How would you assess someone's ability to practice law? Would you base his or her preparedness on one end-of-school exam that tests the person's memorization of arcane legal details or would you base his or her preparedness on a portfolio of the person's written work and oral performances? Shockingly, almost every state in the union opts for the former, but after seventeen years of exploration, debate, and piloting, New Hampshire broke free from the pack. Rather than require recent graduates to take a grueling, days-long bar exam to show off their memorization skills, New Hampshire allows second- and third-year law students to participate in an apprenticeship program where they learn basics like taking depositions. Students then create a portfolio of their skills for state bar examiners to review. If a student passes the review, then they skip the bar exam and go straight to practice. The NYT's Elizabeth Olson examines why more and more deans are scrutinizing the bar exam. How does your profession measure one's preparedness to join your ranks?
Show Us What You Know
May 04, 2015