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Students at Harvard Law School Call for ‘Automatic Bar Admission’

Students at Harvard Law School Call for ‘Automatic Bar Admission’

“Not only would this raise justifiable concerns about their competence to practice law when they were doing so, but it also would create the problem of nascent law practices having suddenly to close shop”

Would you even consider hiring a lawyer who hasn’t passed the bar exam? Have these students thought about this question?

The Harvard Crimson reports:

Harvard Law Students Call for Automatic Bar Admission, Citing Racial and Economic Disparity

Harvard Law School students joined peers from law schools across the state in a letter urging the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to replace the 2020 bar exam with an automatic admission option — a request the court subsequently denied.

The students’ July 10 letter asked the court to consider an “emergency diploma privilege plus” strategy, which would license law school graduates without requiring the bar examination. Currently, the court plans to administer a delayed online exam on October 5 and 6 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The letter received over 650 signatures from students and members of the legal community, including Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins and the deans of all accredited law schools in Massachusetts except Harvard. Two retired Associate Justices of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court also signed the letter in support.

Law School Dean John F. Manning ’82 previously wrote to the court alongside eight other law school deans in a series of letters dating from April 15 to July 8. Those letters requested the adoption of a temporary practice authority that would allow graduates to begin working in the legal field despite testing delays.

The court also rebuffed that proposal, citing concerns about allowing graduates to practice law only for them to fail the exam in the future.

“Not only would this raise justifiable concerns about their competence to practice law when they were doing so, but it also would create the problem of nascent law practices having suddenly to close shop, potentially leaving clients in the lurch,” Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants wrote in a July 13 response.

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Comments

Harvard privilege should have a mandatory apprenticeship as paralegal assistants before becoming eligible for consideration to take the bar exam.

Wisconsin does not require the bar exam if the applicant is a graduate of a WI law school.

    rscalzo in reply to ParkRidgeIL. | July 22, 2020 at 2:49 pm

    Not surprised. Many lawyers I’ve known are not that bright. You hust need a smart one to use when you sue for malpractice.

    rscalzo in reply to ParkRidgeIL. | July 22, 2020 at 2:54 pm

    Wrong. That applies to only two WI schools.

    Under SCR 40.03, if you graduate with a professional law degree from a law school in Wisconsin that is fully accredited by the ABA, and meet subject matter and credit hour requirements (which will be explained later), you may be admitted to the Wisconsin bar without taking the bar examination. These schools are:

    Marquette University Law School, 1215 West Michigan Street, Milwaukee,

    University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School, 975 Bascom Mall, Madison,

“Would you even consider hiring a lawyer who hasn’t passed the bar exam? Have these students thought about this question?”

Uh, I live in Wisconsin, so, *yes*! I *have* hired a lawyer who hasn’t passed the bar exam.

    healthguyfsu in reply to Tony Clifton. | July 21, 2020 at 9:51 pm

    Would you see a doctor that isn’t board certified?

    rscalzo in reply to Tony Clifton. | July 22, 2020 at 2:57 pm

    So yhe guy at the bottom of his class gets waved through. Fine if they never leave the state.

    rscalzo in reply to Tony Clifton. | July 22, 2020 at 3:05 pm

    So yhe guy at the bottom of his class gets waved through. Fine if they never leave the state.

    So now the state will have even more lawyers who can’t find work. WI can’t even comment on their surplus as the WI has noo idea how many are out there.

    So a Harvard grad is no longer the top. Last in the class can compete with all the others.

    Typical. No incentive. Participation trophy culture.

I know of a managing partner at a LAW 100 firm that took four times to pass the bar. Harvard grad of course.

henrybowman | July 22, 2020 at 7:53 pm

“The court also rebuffed that proposal, citing concerns about allowing graduates to practice law only for them to fail the exam in the future.”

Yeah, wholesale retrials of every thug who had “incompetent representation.” That’ll swamp the “bad cop” and “bad lab” retrial rate handily.

How about an Ebonics Bar Exam test for POC.

Might that satisfy them? Probably not.

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