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(The Appeal)   The Bar Exam was created to keep the law profession white. It still effectively does that today   (theappeal.org) divider line
    More: Interesting, Lawyer, Bar association, Admission to the bar in the United States, Law school, concerns of law school graduates, Barrister, State Bar of California, bar examiners' gatekeeping function  
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3330 clicks; posted to Main » and Politics » on 24 Jul 2020 at 11:46 AM (13 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-07-24 10:37:59 AM  
The Bar exam? Really?

REALLY????

It's not LAW SCHOOL and the outrageous costs thereof... It's not systematic racism in the classroom...

No, it's the bar exam.
 
2020-07-24 10:39:35 AM  
For the record, I'm MUCH more worried about our lack of medical professionals in this country than our lack of lawyers.

Everyone else should be, too.
 
2020-07-24 11:37:53 AM  

puffy999: The Bar exam? Really?

REALLY????

It's not LAW SCHOOL and the outrageous costs thereof... It's not systematic racism in the classroom...

No, it's the bar exam.


The bar exam is discriminatory in a lot of ways.  It would be a stretch to say that even the major component of that discrimination is race-based.  But I'm sure it was a factor.

The biggest discriminatory purpose of the bar exam is to keep the prices of legal services high, by limiting the ability of lawyers to move into higher demand areas, unless they're moving cash with them.  Consider, for instance, that most states allow lawyers to "waive in" to the bar of another state without taking the bar exam, if they've been practicing for a certain number of years - 5 years is the most common.  If the bar exam was about competence, this would make no sense.  Lawyers lose 90% of what they learn for the bar exam within about a year.  A fresh-out-of-school Alabama lawyer knows way more about Alabama law than a New York lawyer who has been practicing for 20 years.  But the New York lawyer has New York cash, and New York clients, and Alabama would love, love, to score a piece of that action.  So the New York lawyer doesn't have to take the bar exam, while the Alabama lawyer does.

It's also easier to correlate the difficulty of getting admitted to a certain jurisdiction with the fear that jurisdiction may have about out-of-state lawyers flooding their market, than with any particular difficulty or complexity of the law of that jurisdiction.  For example, most bar exams are 2 days, but California's is 3, and it's basically impossible to waive into the California bar.  Why?  Because California knows that unless they put that barrier there, LA would be flooded with more podunk lawyers than podunk actresses, looking to make it big.

The racial component mostly comes into play in the "character and fitness" portion of the bar exam, which is mostly subjective, and state bars have broad discretion to bar anybody for any reason.  The bellwether case about this involves Illinois denying bar admission to an avowed neo-Nazi.  That's fine.  The First Amendment gives you a right to free speech, but no Amendment gives you the right to practice a particular profession.  But historically, and possibly still in some parts of the country, the joke was that the character and fitness investigation was intended to determine whether a candidate was likely to uphold the rigorous and honorable standards of the profession, or if they were black.
 
2020-07-24 11:44:33 AM  

Nuuu: puffy999: The Bar exam? Really?

REALLY????

It's not LAW SCHOOL and the outrageous costs thereof... It's not systematic racism in the classroom...

No, it's the bar exam.

The bar exam is discriminatory in a lot of ways.  It would be a stretch to say that even the major component of that discrimination is race-based.  But I'm sure it was a factor.

The biggest discriminatory purpose of the bar exam is to keep the prices of legal services high, by limiting the ability of lawyers to move into higher demand areas, unless they're moving cash with them.  Consider, for instance, that most states allow lawyers to "waive in" to the bar of another state without taking the bar exam, if they've been practicing for a certain number of years - 5 years is the most common.  If the bar exam was about competence, this would make no sense.  Lawyers lose 90% of what they learn for the bar exam within about a year.  A fresh-out-of-school Alabama lawyer knows way more about Alabama law than a New York lawyer who has been practicing for 20 years.  But the New York lawyer has New York cash, and New York clients, and Alabama would love, love, to score a piece of that action.  So the New York lawyer doesn't have to take the bar exam, while the Alabama lawyer does.

It's also easier to correlate the difficulty of getting admitted to a certain jurisdiction with the fear that jurisdiction may have about out-of-state lawyers flooding their market, than with any particular difficulty or complexity of the law of that jurisdiction.  For example, most bar exams are 2 days, but California's is 3, and it's basically impossible to waive into the California bar.  Why?  Because California knows that unless they put that barrier there, LA would be flooded with more podunk lawyers than podunk actresses, looking to make it big.

