Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Uniform Bar Exam

As reported by our friends over at Above the Law yesterday, the Chief Judge on New York's Court of Appeals (that's its highest court) announced that beginning next summer, New York will begin administering the Uniform Bar Exam ("UBE") instead of an entirely state specific exam. (More details are available in a New York Times article.) With New York adopting the UBE, that means next year there almost a quarter of the 50 states will using the UBE, including many states out west. Here is a map of states using the UBE. In adopting the UBE, New York hopes that more of the nation will follow. However, some of the biggest legal markets (including CA, FL, TX, IL, DC) are not yet on board.

What are your thoughts on the UBE? Good idea or bad idea? Should we adopt it here in Nevada? Would adopting the UBE mean we would have to change our reciprocity rules too?

Should Nevada adopt the Uniform Bar Exam?

50 comments:

  1. The worst thing SBN could do would be to make admission even easier. Boyd begat the twice-yearly exam and easier grading of the exam. Enough is enough.

    For what it's worth, I have been practicing long enough and am skilled enough in my practice niche that more lawyers would not negatively affect me. I will likely practice another 10-15 years and not see a dramatic increase in the number of new lawyers who will become my competitors. I suppose I'm fortunate.

    My concern is an increase in the already-staggering number of underemployed debt-ridden law school grads entering the market and creating questionable, and often needless, litigation in order to stay afloat. I used to feel sympathy for those who were duped into the modern law school lie. But when I see the harm many of them do to their clients and society as a whole, my sympathy evaporates.

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    1. Exactly! I was at a conference where there were many unemployed debt-ridden law grads looking for employment who were complaining that the non-UBE states made it harder for them to move any where to grab a job without sitting for that bar examination. So essentially, he was telling everyone that he would try to take their job by working for less because he had no choice.

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    2. If the ABA really wanted to help the profession, it would limit its accreditations to around 100 law schools. The quality of graduates would spike. The first-year employment numbers would spike. Client service would increase. Lawyers would make more money. And professionalism would increase.

      Eff the academics, their cushy tenured jobs, their smugness, their encouragement of student debt, and their ivory towers. Do we really need 209 ABA accredited law schools?

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    3. Sorry ABA accreditation is a joke. How did a diploma mill like Thomas Jefferson and Western States get ABA accreditation? The ABA was sued and as a result of such litigation it eased up on the accreditation standards. There are way too many law schools.
      Nevada's first law school--Old College of Law folded in the late 1980s.

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  2. No to the UBE. Nevada has been somewhat shielded from the harms of the oversupply of lawyers because we have such high admissions standards. Desperate lawyers file needless lawsuits and harm society. Let the UBE states have that problem, not us.

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  3. The UBE is just an excuse not to create a state bar exam. Writing and grading a bar exam is hard hard work. The New York Bar Exam has historically been an exam that uniquely tests New York Law and makes students study New York Law. So much of the law taught at law school is general or uniform laws. Then you get out and practice and you have to get so much on the job training in the law of the state. Ironically, New York was one of the later states to adopt the MBE which came about in 1972. New York also allows out of state attorneys to "waive" into the bar after five years of practice. New York has so many lawyers that they never cared about the lawyer glut or abundance.
    Not sure if New York still allows lawyers to become lawyers under the old "clerkship" method without attending law school. The UBE is done simply for administrative convenience. Only one day of the New York Bar was dedicated to the New York Law which incidentally is very different than many jurisdictions. The UBE makes the bar exam another standardized test like the MBE and may wreck havoc on takers who don't do well on standardized type tests.

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    1. "The UBE makes the bar exam another standardized test like the MBE and may wreck havoc on takers who don't do well on standardized type tests."

      Um, we had to take the LSAT to get into law school (unless you're a dinosaur) and we have to take the MBE and MPRE to pass the bar. Are you going to suggest that a standardize test is racially biased next?

      Either way, you started with a good point about why New York switched to the UBE. If it already allowed attorneys to simply waive into the bar after 5 years in practice, and it is an oversaturated market anyway, adopting the UBE doesn't really matter.

