Ke Kānāwai Māmalahoe: Equality in Our Splintered Profession
39 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2018
Date Written: 2010
The bar examination has been an insurmountable barrier for many legally trained bar applicants for much, if not all, of its existence. It has placed an indefensible premium on the applicant’s ability to memorize laws covering a plethora of topics. There exist, however, more profound justifications for the bar examination’s ultimate elimination. The examination is, unfortunately, a recapitulation of centuries of overt exclusion and discrimination from the legal profession. In an attempt to heal the societal wounds of the bar examination, this comment proposes an alternative for bar admissions in the twenty-first century. Using the State of Hawai‘i as a model for reform, this comment suggests that the use of a diploma privilege, combined with retooled legal pedagogical practices and mandatory continuing legal education courses and pro bono service, offers a persuasive substitute for the bar examination that will help mend our splintered profession.
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