The racial component mostly comes into play in the "character and fitness" portion of the bar exam, which is mostly subjective, and state bars have broad discretion to bar anybody ...


You know, I'd much rather have seen you write this article. All of your points are accurate, sensible, and show the problems with state bars themselves.

All of your points are a lot more relevant than "this exam is racist."
 
2020-07-24 11:50:06 AM  
Not sure I follow this. Law school costs hundreds of thousands. That is the main barrier. Anyone smart enough to practice law can pass the exam after taking a few thousand dollars worth of prep classes. It's expensive, sure, but not compared to the schooling.

By the way, it's almost unheard of to pass without taking the prep class. Makes one wonder what they teach in law school, anyways.
 
2020-07-24 11:50:58 AM  
You'd think all they'd need would be one of these.  Save everyone some money and have a longer breakfast on bar exam day.   Each state could have a reciprocal color swatch, except for Queens and Florida where spray-on is the rule and not the exception.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-07-24 11:52:53 AM  

Nuuu: puffy999: The Bar exam? Really?

REALLY????

It's not LAW SCHOOL and the outrageous costs thereof... It's not systematic racism in the classroom...

No, it's the bar exam.

The bar exam is discriminatory in a lot of ways.  It would be a stretch to say that even the major component of that discrimination is race-based.  But I'm sure it was a factor.

The biggest discriminatory purpose of the bar exam is to keep the prices of legal services high, by limiting the ability of lawyers to move into higher demand areas, unless they're moving cash with them.  Consider, for instance, that most states allow lawyers to "waive in" to the bar of another state without taking the bar exam, if they've been practicing for a certain number of years - 5 years is the most common.  If the bar exam was about competence, this would make no sense.  Lawyers lose 90% of what they learn for the bar exam within about a year.  A fresh-out-of-school Alabama lawyer knows way more about Alabama law than a New York lawyer who has been practicing for 20 years.  But the New York lawyer has New York cash, and New York clients, and Alabama would love, love, to score a piece of that action.  So the New York lawyer doesn't have to take the bar exam, while the Alabama lawyer does.

It's also easier to correlate the difficulty of getting admitted to a certain jurisdiction with the fear that jurisdiction may have about out-of-state lawyers flooding their market, than with any particular difficulty or complexity of the law of that jurisdiction.  For example, most bar exams are 2 days, but California's is 3, and it's basically impossible to waive into the California bar.  Why?  Because California knows that unless they put that barrier there, LA would be flooded with more podunk lawyers than podunk actresses, looking to make it big.

The racial component mostly comes into play in the "character and fitness" portion of the bar exam, which is mostly subjective, and state bars have broad discretion to bar anybody for any reason.  The bellwether case about this involves Illinois denying bar admission to an avowed neo-Nazi.  That's fine.  The First Amendment gives you a right to free speech, but no Amendment gives you the right to practice a particular profession.  But historically, and possibly still in some parts of the country, the joke was that the character and fitness investigation was intended to determine whether a candidate was likely to uphold the rigorous and honorable standards of the profession, or if they were black.


CA bar is a 2 day exam now, fyi.
 
2020-07-24 11:55:46 AM  

40 degree day: Not sure I follow this. Law school costs hundreds of thousands. That is the main barrier. Anyone smart enough to practice law can pass the exam after taking a few thousand dollars worth of prep classes. It's expensive, sure, but not compared to the schooling.

By the way, it's almost unheard of to pass without taking the prep class. Makes one wonder what they teach in law school, anyways.


Based on my experience with the CPA, the prep classes work on stuff from the last 5 years that exam makers love to put on. Some of it is useful, but most is not.
 
2020-07-24 11:56:26 AM  
Unless you want people to be represented by some really shiatty lawyers while capitalism removes them from a profession they should never have entered the Bar Association would need to put together some kind of apprenticeship program. I think that is a thing in some places.
 
2020-07-24 11:56:39 AM  
It sure doesn't guarantee smarts. A lot of stupid lawyers out there. But enough about Congress.
 
2020-07-24 11:57:26 AM  
Texas, 3 day bar back when I took it. Not cheap. Bar exam prep classes? I couldn't afford them or the time off work to take them. Racially discriminatory? Maybe not in intent by the time I went to law talking guy school, but certainly in effect.

/ White, but went to school as poor person
 
2020-07-24 11:58:15 AM  
Law school is just Liberal Arts for trust fund kids.
 
2020-07-24 11:58:21 AM  

puffy999: Nuuu: puffy999: The Bar exam? Really?

