Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Jonathan Whatley, Mar 27, 2020.
I'd like to see a required apprentice program after the passing of the bar in which every new lawyer must participate. Sure, if you get into Big Law they're just not going to turn you loose on their top clients, they'll mentor you, but those that can't get into the inner sanctum and must put out a shingle would have to show that they can do the job adequately in whatever area/s they practice. Instead of training on unsuspecting clients or having a specialty designation which only some people, mostly lawyers, care about. It wouldn't have to be too laborious. In fact, I just thought of Hyatt Legal Services which was a sort of national training ground for new attorneys in the 80's. Everyone that hired them knew what they were getting.
While you may disagree with it, it certainly is not "nonsense."
New York has, at varying times throughout history, waived the bar exam requirement. Notably, they waived it for any law student whose studies were interrupted by Vietnam service when that particular conflict had ended. So if you got drafted (or joined up voluntarily) and already had one year into law school, you came home and finished and got licensed without the exam. Should that occur here? I don't have a strong opinion. But Wisconsin also (I don't know if they still do this) waived the bar exam for graduates of WI based law schools as well.
Now, I have very strong opinions on how legal licensing should work in this country. But those philosophical musings have no bearing on the fact that eligibility to practice law, right now, is based largely on a written exam and states can, have and probably will waive that exam as circumstances dictate.
"I'm Joel Hyatt, and you have my word on it."
There used to be a number of states offering "diploma privilege" (waiving the bar exam) for graduates--usually from schools in the respective states. That number now seems to be two: Wisconsin and New Hampshire.
But there are a number of other states where the bar exam pass rates are so high it appears to be not much more than a formality.
The bar exam has on connection with the practice of law whatsoever. If you repeat what you did during the bar exam in real life then you would open yourself up to a malpractice suit. It's the only time I've had to write something from memory without being able to research or verify that information. Georgia bar exam is a little more practical than a lot of the other states because they require the MPT. Personally I think the entire lawyer track should be redone. I've learned more from internships than studying from the bar.
I would look with favor on eliminating law school in favor of a Bar exam and clerkship.
I have always thought of the bar exam as being a little like comp exams from a doctoral program or maybe like the APA licensing exam. Are you guys saying it has the wrong focus? Or that it's too easy? I'm happy to believe it's not a valuable test but I'm unclear as to why. It doesn't represent useful knowledge you'll need in the actual practice of law but isn't that similar to many fields? I'm not sure I understand the strong objection.
Not a lawyer, but the complaint often heard is that the examination has little to do with practicing law, and very much to do with limiting the number of attorneys entering the field.
I really don't accept the idea that the Bar exam has nothing to do with practicing law. Like it or not, the exam DOES test legal knowledge, however imperfectly. I would be more comfortable with the assertion that law school has little to add to learning the law that structured reading and supervised practical experience does not provide.
That could be said of many grad degrees.
New Jersey is allowing new grads to practice under supervision while they wait to take the postponed bar exam. https://www.law360.com/publicpolicy/articles/1260834/2020-law-school-grads-can-start-practicing-right-away-in-nj?nl_pk=143fcb25-e3e6-49d5-abbd-da511d313f9d&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=publicpolicy
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