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A Rant Against the Bar from Someone Who, Unrelated, Just Started Studying for the Bar


The bar exam is a waste of time. I’m not sure why it exists. So here goes my rant against the bar exam.

Sophisticated parties like corporations, government departments, and law firms don’t need the bar exam to tell them who can handle their legal work. These organizations have both the self-interest and the ability to do their own vetting. In fact, pretty much everyone at these organizations is hired out of law school years before they sit for the bar exam. So who’s the bar exam supposed to protect?

The bar exam may help protect those who hire very small law firms or solo practitioners to tackle their, say, trusts and estates or immigration issues. These lawyers, being essentially self-employed, never had a sophisticated organization vet their ability to do the work through the hiring process. But why make everyone waste two months of their lives prepping for an exam that’s supposed to only help deal with a very particular group of lawyers? Just make the aspiring solo or straight-to-partner law grads take the bar. Leave everyone else alone.

The law schools deserve a large share of the blame here, I figure. Everyone passes law school these days. Not only does this make graduation day as boring as any other “everyone gets a trophy” day, but it also raises questions about whether law schools are vetting anyone at all. The likely story is that law schools want to see every student do all three years because that’s how the law schools get paid. What happened to the good-old days when you could count on a third of your classmates failing out? Law school used to be much cheaper then too.

There are over 50 law schools where over a third of the grads do not pass their respective bar exams. These schools make it hard to argue that the bar exam is useless. But it is. Instead of relying on the bar exam, which after three years of school and a bar prep course should be fairly easy, if time consuming, to pass, these school should get shut down.

Think about this. There are about 40,000 law school graduates every year being a complete drag on society for 60 days while they prep for their bar exams.

Anyway, I better get back to my bar prep course before I get too disgusted.