Washington Supreme Court Rules That Bar Exam No Longer A Requirement Because It’s Too Hard For People of Color

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Supreme Court of the State of Washington has ruled that prospective lawyers will no longer be required to pass a bar exam to practice in the state.

The decision was reportedly made because the bar exam was too difficult for “examinees of color.”

Hardcore racist policy. Washington Supreme Court is actually saying people of color are too dumb?

The high bigotry of low expectations.

Who would want a lawyer who couldn’t pass the bar whatever race, creed or colour?

Washington Supreme Court Rules That Bar Exam No Longer A Requirement To Practice Law, Cites Impact On “Marginalized Groups”

By: Natasha Biase, The Publica, March 18, 2024

The Washington State Supreme Court has ruled that the bar exam is no longer a requirement for prospective lawyers. On Friday, The Bar Licensure Task Force explained that the bar is “minimally effective for ensuring competency” and “disproportionally and unnecessarily blocks marginalized groups from becoming practicing attorneys.”

According to The Spokesman-Review, after appointing the task force in 2020 to assess “disproportionate impacts on examinees of color and first-generation examinees,” the courts agreed to substitute the exam with “experiential-learning alternatives.”

The task force was made up of over 50 groups of representatives and “examined the character and fitness process for lawyer licensure.”

Although students have historically interned under another lawyer before becoming attorneys, they still had to pass the bar to get their license to practice. Under the new guidelines, lawyers can forgo the bar, first administered in Delaware in 1783, by participating in a six-month apprenticeship and finishing three courses.

Additionally, students must complete a minimum of three hours of legal work per week and 12 skills credits as licensed legal interns, garnering up to 500 hours of law experience before graduation to complete their portfolios.

The eligibility to become a licensed law practitioner will also extend to law clerks even if they haven’t finished law school by completing 500 hours of work as a licensed legal intern and “completing standardized educational materials and benchmarks under the guidance of a mentoring attorney.”

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EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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