The Better Mousetrap

The new dean of the Hamline Mitchell law school says it’s time to do away with the bar exam, since it’s not “inclusive“ enough.

With all due respect to someone who, I suggest with all humility, hasn’t quite earned it yet, allow me to suggest alternatives approach; do away with law school as we know it today.In

Not every country requires a would-be lawyer to spend three years and $200,000 in law school as a prerequisite to taking the bar exam. In the United Kingdom, for example, it’s perfectly acceptable to “read“ for the British equivalent of the bar exam – One can walk in (figuratively, I’m sure; I imagine there are fees, registrations and so forth) and take the exam, and on success, become a practicing Barrister.

I would suspect it’s harder to pass the test without three years of motivated study, to say nothing of getting a job worth the effort without the degree (and the alumni guide) from a high-end law school.

But opening the profession up to people who are motivated to practice law, rather than acquire the most prestigious sheepskin, couldn’t hurt the ailing profession.

6 thoughts on “The Better Mousetrap

  1. The disparity is in keeping with the reality of the Bell curve when applied to IQ. The same number of blacks and whites have an 80 IQ. At higher IQ levels the number of blacks drops off. I’m not happy about it but it’s true. So affirmative action puts more blacks into law schools but many can’t make it to the next level.

  2. I know people who passed the bar exam, got their license, and hung out a shingle. Can’t imagine it – new grads know theoretical book law, not real law as it’s actually practiced. Doesn’t matter if you read for the bar or went to law school, newbies shouldn’t be representing people. They don’t know what they don’t know.

    I’d rather see lawyers treated like architects, engineers, land surveyors, electricians and accountants: pass a basic test, work as an apprentice/journeyman under a fully licensed master to gain experience for few years, then take the full-on test to become a master and go on your own. That’s how it’s handled in larger firms – newbies do scut work until they know enough to do lawyer work. Takes most people a year or two. It just does.

    Yes, I’m pulling the ladder up behind me. It’s for your own good.

  3. I like your idea better. Let’s just CLOSE all the law schools for, say, 20 years. Right now, the US has SEVEN TIMES the number of lawyers per capita as Japan. Lawyers make up 43% of Congress and 60% of the Senate. It is in their interest to pass the most confusing, convoluted, probably unnecessary laws they can.

  4. Given that Powerline is discussing the case of an unrepentant Leninist from Wisconsin being nominated to head a certain portion of banking in the government, I’d dare say that apprenticeship could work a whole lot better than our current system. It’s obviously not doing too well. For that matter, I remember that around 1991 or so, a feminist law professor from the University of Michigan was actually arguing that all heterosexual sex amounted to rape.

    It’s hard to argue that that kind of stupidity is helpful to law students, to put it mildly, and I would suggest that all H*** would break loose if we decided to end the monopoly of the law schools.

    And I would love it!

  5. It’s another case of corruption. The proper purpose of a law schools is to teach people the law. It is not the proper purpose of a law school to combat “systemic racism.”
    Totalitarian ideologies corrupt everything they touch because they alter its true purpose to the purpose of promoting the totalitarian ideology (that’s why it is called “totalitarianism”).
    And totalitarianism never stops until it is overthrown (and it always is).
    The crime Winston Smith committed in _Nineteen Eighty-Four_ was to try and form a mental space where Big Brother was excluded.

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