Uniform, Portable Bar Exam? Some states are looking into it

November 22nd, 2009

From LawSchool.com:

A movement to adopt a uniform bar exam that would make aspiring lawyers’ scores portable from state to state and possibly save consumers money is gaining traction in several states but encountering opposition from others.

Missouri has been out front with implementation of a uniform bar exam and could give the first one as early as 2010, says Kellie Early, Missouri Board of Law Examiners executive director.

Jurisdictions including Colorado, the District of Columbia, Minnesota, New Hampshire and North Dakota are among those considering a uniform exam, bar officials in those jurisdictions say.

Bar officials from states including Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire and North Dakota attended a conference Nov. 2 in Phoenix.

Jerry Landau, government affairs director for the Arizona Supreme Court, said Arizona is “seriously looking at it.” Chris Manos, executive director of the State Bar of Montana, said Montana is considering the exam, but cautions, “I believe it is not going to happen overnight.”

Delaware is not anticipating any changes to its bar exam in 2010, according to Pamela Tikellis, chairwoman of the Delaware Board of Bar Examiners. New York and California have not committed to changes, Moeser said.

This would be a very welcome development. The state run Bar is a Cartel which creates barriers to entry. If a law grad was able to take a single exam, and port it to several states, this would increase competition, and force attorneys to excel. I like it.