Law: Questioning the Bar Exams

Are they any good? Why do so many students fail?

The Winter Olympics. The New Hampshire primary. For some 15,000 earnest young Americans, these rites of late February are trifling contests. What absorbs them is a two-or three-day test that they must pass if they are to practice the trade in which they have invested three years of postgraduate study and as much as $16,000 in tuition: lawyering. Nowadays, the anxiety about bar exams, which most states hold the last week in February as well as in July, is more acute than ever. Failure rates have been rising steadily, and this month...

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