The industrial attorney exam complex is waging war in Washington state

537 points

(Image via Getty)

Last June, Washington state decided to extend its Emergency Diploma franchise to graduates of ABA-accredited law schools. Those without such scores, and those wanting the flexibility of a UBE degree, were free to take post-examination administration. The diploma privilege extension allowed graduates to start their careers serving the public immediately, while dramatically reducing the number of prospective examiners, making future administrations – either in person or remotely – less taxed. Self-exams are still a risky proposition in the early days of immunization and remote exams Imposing grading hurdles (With Generally being freakyIt was an all-around win. It also functions as a pilot balloon, allowing the state to assess whether it really needs an expensive and outdated tape test for ABA-certified graduates in the first place.

That seems to be what terrifies people in Wisconsin – ironically, as a privileged state to obtain a diploma – who make millions of dollars out of having the bar exam and their colleagues in the state licensing body.

So Washington found itself a battleground for professional necessity for an expensive additional exam after earning an already expensive degree from schools that had already gone through a massive accreditation process. For now, entrenched financial interests appear to have the upper hand.

The Washington Supreme Court decided to go ahead with the February exam through ExamSoft, bringing it in line with the rest of the National Licensing Association. One round of the diploma franchise license risks exposing that the emperor has no clothes when the abdicated regiment proves to be no less competent than the lawyers who crossed the bar, but two turns become a trend that could reveal a self-justifying ball game. data Evidence that the union examination has no general protection value They can be underestimated based on the small sample size – adding more states to the diploma privilege pool would erase a major talking point for examiners.

The court received letters from several sources including at least three letters from the Washington Law Student Coalitions, two letters from the deans of the three law schools in Washington, and one from the Federation of Latin America and the Caribbean – Washington. Unfortunately, these appeals did not receive any direct participation from the court.

The previous opinion did not provide any details as to why the emergency concession was granted, however, Supreme Court Chief Justice Stephen Gonzalez says he felt The previous diploma privilege scholarship was limited to a world where exams could not be conducted remotely effectively, something the court feels – despite letters from experts and actual live experience of the October exam – is now possible. Because NCBE and ExamSoft say it’s possible now and they very much want their money right away.

It doesn’t even make sense. Whatever the logic, in June, the court decided that the privilege of obtaining the diploma did not put the public at risk. The possibility of taking a half-size test does not change this. To paraphrase the Winston Churchill tale, we have already proven that the bar exam does not protect the public, we are just bargaining right now.

Chief Justice Gonzalez said that the Washington State Bar Association assured the court that some problems associated with the program had been addressed.

“For example, the recent iteration has had issues with people being reported during testing and knowing that they are being reported and people are being disproportionately marked if they have dark skin,” Gonzalez said.

He said he no longer informs test-takers in the middle of an exam.

While informing the examinees that they have been marked unacceptable overload, I somehow think the bigger problem is that People of color distinguished cheating based on their skin color in the first place. A shorter translation of the president’s reasoning: “Look, we realized he’s still a racist, but we’re pretty sure it’s polite country club racism now.”

The last Bar Examination Question and Answer extends to the logic of the state:

s. How will the WSBA deal with the bias inherent even in human review, especially when we know that we can expect people of color and persons with disabilities to be exposed to more flags, and thus more human review?

A: We acknowledge that no process is free from bias – we are aware of these biases and are working to mitigate them. We are willing to review many flags, and we will not look at anything beyond the very specific behavior flagged by the software. In most cases, flags should be easily erased (for example, as in the case of a dog barking in the background).

And by “stretch,” I mean they found a way to have emojis ignore 66 words long.

California informed one third of the examinees on charges of cheating! The scale of false positives was so high that California incorrectly multiplied the damage by shifting responsibility to examiners to show why they should not fail. Washington appears committed to avoiding the latter problem, but everyone has a plan before they are punched in the face. When half of the reported tests come back – which pilot trials indicate is more than possible – what will they do next? There may be “easy to remove” flags, but what happens when a test repeatedly identifies a person simply because their complexion is too dark relative to the bias inherent in the algorithm? This is not an isolated incident, it will be reported frequently. Are they watching the entire exam? This is the type of audit that can detect imagined violations that cannot be seen even on other tests. These are all problems that no one has touched upon and the court is only looming.

Gonzalez said the court has set up a working group, headed by Judge Raquel Montoya Lewis, to discuss the broader issue of using the attorney exam as a means of measuring someone’s ability to practice law.

“Anyone can provide input for that,” Gonzalez said.

This is a great idea. Unfortunately, anyone can input input for that decision as well and they end up in the trash heap.

Previously: Washington awards diploma distinction to graduates of ABA accredited schools

head shotJoe Patrice He is a senior editor on Above the Law and co-host of I think like a lawyer. Do not hesitate to E-mail Any tips, questions or comments. follow him Twitter If you are interested in law, politics and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also works as a Managing Director of RPN Executive Search.

Like it? Share with your friends!

537 points


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *