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It has actually become a cliché to state that we live in a globalized economy. That doesn't make it real - at least not for all of us. The legal career still runs in some respects as though we live in the 19th century, when brand-new practitioners hung their shingles after simply "checking out the law," and judges and therapists alike served rural America by "riding the circuit."

 

Given, we do not have self-taught lawyers anymore - though the Internet might eventually alter that. And only one state, Wisconsin, keeps the diploma privilege, where graduates of the state's 2 recognized law schools are qualified for admission to the bar without very first having to pass the much-feared bar assessment.

 

In a lot of states, the legal career still runs more like a preindustrial guild than a postindustrial market. As an example, just attorneys are enabled to own law practice, on the dubious theory that outsiders' capital, and the resulting increase in competitors, would jeopardize the interests of customers. And individual attorneys may ply their trade just in states where they have actually secured individually state-issued licenses, though there are unique provisions where a court can grant minimal permission for an out-of-state to appear in a certain case.

 

Historically, each state has tied its licensing to its own specific bar exam. A legal representative wishing to transfer or to practice throughout state lines needed to sit for multiple evaluations in order to do so, except in cases where 2 states gave some form of reciprocity. Taking a new test requires not just a significant investment of time, but also considerable additional fees.

 

That arrangement is gradually starting to change.

 

Given the large body of federal law that uses in many situations, along with the huge and growing body of uniform state laws that are based on a model statute and often adopted by state legislatures with little change, a national law credential would make a great deal of sense. It doesn't exist. Nor is one on the horizon.

 

The next finest thing is an uniform national bar exam. That does exist, and New York just recently announced plans to end up being the 16th, and so far the biggest, state to implement it since next year. The test, called the Uniform Bar Examination, consists of questions about basic concepts of law, together with 6 essay concerns and 2 "ability tasks," such as preparing a customer letter or creating a memorandum. In New York, students will likewise have to pass a much shorter multiple-choice exam with concerns specific to New York State.

 

The major benefit of the Uniform Bar Exam for test-takers is that the score can be transferred across jurisdictions. In the future, an attorney who passes the bar in New York and who later moves to Seattle can have her official transcript sent out to Washington; if she fulfills Washington's requirements, she can just meet a couple of demands instead of sitting for the entire test again. The more states that embrace the standardized test, the more appealing it will become.

 

The 3 states with bigger populations than New York - California, Texas and Florida - do not offer the Uniform Bar Examination so far. Nor does Delaware, a state whose legal impact is outsize relative to its population because the state is home to numerous corporations.

 

New York's move has hardly any to do with serving the interests of the wider public. It has a lot to do with serving the interests of the state's law schools, who - like everyone else these days - battle to fill their classes. Jonathan Lippman, the chief judge of New York State, made this clear when discussing his decision to adopt the Uniform Bar Exam. "Law school registration for first-year students has actually declined 30 percent in the past 4 years," he stated, "and is at the lowest level since 1973." (1) New York's law schools would enjoy drawing in prospects who eventually wish to practice in other places, where prospects for financial growth are better.

 

Just because New York is thinking of its schools and not its populace as such does not imply this isn't a beneficial step. Young Americans are not likely to invest their entire working careers in states where they mature or go to school. Nor are they well-served by having their professional practice limited to simply one state. A universal bar exam would recognize this brand-new reality. The legal occupation continues to be about as far from the globalized world as young Abe Lincoln was from the jet age. The pattern toward the Uniform Bar Examination is at least a small step in the best direction. It is likewise an indication that individuals who set the rules for the legal neighborhood might have at least a vague awareness of the world around them.

 

 

 

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Bertha J. Guest

The legal occupation continues to be about as far from the globalized world as young Abe Lincoln was from the jet age. The pattern toward the Uniform Bar Examination is at least a small step in the best direction.

Bertha J. Guest

The legal occupation continues to be about as far from the globalized world as young Abe Lincoln was from the jet age. The pattern toward the Uniform Bar Examination is at least a small step in the best direction.

Bertha J. Guest

The legal occupation continues to be about as far from the globalized world as young Abe Lincoln was from the jet age. The pattern toward the Uniform Bar Examination is at least a small step in the best direction.

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The legal career still runs in some respects as though we live in the 19th century, when brand-new practitioners hung their shingles after simply "checking out the law,"

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