have to go through the rigors and expense of an ABA program and if that requirement is there then fine minimize the bar exam standards, but we allow people to get a J.D. and sit for the bar far more freely than other states, but our exam is very difficult. If these grads that did not go the traditional route, but can pass a more exhaustive bar exam then great let them practice.

At the end of the day this proposal is very self-serving to Chemerinsky who is a BarBri instructor and a California Law School Dean. Of course he wants the exam to suddenly get easier so he looks great when the percentages all skyrocket, but he would never include that part in his article.

Don't get me wrong I love Chemerinsky and more power to him for advocating for his students, but I don't think it is a good idea to change the exam.

Re: Chemerinsky Advocates Replacing CA Bar Exam
« Reply #22 on: June 01, 2015, 09:50:22 PM »
I support some of what you say........but not sure if "strawman argument" is the best descriptor. (In my experience people overuse/misuse that term WAY too often)

As for the bar privilege, if you note being ABA was only ONE of the requirements I proposed in my Hypo.

I agree with protectionism being bad though. I say weed out the dead wood first if anything. Too many states don't require continuing education at all (or a joke version of it at most) Heck, start requiring a "refresher bar exam" once ever 5 years to make  that "Senile Old Man Wilson" who thinks that he still knows what he's talking about PROVE it! (laws change, and memories fade) We ALL know far too many people first hand who fall into that category. I'd go as far as to say a majority of the ones over 50 IMHO. Brutal honesty. Just like drivers on the highway, they think they know more (and have the experience to support that theory) but that doesn't make it true.

I don't care if it angers AARP either. If your KIDS are Boomers, its time for them AND you to BOTH retire.........
treat it like you would anything else in nature. Control burn the old wood first to make room for the new green, otherwise it ALL dies.

Re: Chemerinsky Advocates Replacing CA Bar Exam
« Reply #23 on: June 01, 2015, 11:17:23 PM »
I support some of what you say........but not sure if "strawman argument" is the best descriptor. (In my experience people overuse/misuse that term WAY too often)

As for the bar privilege, if you note being ABA was only ONE of the requirements I proposed in my Hypo.

I agree with protectionism being bad though. I say weed out the dead wood first if anything. Too many states don't require continuing education at all (or a joke version of it at most) Heck, start requiring a "refresher bar exam" once ever 5 years to make  that "Senile Old Man Wilson" who thinks that he still knows what he's talking about PROVE it! (laws change, and memories fade) We ALL know far too many people first hand who fall into that category. I'd go as far as to say a majority of the ones over 50 IMHO. Brutal honesty. Just like drivers on the highway, they think they know more (and have the experience to support that theory) but that doesn't make it true.

I don't care if it angers AARP either. If your KIDS are Boomers, its time for them AND you to BOTH retire.........
treat it like you would anything else in nature. Control burn the old wood first to make room for the new green, otherwise it ALL dies.

Fear drives this sort of rant. What are you afraid of? You've carelessly picked 50 years old as marking the sunset clause on the majority's functionality, but I would  guess that you don't know even three people really well who've reached 50 yet. A good lawyer has empathy, among other traits, recognizing that each generation contributes something different and meaningful to the collective machination and understanding of the human condition. There's a lot to be said for the wisdom of years, just as there is a lot to be said for the spirit of youth. Painting with such a broad brush ignores this.

loki13

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Re: Chemerinsky Advocates Replacing CA Bar Exam
« Reply #24 on: June 02, 2015, 08:12:00 AM »
Nonsense, it's a straw man argument. ...

Has anyone here actually read the article? The UBE is still a bar exam, and still allows for state-specific questions. It would simply make your degree more portable. Why would any of us be opposed to that?

Not a straw man argument, for the reasons I wrote. Your argument is confused- you can't appeal to both efficient markets and protectionism. You just don't like me pointing out that my critique of your argument exposes how confused it is. :)

I did read the article. Let me make it more simple for you: "I, Dean Chemerinsky, would very much like it if my students could take an easier Bar Examination. Thank you!"

Look- you like protectionism? Awesome! You like efficient markets? Then let your freak flag fly! But complaining that a few unique and precious snowflakes aren't passing the California Bar, and, therefore, should be allowed to take the MBE? That's not an efficient market- that's special pleading.

Re: Chemerinsky Advocates Replacing CA Bar Exam
« Reply #25 on: June 02, 2015, 08:52:04 AM »
Loki, are you saying that in order to be intellectually consistent I must either be against any restrictions, or in favor of all restrictions?

It would be a more consistent position, but it would also be an absurd position. I guarantee that none of us feel that way about anything. For example, I support "The Law" writ large. That doesn't mean that I support every single law on the books. Some laws are stupid and should be repealed. 

I think we're also using the word "protectionism" somewhat differently. You're talking about economic protection. You want the bar to protect you from other lawyers who might offer a better deal. I'm talking about public protection against liars and scammers, which I assume we all more or less support.

