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11 May 2006


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Since the 1930s the Supreme Court of the United States has interpreted the Commerce Clause of the Constitution of the United States

William Henderson

Jeff, Wisconsin still has the diploma privilege, which is roughly graduation from U of Wisc Law or Marquette, take certain courses, and have a certain GPA (not that high), and you can practice law upon graduation. Perhaps Jason knows the precise details.

To test the consumer rationale for the bar exam, a simple empirical study would be examine the proportion of WI disciplinary complaints against diploma privilege lawyers versus lawyers who sat for the Wisconsin bar or waived in after passing the bar in another state. All the data should be public record.

California still permits individuals who pass a mini-bar exam and have a certain length apprenticeship to sit for the California Bar. No ABA-accredited law school required.

Jeff Yates

For what it's worth I was never a big fan of the bar exam. I passed on my first try, but I knew of lots of people who are now extremely competent attorneys who did not. I also know of people who passed the first time whom I would not be comfortable having represent me.

The multistate bar exam is especially nonsensical. It is practically a speed reading course. Who needs to practice speed lawyering anyway?

Didn't Wisconsin used to have a rule that if you graduated from an accredited Wisconsin law school, then you were admitted to the bar? I think that I heard that up until recent decades you could take the bar without a law degree in some states.

Jeff Yates
Associate Professor
Department of Political Science
University of Georgia
SSRN: http://ssrn.com/author=454290

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