REALLY????

It's not LAW SCHOOL and the outrageous costs thereof... It's not systematic racism in the classroom...

No, it's the bar exam.

The bar exam is discriminatory in a lot of ways.  It would be a stretch to say that even the major component of that discrimination is race-based.  But I'm sure it was a factor.

The biggest discriminatory purpose of the bar exam is to keep the prices of legal services high, by limiting the ability of lawyers to move into higher demand areas, unless they're moving cash with them.  Consider, for instance, that most states allow lawyers to "waive in" to the bar of another state without taking the bar exam, if they've been practicing for a certain number of years - 5 years is the most common.  If the bar exam was about competence, this would make no sense.  Lawyers lose 90% of what they learn for the bar exam within about a year.  A fresh-out-of-school Alabama lawyer knows way more about Alabama law than a New York lawyer who has been practicing for 20 years.  But the New York lawyer has New York cash, and New York clients, and Alabama would love, love, to score a piece of that action.  So the New York lawyer doesn't have to take the bar exam, while the Alabama lawyer does.

It's also easier to correlate the difficulty of getting admitted to a certain jurisdiction with the fear that jurisdiction may have about out-of-state lawyers flooding their market, than with any particular difficulty or complexity of the law of that jurisdiction.  For example, most bar exams are 2 days, but California's is 3, and it's basically impossible to waive into the California bar.  Why?  Because California knows that unless they put that barrier there, LA would be flooded with more podunk lawyers than podunk actresses, looking to make it big.

The racial component mostly comes into play in the "character and fitness" portion of the bar exam, which is mostly subjective, and state bars have broad discretion to bar anybody ...

You know, I'd much rather have seen you write this article. All of your points are accurate, sensible, and show the problems with state bars themselves.

All of your points are a lot more relevant than "this exam is racist."


Really none of what was stated is about racisim.  In the post.
 
2020-07-24 11:59:02 AM  

Nuuu: The biggest discriminatory purpose of the bar exam is to keep the prices of legal services high, by limiting the ability of lawyers to move into higher demand areas, unless they're moving cash with them.  Consider, for instance, that most states allow lawyers to "waive in" to the bar of another state without taking the bar exam, if they've been practicing for a certain number of years - 5 years is the most common.  If the bar exam was about competence, this would make no sense.  Lawyers lose 90% of what they learn for the bar exam within about a year.  A fresh-out-of-school Alabama lawyer knows way more about Alabama law than a New York lawyer who has been practicing for 20 years.  But the New York lawyer has New York cash, and New York clients, and Alabama would love, love, to score a piece of that action.  So the New York lawyer doesn't have to take the bar exam, while the Alabama lawyer does.

It's also easier to correlate the difficulty of getting admitted to a certain jurisdiction with the fear that jurisdiction may have about out-of-state lawyers flooding their market, than with any particular difficulty or complexity of the law of that jurisdiction.  For example, most bar exams are 2 days, but California's is 3, and it's basically impossible to waive into the California bar.  Why?  Because California knows that unless they put that barrier there, LA would be flooded with more podunk lawyers than podunk actresses, looking to make it big.


There's basically three sets of laws in the US: New York (whackadoo), Louisiana (French), and everyone else (British Common Law)

A lawyer from Indiana could be useful in Kentucky pretty easily.  But that same lawyer in New York would be over their heads for a while.

For instance, in New York, you start in the Supreme Court.  Everywhere else you end up in the Supreme Court.
 
2020-07-24 12:00:05 PM  
If anything, professional exams are needed more and more these days to identify which Law Schools are just pushing students through to graduation and not actually educating them.

Across the nation, the pass rate of license exams is on the decline.
 
2020-07-24 12:01:10 PM  
Just like exams to be doctors right subby?

Its all a conspiracy by the big school lobby.

Anyone should be a doctor in murica if they want to because freedums! Just like in the 1880s where you didnt see a patient until you had your license... and to get that license, you could fail more than 60% of your courses and it would be fine.

GOP plan : after dismantling the EPA, CDC and other agencies, it will soon be the time to abolish diplomas requirements for any engineer or doctors jobs because who cares?
 
2020-07-24 12:01:38 PM  
What about the CPA exam?
 
2020-07-24 12:03:18 PM  
https://illinoislawreview.org/wp-cont​e​nt/uploads/2016/05/Long.pdf

Keeping the legal profession and the New York Yacht club the same. Ask RBG about discrimination in the law profession and why she didn't go to Harvard or Yale.
 
