U.S. Court Rules Minorities Will NOT Have To Take ‘Racist’ Bar Exam To Become Lawyers

Fact checked
Minorities will not have to take racist bar exam.

The next generation of lawyers from a minority background will not have to pass the universal bar exam in order to practise, after the Washington Supreme Court ruled that the exam was “racist” and “oppressive” to people with dark skin.

Justice Raquel Montoya-Lewis of the Washington Supreme Court and Dean Anthony Varona of the Seattle University Law School declared that the entire legal profession needs to “diversify” because the universal bar exam requirement is “racist.”

Naturalnews.com reports: According to the court, the bar exam “blocks marginalized groups from entering the practice of law” and also has “racism and classism written into the test itself.”

Montoya-Lewis and Varona spearheaded a task force during the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) “pandemic” to reevaluate the bar exam and come up with proposed changes. That task force found that the bar exam “disproportionately and unnecessarily blocks marginalized groups from entering the practice of law, and the traditional bar exam is at best minimally effective for ensuring competent lawyers.”

One proposed alternative from the court is the so-called NextGen bar exam from the National Conference of Bar Examiners. That alternative to the traditional bar is set to be available come summer of 2026, and will require a reduced passing score of just 266.

The court also approved three experimental learning options for both law graduates and current law students, as well as APR 6 law clerks.

Top American universities abandoning standardized test scores

This newly proposed pathway for more people of color (POC) to become attorneys would involve a six-month apprenticeship for law graduates under a qualified attorney, as well as three mandatory standardized courses.

“Law students must complete 12 qualifying skills credits and gain 500 hours of work experience as a licensed legal intern,” explains The National Pulse about how the program would work. “Law clerks would follow a similar path to law school graduate apprenticeships while also obtaining the required hours as interns.”

The court also plans, moving forward, to join the Washington State Bar Association to jointly develop an implementation system and timeline. This is despite controversy that arose recently over questionable remarks made by an executive member of the association.

Critics of the new anti-racist plan say it will result in under-qualified and less-than-capable people becoming lawyers, which will only end up disintegrating the integrity (whatever remains of it, anyway) of America’s judicial system.

Keep in mind that many top American universities are making similar changes, one being that they are no longer requiring standardized test scores as a condition of admission. This will diversify the pool of students to include more POCs, though some universities have since reneged on that decision and are once again requiring applicants to submit standardized test scores.

As to how and why the Washington court decided that the traditional bar exam is racist, MyNorthwest.com reported that the entire process of becoming a lawyer was determined to be nothing more than a “dam” that was “rather hastily built … that holds back more water than it should.”

“The bar exam … is a way to regulate the profession and it keeps going back to an intention to exclude historically excluded groups,” claimed Matt Audish during a July 2021 task force meeting.

Audish added that the “bar exam generally measures privilege more so than the competency to study law” because it is easy for wealthy people to take time off of work to study for it.

The costs associated with taking the bar exam were also determined to “reinforce historical inequities in our profession,” the task force decided.

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