Want to be a lawyer but have trouble taking tests? The requirements are changing in some states

Want to be a lawyer but have trouble taking tests? The requirements are changing in some states

(As originally published with additional photos, Thu, November 9th 2023, 4:46 PM EST)

SALEM, Ore. (TND) — It used to be that students would graduate law school and pass a bar exam in order to practice, but times are changing in a number of states.

Tuesday, the Oregon Supreme Court approved a model that’ll give applicants an alternative method to demonstrate their competence.

It’s called the Supervised Practice Portfolio Examination and it’ll let applicants work in supervised apprenticeship settings after graduating from law school. Then, in the end, they’d submit a portfolio of work.

”Candidates who successfully complete the Program are eligible for admission to the Oregon State Bar without taking the Uniform Bar Examination or Model Professional Responsibility Examination,” according to the Oregon State Bar.

Another model that has not yet been submitted, called the Oregon Experiential Portfolio Pathway, would offer students at the state’s three law schools a rigorous experiential curriculum in their second and third years, followed by submission of a portfolio.

Other states have been developing ways to replace the bar exam model.

Want to be a lawyer but have trouble taking tests? The requirements are changing in some states
FILE – Temporary House speaker Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., gavels the House into recess after Republicans failed to elect Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, the new House speaker, Oct. 18, 2023. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

According to Reuters, Wisconsin offers a diploma privilege, New Hampshire lets some students who complete a specialized curriculum bypass the bar, and California is considering a change.

Maine was even considering letting some aspiring lawyers take the bar exam without going to law school.

Critics of the traditional method say exams don’t adequately test the skills new lawyers will need.

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