What Changes would you make to the Bar Exam?

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tlsadmin3

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What Changes would you make to the Bar Exam?

Post by tlsadmin3 » Mon Nov 02, 2020 3:23 pm

If you could make changes to the bar exam, what changes would you make? Would you make it an open book exam? Would you get rid of any sections? A recent study was done by a professor at Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law Titled “Building a Better Bar: The 12 Building Blocks of Minimum Competence” (https://iaals.du.edu/sites/default/file ... _print.pdf) made several suggestions that might seem very radical but might be worth discussing. One change was cutting the bar exam multiple choice questions or making them open book, another change was making the whole test open book and allowing more time to complete each section. Do you agree?

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Re: What Changes would you make to the Bar Exam?

Post by RandomInternetPerson » Mon Nov 02, 2020 5:30 pm

Honestly, I'd bring back Diploma Privilege as an ABA recommendation for all states. Not sure if ABA actually ever had a stance on that, but I do believe that it used to be the norm. I'd bring that back and only require the MPRE. Too many Lawyers can't wrap their minds around the rules tested on that as is.

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Re: What Changes would you make to the Bar Exam?

Post by gekko » Wed Nov 04, 2020 7:01 am

Eliminate entirely. There's no constitutional basis for any occupational licensure requirement.

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Re: What Changes would you make to the Bar Exam?

Post by RandomInternetPerson » Wed Nov 04, 2020 12:56 pm

gekko wrote:
Wed Nov 04, 2020 7:01 am
Eliminate entirely. There's no constitutional basis for any occupational licensure requirement.
Maybe not a requirement for one, but can you point to anything that makes it illegal to have one?

And elimination of the bar exam itself is a bit different than full elimination of the license requirement. You don't think that there should be ANY governing control of stuff like professional ethics, etc? Seems a bit extreme. Under that then what would stop meth addicts with an 8th grade level education showing up "representing" people who also share their "but I heard it on TV so it's true" arguments that you see Pro Se Litigants try as is, but made as their "counsel" ? Can you imagine the filings? I shiver at the thought, because I promise it would happen.

- And are you proposing this ONLY in relation to Lawyers, or to ALL Professions? Like open heart surgeons? If not them, then why not them? Where does it begin and end? What about Air Traffic Controllers? etc?

To be fair I think some state still don't require it for Judge's. Trump made an (accurate) point about that awhile back if I recall when he was talking hypothetical appointees.

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/ar ... er/515568/

I want to say that ALJ's don't have to be lawyers also. I could be wrong about that though.
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Re: What Changes would you make to the Bar Exam?

Post by RandomInternetPerson » Thu Nov 05, 2020 8:44 pm

Add essays to the mpre. Too many lawyers ignorant to professional ethics as is.
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Re: What Changes would you make to the Bar Exam?

Post by cavalier1138 » Sat Nov 07, 2020 9:09 am

gekko wrote:
Wed Nov 04, 2020 7:01 am
Eliminate entirely. There's no constitutional basis for any occupational licensure requirement.
There's no constitutional basis for requiring people to get a driver's license before driving a car. Surely you have a better argument than this.

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Re: What Changes would you make to the Bar Exam?

Post by blair.waldorf » Sat Nov 07, 2020 11:05 am

Make it $50-100 to take. The real issue I have with the bar exam is not the exam itself but the cost. It’s absurd that law graduates are expected to spend $5k to take the exam (between registration fees, laptop fees, travel, and prep) after spending so much on school. Maybe have law schools pay for bar prep courses.

I also think pass rates should be closer to 90-95%. Anyone who studies a good amount and is of average intelligence should pass. It’s unconscionable to allow people to spend three years in school and take on significant student loan debt but not allow them to pass the bar if they put in a good faith effort.

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Re: What Changes would you make to the Bar Exam?

Post by RandomInternetPerson » Sat Nov 07, 2020 12:35 pm

blair.waldorf wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 11:05 am
Make it $50-100 to take. The real issue I have with the bar exam is not the exam itself but the cost. It’s absurd that law graduates are expected to spend $5k to take the exam (between registration fees, laptop fees, travel, and prep) after spending so much on school. Maybe have law schools pay for bar prep courses.

I also think pass rates should be closer to 90-95%. Anyone who studies a good amount and is of average intelligence should pass. It’s unconscionable to allow people to spend three years in school and take on significant student loan debt but not allow them to pass the bar if they put in a good faith effort.
Don't most states have fee waivers if authentically low income? I agree the cost sucks for even the average person, but if on food stamps with kids I think most states let you apply to waive it.
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Re: What Changes would you make to the Bar Exam?

