Those JDs who can't pass the bar have limited career options, at least among those related to law.
No, they can't practice law per se. But even in related lines of work such as doing compliance at an insurance company, not having passed the bar can be a deal-breaker. After all, there is such a glut of legal talent.
A JD I have coached for her job-search materials is increasingly shut out of law-related jobs because she never passed the bar. The problem seems to be emotional. But so? Currently she is again unemployed. For the past two years she had held paralegal contract jobs.
Therefore, a key reform is increasing the penalty for law schools which admit applicants who are unlikely to pass the state bar. Typically, the odds are against those with subpar LSAT scores.
On Abovethelaw.com, lawyer-journalist, Kathryn Rubino, reports on the recent initiative by the ABA. It's a proposal, which has to still be approved, that law school accreditation will be yanked for academic institutions which do not have a 75% bar passage rate for their JDs by two years after graduation. Here you can read Rubino's coverage.
Some are pushing back that this could prevent minorities who don't score well on standardized tests such as the LSAT from being accepted in law school. One solution could be funding the coaching for passing that test. If the coaching is effective and they receive a decent score then they can probably eventually pass the bar exam - with coaching.
The LSAT seems to require understanding a certain mode of thinking. Historically, I performed barely average on standardized tests. But I was determined to get into law school when I was in my 40s.
I contacted the testing powers that be and ordered and paid for the past tests. I analyzed them. I took sample tests and attempted to figure out why the answer was right. I scored in the 89% in the LSAT and was admitted to Harvard Law.
Therefore, I am convinced that some kind of intense preparation can improve one's LSAT score. That exercise, in itself, might be a good introduction to what is expected in law school. If preparing for the LSAT was an odious experience, perhaps applying to law school should be re-thought.
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