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Re: Chemerinsky Advocates Replacing CA Bar Exam
« Reply #26 on: June 02, 2015, 10:15:50 AM »
Loki, are you saying that in order to be intellectually consistent I must either be against any restrictions, or in favor of all restrictions?

Nope. Look back to your original statement, re: competition and supply and demand. Simply put, you're trying to have your cake and eat it too. You want to keep in all the wonderful anti-competitive aspects of a licensed profession, but allow a little more labor mobility, which really only affects people currently licensed (aka, people who are already benefiting, such as us!) without really benefiting the consumers. *Because you acknowledge that you want to keep in the barriers to entry, just modify them a wee bit to allow Chemerinsky to look a little better!*

Your other argument (it's about protecting the consumer) doesn't hold water. Because you stated, at the beginning, that protectionism was a key function of the bar- if it was really about protecting the consumer, then the ongoing policing functions of the bar would be given a higher priority. Want a laugh- read a disciplinary case of someone who already has their license.

What I don't find enjoyable is the rank hypocrisy of those like Chemerinsky. The special pleading. The bar examination is certainly not too hard as it is. Perhaps, instead, we should either acknowledge that any barrier to entry is bad (solution 1), or we should take licensing requirements seriously (solution 2). Instead, we get the stupidest of all worlds, with people taking pathetically easy licensing requirements and complaining that they're too hard.

Re: Chemerinsky Advocates Replacing CA Bar Exam
« Reply #27 on: June 02, 2015, 11:45:20 AM »
Nope. Look back to your original statement, re: competition and supply and demand. Simply put, you're trying to have your cake and eat it too. You want to keep in all the wonderful anti-competitive aspects of a licensed profession, but allow a little more labor mobility, which really only affects people currently licensed (aka, people who are already benefiting, such as us!) without really benefiting the consumers.

Ah, well I think that's where you and I fundamentally disagree.

I think greater labor mobility would benefit consumers and lawyers. Consumers would benefit from (presumably) greater access to lawyers and an accompanying reduction in cost, and we would benefit by getting to do business in multiple states.

Would the multi-state practice benefit outweigh the probable reduction in local fees? I don't know. I worked in an industry with no such regulation and tons of national competition before going into law, and everyone still made a very nice living. I guess I'm not as freaked out by competition as most lawyers.

Re: Chemerinsky Advocates Replacing CA Bar Exam
« Reply #28 on: June 02, 2015, 12:10:37 PM »
I agree with Loki here I mean if you want to complain it is to hard then why have it all.

We never say I am going to get a brain surgery, but hopefully that surgeon did not have to work to hard to conduct surgery. Or oh I hope the lessen the Pilot Training requirements when you hop on 747.

Attorneys play an important role and having some licensing requirement is important. Although, the California Bar is hard it is certainly not impossible and thousands of people pass it every year. I don't think it needs to be made any easier or any harder, it is a difficult exam and Chemerinsky is writing the article to make his BarBri in hopes of making a positive change to his BarBri and law school stats.

Again, Chemerinsky is awesome and I loved listening to him, but the difficulty of the exam is not an issue.  The timing of bar exams could be changed to allow students easier access to the marketplace instead of having to sit on the shelf for 7 months, but it is sufficinently difficult in my opinion and honestly far easier for students now who have immediate access to the internet. Back in the old days to look up a word you had to pick up a black's dictionary etc now you just google it.

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Re: Chemerinsky Advocates Replacing CA Bar Exam
« Reply #29 on: June 02, 2015, 02:20:29 PM »
"Would the multi-state practice benefit outweigh the probable reduction in local fees? I don't know. I worked in an industry with no such regulation and tons of national competition before going into law, and everyone still made a very nice living. I guess I'm not as freaked out by competition as most lawyers."

Maintain-

I'm partly being harsh because it's fun. But I think you aren't understanding your own points. Think through your own argument-
1. Continue to have a barrier to entry (you state you are in favor of bar exams, C&F, licensing requirements).
2. But allow increased portability of licensing. (Query on this- have you looked into reciprocity recently? While some states are terrible, such as Florida and California, others are in giant, multi-state compacts...).
3. ??????
4. Profit!!!!

Do you see the tension in your points? You aren't increasing the *national* supply of attorneys (see 1). You aren't increasing consumer protection. While you might be amerliorating local shortages, that isn't usually a problem- places that are unattractive to practice (for example, rural places in flyover states) won't suddenly become attractive practice areas, while California and Florida already have, well, a fair number of attorneys (they are both top 20 per capita in number of attorneys and number of working attorneys, despite having the most "restrictive" rules for the bar).

Either argue for real competition, or argue for real licensing and policing of the profession. But, again, this is just Chemerinsky special pleading.

And if you can't pass the CalBar, btw, you have absolutely no business practicing.