2020-07-24 12:04:36 PM  
Does your topic really have to do with racism? If YES, write article. If NO, write article anyway.
 
2020-07-24 12:04:56 PM  

Another Government Employee: 40 degree day: Not sure I follow this. Law school costs hundreds of thousands. That is the main barrier. Anyone smart enough to practice law can pass the exam after taking a few thousand dollars worth of prep classes. It's expensive, sure, but not compared to the schooling.

By the way, it's almost unheard of to pass without taking the prep class. Makes one wonder what they teach in law school, anyways.

Based on my experience with the CPA, the prep classes work on stuff from the last 5 years that exam makers love to put on. Some of it is useful, but most is not.


The bar exam attempts to test for specific knowledge that you'd use in practice, and law school is more about teaching you to think like an attorney. In theory. So the bar exam is more to test knowledge of things like the specific elements of a negligence claim are or the specific steps to sign a check over to someone.

It's all kind of dumb, though, because most attorneys specialize - so most forget 90% of what was on the bar exam because it isn't stuff they ever deal with, and then once practicing they also need to learn most of the specifics of their practice area because that weren't covered in either law school or on the bar exam.

In practice, both law school and the bar exam mostly serve to weed out people who aren't smart enough, and new attorneys learn their practice areas on the job.
 
2020-07-24 12:08:34 PM  
The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.
 
2020-07-24 12:09:31 PM  

bobfox141: https://illinoislawreview.org/wp-cont​e​nt/uploads/2016/05/Long.pdf

Keeping the legal profession and the New York Yacht club the same. Ask RBG about discrimination in the law profession and why she didn't go to Harvard or Yale.


Pretty sure she went to Harvard for a while.
 
2020-07-24 12:09:57 PM  

dwrash: If anything, professional exams are needed more and more these days to identify which Law Schools are just pushing students through to graduation and not actually educating them.

Across the nation, the pass rate of license exams is on the decline.


Yes, that's the reason California dumbed it down to a 2 day test, instead of 3.

The Bar also asked current membership if it was necessary to increase the passage rate.  You can guess how that went down.

The culprit is the law schools.  California has a legal education industry.  It has too many unaccredited schools.  And the law schools are admitting too many people for obvious $$$ reasons.

Regarding the race issue, as a non-white person, I've seen no evidence that the profession, the persons who run the bar exam or the law schools have attempted to keep the profession majority white.  Everything I've seen in the article and from my experience (admittedly just one person's experience) is that the barriers are economic.  Becoming a lawyer is a time consuming and very expensive process.   Flunking out/dropping out, not passing or not passing right away can be financially ruinous.  Obviously the risks are far higher to those from poor backgrounds regardless of race.
 
2020-07-24 12:10:48 PM  
What a bunch of crap.

In The Firm, Tom Cruise passed the bar exam with flying colors - while bringing down a violent money-laundering organization and taking care of a high-maintenance wife.

Quit yer biatchin.
 
2020-07-24 12:10:53 PM  
Just give first time takers a temporary waiver, so they can practice law for now, with the condition that they have to pass the bar within a year to keep the license.
 
2020-07-24 12:13:45 PM  

Tman144: Just give first time takers a temporary waiver, so they can practice law for now, with the condition that they have to pass the bar within a year to keep the license.


Lets do that with surgeons too! Thankfully both professions can't possibly ruin the lives of their clients if done so by an amateur.
 
2020-07-24 12:14:08 PM  

SirEattonHogg: dwrash: If anything, professional exams are needed more and more these days to identify which Law Schools are just pushing students through to graduation and not actually educating them.

Across the nation, the pass rate of license exams is on the decline.

Yes, that's the reason California dumbed it down to a 2 day test, instead of 3.

The Bar also asked current membership if it was necessary to increase the passage rate.  You can guess how that went down.

The culprit is the law schools.  California has a legal education industry.  It has too many unaccredited schools.  And the law schools are admitting too many people for obvious $$$ reasons.

Regarding the race issue, as a non-white person, I've seen no evidence that the profession, the persons who run the bar exam or the law schools have attempted to keep the profession majority white.  Everything I've seen in the article and from my experience (admittedly just one person's experience) is that the barriers are economic.  Becoming a lawyer is a time consuming and very expensive process.   Flunking out/dropping out, not passing or not passing right away can be financially ruinous.  Obviously the risks are far higher to those from poor backgrounds regardless of race.


BTW, My comments only refer to testing into/joining the profession, not employment barriers/discrimination.
 
