Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Day In Mississippi

The Mississippi Supreme Court has ordered a reduction of its three-day bar examination to two days.

There is a dissent from Justice Randolph, quoted in part below:

A matter of particular concern to this Justice is Exhibit 2 to the petition. It reveals that
the proposed structure adopted by today’s order would require only three hours of
examination on Mississippi law, a proposition which seems alarming at first blush. In the
absence of either conclusive evidence to the contrary or opinions of the Board, based on
sound reasoning and logic, I would opine that eight hours of examination on Mississippi law
would be in the best interests of both prospective attorneys and the citizens of this state, prior
to admission to practice law in this state.

Justice Chandler also dissented:

At the present time, Mississippi administers a three-day examination for admission
to the bar. Before this Court is a petition by the Board of Bar Admissions to reduce the
testing period from three days to two. I believe this Court’s grant of the petition is
premature. While it is a laudable goal to reduce an unnecessarily lengthy testing period, this
Court first should determine, with specificity, what we are attempting to measure before
deciding how to measure it and what length the test should be. The Board’s petition indicates
that the Board has rigorously studied the impact of changes to the testing period, but fails to
set out what the bar examination purports to measure, and what a reduction of the testing
period will accomplish toward those goals. The petition fails to set out any testing objectives
the Board wishes to accomplish by reducing the testing period.

The two dissenting justices joined each other's opinion. (Mike Frisch)

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