Diploma privilege for Washington lawyers

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by nosborne48, Feb 26, 2021.

  1. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

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  2. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Personally, I think this is a terrible idea but what do I know?
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  3. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    For years I have read many articles and opinions from those in the field calling the bar exam "useless" and pushing for an end to it. That has reached a fever pitch now since COVID-19. Many of them say the exam does not fully or properly indicate the fitness of a person's ability to practice law. Do I agree? I have no idea. But I pose this question: if a person has successfully passed all of the requirements of a law school for 3+ years and earned the JD, should 1 exam determine if they are allowed to practice law or not?
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  4. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Yup. One exam SHOULD. I don't trust pump and dump law schools to fail out anyone who can't make the grade if they can come up with tuition.
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  5. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    If only there was some association of legal professionals that could accredit law schools and mandate an adequately rigorous education that is verified through regular review of assessments, site visits, and performance metrics...
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  6. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    That's asking a lot.
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  7. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart Active Member

  8. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    Not wanting to speak for Nosborne, but would reasonably presume he’s quite familiar with the ABA and their law school accreditation. It’s what I was inferring to, with my partially in jest post above. Granted, they don’t accredit every law school, but it’s been an elephant in the room question for awhile, with law schools and state bars. Also always opens the question of... if they’re acknowledging law school mills... where’s the accountability? In fairness, they did crack down on the Charlotte law school disaster, but it reached a pretty egregious level before it folded.
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  9. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart Active Member

    I'm sure. Just giving him a little DI razzing.
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  10. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Duly razzed.
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  11. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    The article notes "The bar exams in July and September 2020 will still be offered for those who do not qualify for the diploma privilege and those who wish to take the exam to receive a Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) score."

    Are there employers who care about your UBE, BigLaw maybe? I wonder if this will lead to a subtler form of discrimination where people who did not pass the Bar are treated differently.
  12. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    No. But the UBE score is transferable to other jurisdictions while the diploma privilege isn't..
    Dustin likes this.
  13. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I have met a few lawyers who were admitted to the bar under a diploma privilege. I don't know if it is still in effect but one was originally admitted to the Wisconsin Bar if you graduated from an ABA law school in WI. Of course, when he moved to New York he needed to either take the NY Bar or find a new occupation.

    I can't say I think it is a terrible idea because the system, as is, is pretty terrible. The idea that you can go from school to full and unrestricted practice based on a written exam is, as far as I can tell, unique to this country. Working for a large corporation and in the role that I do I work closely with our legal department. And I also periodically get a voicemail from a lawyer representing someone for any number of reasons ranging from employment law disputes to, once, that an independent trucker hauling one of our trailers flipped someone off and they wanted us to pay for therapy as it traumatized them. It should be noted that when I find myself listening to an email, it is almost always from someone whose face is on a billboard and whose firm was founded a month after they graduated from law school. They're brash and needlessly aggressive and, in my experience, seem to lack a basic understanding of how things like vicarious liability and corporations work. This isn't just some local problem (Syracuse seems to crank out some fairly competent lawyers). But we have subsidiaries all over the country and these things come in from everywhere. Graduates of perfectly sensible sounding state university law schools have called me threatening to sue me personally because a truck, operated 3 LLCs down our subsidiary hierarchy, kicked up a rock and hit their windshield.

    Taking a written exam, any written exam, proves that you were able to study for and pass the exam. That's it. It doesn't mean you are a professional. It does not mean you have a suitable temperament. It does not mean you'll be good at your job. And considering these are people who had to pass the exam and many law schools cater their curriculum specifically to help boost bar passage rates, I feel like this is just being more honest. In our society we have decided that a 25 year old whose clinical experience is watching Better Call Saul is perfectly capable of starting a law firm with no actual supervision from a more seasoned attorney. A written exam does nothing to mitigate the risk inherent to that value.
  14. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    Professional exams such as BAR are another layer of QA. One more filter that refines the professionals and keeps programs in check. Its applied not only to law profession but other professions as well.
    External Examining body helps to safeguard the profession by upholding high standards. Is it perfect? Maybe not and can be improved and possibly such mechanism exists. I know how hard it was for my son to pass the bar and for me to come-up with 250$+ every attempt other fees, totaling 800$ if my memory serves me well.
    In my opinion if there wasn't such system there would be devaluation of layers and the profession, flooding the profession with many practitioners.

    I can see compassionate approach during years of plagues and disasters, were one gets temporary license that requires passing the BAR at a later date.
    I also like the idea that every lawyer/professional initially gets a preliminary credential/license that needs to be cleared by few years of professional practice.
    When Credentials are offered on a preliminary basis and each new professional must complete the requirements based upon the preliminary to clear a license it adds to the formation of the professional. I think teachers follow such mechanism in their clearing of the credential.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2021

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