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    2. I am not in favor of the UBE because the examiners are simply abdicating their responsibility and subcontracting out the bar exam to the National Conference of Bar Examiners, the producers of the MBE. Generally speaking I have heard that UBE pass rates are higher in UBE states than non UBE states or states like Nevada, California, and Florida. The UBE will make it easier for anyone who wants a warm weather climate and or who can't find a job move to California, Nevada, Arizona and Florida.

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    3. 10:53 a.m.-Understand your point about standardized tests.....but why do folks have so much trouble with the MBE-the mother of all standardized tests even though they have taken the LSAT and the SAT. Reason--not everybody is good at standardized tests and not all law students have high LSAT scores. If you don't score 145 or 146 you won't pass the Nevada Bar or the California Bar.

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    4. 11:46 is right: once we have some kind of national testing, it will be so much easier for outsiders to invade our little state. What was the point of me joining this cartel if some snot nosed New Yorker can just come in here and compete with me like Uber is competing with cab companies? Hello, you can't have a monopoly without government enforcement. Say no to national uniform testing!

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    5. I have been around long enough to remember how things were for attorneys before the carpet baggers swarmed in. It was good then. Those days are almost gone. National testing will be the final nail in that coffin. Let's all just give up and go to work for Snell Wilmer, Lewis Roca or Fennemore Craig. It's over. We're done.

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    6. If only we could just be worried about Snell, Lewis Roca or Fennemore Craig. There dozens of truly Biglaw firms that would enter this market if they could. With commercial disputes becoming more and more of a high stakes poker game, clients already go to out of state big name firms. There will come a time when firms like Latham, Skadden and O&M, all have offices here and we will wish that all we had to deal with were the likes of Snell, Lewis Roca and Fennemore Craig.

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    7. Don't worry about the big firms coming in, their national rates will price them out of the market anyway. Worry about hack shops like Half-Price Lawyers going viral if it has Legal Zoom backing it.

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  4. Looks like the February 2015 bar exam results will be posted today. I wonder what the passage rate will be. Any guesses?

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    1. Any chance we can stop offering the February bar? How do we make this happen?

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    2. 10:24, here's a "guess": the passage rate will be higher than it was before Boyd started pressuring the Bar to dumb-down the exam.

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    3. I would like to know the position on UBE versus NVBE from the current Board of Governors candidates:

      Tamer Botros
      Kimberly Buchanan
      Eric Dobberstein
      Richard Dreitzer
      Richard Pocker
      Jay Raman
      Bryan Scott
      Daniel Westmeyer

      Also, if any BOG incumbents have achieved any specific measurable goals during their terms on the Board of Governors, could they please specifically describe what those personal accomplishments were and how such best served the membership and/or saved the membership any money. Finally, what is BOG doing about reducing the NVBE to once per year, as it worked more efficiently for the membership and the marketplace. Thank you.

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    4. The ones who passed the July 2014 NV Bar exam are still NOT listed in the NV Bar "Find A Lawyer" directory.....What a Great Bar!

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    5. I've seen this claim on here a few times, that Boyd somehow managed to dumb down the Nevada Bar Exam, but are there any facts to support it? Only two jurisdictions had lower bar passage rates than Nevada last year, California and DC (and half the people taking the CA bar didn't go to law school). The Nevada Bar's website only goes back to 2004 with bar passage stats, but the passage rates range from 48%-69%, with about half being under 60%. Those rates are consistently among the lowest in the nation. My impression is that the people making this claim are old lawyers who seem to think everything was harder for them, when in reality the new generation of lawyers are the ones who have it much tougher. If they really think they're so superior, and all of the new lawyers are just dummies, why fret? From an objective standpoint, it's much more likely that the Nevada Bar Exam has actually become harder than it used to be based simply on the complexity of the law here increasing.

      Also, just say no to the UBE.

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    6. It was harder in the old days because the exam was given once a year. And yes, the exam's passing score was lowered for Boyd. No bar exam is a piece of cake. Nevada is similar to California but graded easier. All bar takers in California graduated from law schools. Some of the law schools are not ABA accredited but have pass rates as high equal to ABA schools.

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    7. @2:05 in California it's not just the people who don't go to law school in CA it's all those unaccredited schools, which will truly let any moron in who has a tuition check (no LSAT, no college degree, no requirements...seriously). The biggest idiot I've ever met in a law related job went to one of them and he somehow passed the bar, he also liked to brag how he didn't go to college but skipped straight to law school.