2020-07-24 12:14:17 PM  

SirEattonHogg: dwrash: If anything, professional exams are needed more and more these days to identify which Law Schools are just pushing students through to graduation and not actually educating them.

Across the nation, the pass rate of license exams is on the decline.

Yes, that's the reason California dumbed it down to a 2 day test, instead of 3.

The Bar also asked current membership if it was necessary to increase the passage rate.  You can guess how that went down.

The culprit is the law schools.  California has a legal education industry.  It has too many unaccredited schools.  And the law schools are admitting too many people for obvious $$$ reasons.

Regarding the race issue, as a non-white person, I've seen no evidence that the profession, the persons who run the bar exam or the law schools have attempted to keep the profession majority white.  Everything I've seen in the article and from my experience (admittedly just one person's experience) is that the barriers are economic.  Becoming a lawyer is a time consuming and very expensive process.   Flunking out/dropping out, not passing or not passing right away can be financially ruinous.  Obviously the risks are far higher to those from poor backgrounds regardless of race.


Same thing has been going on in the accounting profession. It use to be a four part two day test. You had to pass two parts and get a minimum score on the other two parts to get credit or the parts you passed. It was a grueling exam. Now you get to take it one part at a time. They are dumbing it down a bit as there is a growing shortage of CPA's. Same as in law you learn everything but specialize.
 
2020-07-24 12:15:46 PM  
And male. Women are not allowed to bring any feminine hygiene products with them.
 
2020-07-24 12:16:28 PM  
Those states decided that diploma privilege-allowing law students to automatically pass the bar if they fulfill certain grade and course requirements to graduate-is the only way to mitigate health risks without deepening social and technological inequities that would be further perpetuated by an online exam.

Alright, I'm sorry, but if you are to the point that you are taking the Bar, you aren't suffering from any tech inequities that would keep you from participating in an online exam.  This is someone writing from their imagination.
 
2020-07-24 12:16:56 PM  

puffy999: For the record, I'm MUCH more worried about our lack of medical professionals in this country than our lack of lawyers.

Everyone else should be, too.


Maybe that's a bigger concern, but the lack of lawyers available to most people isn't an unworthy concern.

The stuff prosecutors get away with simply because most defendants are represented by overworked public defenders is outrageous. The fact that 95% of criminal cases are plea bargained, mostly because people can't afford an effective defense even if they're innocent should have anyone with more than half a brain outraged.

We need a lot more lawyers to drive prices down, understand minority issues better, and keep the system honest.
 
2020-07-24 12:18:00 PM  

lolmao500: Just like exams to be doctors right subby?

Its all a conspiracy by the big school lobby.

Anyone should be a doctor in murica if they want to because freedums! Just like in the 1880s where you didnt see a patient until you had your license... and to get that license, you could fail more than 60% of your courses and it would be fine.

i.redd.itView Full Size


GOP plan : after dismantling the EPA, CDC and other agencies, it will soon be the time to abolish diplomas requirements for any engineer or doctors jobs because who cares?


There are medications that you can take these days to calm the voices in your head that are constantly telling how the evil "others" are trying to kill us all. You might want to look into them, or at least take a break from social media for awhile.
 
2020-07-24 12:19:41 PM  

40 degree day: By the way, it's almost unheard of to pass without taking the prep class. Makes one wonder what they teach in law school, anyways.


Not a lawyer but I know quite a few. Bar exams often have a lot of questions regarding a state's specific statutes. So in Texas, for example, you can expect several questions regarding oil&gas law specific to Texas. New York might be heavy on securities law. California has questions about entertainment law. At least that's what I've been told.
 
2020-07-24 12:21:27 PM  

Wonktnod: Tman144: Just give first time takers a temporary waiver, so they can practice law for now, with the condition that they have to pass the bar within a year to keep the license.

Lets do that with surgeons too! Thankfully both professions can't possibly ruin the lives of their clients if done so by an amateur.


The harm would be minimal. The vast majority of new attorneys get jobs at established law firms under the supervision of already licensed senior attorneys. A lot of new attorneys get jobs between the time when they've taken the bar but have not received the results. All this would do is extend that time period from 3-6 months to a year. If you were really worried, you could make a requirement that any attorney admitted under the temporary waiver has to disclose to any potential client up front that they only have a temporary admission to the bar.
 
2020-07-24 12:21:38 PM  

American-Irish eyes: Really none of what was stated is about racisim.  In the post.


