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August 18, 2018


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My book The Destruction of Young Lawyers has a chapter on the "The Pointless Ritual of the Bar Exam."

The entire system of licensing and practice in the US is retarded. A 30 year Supreme Court justice cannot practice in Florida while a newly minted graduate of Barry University can practice there just because of the bar exam. I can practice in Chicago (Northern District), but if I go downstate to Springfield, I have to qualify in a different federal court. In the federal systems, some courts will let you waive in, others require sponsors even to go pro hac vice. There is no logic whatsoever. The whole purpose of the exam is make people submissive sheep, and to slow down the flow of lawyers into certain states. I go through this analysis step by step and show that the bar exam has no benefits. It would be far better to have applicants go through a few months of training about where to file, how to serve, how to run a law office, and other nuts and bolts. Only lawyers could come up something so dumb as a MULTISTATE exam from the NATIONAL conference of bar examiners, given on the same day to everyone in America, yet it cannot be moved to each state. The whole thing is so silly, so dumb, so ridiculous, and wrapped in such bogus and laughable solemnity that I just have to be ashamed of my profession.



whatever its shortcomings, the bar exam is designed in every state to test "minimal competency" to practice law. Do you believe law schools should disregard the ability of their faculty members to pass a bar exam? If so, in your view, how should law schools determine if a law professor has the "minimum competency" to practice law? Or, should this ability matter at all for those teaching students to be lawyers?


Further to the last comment, a law professor states: "never taken an exam quite like the Bar before."

Litowitz, would you agree that, in the US, a fair and reliable way to determine those who may practice law would described as follows:

"Back in the day in Aus, we had an "articles of clerkship" system where you basically interned with a partner of a law firm for a year and the partner certified you as qualified at the end of the clerkship."

Scott Pruitt Edndowed Chair in Environmental Justice


Crack open any old Popular Mechanics magazine from the 50s-70s typically found at an "antique" mall in an economically depressed rural community and check out the pages and pages of ads and classifieds. The internet of the day. One will find, next to the ads for toilets that flush up, ads for LaSalle Extension University and Blackstone College of Law. "Be a Law Trained Man!" pictured with a guy smoking a pipe with his family next to his new Olds 98 in the driveway of a Brady Bunch looking house. So, do you want any aimless putz practicing law? Advising clients to take jail rather than trial?

Scott Pruitt Edndowed Chair in Environmental Justice

A truck driver trainer must possess a valid CDL. A pilot trainer must have a valid FAA Instructor Certificate. So, a professor who teaches law students to become lawyers need not be barred? What is wrong this picture?

All professors should see the inside of a courtroom and have actual practice experience. Creates empathy and allows them to walk in the moccasins of clients and their prospective lawyers. Maybe just maybe, criminal procedure professors will finally really understand the erosion of our 4th Amendment protections and start teaching to that.

Jacqui Lipton

Yeah, they don't let us Aussie lawyers anywhere near a courtroom, but we sure drive a mean semi!


With limited exceptions, Aussie lawyers can't practice in the US, unless they PASS THE BAR!

Nor can they drive a semi without a CDL.

See, the US is funny like that.

Perhaps, another reason to be "fascinated by different emphases in familiar subjects between the anglo-Australian approach and the U.S. approach"?

Scott Pruitt Edndowed Chair in Environmental Justice

^^^^^Would you guys take me in and give me breakfast?

Jacqui Lipton

Sounds like you speak-a my language...
Would you like a vegemite sandwich?

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