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    8. 10:06 PM-The comment about not going to law school for the California Bar--it is my understanding that all bar takers went to law school--ABA accredited, California Board of Regents, and non California Board of Regents (store front schools). The non ABA, non Board of Regents accredited have to take the "baby bar" after their first year. Does California still have the clerkship method to become an attorney

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    9. The bar was harder for the older guys. They had to hand write it and didn't have the benefit of computers to help with the studying; just like how the practice of law was harder before computers.

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    10. 9:13- yes. California does permit you to sit for the bar without going to law school. You have to follow a fairly regimented study program with a member of the bar, pass the baby bar, and then sit for the exam. I faced one such lawyer when I was still practicing over there. She was an abysmal attorney.

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    11. Don't forget the perennial BOG, Armeni. BOGs all lost my vote, clean up the mess over at Bar counsel. F'in witch hunt over there. Let me take that back, selective witch hunt.

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    12. Very arbitrary incompetent witch hunt.

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  5. To the people who want the UBE, just go take the Arizona bar. Win win.

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  6. Rule of Thumb: If it's from New York, it is an abomination.

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    1. The New York Bar was the model for testing state law subjects and not just multistate subjects.

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  7. Blog is Dead..... R.I.P.

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  8. Hello...blog is dead man....

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  9. Dammit, my profile name is becoming less and less accurate.

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  10. Why do the people that think this blog is dead keep coming to this blog and posting on it? If you think it is dead then stop coming here. Let the people who enjoy the blog enjoy it.

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  11. I'm pretty sure it's not "people" who think the blog is dead who keep coming here...I'm pretty sure it's just Blog is Dead guy.

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  12. 61 per cent (too high) pass rate on the February 15-Nevada Bar. Bar results out. What a long list of new attorneys. This bus is full no more passengers!

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    2. 11:57 AM--1.6 points is a lot--that means you achieved a scaled score of 73.4. Missing the exam by a fraction at say 74.89 would be really close Glad you passed this time but missing it 1.6 points is somewhat misleading since it is the grading method. It is really like missing it by 16 points. The breakdown of the scores on the MBE, the essays and the performance test would really be telling.

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    3. IP - be careful posting under a blogger profile. It took about 30 seconds to figure out who you were, where you work, where you went to law school, hobby and former job location.

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  13. To those suggesting that there would be a problematic influx of lawyers into Nevada, switching to the UBE would also allow newly-minted Nevada lawyers to go elsewhere. In a bad market, portability lets people go where the jobs are. Few professions tie people to one state the way law does, and I'm not sure that's healthy for the either legal market or the participants. If, as one person says, this bus is too full ... why not let some passengers off?

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  14. Wow. What a collective of bitter people on here. It's amazing how arrogant some of you are for having passed such an arbitrary measure of competence. As someone who has not, I can tell you it has been a long, tough road since graduation. I make 2 to 3 times less than my colleagues. Why?? Because I'm bad at taking tests. Guess what? I'm a really good lawyer. And I am a hard worker. I have spent over $15,000 trying to pass a test that on average fails 50% of those who take it. That is absurd. And I have met more ignorant people with a license than without. So hold your tongue and judgement. Your shine is not defined by that of someone else. If you aren't killing it financially, don't blame the dilution of the profession. Maybe, you just suck.
    And I vote YES!!!

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    1. *Paralegal. You're a really good paralegal. Because, as humble as you might be, you haven't met every qualification to be a lawyer.

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    2. You have not passed the bar and are not a lawyer.

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    3. "I am bad at taking tests" = I have a low IQ

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    4. 11:13, you have a low IQ.

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    5. Aw, the first line defense of the dense. You a putty tat!

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    6. Border passed the bar for the first time, and she is lucky if she has an IQ of 110. Stupid.

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  15. Jayme, I did not pass the first time, and I am a good lawyer. I am also smart. You should not give a fuck what any of these idiots say. Keep taking it until you pass. Hang in there.

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    1. Jayme, I would like to take a look at your results. I have tutored folks for the bar. I would like to hear about how you spent $15,000 presumably on bar review courses. Is there a way I can get your contact information. Your google link did not suggest a way to contact you. Thanks

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  16. This thread was 17 months old. What would lead someone to dredge it up just so that they could be offended by it?

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