It is, in the broad, broad sense, in the same way that many of the things we've done for COVID are racist in the broad sense.  The people we characterize as "essential workers" are disproportionately minorities, and so the risks of COVID fall heaviest on those communities.  This full-throated call to return to school also negatively impacts those same groups, and other low-income communities.  This was best evidenced by Rick Scott, who, while aggressively pushing Florida to reopen schools, gleefully conceded that his own grand-kids would be distance-learning.  The burdens of COVID again are again falling heaviest on people who don't have the time or resources to teach their own kids, or to hire tutors, or to enroll them in private schools with better COVID measures, etc.

If you lessened bar admission requirements now, for COVID, the biggest beneficiaries of that would be minority and under-served communities.  Firm hiring isn't going to change.  So what are those new lawyers going to do?  They're going to be fighting evictions.  They're going to be taking immigration cases.  They're going to represent protesters who were arrested.  They're going to be suing tip-stealing restaurant bosses, crooked contractors, illegal ticketing and towing operations, etc.  And our legal system, which was already over-burdened, and has been absolutely crushed by COVID, unambiguously cannot tolerate that under any circumstances.   Our legal system depends on people not fighting tickets, not fighting evictions, taking plea deals, and not asking for jury trials.

That's why states like Texas are doubling-down on the bar exam during COVID.  They need, need to make sure that things like the coming eviction crisis goes smoothly.  People need to get out of their homes and onto the street, and then either into jail or out of the country, smoothly and without undue "lawyering."  Or they're farked.  It's not about race.  But it's definitely about race.
 
2020-07-24 12:25:00 PM  

JesseL: puffy999: For the record, I'm MUCH more worried about our lack of medical professionals in this country than our lack of lawyers.

Everyone else should be, too.

Maybe that's a bigger concern, but the lack of lawyers available to most people isn't an unworthy concern.

The stuff prosecutors get away with simply because most defendants are represented by overworked public defenders is outrageous. The fact that 95% of criminal cases are plea bargained, mostly because people can't afford an effective defense even if they're innocent should have anyone with more than half a brain outraged.

We need a lot more lawyers to drive prices down, understand minority issues better, and keep the system honest.


The problem is, like doctors, many of the people who have the skills and credentials aren't taking the bottom of the barrel jobs unless they have to. Why be a public defender when you can make more money and be less stressed doing something else?
 
2020-07-24 12:25:31 PM  
The bar exam is a test that measures privilege as much as the taker's ability to puke up useless law, most of which will not be used after next Tuesday and Wednesday. In the best of times, people start studying mid-May for 10 weeks and take the summer exam end of July. If you have means, you can afford to not work and devote 8+ hours every day.

The disparity comes up because most of the 1st generation students or students who are caregivers tend to be people of color. They don't have the same support systems in place. They may have parents or children to care for. Add a dash of pandemic and students start losing jobs, they can't leave the house to study, they get sick, etc. -- all of this falls more harshly on those who can't afford the pile on. The bar becomes even more of a measure of who can take the time, who has the space and is able to study, without kids running around, or without sick family members. In law school, we would call this a "discriminatory effect."

puffy999: For the record, I'm MUCH more worried about our lack of medical professionals in this country than our lack of lawyers.


I'm worried about medical professionals too.

But to your point: Around here about half the law graduates go into public or government services. This means city and county attorneys, DAs and public defenders, working for non-profit and legal assistance groups, clerking and so forth. Another chunk (I think a quarter or so) go to work for small firms (less than 10 or so practicing attorneys). The vast majority will be helping everyday folks.

In case you hadn't noticed, there's a pandemic going on. The everyday folks are losing their jobs and unemployment benefits. They're losing their housing. The pandemic has placed many families at risk for increased family violence. People in jails are getting Covid-19 and dying. There is a lot of legal work to be done that young lawyers will be getting into.

The Avenatti-s, Giuliani-s, and Dershowitz-s do not represent what most attorneys do. The guy who shows up in commercials during your daytime television stories offering to help you if you've been hurt in a car accident, have mesothelioma, or been fired from your job does not represent what most attorneys do.

I live in a rural bit of our state and plan to open my own practice. I think there's a lack of access to legal services in my area because there's no one really up here, and the attorneys down in the cities charge a lot of scratch. My business model is to provide civil legal services to the mountain folk around here as unbundled discrete jobs. This means up-front transparent pricing, where the client holds the reins - no, "I bill $300/hour, and you won't know how many hours until you get the bill." You say there's too many lawyers, and that may be true in some places, but in rural areas, there are no lawyers.

