Bar Exam

Proposal for bar exam bypass should be pursued further, California bar trustees say

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The State Bar of California’s board of trustees on Friday asked members of a blue-ribbon commission who backed a proposal to bypass the bar exam to develop their proposals further.

The full Blue Ribbon Commission on the Future of the Bar Exam had deadlocked on whether would-be lawyers should be able to gain bar admission through an alternative pathway, reports. That pathway could include supervised work, “a portfolio of accomplishments” or a different assessment, according to the article.

The idea of a bar exam bypass “deeply divided commissioners” on the blue-ribbon panel, the article reported.

Some said the bar exam requirement may disadvantage law grads who can’t afford prep courses. Others, on the other hand, said a supervised work requirement could hurt law grads who couldn’t afford an unpaid internship.

The blue-ribbon commission did, however, agree on a recommendation that California develop a bar exam for federal and state law, Reuters reports. The board of trustees agreed to send that recommendation to the California Supreme Court, which determines which bar exam should be used.

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