Tuesday, 14 March 2006

Missing the cartel

The failure rate on the bar exam appears to be rising, although the absolute number of individuals passing the bar seems to be nearly constant nationwide over time.

Multiple-choice question: which of the following explanations for this pattern is most plausible?

  1. Although more students are graduating from law school today than a decade ago, they are nonetheless dumber, at least as measured by the bar exam.
  2. Affirmative action is churning out large numbers of law school graduates who subsequently cannot pass the bar.
  3. The body of knowledge necessary to practice law in America has substantially increased in the past decade, thus requiring greater knowledge by new attorneys; thus the bar exam has become harder.
  4. The bar exam is designed to limit the supply of lawyers, not to test whether potential lawyers have sufficient knowledge to practice law.

Free hint: the bar exam is set by existing members of the profession who have a state-granted monopoly on the practice of law.

þ: Glenn Reynolds and Amber Taylor’s comments.


Any views expressed in these comments are solely those of their authors; they do not reflect the views of the authors of Signifying Nothing, unless attributed to one of us.

What about E, all of the above? ;-)


Ah, but I used the qualifier most :)

[Permalink] 3. Len Cleavelin wrote @ Wed, 15 Mar 2006, 8:47 pm CST:

Judging from the recently graduated lawyers I’m meeting, A is the one that really leaps out at me.


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