Bar Exam

Oregon approves alternative to bar exam

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Starting in 2024, law graduates aiming to practice in Oregon can skip the bar exam and instead follow an alternative pathway to licensure.

On Nov. 7, the Oregon Supreme Court unanimously approved implementation of the Supervised Practice Portfolio Examination, requiring graduates to complete 675 hours of work under the supervision of an experienced attorney and create a portfolio of legal work to be evaluated by the Oregon State Board of Bar Examiners.

Currently, Wisconsin’s law school graduates can practice via diploma privilege, and New Hampshire graduates can bypass the bar by taking a specialized curriculum. California is also considering an alternative licensing pathway.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oregon Supreme Court voted to grant emergency diploma privilege to the class of 2020, prompting some in the legal community to suggest that the state should consider a new licensure approach.

In July, 370 people took the Oregon bar exam, according to the Oregon State Bar.

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