Post by RandomInternetPerson » Sat Nov 07, 2020 12:38 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 9:09 am
gekko wrote:
Wed Nov 04, 2020 7:01 am
Eliminate entirely. There's no constitutional basis for any occupational licensure requirement.
There's no constitutional basis for requiring people to get a driver's license before driving a car. Surely you have a better argument than this.
I have met people trying that argument under the "constitutional right to travel". Allegedly there was a 1900s case on it only being needed if commercial vs private. Obviously people are in jail constantly for driving without a license though.....but doesn't stop the sovereign citizen types from refusing to recognize the courts and what such.
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Re: What Changes would you make to the Bar Exam?

Post by blair.waldorf » Sat Nov 07, 2020 1:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 12:35 pm
blair.waldorf wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 11:05 am
Make it $50-100 to take. The real issue I have with the bar exam is not the exam itself but the cost. It’s absurd that law graduates are expected to spend $5k to take the exam (between registration fees, laptop fees, travel, and prep) after spending so much on school. Maybe have law schools pay for bar prep courses.

I also think pass rates should be closer to 90-95%. Anyone who studies a good amount and is of average intelligence should pass. It’s unconscionable to allow people to spend three years in school and take on significant student loan debt but not allow them to pass the bar if they put in a good faith effort.
Don't most states have fee waivers if authentically low income? I agree the cost sucks for even the average person, but if on food stamps with kids I think most states let you apply to waive it.
I’m not sure, but the majority of my friends (who didn’t have dependents, to be fair) who didn’t have a big firm reimbursing them took out private loans for bar prep or took on credit card debt to pay for it all. I don’t know if they looked into fee waivers or if they would have qualified.

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Re: What Changes would you make to the Bar Exam?

Post by RandomInternetPerson » Sat Nov 07, 2020 1:57 pm

I'm not sure what it costs to run the exam (room rental, supplies, protectors,etc) but assuming that they aren't slush funding any profits, how else could that overhead be paid for if fees were reduced to applicants ? Maybe if we see more remote online exams the lowered overhead could justify lowered fees.
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Re: What Changes would you make to the Bar Exam?

Post by RandomInternetPerson » Sat Nov 07, 2020 1:58 pm

As far as the higher pass rate, are you proposing that they dumb down the test somehow or do you mean something else?
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blair.waldorf

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Re: What Changes would you make to the Bar Exam?

Post by blair.waldorf » Sat Nov 07, 2020 2:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 1:58 pm
As far as the higher pass rate, are you proposing that they dumb down the test somehow or do you mean something else?
No one of average intelligence who puts in the work should fail. Sure, dumb down the test. We're not worse off if a few more people pass the bar.

Also, why are you anon?

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Re: What Changes would you make to the Bar Exam?

Post by RandomInternetPerson » Sat Nov 07, 2020 3:23 pm

blair.waldorf wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 2:05 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 1:58 pm
As far as the higher pass rate, are you proposing that they dumb down the test somehow or do you mean something else?
No one of average intelligence who puts in the work should fail. Sure, dumb down the test. We're not worse off if a few more people pass the bar.

Also, why are you anon?
I'm anon because it's appropriate to be in this context. And you are WRONG. "Average" intelligence is below the standard to be an Attorney. We are not talking about fast food workers here.
Last edited by cavalier1138 on Sun Nov 08, 2020 8:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What Changes would you make to the Bar Exam?

Post by nixy » Sat Nov 07, 2020 4:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 3:23 pm
blair.waldorf wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 2:05 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 1:58 pm
As far as the higher pass rate, are you proposing that they dumb down the test somehow or do you mean something else?
No one of average intelligence who puts in the work should fail. Sure, dumb down the test. We're not worse off if a few more people pass the bar.

Also, why are you anon?
I'm anon because it's appropriate to be in this context. And you are WRONG. "Average" intelligence is below the standard to be an Attorney. We are not talking about fast food workers here.
No, it's not remotely appropriate to be anon in this context. You're not revealing any sensitive information about yourself.

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Re: What Changes would you make to the Bar Exam?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Nov 07, 2020 5:05 pm

nixy wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 4:09 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 3:23 pm
blair.waldorf wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 2:05 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 1:58 pm
As far as the higher pass rate, are you proposing that they dumb down the test somehow or do you mean something else?
No one of average intelligence who puts in the work should fail. Sure, dumb down the test. We're not worse off if a few more people pass the bar.

Also, why are you anon?
I'm anon because it's appropriate to be in this context. And you are WRONG. "Average" intelligence is below the standard to be an Attorney. We are not talking about fast food workers here.
No, it's not remotely appropriate to be anon in this context. You're not revealing any sensitive information about yourself.
I disagree. Piece meal vs total. And to sum up, it's not the bar being unethical to you if you wasted three years of your life. It's a gate keeper for a reason.

