Monday, January 13, 2014

Iowa considers eliminating the bar exam for grads who remain in state.

Last week we told you about a proposal under consideration by the Iowa Supreme Court that would allow law school grads to practice under limited conditions without having to wait for their bar exam results. Today the Des Moines Register is reporting that the state Supreme Court is also considering a proposal that would eliminate the bar exam altogether for those graduates of Iowa schools who remain in-state to practice.  Known as an in-state diploma privilege, at present only Wisconsin has adopted it.  If the proposal is adopted by the Iowa Supreme Court, grads must still take an ethics exam, pass a background check and take an Iowa specific law and procedure course.  A major impetus for the proposal is the view that it will help ease the debt-burden on grads by allowing them to start making money right after graduation rather than waiting for their bar exam results several months later  Of course, cutting law school tuition would help in that regard as well.

The Des Moines Register has all the details of the proposal here, including comments from critics who say that the bar exam is necessary to protect the public from unqualified attorneys.  The Supreme Court is scheduled to make a decision on the proposal this summer.

Hat tip to the Wall Street Journal Law Blog.


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