In America, anyone who wishes to practice law or become a lawyer is mandated to take the bar exam.
The bar exam is a stringent test meant to ascertain applicants’ knowledge, skill sets, and ability to competently practice law. In multiple states, there are even limits on how many times one can take the bar exam, in the event that they fail on the first attempt.
It goes without saying that if lawyers were not mandated to take the bar exam before they practiced law, the quality of legal counsel available to the general public would drastically decline.
It is for this exact reason that Delaware is under fire, due to controversial changes the state made to its own bar exam, as documented by Legal Insurrection.
Lowering the Bar?
In an effort of advancing diversity, the Delaware Supreme Court ruled in favor of changing several key aspects of the state bar exam. These changes entail reducing the extent of the exam itself, along with the minimum score applicants have to reach in order to pass the exam.
Because of the state lowering the requirements of the bar exam, this means more people who are less qualified to truly practice law are going to pass with flying colors.
Hey Delaware! "The bar exam is not supposed to be a barrier to entering the profession.” WRONG! It is supposed to be a barrier to keep unqualified incompetents from trying to practice law.
— Patrick Hanrahan (@Hanrahan1949) March 2, 2023
Therefore, people in Delaware will likely find themselves with less competent and less reliable legal counsel in cases where they truly need an attorney who knows what they’re doing.
The Delaware Supreme Court’s ruling means that folks taking the bar exam are required to answer fewer multiple choice questions correctly in order to pass. Likewise, applicants will be able to pass by writing fewer essays and answering fewer questions correctly.
What could possibly go wrong?
Accusations of Racism
Delaware’s insistence that these changes to the bar exam are happening in the name of diversity has been branded as racist by critics.
On social media, Americans stated that lowering the standards is tantamount to Delaware saying, in a roundabout way, that minorities are less capable, less intelligent, and therefore unable to meet the higher requirements of the bar exam.
Another blow to meritocracy. Delaware lowers passing score on Bar exam to push for racial diversity. Seems racist to me
— Ed Gould (@edgould64) March 3, 2023
In addition to accusations of racism, critics are also raising questions about the quality of legal representation that Delaware residents will have at their disposal going forward.
It goes without saying that much of the public isn’t happy with the prospect of having more people practicing law when they’re not truly qualified to do so. So far, there is no indication that the Delaware Supreme Court has any plans to walk back its decision concerning the state bar exam.
Do you think the Delaware Supreme Court’s choice to reduce the bar exam requirements is a bad move? You’re more than welcome to let us know in the comments feed.This article appeared in The Conservative Brief and has been published here with permission.