I have a front row ticket to next week's super-spreader exam because I really don't have any other options. About 200 of us will be in the same building for 10-12 hours each day over 2 days.

I hope I don't get sick or die from taking it.
 
2020-07-24 12:25:48 PM  

JesseL: puffy999: For the record, I'm MUCH more worried about our lack of medical professionals in this country than our lack of lawyers.

Everyone else should be, too.

Maybe that's a bigger concern, but the lack of lawyers available to most people isn't an unworthy concern.

The stuff prosecutors get away with simply because most defendants are represented by overworked public defenders is outrageous. The fact that 95% of criminal cases are plea bargained, mostly because people can't afford an effective defense even if they're innocent should have anyone with more than half a brain outraged.

We need a lot more lawyers to drive prices down, understand minority issues better, and keep the system honest.


One might even say that having more lawyers available to represent people at more reasonable rates might mean less need for doctors to begin with. It might lead to less police shootings over time, for example...or less people in crushing poverty, which could lead to better health in general.

FWIW, I don't think that the Bar Exam should be abolished...but it may need to be heavily reworked. A "Bar Exam 2.0" might be in order - rewrite it and have current, updated questions that actually apply to what a lawyer might be doing.
 
2020-07-24 12:25:52 PM  

rcain: Not so much the lack of Medical Professionals in general. The lack of General Practitioners and other types of physicians that aren't high paid Surgeons


Yep.
 
2020-07-24 12:29:05 PM  

zobear: You say there's too many lawyers, and that may be true in some places, but in rural areas, there are no lawyers.


But that has nothing to do with a lack of lawyers, and more lawyers won't change that IMO.

Sure, there are a few principled lawyers out there (I know one), but very few are going to make a career out of squeezing juice out of a turnip. They go where the jobs are.
 
2020-07-24 12:30:53 PM  
I just want to be the first ITT to state: IANAL.


Also, I am not a lawyer.
 
2020-07-24 12:30:54 PM  

puffy999: JesseL: puffy999: For the record, I'm MUCH more worried about our lack of medical professionals in this country than our lack of lawyers.

Everyone else should be, too.

Maybe that's a bigger concern, but the lack of lawyers available to most people isn't an unworthy concern.

The stuff prosecutors get away with simply because most defendants are represented by overworked public defenders is outrageous. The fact that 95% of criminal cases are plea bargained, mostly because people can't afford an effective defense even if they're innocent should have anyone with more than half a brain outraged.

We need a lot more lawyers to drive prices down, understand minority issues better, and keep the system honest.

The problem is, like doctors, many of the people who have the skills and credentials aren't taking the bottom of the barrel jobs unless they have to. Why be a public defender when you can make more money and be less stressed doing something else?


The situation is only sustainable because of artificially high barriers to entry. If it were easier to become a lawyer, without accruing massive debt in the process so that you didn't have to immediately pursue as much money as possible working in the most stressful of circumstances; the whole system could get a little less insane.
 
2020-07-24 12:30:56 PM  
If someone can't pass the bar, they really should not be a lawyer.

The biggest beneficiaries of getting rid of the bar exam would be low-tier law schools that pump out graduates who are not prepared to practice.
 
2020-07-24 12:31:10 PM  

puffy999: The Bar exam? Really?

REALLY????

It's not LAW SCHOOL and the outrageous costs thereof... It's not systematic racism in the classroom...

No, it's the bar exam.


Concerning the horrible criminal defense some people have received this might be correct
 
2020-07-24 12:31:57 PM  

puffy999: JesseL: puffy999: For the record, I'm MUCH more worried about our lack of medical professionals in this country than our lack of lawyers.

Everyone else should be, too.

Maybe that's a bigger concern, but the lack of lawyers available to most people isn't an unworthy concern.

The stuff prosecutors get away with simply because most defendants are represented by overworked public defenders is outrageous. The fact that 95% of criminal cases are plea bargained, mostly because people can't afford an effective defense even if they're innocent should have anyone with more than half a brain outraged.

We need a lot more lawyers to drive prices down, understand minority issues better, and keep the system honest.

The problem is, like doctors, many of the people who have the skills and credentials aren't taking the bottom of the barrel jobs unless they have to. Why be a public defender when you can make more money and be less stressed doing something else?


More to the point, due to student loan debt, new lawyers can't afford to take those types of jobs.
 
2020-07-24 12:32:14 PM  

puffy999: For the record, I'm MUCH more worried about our lack of medical professionals in this country than our lack of lawyers.