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Re: What Changes would you make to the Bar Exam?

Post by nixy » Sat Nov 07, 2020 5:44 pm

How does your opinion about the bar exam reveal anything sensitive about yourself?

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Re: What Changes would you make to the Bar Exam?

Post by gekko » Sun Nov 08, 2020 6:18 am

A few things about the licensure requirements for occupations in general:

-There certainly isn't a constitutional justification for a drivers license either, a glaring oversight for the late 18th century. We are asked to get permits and licenses for a number of reasons, including to protest, which is obviously not justifiable by anyone who can read the first amendment at an elementary school level. This is one of the many areas where legislators and sympathetic judges ignore the constitution. Nothing new there.

-It's funny that open heart surgeons are mentioned. This is the specific example Milton Friedman gives in his essay on occupational licensure. Licenses do not protect the public. They increase costs by about 10% to the public (we can see this when a field like "interior design" adopts a license to "protect the public") while restricting access. I'm always amazed by those who say that they do not restrict access while simultaneously making the argument that if there aren't licenses there will be "too many of us" in whatever field they practice. But all of these issues are beside the basic point that I made that there is no constitutional justification for this or any other occupational license.

-If one must make an argument from affect rather than principles, the example at hand would be of the acceptance of Chevron Deference, basically allowing industries to police themselves by creating cartels such as the SEC, the ABA, FINRA, various state insurance and real estate departments. Not only does this not protect the public, it protects the industry insiders at the expense of the public. I could give an example of a specific health plan that wrote the regulation they lobbied a state department of insurance to pass that basically rendered a competitors business model obsolete, these allowing them to increase their own rates drastically.

If you really think licensing "works" or "protects the public" you have to confront the example of the SEC ignoring (aka "enabling") Madoff for seven years while whistleblower Harry Markopolis was offering him up on a silver platter to the Boston and NY divisions of the SEC with ironclad incontrovertible facts. The SEC rep who examined Madoff securities received a promotion for her work in the examination because she got him to register for one of the required licenses while 7 billion dollars was being looted from clients who to this day have gotten little over 10% of their money back.

There was a rumor during the Reagan administration that Thomas Sowell was under consideration for SCOTUS nomination since no law degree (or any other qualification) is specifically required to be a justice.

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Re: What Changes would you make to the Bar Exam?

Post by cavalier1138 » Sun Nov 08, 2020 8:50 am

Just a reminder that the anon feature is not here for posts where all you provide is your opinion without any identifying information. If you use the feature unnecessarily and start attacking other posters or make it look like there are multiple people posting to support only a single user's point, you're getting outed.

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Re: What Changes would you make to the Bar Exam?

Post by cavalier1138 » Sun Nov 08, 2020 8:55 am

gekko wrote:
Sun Nov 08, 2020 6:18 am
-There certainly isn't a constitutional justification for a drivers license either, a glaring oversight for the late 18th century. We are asked to get permits and licenses for a number of reasons, including to protest, which is obviously not justifiable by anyone who can read the first amendment at an elementary school level. This is one of the many areas where legislators and sympathetic judges ignore the constitution. Nothing new there.
I love watching sovereign citizens misunderstand the law.

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Re: What Changes would you make to the Bar Exam?

Post by gekko » Mon Nov 09, 2020 3:01 am

I have no knowledge of that movement. I simply have difficulty as someone who is able to read in determining how there is so much ambiguity in "Congress shall pass NO law...and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." How in the world does that text in any way support permitting of such activity? If one needs permission to engage in an activity, it means by deduction that it is illegal without such permission. The Institute for Justice (by no means "sovereign citizens") has done quite a bit of work on this area. Think of occupational licensure which prior to WWII affected less than 1 in 20 professions now affects 1 in 3. Is the public really receiving "protection" from interior designers and hair braiders or is the government allowing a cartel so long as they receive their monetary kickback from fees?

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Re: What Changes would you make to the Bar Exam?

Post by nixy » Mon Nov 09, 2020 8:16 am

How does lawyers needing to be licensed to practice law limit their right to petition the government for redress of grievances?

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Re: What Changes would you make to the Bar Exam?

Post by cavalier1138 » Mon Nov 09, 2020 9:36 am

nixy wrote:
Mon Nov 09, 2020 8:16 am
How does lawyers needing to be licensed to practice law limit their right to petition the government for redress of grievances?
Because if the Constitution doesn't specifically call for it, it must be unlawful! That's why all federal prosecutions are illegal.

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