Everyone else should be, too.


Actually we need lawyers to sue every time there's a surprise billing  scam
 
2020-07-24 12:33:14 PM  

zobear: I have a front row ticket to next week's super-spreader exam because I really don't have any other options.


When did they start selling tickets to porn stars' gynecological exams?
 
2020-07-24 12:34:26 PM  

JesseL: puffy999: JesseL: puffy999: For the record, I'm MUCH more worried about our lack of medical professionals in this country than our lack of lawyers.

Everyone else should be, too.

Maybe that's a bigger concern, but the lack of lawyers available to most people isn't an unworthy concern.

The stuff prosecutors get away with simply because most defendants are represented by overworked public defenders is outrageous. The fact that 95% of criminal cases are plea bargained, mostly because people can't afford an effective defense even if they're innocent should have anyone with more than half a brain outraged.

We need a lot more lawyers to drive prices down, understand minority issues better, and keep the system honest.

The problem is, like doctors, many of the people who have the skills and credentials aren't taking the bottom of the barrel jobs unless they have to. Why be a public defender when you can make more money and be less stressed doing something else?

The situation is only sustainable because of artificially high barriers to entry. If it were easier to become a lawyer, without accruing massive debt in the process so that you didn't have to immediately pursue as much money as possible working in the most stressful of circumstances; the whole system could get a little less insane.


I agree, but ultimately that's my problem: there are so many barriers, but somehow this MINOR barrier (the water pit of the steeplechase) is the one that's now getting attention.

zobear: I have a front row ticket to next week's super-spreader exam because I really don't have any other options. About 200 of us will be in the same building for 10-12 hours each day over 2 days


That's BS. If anything, right now, these should be proctored tests. Lord knows we have enough people who could use the work right now...
 
2020-07-24 12:34:44 PM  

Nuuu: puffy999: The Bar exam? Really?

REALLY????

It's not LAW SCHOOL and the outrageous costs thereof... It's not systematic racism in the classroom...

No, it's the bar exam.

The bar exam is discriminatory in a lot of ways.  It would be a stretch to say that even the major component of that discrimination is race-based.  But I'm sure it was a factor.

The biggest discriminatory purpose of the bar exam is to keep the prices of legal services high, by limiting the ability of lawyers to move into higher demand areas, unless they're moving cash with them.  Consider, for instance, that most states allow lawyers to "waive in" to the bar of another state without taking the bar exam, if they've been practicing for a certain number of years - 5 years is the most common.  If the bar exam was about competence, this would make no sense.  Lawyers lose 90% of what they learn for the bar exam within about a year.  A fresh-out-of-school Alabama lawyer knows way more about Alabama law than a New York lawyer who has been practicing for 20 years.  But the New York lawyer has New York cash, and New York clients, and Alabama would love, love, to score a piece of that action.  So the New York lawyer doesn't have to take the bar exam, while the Alabama lawyer does.

It's also easier to correlate the difficulty of getting admitted to a certain jurisdiction with the fear that jurisdiction may have about out-of-state lawyers flooding their market, than with any particular difficulty or complexity of the law of that jurisdiction.  For example, most bar exams are 2 days, but California's is 3, and it's basically impossible to waive into the California bar.  Why?  Because California knows that unless they put that barrier there, LA would be flooded with more podunk lawyers than podunk actresses, looking to make it big.

The racial component mostly comes into play in the "character and fitness" portion of the bar exam, which is mostly subjective, and state bars have broad discretion to bar anybody for any reason.  The bellwether case about this involves Illinois denying bar admission to an avowed neo-Nazi.  That's fine.  The First Amendment gives you a right to free speech, but no Amendment gives you the right to practice a particular profession.  But historically, and possibly still in some parts of the country, the joke was that the character and fitness investigation was intended to determine whether a candidate was likely to uphold the rigorous and honorable standards of the profession, or if they were black.


This! You chuckleheads
 
2020-07-24 12:36:15 PM  

lolmao500: Just like exams to be doctors right subby?

Its all a conspiracy by the big school lobby.

Anyone should be a doctor in murica if they want to because freedums! Just like in the 1880s where you didnt see a patient until you had your license... and to get that license, you could fail more than 60% of your courses and it would be fine.

GOP plan : after dismantling the EPA, CDC and other agencies, it will soon be the time to abolish diplomas requirements for any engineer or doctors jobs because who cares?


Q:  What do you call the medical student who graduated with the lowest grades in his class?
A:  Doctor.
 
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